Saturday, June 19, 2010

Predator (1987)

Director: John McTiernan

Starring: Arnold Scwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, RG Armstrong & Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: Nothing like it has ever been on Earth before. It came for the thrill of the hunt. It picked the wrong man to hunt.

Plot: A team of commandos, on a mission in a Central American jungle, find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.

My Rating: 9.5/10

Would I watch it again? Sure as shootin'!

"I ain't got time to bleed!"
One of the all-time great lines!

Great flick and one of Arnold's best. The only thing that I would change is losing some of s one liners like, "Stick around!". It's not necessary but then again it's not something that makes me groan. It's just that McTiernan did such a magnificent job on taking a subject and cast that would have been juvenile in anyone else's hands. But then Arnold was at his height of popularity and I'm sure there would have been rioting in the streets if the public didn't get his usual funny business.

Bill Duke - Hall of Fame Badass (not to mention a good actor to boot)!

The cast is superb and every one of them holds their own, giving way-better-than-you-would-expect performances. There's more testosterone in this picture than all of the 90s action movies combined! It's such a fantastic ensemble cast that it's a shame no one used them as the same characters in a non-Predator film. That could have been a huge room full of Fonzies!

The pacing is just right, the action scenes are fun and tense, the locations (filmed in Mexico) are frighteningly beautiful, Alan Silvestri's score kicks butt, the camera work is surprisingly different for an action film - Man, everything just rocks all around!

Hell, usually they fuck up the ending but not here. In the final 15-20 minutes of the film there's very little dialogue (Which I really appreciate). Once Arnold shuffles the girl off to the helicopter it's just him and the Predator. And the Predator! Great makeup and special effects! It's been 23 years and it holds up just as well as it did then and I suspect that won't change. It's a timeless movie where the only thing that 'might' date it is the typical Arnold schtick but even that's been toned down.

I'm looking forward to seeing PREDATOR 2 as I haven't seen it since it came out in 1990. I have good but not great memories about that one. As for AVP, I fucking hated it. When the trailer came out for AVP2, it looked so good that I thought they realized their previous fuckup and fixed the situation...that is until the critics and public saw it opening weekend and most agreed it was worse than the first. That's all I needed to stay away from it. Though I'm really skeptical about the upcoming PREDATORS film, Robert Rodriguez is producing it so there's a glimmer of hope it'll be decent. I'm so jaded at this point I'm not sure I even care. Such an amazingly promising start for a franchise that has lost its way...and its balls, all for the sake of making money! What they don't understand is that there's more money to be made in making a better film that warrants repeat viewings like the original. It just doesn't get old.

UPDATE: 1/6/14 - I watched the recently released 3D Blu-ray of this and it's outstanding!  It's one of the best post-conversions I've seen.  The jungle comes more alive with the added depth and the scene where Billy and crew stand on the giant fallen tree is breathtaking.  For $15, it's a great value.  

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