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A team of commandos are sent into a central American jungle to extradite US
airmen that are being held by terrorists. During the rescue attempt the
airmen and the terrorists are killed and the commandos being to return to
their pickup location. However as they travel back across the jungle they
are picked off one by one by an unseen assassin. With his teams' numbers
dwindling, Dutch decides to take a stand.
This ranks as one of Schwarzenegger's best films, mainly because he doesn't ham up the one-liners etc and just plays it straight. The story is pretty straight forward. Once the issue of the airmen rescue is forgotten it is a straight hunt or be hunted affair. The film manages to create a great sense of tension by not revealing the predator until near the end, this means we, like the commandos, are not quite sure what's doing the hunting. If the tension was so good then this could have been a slasher style film with each character being bumped off in a series of gory ways. However McTiernan makes sure that it never feels that basic.
The action is good throughout. But the film benefits from a strong male cast - not great actors but they all fit the parts well. Schwarzenegger isn't wearing his star power on his sleeve like he does in other films and is good here. The rest of the cast are filled out by what could be kindly described as B list stars (except maybe Bill Duke), but Carl Weathers and ex-wrestler Jesse Ventura do well.
Overall this is a B movie creature feature, but it's carried out with such style and aplomb that it's hugely enjoyable throughout.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger was solidifying his position as an
action superstar with the releases of the epic Conan, the influential
Terminator and the somewhat mediocre Commando that was still fun to
watch anyway. However, that position wouldn't be fully cemented until
the arrival of Terminator 2 in 1991 which forever raised the bar for
the action genre.
But plain and simple, "Predator" is a staple for Schwarzenegger's profile. It introduced the ultra cool "Predator" to the world and changed the popular culture's perspectives on alien movies. But the movie itself isn't just known for the central character, like the crappy Friday the 13th movies that are only known for the murderous Jason Voorhees and his stupid hockey mask. But "Predator" is known for the movie as a whole, with a great simplistic plot, awesome characters and great action that will make people want to see this again and again.
The movie is a about a former soldier/mercenary named Dutch (Arnie) who has been involved in a lot of conflict and has since decided to settle down and be the leader of a rescue team. He goes to a South American country to participate in a mission that would supposedly rescue a Cabinet Minister and a few other hostages, but later on he finds out that he's been set up and it was actually a mission to destroy a rebel base that would've invaded sooner or later. And Dutch gets ticked off and he and his team try to escape the jungle, but they're then being pursued by an alien who "hunts" rather than kills. As the situation escalates, Dutch starts to lose his sanity and that's totally evident in the final showdown with the creature.
Like James Cameron's "Aliens" that came out the year before, "Predator" is shaped by it's excellent characters, Dutch is the great, silent leader who is somewhat broken inside from all the combat that he went through in the past and his quote "If it bleeds, we can kill it" is among the greatest. Blain is the totally cool tobacco-chewing, mini-gun-totting guy who spewed out 2 of the movie's best lines: "I ain't got time to bleed", and "This stuff'll make you a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus, just like me". Mac is pretty much Blain's best bud and frequently shaves with his razor and without the shaving cream to show his manliness. Hawkins is the super-nerd of the group who reads comic books and occasionally makes some sick jokes about his girlfriend. Billy is the silent, no-nonsense spiritual dude. Dillon is the dirty CIA agent who was best pals with Dutch a few years back and then sets up Dutch and his team, which leads to their demise and his, as well. And finally, Poncho is the sympathetic, yet sarcastic soldier who connects with Anna, their hostage, during the course of the film. And these guys are great characters; and they each have their own personalities, which makes you want to see more out of each guy.
And of course, I can't forget about the "Predator". The high-tech alien that hunts other creatures for sport was a very creative and original idea. It also held a very intimidating presence and the special effects were very well done, especially the camouflage. And I'm still wondering how that managed to do that in 1987.
And last, but not the least, the action really stands out thanks to the direction of John McTiernan, who directed this right before he made "Die Hard". The scene when the team attacks the rebel camp is, without a doubt one of the best in cinema, since it shows each team member providing something in the attack, and it's not just one guy who acts like a one-man army and destroys everything in his path all by himself. Also, Dutch's confrontation with the predator at the end, which displays more prehistoric styles of combat with the setting of the boulder and spike traps. And this movie makes up the modern warfare action and the caveman action so well.
Any action/sci-fi junkie should watch this, and they will be HOOKED. And you will want to see this again and again.
Back in a time when the term "popcorn movies" actually meant something,
Predator stands out especially today, mostly due to its high quality
writting and top notch action. This movie never gets boring, as we watch
the characters interact with each other, it brings to mind the feeling I got
when watching the Marines from Aliens; a great feeling of comradary and
gruff friendship. The special effects, while dated, in my humble opinion
look better then the snazzy "futuristic" effects we are seeing today. The
Govenator is perfect for the lead role in this film, he commands a certain
respect both from the characters and audience alike.
The title character of the film is still cool and frightening by todays standards. The filmakers knew how to use the Predator makeup, they shadow it in as much darkness as possible, cover it in mudd and grime, which hides what could have been very obvious makeup "guy in a suit" effects. The guy who plays Predator did everything he could to add some life to the creature, to make people think he could stand up against Arnold in the end. Its really alot of fun to watch the Predator hunt these hapless soldiers, when just a while ago they were kicking ass everywhere they went.
As we watch the downfall of summer "popcorn" movies, its good to know we can still go back and watch something great like this film.
Some will tell you "Predator" is another dumb '80s action flick. It's
not. It's very different from anything else Arnold Schwarzenegger has
starred in. First of all it begins as a standard Military war film,
setting up the plot for about 45 minutes! It then morphs into a
suspense-thriller/sci-fi film: Like some sort of Agatha Christie novel
meeting "Rambo" via "Aliens." It's quite intelligent and thrilling, not
revealing the Predator creature fully until the very end. Part of the
reason this film works, and the sequel does not (as successfully
anyway), is the level of suspense and mystery surrounding the Predator.
Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers one of his best performances as Dutch. Granted, he isn't required to do much more than shed his upper-body clothing and look ripped, but he _does_ do more than that - I felt sympathy for Dutch, he seemed like a realistic character, and I forgot that I was watching Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has a few good one-liners ("Stick around!" being the cream of the crop along with "Knock knock!") but especially later in the film, his confidence stumbles and he turns into the flip-side of the typical Arnold Schwarzenegger action hero.
The sequel worked as a comic-book-style creature feature but the original "Predator" is a much better film than most people give it credit for, being the rare smart action film that is solidly constructed and worth watching far more than just once.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Predator" is arguably the best of the '80s/early '90s action bonanzas. Well-conceived, psychologically taut, visually vibrant and deeply entertaining, it has aged remarkably well.
The direction, screenplay, special effects, and general production values of "Predator" are just as muscular and confident as its cast. Even when the movie slips into excess (which it frequently does, with gratuitous flexing, absurdly over-the-top firefights, and unabashed macho banter), it does so with such a boisterous swagger that you can't help but hop on for the ride. This is film-making at its most self-assured and unapologetic. Director John McTiernan has said he set out to make a classic popcorn movie, and he succeeded in spades.
The story is surprisingly thematically strong, and believe it or not, it owes that to the depth of Schwartzenegger's character--a monster-movie hero who's actually on par with the monster. Every action hero has to have his requisite humanizing moments--it's par for the course. Smiles at a kid, saves a puppy, blah blah blah. But Dutch's are more effective than any other instances I can think of because they are so believable and unforced. "I don't do this kind of work," Dutch says indignantly after he learns his team ("We are a rescue team, not assassins.") has been duped into attacking a rebel camp on the pretense of rescuing hostages. It's really a great moment--a simple, unexaggerated statement of ethics--as tough as Dutch and his team look, they derive real pride from the fact that they are in the business (primarily) of saving lives rather than ending them. It's not shoved in our faces, we don't have to watch Dutch cradling a tattered child's doll in the wreckage or anything--it's just there. This crucial humanizing moment makes Dutch's struggle with the Predator all the more striking--he has to give in to that part of himself that he rejects early on in the movie: the aggressor, the killer, the hunter, the savage. He has to allow this part of himself to take over in order to survive.
The ensemble cast deserves kudos, too (especially Bill Duke in the performance of a lifetime as the smoldering Mac)--the film is much deeper and richer thanks to their spirited characterizations. We ACTUALLY CARE when these guys (who would be called "side characters" in most other action movies) are picked off by the malicious demon that hunts and haunts them. Again, the characterization is effective and feels genuine, which lends greater meaning to the central action of the movie. As screen writing formulas go, this is definitely not rocket science, and most action and horror films attempt it in some form or fashion, but surprisingly few do so successfully.
And, of course, the other star of "Predator"--the creature itself, is masterfully conceived and designed, both with and without the mask. It still stands (along with, yes, the Alien) as one of the coolest and most imaginative monsters ever put on film.
This is a very important movie to people (especially guys) of my generation--I remember re-watching it repeatedly when I was ten or eleven (probably too young!), totally fascinated and drawn in to the primal story of kill-or-be-killed. I can honestly say that this appeal has not dwindled one iota. If, like me, you grew up on "Predator," I highly recommend picking up the new DVD so you can see for yourself how well it has stood the test of time. If you haven't seen it and have any respect for action films or thrillers whatsoever, check it out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is my all time favorite sci-fi movie. I love the characters, especially Billie, and not just cuz he's fantastic eye candy. I love when he says the thing acts.."like a hunter". Bingo!! hit the nail on the head you did, right there! This movie is fast, interesting, suspenseful, and then in the end, when most movies rip you off and show just a tiny bit of the beast, or nothing at all, you get a ten minute eye-full of this creature!! And is he awesome!!!!!!! Dreadlocks and all. I loved it. And, the scenery of the Amazon rain forest was fun to see. It was great fun to discover, along with Arnold, that being cold hid him from the creature. It was just a great movie, through and through.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Plot: A special strike force team is sent in the jungles lead by Dutch
(Arnold Schwarzenegger), for what he believe to be a rescue mission.
But come to find out they were sent to stop a small army from crossing
tons of weapons into the country. After they destroy the camp they soon
relies they were tricked and expendable. Thinking this is the end they
proceed to the check point where the Helicopter will take them home.
But they are then hunted down one by one by an invisible enemy. Then
find out this thing isn't human and is a hunter of unstoppable and
futuristic tactics never seen on are planet. A Hunter from another
My Spiel: This movie is absolutely one of my favorites. From a time I watched this movie for 3 straight months, for every day. Some days I watched it more then once. I had this on a terrible VHS tape. But for some reason having to rewind it and in the rewinding time span I wanted to watch it again and again. This movie is full of everything from blood/guts/bullets/knifes/aliens/war/soldiers/death. All those mix to make the true "Guy Movie". Granted this movie has it's flaws but come on, this is one of those ultimate badass movies where none of that crap matters. There have been tons of movies to try to duplicate this movie and all fail. I can't urge people enough to just watch this for what it is. The ultimate what the hell else could go wrong for a special elite team lead by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger). That has already been tricked into doing a job, also in 115+ degree heat, and then to top it off a out of this world galactic hunter wants there bones for collectors pieces. From the attack on the base camp that they completely demolish, to the destruction of a square block of jungle with the mini gun scene. But this movie true message is the fact that Dutch is left to fight the Predator without the use of military weapons, but has to make his own out of the supplies and natural surroundings around him, which completely throw the Predator for a complete loop, or does it!
After screening this movie to many times to count I have come up with a conclusion about the end. I believe that Poncho (Richard Chaves) the soldier with the automatic grenade launcher, Survived at the end. Well I believe he was in the lap of Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) in the helicopter at the end. Because you can see the hair of someone laying down but no face. And the only one with that short of hair at the time was Poncho, and heck I think Anna came back for him, granted he did get hit by a huge log, but who the hell else could it be. Also on another note in "Predator 2" they talk about only two special mission force members survived and I don't know what this means to you, but Anna is no special forces member! This is truly something that has bothered me for some time. But this movie had given me days of satisfaction and a must watch for anyone who likes Sci-fi/Horror/Action. Predator (1987) Review: 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After starring as one of the most iconic and unstoppable villains ever
in Terminator, it was high time that Arnie had a worthy foe to fight
against. And he got way more than he bargained for with the Predator.
Before his crowning achievement of Die Hard, John McTiernan assembled a group of seven muscle-bound commandos in the South American jungle and let them unleash hell on Latino, Russian and Aliens alike with an awesome arsenal of macho weaponry. This is definitely a boys' movie. Both Alien and Aliens - hell, even Friday The 13th - had a thing about two females going head to head at the end. How are us guys supposed to get a kick out of endings like that? Arnie plays Major Alan 'Dutch' Schaefer, the leader of an elite Spec Ops force. His team is called to duty by General Phillips (R.G. Armstrong) and the very suspicious Dillon (Carl Weathers) to rescue a bunch of government officials, who have been shot down in enemy territory in Latin America.
As soon as they arrive in the jungle something is watching their every move from the trees. And they get the feeling that things just ain't right. The first rescue team is found disembowelled and skinned. Same goes for their chopper.
None of them trust Dillon. He's up to no good. There are no cabinet ministers being held hostage, just a bunch of his CIA pals being tortured by the Russians. In no less than five minutes, all seven of them completely obliterate a rebel guerrilla camp. The CIA hostages are dead.
Dutch is angry and feels mighty betrayed. Dillon lied to him and their mission is over as soon as it started. All they have to do is make a journey through one valley to the nearest rendezvous point and fly back home. Not so simple when a high-tech, seemingly invisible, 7'2'', extra-terrestrial Rastafarian hunter is picking them off one by one and keeping their skulls as trophies. This predator is obviously a fan of the 1932 movie, The Most Dangerous Game.
In the same way that he created nervous claustrophobia around the Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard, McTiernan floods the movie with an oppressive and twitchy atmosphere. Half of the film's ominous tone comes from Alan Silvestri's militaristic and primeval score, with pounding drums and lurking strings, indicating that the Predator's haunting presence is everywhere. He could strike from any corner at any moment. And he does.
Nothing Dutch and his men seem to do can thwart this enemy and in no time at all Dutch is the last one standing. He runs for his life with the Predator in hot pursuit.
The final act is no doubt the strongest and can even be viewed as a separate movie altogether. McTiernan ditches the lush, steamy jungle from the first two acts and completely turns it around into a strikingly Gothic, baroque, supernatural landscape. There is a subtext of primitive brutality winning over highly advanced super-weapons. And there is enough testosterone between Dutch and the Predator to fill 100 tanker trucks. Women, totally, need not apply.
Definitely one of Arnie's best and a landmark action movie. No doubt. Outdone only by the sequel.
Note: When the Predator rises out of the lake and tries to locate Arnie, who is covered in mud, he notices a monkey sitting on a log. Freeze frame the film when he zooms in and you will see a single frame shot of a man in a white vest with an explosion/lens flare behind. It looks like a shot from Die Hard (which wasn't made at the time!) and I have no clue how it got in there.
I will start this by giving my ratings, yes plural because to me as a
sci-fi/action film fan the film has few peers, it is 100% pure suspense
testo explosive fun that along side John McTiernan's other action
template Die Hard, stands the test of time to the point that it will be
thrilling viewers long after we have left this earth. So with that I
give it a personal rating of 10/10, it's faultless for my needs in a
genre I indulge and lose myself in on a frequent roster. For any other
movie fan aware of the genre's traits and peccadilloes without being a
fan of sorts, then I rate the film easily at 7 or 8 out of 10, what's
not to like here?
The film is without a shadow of a doubt another allegory of Vietnam, a crack unit of soldiers are stuck in a central American jungle being killed off by an invisible enemy, the soldiers are there after being lied to by the powers that be, tactics are paramount but the enemy that stalks them holds all the aces. This crack special rescue team are a testosterone fuelled band of beef, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Sonny Landham, Bill Duke & Jesse Ventura, these five alone have a combined muscle weight heavy enough to have sunk the Titanic, and McTiernan uses the beefcakes to the max in a series of joyous ball busting sequences.
The dialogue is sharp and funny with Schwarzenegger quipping his way thru the first reel, and the score from Alan Silvestri pumps the blood at just the right time, whilst the effects crew have done sterling work to bring this "hardest man in the world versus bad ass alien predator" to life, none more so than when viewing POV heat seeking infa-red shots as our deadly alien killer. The end throws up some interesting thoughts, that have for better or worse? Been fleshed out with further films involving the predator of the title, but one should judge this film as a single entry because it sits at the top of the tree as one of the best of it's kind; so truly this is a benchmark for the genre that will take some beating as far as I'm concerned.
One major mark of a good movie is its ability to draw you in to its own particular brand of reality. An attribute of a Great movie is that for a time you forget it is a movie. The first time I saw Predator I even forgot what time it was. The cast and crew sucked me into a hot little battlefield somewhere near Earth's equator and for a couple of hours I was right there, next to Dutch. Wide eyed and with my heart in my throat I chased and fought and ran from a new on screen Terror so awesome that it succeeded in creating a new Hollywood Archetype in horror. If by chance you haven't seen this movie, watch it alone, at night, in the dark.
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