I haven’t written a review for my ‘All-time Top Ten’ for a while. If you haven’t visited my site before then you may not know that it’s my on-going project to review, at length and in detail, my most loved films.
But with this one it may not take so long, because the one thing about Predator is, there isn’t a fantastically meaningful amount that can be said other than, it is probably the one film I have seen the most and is one of the greatest action films ever made.
Predator has always sat firmly in the list in my head for a long time, long before blogging and reviewing became the hobby it is now. Sentimentality and reminiscent adolescent love of action films haven’t diminished its appeal since its 1988 UK release.
Admittedly not the typical masterpiece of film-making that many of us have in our lists. I know it probably shouldn’t belong in anyone’s all-time top ten, but I still can’t shake its pure entertainment value, completely menacing ET and Arnie showcasing what he does best.
The story for Predator is simple; Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Dutch’ leads a handful of mercenaries on a rescue mission into hostile territory to find themselves prey to an unknown, unseen hunter.
Indeed a simple premise, but when coming to review Predator a little deeper, it not only represents the pinnacle of action movies but also doubles as a brilliant horror movie, with the employment of the greatest horror device – isolation, in its deep Central American jungle setting. In the rainforest no one can here you scream.
While also tapping sci-fi brilliantly with the arrival and progressive reveal of the other world predator, a new beast is unveiled to rival the Xenomorph of Alien, just as iconic and more purposeful in its hunt.
The Predator’s pre-reveal heat signature perspective, chilling roars and voice mimicking create even more mysterious terror and an altogether more calculating sporting creature, that isn’t just on a savage rampage.
It is the pacing and development of the unveiling of the Predator that compounds the already claustrophobic jungle tension; completely unknown, seemingly unyielding and killing at will, until the even greater terror and realisation of its true origins; another quintessential horror device.
Fantastic make up and creature design realises writer’s Jim and John Thomas’ creation with a truly iconic Extra-terrestrial beast, that when fully revealed without it’s supreme alien tech, is truly formidable and is a very ugly MF!
Arnie is at the height of his physical powers, a truly awesome show. The alpha male in a hard-nosed bunch, but it’s when the camouflaged Alien starts taking out our seemingly indestructible jungle jocks that the true horror sets in. Even man’s best specimens are powerless.
And even the humour delivered by some of the most quotable one liner’s ever, doesn’t weigh down on the fear factor and action momentum; It’s loaded with ballsy dialogue that could be reeled off verbatim, but I won’t…
…Oh go on then – “I ain’t got time to bleed” Jesse ‘the body’ Ventura providing my favourite.
Directed by John McTiernan, the man responsible for many brilliant action movies and most remembered for his other classic, Die Hard, delivers what is a blueprint for action, booming jungle set pieces dovetailing with the testosterone fuelled camaraderie of Arnie’s bad bunch.
It may not be perfect and it may be ‘Aliens in the Jungle’ but with an accomplished action director bringing his A-Game and a powerhouse lead battling one of cinema’s most iconic alien enemies, Predator is a brilliantly executed action, sci-fi horror that achieves a cult status all its own.
It’s not just another dumb 80’s action blowout, Predator is now firmly regarding as a sci-fi action classic that several sequels and spin offs have got nowhere near!
For more of my all time top ten reviews see the links below: