A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter to blackmail him into starting a revolution and getting an exiled dictator back into power.
Mark L. Lester
Rae Dawn Chong,
During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realize that only one species can win.
A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
A team of special force ops, led by a tough but fair soldier, Major "Dutch" Schaefer, are ordered in to assist CIA man, George Dillon, on a rescue mission for potential survivors of a Helicopter downed over remote South American jungle. Not long after they land, Dutch and his team discover that they have been sent in under false pretenses. This deception turns out to be the least of their worries though, when they find themselves being methodically hunted by something not of this world. Written by
In a part of the world where there are no rules, deep in the jungle where nothing that lives is safe, an elite rescue squad is being led by the ultimate warrior. But now, they're up against the ultimate enemy. Nothing like it has ever been on earth before. It kills for pleasure, it hunts for sport. But this time, it picked the wrong man to hunt. See more »
The studio would not allow John McTiernan to shoot this film in anamorphic widescreen due to the complexities of the optical effects. As a sly sort of retaliation, the director added an anamorphic version of the film's opening 20th Century Fox logo, which looks noticeably stretched on screen. See more »
At the start of the raid on the rebel camp, Poncho is shown firing from behind a tree already riddled with bullets. Moments later, the tree is in better shape before being shot again. See more »
Consider that so many of the roles that Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on are so similar, including Predator, and yet this film is so much better than most of the others. I enjoy watching his movies just because he's such a watch-able guy, even in his bad movies (which are many), but I think the thing that really makes Predator stand out is its simplicity. The movie starts, the guys get dropped in the jungle, lots of blood and carnage flies across the screen, and the movie simply ends. No romance, no complex back story, no soldier struggling with problems in his past or even trauma caused by the horrible things he experiences during the movie. This is one of the things that made First Blood so good. It may turn out to be a movie about a lot of muscle-bound meatheads in the woods, but it doesn't insult the audience or try to apply complexity to a story that can't support it.
Interestingly, the movie features two eventual governors. Jesse Ventura even wrote a book which was released while he was the governor of Minnesota and he used his favorite line in this movie as the title. And the book's actually pretty interesting; there are some funny stories in it about things that went on while they were filming this movie. Arnold, on the other hand, is actually (and thankfully) given a relatively small amount of stupid one-liners, which are an idiotic byproduct of hard action movies that I've never really understood the necessity for. They don't reveal anything about the characters who say them, they don't add to the story or further the plot, and with rare exceptions, they're not funny. But I guess comic relief has to come from somewhere, and since complexity is not a requisite for movies like this, I can't really expect a lot of thought being put into the comedic content either.
I watched Predator having never seen it from beginning to end and having just re-watched the original Alien. I am currently in the process of re-watching both series', for obvious reasons. One thing that I notice about both of them is the way they take their time in introducing the enemies which, in both films, are aliens. Predator doesn't waste much time dwelling on the origin of the alien, we pretty much assume it came from a space ship that flashed across the screen at the opening of the movie. Alien, on the other hand, went into remarkable detail about where its alien came from. What Predator does do, very effectively, I think, is that it has the guys fighting some very human enemies, which allows the movie to later take its sweet time in having them realize that the new enemy is not human at all. This is also, incidentally, weakly rehashed in the sequel, using the secrecy of this mission and team as an excuse to have more guys who don't know what's going on.
The death scenes are actually pretty tasteful, given the genre. They are just gory enough to illustrate the violence of the enemy without being gratuitous. Just enough is shown to show how vicious the alien is, and there are some strange things done to and with the bodies that make you wonder about the alien's intentions or needs. The first deaths suggest vengeance if not some sort of ritual, but later ones suggest that the alien may be feeding off of his (or her) victims. Oddly enough, it is not until the awful Predator 2 that we learn that it kills for sport.
Yes, the movie occasionally gets embarrassingly macho, but the skill with which it is put together far overshadows any tough-guy goofiness. Consider, for example, the ease with which the movie switches from showing the guys hunting the alien to their realization that they are the ones being hunted. In some cases, this transition takes place during a single shot and with virtually no movement in the shot at all except a change in someone's expression. It is truly a fight between a group of predators, which we understand because they are human like us, and a single predator whose powers and weaknesses are unknown. It's not Oscar material, needless to say, but it's a great action movie in part because it already knows that.
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