Most movies, when they reach the 30-year mark, start to show their age — especially science-fiction films. But after all this time, Predator, which is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary today, still manages to enthrall audiences to this day with it’s memorable one liners and outstanding alien design!
Released on June 12th, 1987, Predator is considered by many as one of the best sc-fi films ever made! The plot is simple, a special ops team going into the jungles of Guatemala to battle some rebels, only to be stalked by an alien hunter. It’s stars a star-studded cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Richard Chaves, and even wrestling star, Jesse Ventura!
The first 20 minutes allowed us to get to know the soldiers, who are far from just being “Predator fodder.” All of these characters feel like a genuine team who’ve been working together for years; they joke around, they’re loyal to one another, and they are genuinely distraught when one of their own is taken out by the Predator.
Similar to films like Alien or Jaws, Predator makes a smart move by hiding the monster threat throughout the movie — by giving it a cloaking device and showing events from its perspective. This allows audiences to feel more fear of the creature, building the suspense throughout the film simply, because we have no idea what this thing looks like.
It isn’t until the last third of the movie that we finally see the Predator on full display … and even then, it’s hidden behind a mask. Finally, in the last 10 to 15 minutes, the monster reveals its face in all of its wonderful Stan Winston effects glory — and at that point, we are deadly afraid of this one ugly motherf***er.
Now, we all know Arnie as the one-liner-spewing muscle man of pure kickassery from many other films, but what’s really surprising about Predator gives his character, Dutch, so much depth. Schwarzenegger shows anger, fear and sadness … and, okay, some cheesy one-liners. Still, Arnie and his kickass stubble deliver one of the greatest performances of his career. And who could forget his famous one liner…….GET TO THE CHOPPA!
As shown with his other films, such as Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October, director John McTiernan knows how to deliver action spectacles — but he never goes overboard, turning a great premise into a bloated mess like a Michael Bay film. McTiernan gives the audiences a chance to breathe and relax between action scenes, so when they do happen, they open with a huge bang and leave quite the impact. Predator‘s action gets extra points for innovative use of camera angles, atmosphere, and an eerie yet epic musical score from Alan Silvestri.
When the movie wants to be scary, it’s terrifying. When it wants you to feel pumped, it becomes a thriller masterpiece. When it wants to be funny, the characters provide some good laughs — but the movie never goes too far with the humor. All of these tonal elements complement one another, along with perfect pacing and atmosphere.
Now to end this 30th anniversary blog post, i would like to close out with my favorite scene of the whole film, enjoy!