After Aliens earned critical acclaim and made money at the box office, Fox commenced development to produce a script as a cross between Rambo & Aliens with Arnold Schwarzenegger & Carl Weathers as mercenaries who lead a small group of soldiers who are sent to rescue civilians located in a jungle. At first, everything seems according to plan, until an unseen figure begins to stalk and hunt them down one by one. What I’m referring to is the premise from “Predator.”
Predator was released in 1987. (same year Lethal Weapon & RoboCop came out) It received mixed reviews from critics at the time of its release. Except Roger Ebert, who actually liked it. Plus, it made enough revenue at the box office. Over the years, Predator earned positive reviews from other critics and fans of both Alien & Predator films.
The film spawned a media franchise consisting of two stand-alone sequels called, Predator 2 and Predators, comic books, fan films, action figures and of course, a crossover with the Alien series titled, “Alien Vs. Predator” which later spawned comics, video games and two critically panned lackluster films.
With the anticipated release of a fourth stand-alone entry titled, “The Predator” directed by Shane Black, (Lethal Weapon films, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) I would like to share my real thoughts if the original still holds up.
The following review does not contain any SPOILERS whatsoever. If you never ever ever seen Predator, you’re ok to read this article. Is it better than the lackluster sequels minus Predators? Well let’s find out.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura & Shane Black (future director of The Predator) all did an awesome job for their respective performances.
Action Sequences contains bullets dropping one by one, explosives, snare traps and deadly stealth takedowns.
The movie is filled with memorable quotes including, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” “COME ON KILL ME DO IT NOW!” Who can’t forget, “GET TO THE CHOPPA!”
Practical Effects were heavily used to formulate action sequences, kills scenes and the titular character’s costume along with his glowing green blood.
The Predator’s weapons are pretty cool, especially his wrist blades reminded me of Wolverine’ claws. Unlike Wolverine, the creature has two instead of three. Thirteen Years Later, Fox eventually adapted the first installment of the X-Men franchise.
Cinematography didn’t suffer from any technical problems throughout. Dutch Angles were used sparingly to execute suspenseful moments to send shivers down my spine.
Stan Winston (The Terminator series, Iron Man, Avatar) designed the Predator’s facial structure. A professional stuntman portrayed the character. This was back when C.G.I. & Motion Capture wasn’t around back then. To this day, Stan deserves Bonus Points for sketching a unique design. Someday in the future, Kylie Jenner & Tyga’s daughter might resemble the Predator unmasked just like the rest of her family without extensive plastic surgery or make-up.
Fun Fact: James Cameron came up with the idea of adding mandibles for the Predator.
Alan Silvestri (The Avengers, Back To The Future Trilogy, Forrest Gump) conducted music for the film.
Joel Silver (The Matrix Trilogy, Lethal Weapon films) produced the first installment.
Without giving anything away, my personal favorite quote is when Dutch reacts to the Predator’s face. If you’ve seen it, you understand which one. I’ll give this part an Extra Point for giving me chills!
Dillon calls Dutch and his team his “expendable assets.” Twenty-Three Years Later, Arnold went on to make a cameo appearance in The Expendables and his role was given upgrade in the sequels after eight years running as Governor Of California from 2003-2011.
The setting for the film takes place in a jungle. It fits the grounded atmosphere for the Predator to use his technology to stalk his prey. Arnold himself didn’t like Predator 2’s setting taking place in city. He said, “A Predator in a city is a bad idea.” Don’t believe me? Look up his IMDb page for proof.
You guys and gals are not gonna believe me. Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime, Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh) provided an uncredited voiceover role as the Predator. I think Peter requested Joel Silver to remove him from The Credits, because he doesn’t want any of his fans he’s playing an evil character. Optimus Prime played against time for playing a villain. For actual proof, google him and his involvement with the film. By the way, Jean-Claude Van Damme was considered to play the title villain, but drop out due to the fact that the Predator suit felt uncomfortable causing him to pass out.
Similar to the Alien who is based on a venomous snake, the Predator’s behavior is based on a cat. For example, as the creature stalks his prey, he makes a creepy sound if a cat isn’t cute or friendly. Both a Predator and a cat can easily land on their feet.
Cons: To be honest, I couldn’t find anything wrong with this movie. I’ll give The Cast & Crew an Additional Point for making this picture as flawless as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Predator is a legit action sci-fi horror war film that’ll keep you invested without making you feel easily bored. All the pros I’ve listed, indicates that Predator is an instant classic among many other sci-fi horror films next to the Alien franchise (excluding Predator 2, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Alien Vs. Predator and it’s sequel) If you’re eager to see The Predator, I strongly recommend it.