My ninth favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger movie is Predator. Predator is a science fiction/action movie about some soldiers who go into the jungle to rescue some hostages. The hostages are killed off before the soldiers can get to them, but the soldiers kill off all of the enemy soldiers that killed their soldiers. They then set off through the jungle to the location where a helicopter is supposed to pick them up. However, on the way they encounter a powerful, mysterious alien force that starts to take them all down one by one.
The action was great for this movie. There was a lot of good fighting and two different enemies. The first enemies were the foreign soldiers that Arnold Schwarzenegger and his men quickly take down. However, they come up against a much stronger, second opponent that they did not count on encountering that takes them all down one by one. The foreign soldiers were a great way to the show the strength of the soldiers that Arnold Schwarzenegger is leading. These are not helpless scientists stuck on a ship in outer space. How easily they kill off the foreign soldiers shows that these soldiers who are being taken down by the alien are at a bad ass level similar to, dare I say it… the colonial marines from the second Aliens movie.
The horror and suspense are great in this movie. It all builds up to their first encounter with the predator by having the soldiers go into the jungle to fight some foreign soldiers, but they find the bodies of some of their men who have been skinned and hung from a tree. Not even the foreigner soldiers, as bad as they seem to be, are capable of something this monstrous. We later see from the predator’s perspective that there is something else out there with the capabilities to see in infrared and mimic the sounds it hears such as laughter and the quote said by one of the soldiers, “Any time…” This all leads up to the first terrifying encounter the soldiers have with the predator when it kills one of the soldiers who has chased a woman that was trying to escape into the forest. Another soldier with a pretty sweet mini gun is killed off, and then the soldiers blow the ever loving shit out of the area they saw the predator in, which probably killed off half of the rain forest.
The heroes are bad ass. It was kind of like watching the Expendables seeing these guys in action while they take down some foreign soldiers with ease and then encounter the predator. Their introduction when they get off the helicopter and walk across a beach to the base where they are supposed to get their orders from just screams bad ass with their macho strut. Also, two of the American soldiers are well known 1980s action heroes. Of course Arnold Schwarzenegger is in this movie since it made my top ten favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger movies list, but it also has… Apollo Creed! That’s right. The guy went toe to toe with Sylvester Stallone in a couple of classic Rocky movies until he had the shit beaten out of him by Dolf Lundgren, is in this movie, too, killing soldiers and fighting off the predator. He does turn out to be a bit of a rat when Arnold Schwarzenegger realizes that Carl Weathers set them up, but such scenes as Carl Weathers having an arm wrestling match with Arnold Schwarzenegger when they first meet proves he is a pretty cool dude. Not to mention they’ve got a great native American guide who can sense the predator coming despite its camouflage, a black guy who’s kind of nuts but also cool and a macho guy with a mini gun and a penchant for chewing tobacco that he claims turns him into a sexual tyrrannosaurus. Not a bad team at all.
The villain is pretty believable. Despite how strong the team of soldiers is you can believe that a predator with camouflage, body armor, a laser blaster, infrared vision and a giant claw weapon can tear through most of those soldiers pretty easily. The way he rips out the spines of his victims, turns them into his trophies and lets out a loud battle cry that rings through out the entire jungle shows that it is a force to be reckoned with.
Finally, I would like to compliment the great use of the jungle for their location. Using the jungle conveys two ideas immediately. First that this location is isolated so if the soldiers get into trouble they are pretty much on their own and second that this jungle is a wild, untamed place and you have no idea what you might find in it. It is vast, mysterious and untraveled like the outer space that Ripley encounters her alien foe in with Alien.
I do have a few problems with this classic action/horror/suspense movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, though. First off some of these bad ass heroes die off way too easily. The first couple of them are killed off before the heroes even really know what is going on and have a chance to face the predator on somewhat equal ground. The woman running away and getting the first soldier killed reminded me of the cat leading one of the men into danger during Alien, by the way there are a lot of similarities you can see between the two classic 1980s alien movies. However, while a cat getting a scientist killed off, who probably wouldn’t have lasted long anyway is O.K. It is not O.K. when the woman gets an otherwise competent soldier killed off, who might have been able to fight better if he was not preoccupied with the woman.
Second there is so machoness in this movie what with Arnold Schwarzenegger being surrounded by six other 1980s action movie actors and a predator, one of the most intimidating, powerful alien threats ever, that the rest of the macho characters somewhat take away from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s presence like it does in the Expendables. If you put too many great characters in the same movie, they are not able to show just how great they are, which is why it is usually a good idea to have one great character surrounded by a bunch of average ones. Along with Expendables 2 this movie probably has the least focus on Arnold Schwarzenegger out of my ten favorite Schwarzenegger movies.
Third and finally, this is a short list for problems because it was such a great movie, the woman in this movie was yet another woman in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie who turned out to be absolutely pointless. She was about as useful to have around as the cat was in Alien. All she did was get one of the characters killed off while she ran away and then for the rest of the movie she was the damsel in distress either being protected or saved.
This is one of the many movies on this list that shows what Arnold Schwarzenegger was best, tearing things apart. For having some great characters, both the heroes and the main villain, some great action and a great location I would give this movie a 3.5/5* based on my preference , but I would give it a much higher rating for how good of a movie it is. It is not my first choice for a movie to watch with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I must admit that this movie is an absolute classic in the 1980s action and science fiction field.