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Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Director: John McTiernan
Genre: Action / Science Fiction
Rating: 5 / 5
Arnold Schwarzenegger was once the undisputed king of action movies. For a brief stretch during the early- to mid-eighties, Arnold starred in some stellar films - including Terminator and The Running Man - but the best of the bunch is Predator. This film, helmed by Die Hard director John McTiernan, is the epitome of classic Arnold - simple plot, non-stop action, and clever one-liners. It is hard to believe there was a time when Arnold thought nothing of unloading machine gun rounds on token "bad guys;" he now has to worry about his public image and his status as a role model. Yet there was a time when this was not the case, and the crown jewel of that era is Predator.
A good action film is not required to have an elaborate plot with clever twists. A good action film merely needs a serviceable story that gives the hero an adequate reason to kick some serious ass. Predator offers just such a plot, as Major Dutch Schaeffer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is ordered into a dense Central American jungle to rescue a missing dignitary. Dutch's team, which includes tough guys Blain (Jesse "The Body" Ventura), Mac (Bill Duke), and CIA man Dillon (Carl Weathers), parachutes into the jungle, immediately and efficiently heading out in search of the dignitary's downed helicopter. What they find are the skinned remains of another US military team, a group of men who were not even supposed to be there.
Moving on past the grisly remains, Dutch leads his team into a guerilla camp, where they witness the swift execution of a hostage. Not wanting to risk anymore casualties, Dutch and his men tear through the camp, wasting all save a frightened local named Anna (Elpidia Carillo). As the group begins heading for the predetermined extraction point, team members are mysteriously picked off one by one. When Anna starts speaking of demons and a strange chameleon-like creature, Dutch and his surviving compatriots take action, setting out to trap their mysterious pursuer. When their traps fail and more casualties ensue, it becomes apparent that the hunters have become the hunted, and their predator has only one thing on his mind...
Director John McTiernan deserves a lot of credit for producing a film that pulls the viewer in from the get-go. There are no unnecessary plot development sequences; McTiernan simply introduces us to Dutch and Dillon before whisking us off to the ominous jungle settings. Arnold Schwarzenegger is at his best in films such as this, where he can display his film forte - snappy one-liners. Arnold's supporting mates, who have no substantive acting credits among them (with all apologies to those fans of Carl Action Jackson Weathers), are nonetheless well cast as gritty special ops soldiers. At slightly less than two hours, Predator skips along, chronicling the dismantling of Dutch's team and the eventual one-on-one duel to the death. Action the way it was meant to be filmed.
Certification: Rated R for violence.
Running Time: 107 minutes.
Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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