Have Arnold Schwarzenegger flex his muscles against a big, ugly monster in a godforsaken
jungle in the middle of nowhere, throw in plenty of special effects, some good
editing and some excellent cinematography, and voila - you get yourself a surprisingly
watchable movie. Predator by John McTerinan is no masterpiece, but it does hold
itself together. And that's saying something.
Major Dutch (Schwarzenegger) and his rescue team are simply the best in the universe. So when the government has some dirty work it needs doing, it manipulates Dutch into doing it. Captain Dillon (Carl Weathers) convinces Dutch to lead his team into the depths of a hole in the thick jungles to rescue hostages held by guerilla warriors. On reaching the spot (with no back-up), the team finds remains of bodies that have been skinned alive, and concludes that they are in for some action.
Action comes in the form of the Predator, a powerful creature from outer space that can camouflage itself in the greens and kill with uncomfortable ease (uncomfortable for you, that is). If it's any comfort, the creature has terribly murky vision, and can only detect warm-blood and movement. And this saves Dutch's life eventually.
As more and more of his men succumb to the predator's charms, Dutch radios for a chopper to come get the rest, but the jungle being out-of-bounds, the men have to make it to a particular spot from where they can be rescued. This proves fatal to all Dutch's men, and only Anna, a guerilla they'd captured earlier, makes it to the chopper. Dutch is left in the jungle to battle the predator, and this he does with the incredible bravery, unwavering determination and amazing presence of mind of a true Hollywood action hero.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Major Dutch, with his "if it bleeds, we can kill it" philosophy in the movie, does his usual bit of wooden acting (the predator is even more wooden, so there) but also delivers some incredible action scenes. The rest of the cast provide all the support he needs, and even manage some credibility. The Predator does seem a little out of place, but that, I guess, is to be expected.
I have a feeling that Aristotle would have approved of this movie, at least technically,
as it obeys the unities. It is also fast-paced, slick and very neat at times.
You won't be any more enlightened about the origins and eating habits of ugly
creatures from outer space, but you still might really enjoy the flick.