Lightning Review: Predator

This review was originally posted for MovieRob‘s Sci-Fi-themed Genre Grandeur.

Predator movie posterSynopsis
An elite team lead by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) gets sent into the Central American jungle to locate and rescue an official who is being held hostage by insurgents. They soon realize that someone, or something, is hunting them.

Predator is as simple as an action movie gets. The plot is all explained within the first ten minutes before the team jumps into a helicopter and gets dropped off into the jungle. No time wasted setting up the characters; Just immediately to the action. The movie knows we aren’t here for the characters, we’re here to see the titular creature. And the film takes its time revealing it to us. There is no hint about who the creature is, or that the team is even being hunted, until thirty minutes in. Then the creature doesn’t make it’s full appearance for nearly another forty-five minutes. It was a very Alien-like reveal that worked tremendously well. I really liked that the jungle was used as the environment to show the Predator hunting. It gave the film the chance to show how the creature stalks its prey, much like a great cat. Plus with all the foliage, not only couldn’t the characters see very well, but neither could the audience, creating tension. Since the plot was so simple, the majority of the film was spent on the action. The film could have been about ten or fifteen shorter without a major impact.

I thought Predator was GOOD :-). The simple plot allowed for as much action as possible. However, this also means the film could have been shortened a little without affecting the overall film. The Predator is one of cinema’s greatest creatures and this film shows that a simple action movie can still be a blast.

Also check out my review of the sequel, Predator 2.

The original concept for this film originated as a joke. Someone said that the only person Rocky Balboa of the Rocky (1976) series of films had yet to fight was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). (From IMDB)


Cast & Crew
John McTiernan – Director
Jim Thomas – Writer
John Thomas – Writer
Alen Silvestri – Composer

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Dutch
Carl Weathers – Dillon
Elpidia Carrillo – Anna
Bill Duke – Mac
Jesse Ventura – Blain
Sonny Landham – Billy
Richard Chaves – Poncho
RG Armstrong – Gen. Phillips
Shane Black – Hawkins
Kevin Peter Hall – The Predator