Predator

Predator_Poster

One line review: Setting the record for number of one-liners in one movie!

Movie Title: Predator

Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R. G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall

Director: John McTiernan

Year: 1987

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: Netflix Online

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% – “Predator” is a slightly above-average actioner that tries to compensate for tissue-thin-plot with ever-more-grisly death sequences and impressive special effects.

My rating: ** – An Okay Movie

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Predator seems to be a popular movie only for it’s one liners and silly action scenes. It’s difficult for me to even understand why it’s been held up as such a classic movie. Even if you ignore the cliches (because again, it’s possible this movie invented them) it’s still a very straight forward, plain and simple action movie with cookie cutter characters and some lousy special effects. Maybe it was a mistake to see Die Hard right before Predator, because there is no comparison. Die Hard balance action, comedy, and interesting characters, while Predator is just generic action with boring characters.

Predator does it’s best to get all of that pesky character and plot establishment out of the way in the first 7 minutes. After that you might find a bit more development during the movie, but you can pretty much guess what stereotype each character represents.

Dutch will be our hero. He will always come up with the plan, he will always hit his shots, he will not die.
Dillon will be the old guy that’s kinda in charge but not really in charge because Dutch is more badass than he is.
Anna is the only woman. Surprisngly she doesn’t become the romantic interest of Dutch, which shocked me.
Mac is the guy who will go kinda crazy in the middle and shoot at anything that moves
Blain is the heavy. He will shoot guns.
Billy is the Indian, so he’s in tune with nature and shit. He’s Apache Chief minus the growing superpowers.
Hawkins is the nerd, he’ll die first.
And Poncho is so generic I don’t even know what his job is.

About 20 minutes in, the movie decides that a slow paced hunting of each individual in the party won’t bring in enough viewers, so they’ll have a semi-pointless attack on a villiage of heavily armed bad guys. So bad guys die by explosion, gun fire, and mainly by waving their hands in the air whenever Ahnold so much as looks at them. The movie reaches about 20 one-liners per minute during these scenes, including “Stick around” and “I ain’t got time to bleed”.

After the villiage slaughter we get a minor scene where Mac appears to be threatening to stab Dillon, only to stab a scorpion that was about to kill Dillon instead. Why do I bring this up? Because an extremely similar scene occurs in Cowboy Bebop, when Vicious saves Gren from a Scorpion during the Titan War. The idea that there could possibly be a Predator reference in Cowboy Bebop kinda breaks my head. I’m going to hope Predator wasn’t the original source for this scene.

I don't think Dillon had boobies, so maybe it's a coincidence.

I don't think Dillon had boobies, so maybe it's a coincidence.

Now we start getting into the Predator actually attacking our group. The group follows the usual bad cliches of not trusting the Magic Indian’s instincts, following trails of blood without any back up, and seperating when they really should stick together. During this time I can’t help but get annoyed by the CGI effect of the Predator. I know this movie was over 20 years ago, and that it wasn’t a huge budget, but still… how difficult is an invisible human shape effect to do. You just have to make it look like a distortion, but it never looks good enough.

It just looks like a balloon creature to me, not humanoid.

It just looks like a balloon creature to me, not humanoid.

The guys continue to hit spout off one-lines, and perform scenes that will look in a trailer. The girl continues to try to get away from the guys, despite the fact that A SUPERNATURAL SERIAL KILLER IS ON THE LOOSE. Seriously Anna, we need you to learn some priorities. Also, I like how for most of the movie she can’t speak English, but about an hour in she suddenly can so she can explain the “legend” of the Predator.

I suppose if I enjoyed anything in this movie, it was the final act as Arnold slowly prepared traps and weapons to face the Predator. Maybe it’s because he was silent during this, or maybe because all of the annoying sidekicks had been eliminated once and for all. It’s just Arnold, and the Predator, leading to a pretty epic conclusion of explosions. And it answered the question we all wondered: Cockroaches, Flour Bettles, and Arnold Shwartzenager can survive nuclear explosions.

This movie is famous for being a great B movie, and probably shouldn’t have been on this 101 movie list. It’s not that it’s a bad B movie, but I simply expected more from it. This movie just doesn’t feel worthy of all the praise it earns.Wizard of Oz should be coming up soon (it’s not on my 101 list, so I’ll call it a bonus). Young Frankenstein, Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels and Police Academy should follow after that.

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