Trent: You’re a soldier of fortune, deep in some Mayan jungle, cradling your AK to your mammoth pectorals. Your mission: Turn the bad guys into Swiss Cheese. Your cigar: Habano. Your mood: Nobody don’t better test you. You chopper awaits at the rendez-vous. The buddies in your elite special forces team are shooting witticisms all about. Here’s a classic joke from your friend, Four-Eyes-What’s-His Name:
“So I went to my girlfriend and said: ‘I want a little pussy.’ And she says: ‘Me too, ‘cause mine is big as a house!”
Hahahaha! But wait, he’s not done:
“So I was going down on my girlfriend and I said: ‘Geez that’s a big pussy! Geez that’s a big pussy!’ She’s like: “Why did you say it twice?” Me: ‘I didn’t.’”
It takes you four or five minutes to get it. When you finally get it, and you’re about to laugh, you can’t. The time for laughing is over. Because you hear it. Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka. That unearthly sound coming from everywhere and nowhere in particular.
That’s when you realize that you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you’re about to face off with an alien “Predator” – and it has gotten its claws on Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak!
Hank: Well, 1987’s “Predator” doesn’t try to be much more than “Rambo” meets “Alien.” (Let me be specific, not Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” but James Cameron’s “Aliens.”) It’s a simple movie. Honestly, it may even be a STUPID movie. There’s Arnold, there’s Carl Weathers, a.k.a. Apollo Creed, there’s Jesse Ventura chewing tobacco. They’re somewhere in Central America. They’re on a hazily defined rescue mission. They find an insurgent guerilla camp. There’s evil Russians too. Arnold and Co. blow up the camp real good and pick up a surviving female guerillera. This is only the prelude and it’s not important.
What’s important is that an armored alien hunter with cool camo and a thermal-imaging helmet has also dropped down on the SAME area and has decided to skin the American team one by one. Really, there’s no connection whatsoever between this mission and the alien. It’s all just a LUCKY COINCIDENCE, at least for the mighty other-worldly hunter, who came really close to being dropped by its clueless spaceship into a bunch of empty trees. Don’t think too much about it. The plot doesn’t matter. The monster matters. Special effects master Stan Winston was the man. We’re talking the wizard behind “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman Returns,” “A.I.” “Jurassic Park.”
Tracey: It says something about our electoral system that out of the cast of steroidal deformities in “Predator” we have managed to extract not one but TWO of our most prominent political leaders! What’s next? Predator for President? Oh, too late, we already have a predator in the White House! The highest praise I can think of for “Predator” is that, (even though it does have a lonely female wearing the obligatory sweat-stained tank-top), for once it’s the men who are under-dressed and over-exposed in this homo-erotic sci-fi army romp. Hooray. Cool factoid: Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally inside the Predator suit… until it became apparent he looked like downright wimpy when standing next to bulky mountains of testosterone like Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura.
Grandpa Felicius: Young Tracey, I would appreciate less of your suffragette sass, but I agree that this cast of body-building foreigners is a threat to the American Way of Life, and I do not mourn their deaths. What a babble of names! Jean-Claude Van Damme! A vulgar Belgian if there ever was one! Schwarzenegger is a boot-licking Austrian, Ventura is a slovenly Slovak with a Spaniard’s moniker, and Carl Weathers… well, we know what he is. As for the titular Predator, his death is as anticlimactic as the death of the Tripods in H. G. Wells’ scientific romance “The War of the Worlds.” Spoiler: a tree falls on its head.
Beatricia: This movie contains one of the stupidest questions ever committed to script. After Anna, their Hispanic hostage, tries to escape from them- and from the alien monster- one of the soldiers actually asks her: “Why did you try to run away from us?” Gee, I wonder why. Maybe it’s because YOU’RE HOLDING HER HOSTAGE AND THERE’S AN ALIEN MONSTER AROUND? Why aren’t YOU running away, Einstein?
Cousin Franz: The dialogue in “Predator” may be minimalist, but Arnold Schwarzenegger gets a few of his contractual catchphrases in, and John McTiernan’s direction is assured. This is someone who accepts the weird simplicity of the material, and turns that into a plus. At its core, “Predator” is like a Werner Herzog adventure, like “Fitzcarraldo” or “Aguirre: The Wrath of God.” It’s Man against the unforgiving emerald jungle; Man against the unnatural forces that hide behind the facade of nature – and Man against himself, because Man is deadlier than any other creature, and emerges triumphant due to its murderous ways. Don’t ask who the Predator is. The Predator is you and me.
3 out of 6 Cherries