Archive Review: Predator (1987)

An 80s classic and another I have managed to let slip through my net.  This was a great action/sci fi flick.  Perfect for my Sunday afternoon.

Certificate: 18

Director: John McTiernan

Screenwriter: Jim Thomas, John Thomas

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall

Genre: Action, Sci Fi

Runtime: 107 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A team of special force ops, led by a tough but fair soldier, Major “Dutch” Schaefer, are ordered to assist CIA man, Colonel Al Dillon, on a rescue mission for potential survivors of a Helicopter downed over remote South American jungle. Not long after they land, Dutch and his team discover that they have been sent in under false pretences. This deception turns out to be the least of their worries though, when they find themselves being methodically hunted by something not of this world. – From IMDB

Well that was one of the most 80s-like 80s films I have ever seen.  Want over dramatic dialogue? this film has it.  Want a fantastic 80s soundtrack? This film has it.  Want Arnie and his comically persistent accent? This film has it.  It is the 80s all wrapped up in one action movie and it deserved brownie points just for that.  I knew what this was going to be like going in to it, but I still found so much joy in that.  But is the film really any good?

Well, like I said above, the dialogue is very overdramatic, and is delivered very over dramatically.  With lots of starring off into the distance and trying to sound macho.  There are a lot of pussy jokes that certainly wouldn’t fly in movies now.  And these are definitely manly men, in full bloom of their manliness.  In other words this is a film starring men, made by men, for men.  And so therefore we have to judge it as such.  Lots of swearing, the afore mentioned pussy jokes and lots of guns and explosions.  If that’s what you like in your action films you will have a blast.

I’m not one of those women who will go off on a film because of it’s lack of female rep though.  This was a film made in the eighties, when I would like to think the film industry wasn’t as forward thinking as it is now, though how true that is really remains to be seen.  So there are a lot of things I enjoyed about the film.

Sometimes, on a weekend afternoon, you just need to watch something for it’s pure entertainment value and Predator has that by the shed load.  There is barely a dull moment from the second they land in the jungle.  There is one just ridiculous moment were every character is just unloading every round of ammunition they have into a seemingly empty jungle, and it goes on for a good thirty seconds.  Action for Action’s sake, and movies like this have their place in cinema.  They are there to entertain. Arnie of course plays our hero and does so with gusto.  Whole teams of marines couldn’t take this thing down.  But give Arnie some mud and a cleverly placed trap and he can nail it in fifteen minutes.

Sure, the effects are from the 80s, so not great, but the actual visual we get of The Predator are fantastic, and although a lot of the other effects look dated the work on the actual alien is top notch. 

I’m not sure I will watch the other films in the franchise, but for a fun Sunday Afternoon watch, this ticked all the right boxes.

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