Predator

"Bad"

Predator Review


The scariest thing about Predator is that its lead actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is currently serving as governor of California. I'm not questioning Schwarzenegger's leadership or intellectual abilities, but it does worry me that the he-man who, in this movie, swings from trees, rolls in mud, and mumbles lines like, "If it bleeds, we can kill it," is leading the most populous state in the country. Beyond Schwarzenegger's startling career change, Predator offers little else that's remotely frightening. Unless you are still sucking your thumbs and cuddling with teddy bears, Predator offers only laughs, not chills. If you're mature enough to cross the street by yourself, you're far too mature to find Predator scary.

Yet, Predator does exhibit a few morsels of potential. Given the effective atmosphere and pacing of the film, it is evident that more capable minds could have molded this thriller into an ageless, unrelenting struggle between man and beast. Unfortunately, instead of penning a daring, original plot, writers Jim Thomas and John Thomas recycle formulas from movies like Rambo and Alien. It goes without saying that Predator brings nothing new to the table, and lacks both surprise and suspense.

The formula involves a half-dozen hulking, overconfident U.S. commandoes (led by Arnold Schwarzenegger) who travel to an isolated location in the Mexican jungle to rescue hostages from terrorists. After completing the mission without difficulty, a few surprises erupt. First, they discover that one of the commandoes had a personal agenda in completing the mission. Second, the commandos begin meeting grisly demises. One by one, they fall prey to an unseen jungle predator. But who -- or what -- is killing them, and why?

Initially, it appears that the enemy is a renegade terrorist, admirably camouflaged in the jungle surroundings. When a commando spots glowing eyes floating through the jungle, however, it becomes apparent that a terrorist isn't hunting them. It's something far worse. "There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man," a commando mutters to his team. Indeed, it ain't no man. It's an alien from outer space that has traveled to earth to hunt humans for sport. Why an alien would go through all the trouble of flying across the solar system just to kill a few guys for fun is beyond me, but maybe he needed a hobby.

While it is marketed as a sci-fi horror film, Predator is really nothing more than another brainless action flick. Director John McTiernan -- who has made a career out of helming brainless action flicks like The 13th Warrior, Last Action Hero, and Rollerball (2002) -- puts little effort in blending science fiction with horror. Instead, he focuses on guns and explosions. The action sequences are well crafted, but violence relieves tension, and McTiernan doesn't have the patience to build momentum and suspense. He skips right to the relentless, unsystematic gunfire and bloodshed. The result: Commandos pace around the jungle as aimless as a bunch of headless chickens; after the predator kills one, the commandoes retaliate by firing thousands of rounds into the jungle and miss completely. Then repeat. That's Predator in a nutshell.

Predator doesn't even work as guilty pleasure... it isn't even fun to watch while plastered on Saturday night. When the predator preys on its victims, the camera cuts away. What's the fun of watching an alien flick if we don't get to see the alien mutilate people? Additionally, the predator spends most of the movie inside an invisibility suit. Do the producers think this adds suspense or tension? It doesn't. In fact, it makes the movie less scary. How can the creature be frightening if we can even see it? However, the invisibility and lack of gore only skim the surface of the movie's flaws. In truth, the film is uninteresting because we don't care about the thinly sketched characters. Boys playing with G.I. Joes put more character development into their toys than this movie puts into the commandoes.

Oh, and back to the politics thing. As it turns out, Predator became a launching pad for actor/politicians. Besides Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998. Additionally, Sonny Landham ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Kentucky in 2003. Coincidence? I think not. My guess: The predator had connections.

The two-disc DVD set includes a variety of extras that are as useless as the movie itself. The outtakes and deleted scenes make you wonder why the producers would even waste their time including them in the DVD extras; they are completely dispensable. The disk also includes a "Predator profile," which describes, through pictures, the art of the Predator's weapons. Other extras include commentaries and interviews about the special effects... none are all that fascinating, although the clip on the gantline gun is cool.

Your dog is hungry.



Predator

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th June 1987

Box Office Worldwide: $98.2M

Budget: $18M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Amercent Films, American Entertainment Partners II L.P., Davis Entertainment, Lawrence Gordon Productions, Silver Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Major Alan 'Dutch' Schaeffer, as Major George Dillon, as Anna, as Sergeant 'Mac' Eliot, as Blain, as Billy, Richard Chaves as Poncho Ramirez, R. G. Armstrong as General Phillips, as Hawkins, as Helicopter Pilot / Predator

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.