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PREDATOR

     

The 2018 sequel/prequel is on video next week and distinguishes itself by adding 'The' to the title.

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘The Predator,’ to be released on home-video platforms next Tuesday (Dec. 18) after a fair-to-middling theatrical run, is the latest in the long-running franchise about alien hunters who go after humans, No. 4, if you don’t count the crossover/mash-up flicks with ‘Alien.’ The new film is set after ‘Predator’ and ‘Predator 2’ but before ‘Predators.’ Got that straight? With that in mind, let’s take a look back at the original film, which was an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle back in the day. This review was published in the Deseret News on June 12, 1987.

“Predator” is the latest film to exploit muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity. In fact, he has become so popular in the action-adventure genre that he doesn’t even use his first name anymore. Have you seen the ads?

“Schwarzenegger. Predator.”

That’s all his fans need to know. And they’ll be doubly happy to discover “Predator” is a very well made thriller with all the elements standard to that genre.

And that includes being a no-brainer.

The script has more loose ends than a shredded videotape. None of the whys or wherefores of its many plot devices are clearly spelled out.

     

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on an extraterrestrial monster in 'Predator' (1987).

But the action is swift and furious, the blood and guts excessive (accounting for the R rating, along with some profanity and two extremely vulgar, sexist, unnecessary jokes), and in the end there is the inevitable one-on-one confrontation.

Call this one “Rambo Meets Alien,” with Schwarzenegger leading a small band of commandos into the jungles of South America on a supposed rescue mission (which turns out to be a phony CIA probe).

They blow the mission (and literally blow up the entire camp where hostages are being held), but discover worse troubles on the horizon.

A strange monster is hiding up in the trees, tracking their every move, and one-by-one is killing and skinning the soldiers.

We would never know where this creature came from except for a brief shot of a flying saucer that precedes the credits. Unless that scene is from some other movie and just accidentally became the opening of “Predator,” we may assume it is our hint that he came from outer space.

     

But where’s the ship? Why did he land in this remote jungle? Why is he swinging from tree to tree and butchering humans?

Maybe the filmmakers are saving all that for “Predator II.”

Anyway, once Arnie and the boys discover they are being hunted they begin to fight back, until finally it’s “Commando” vs. “Alien” in the jungle.

I’m sure you can guess who wins.

Despite all its flaws, “Predator” really is much better than the average war-can-be-fun film, and it’s a very clever touch toward the end to have Schwarzenegger actually scared for a change, rather than just confronting every problem with macho vigor.

And the action is nonstop, the major requirement to please the intended audience.