Predator (1987)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 47

Release: 1.1.1988

About: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a soldier of fortune, is hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians trapped in Guatemala. But when Dutch and his team, which includes weapons expert Blain (Jesse Ventura) and CIA agent George (Carl Weathers), land in Central America, something is gravely wrong. After finding a string of dead bodies, the crew discovers they are being hunted by a brutal creature with superhuman strength and the ability to disappear into its surroundings.

Treat

  • The Predator is visually out of this world. Sorry for the bad pun, but it’s on a level with the xenomorph in terms of something that could prompt a nightmare. It’s hidden well which adds to the fear factor.
  • You have a group of commandos who are hench and seen action. And they’re scared enough to say they’re scared. Yup, that’s enough to have my heart racing.
  • Outside of the opening shot in space, you could have walked into this movie thinking it was a war film. In fact, I think that would have been scarier because you’d truly be one of the mission team. It does add to the fear because you sense what’s coming.
  • I think the scariest part of the film is that Arnie doesn’t defeat him. Not really. Predator kills himself and that is one of the scariest parts of war.

Trick

  • The biggest issue I have with the film is it’s final act. I’m watching a group of commandos, the best of the best, all bite the dust because of this creature from outer space. Yet, Arnie, the one who doesn’t get a single shot off at it prior to the one hour mark is able to defeat it single handily?! That makes the Predator an absolute pussy and Arnie too ‘invincible’.
  • Adding to the above point, I don’t buy Billy’s demise and for me, he’s the character who had shown the best skill and tactics to pull off what Arnie did. Bring him into the final showdown and help Arnie do his Kevin McCallister shit to the jungle and then have him killed. It gives a little more of a sense that this Predator is a fucking killing machine and stops you losing 5 of the team within about 45 seconds of each other.
  • Oh, and Predator once the helmets been removed?! Did he just have a manicure that he was waiting to dry?! What was with the pussy assed slaps. He could have removed Arnie’s innards with on blink and everyone knows it. That was the perfect opportunity to kill Billy (or your chosen commando).
  • I find the score by Adam Silvestri too distracting. It’s overly similar to his Back to the Future score and, for me, it didn’t fit the film.
  • I genuinely don’t know how I feel about the introduction of the female Guerrilla operative just before the halfway mark. While her actions set in motion a lot of the plot for the second half and there’s the argument that her being female is what stops them killing her, I’m not sure that it’s still not lip service casting or if I’m seeing snowflakes.

Final Thoughts

Not the masterpiece I remember it being, but then again I’d misremembered it as being set in Vietnam, so perhaps I shouldn’t hold the film to account.

A bloody, gory, war movie with an extra terrestrial playmate.

2 thoughts on “Predator (1987)”

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