Captain Picard and his crew pursue the Borg back in time to stop them from preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. They also make sure that Zefram Cochrane makes his famous maiden flight at warp speed.
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
Most of film was shot under the original title "Hunter", it was only later when the creature design was changed that the movie became "Predator". The clapperboards showing the original title can be seen in the outtakes on the special edition DVD. See more »
During several scenes in the movie, permanent blank adapters can be seen in the muzzles of the various weapons carried by Dutch and his team. Most notably, the scene where Mac is walking through the bush with his M60 barrel pointed towards the camera, and another scene where Billy is shown emerging from the bush with the muzzle of his M16 pointed towards the camera. There should only be one hole at the end of the barrels of each weapon, but what can be seen is a small reversed cone shape inside the flash suppressor indicating permanently modified blank firing weapons. 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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