PREDATOR

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Predator Cover Did you know that mercenaries are very naughty people? Well, if you come to think about it, what have they ever done that was good? Did they ever make a nice pot of tea for your Mum? Did they ever sew a comfy cushion for your Auntie? Did they ever try to protect the human race from extraterrestrial forces unknown to the conventional world? Err... yes for the last one. As seen in this film Directed by John McTiernan; and Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Bill Duke. It was made in 1987 and lasts 107 minutes.


Predator (Ultimate Hunter Edition)


THE STORY:
Goaded by military intelligence, mercenary, Major Alan Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and his men, are sent to Central America to assist CIA agent, George Dillon (Carl Weathers), to save a group of American hostages from a renegade guerrilla faction.

Now once at this lo-cal, they notice straight away that something is very strange within this dense Jungle – mainly due to the sight of three dead and skinned military officials hanging from the rafters. However, this peculiar occurrence does not stop them from infiltrating the guerrilla compound, oh no. Though in so doing, they subsequently discover three different things in the process. (1) That guerrilla’s are easy to kill. (2) A lone female guerrilla, Anna (Elpidia Carrillo), whom they take hostage. And (3) That this mission was a ploy on behalf of military intelligence, to get Alan and his men to do something that they could not.

Buggers.

In the aftermath of this one-sided fight, all and sundry have to trek back through the Jungle so that they can reach the awaiting helicopter at the other end of it. But, something is slightly amiss when they have to do this – because when Anna tries to escape from Alan, and one of his men, Rick Hawkins (Shane Black), tries to recover her – Rick is killed by an unknown hand. Moreover, when another of Alan men, Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura), tries to investigate this sometime later, he too is killed in a very similar manner.

Ooops!

OK, so what do these mercenaries have to do next to figure out who it is killing them off one by one? Alan’s chief scout, Billy Sole (Sonny Landham), tries his best to answer this question with his Native American ways. And in addition to this, so does George and Alan’s sharpshooter, Mac Eliot (Bill Duke), too – whom both try to set-up a trap to capture this fiend. But alas, the results of all of the this is not a favorable one at all – leaving three men dead and one man injured – thus setting the stage for a one on one bout with a being from another world.

Nanoo-Nanoo!

What next transpires is a rather bold and brash affair indeed – as aliens are revealed – ploys are played – weaknesses are exposed – battles are fought – and at the end of the day, everything goes up in smoke.

Don’t worry about it though, because I am sure that one of them ‘will be back’.




THE REVIEW:
It has been quite some time since I sat down and watched the film - ‘Predator’ - but now that I have in my slightly more formative years, I can safely say that in a strange way it reminds me of another film of old – the Magnificent Seven.

You see, in essence, both of these movies speak of three similar subjects that are parallel in nature. Firstly, there is the whole ‘mercenary code of ethics’ that both films touch upon – in how this profession is solitary, futile, and ultimately gruelling. Secondly, both films have a main villain that is hardly seen in the majority of it – and then, when he does surface, it is in dribs and drabs, and elusive to the touch. And thirdly, both films have a simple narrative so that the action can be displayed more clearly – thus highlighting the core of the film without hindering the supple message within.


The Cast of Predator


OK, so maybe my ‘Magnificent’ analogy is only for those people with a deep disposition, because – in all fairness – the main brunt of this film is about something else entirely, right? Action dear reader – Action with a dynamic dose of eighties panache that does ‘date’ this film in both a good and a bad way.

In my opinion, the bad is only minor all in all – mainly due to the substandard special effects used and the minor character development deployed. As for the good on the other hand – well – like all eighties fair, it does not take itself too seriously, and just tries to present a solid piece of action full of suspense and exuberance, which is... errr... out of this world.


Predator Scream


All of the actors involved  in ‘Predator’ are just great in it. Arnold does what Arnold does best (whatever that is). Bill is just brilliantly mannered as the unhinged mercenary (and does stand out acting wise). Carl plays the duplicitous friend to a tea (as he did in Rocky 2). And the rest of the actors are idealized archetypes that do have a presence as well as being able to enhance the overall film at the same time.

Arnold in Predator
Also, lets not forget about the Predator himself, huh?  As his was the first one – the one that started the ball rolling to infinity and beyond. Personally speaking, I like to think that it took the concept of the original comic book series (as published by Dark Horse), and then decided to do its own thing with it. Granted, the thing that it did was just great, and in someway did complement the original. But then again this is movie, right? A movie that originally had Sylvester Stallone in Arnold’s role, as well as Jean-Claude Van Damme playing the creature.

Still, worked out good in the end I thought, and may have even started the whole comic book / movie hybrid before it became what it is today.

Movies and comic books – sometimes they do work well together – as seen in this film and in its sequel (click here for review)

THE RATING: A