[personal profile] chaosvizier
Four entries in six days? This is unheard of, wot wot!

Today, [livejournal.com profile] lovellama went old-school and wanted me to review the movie 'Predator'. An Arnold Schwarzenegger movie? YES I CAN.



Predator

What do you expect when you walk into a classic 80s/90s Arnold movie? Action. Lots of action. Probably action, some weapons, some big dudes, some more action, some explosions, action, and an action-packed conclusion. There is a formula to his movies, and it was "stuff as much action as possible into the next ninety minutes and call it a wrap". And let's be honest: this formula appeals to me on a primal level. I don't need Academy Award winning acting and directing. I want to see a whole bunch of shit explode on screen. I want a double-digit body count. I want lasers and guns and swords and aliens and action. "Predator" provides all of those things. Literally.

The story of Predator is a simple tale, a reflection on the old story "The Most Dangerous Game". In this case, the titular character (the "Predator", as it were) is a member of an alien race that has come to Earth to practice its craft. The Predator specializes in hunting, and believes in the art of the hunt, the claiming of the trophy, and the challenge of the prey. Now one has come to Earth, and Mankind is the target of choice. This will put the Predator in conflict with our hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is leading a team of Large Macho Dudes on a covert military operation into some hostile jungle territory. And thus the stage is set for the hunter and the prey.

DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNN

If you're not an action movie fan, you are probably already totally uninterested in this post, in which case you should scroll down to the end where I try to make a punch line or something.

If you are, let's consider the elements in play.

1) The Predator. The Predator has become an iconic film villain, falling into the category of Unstoppable Juggernaut. He does not speak, although he studies the speech patterns of his prey and learns to mimic them. His arsenal is vast and terrible: a cloaking device renders him nearly invisible; his laser cannon is devastating; his body armor is almost impenetrable; he has huge blades on his gloves. He sees in the infrared, tracking his prey by their body heat. Against the simple weaponry of humanity, he is nigh-invincible.

2) The Humans. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the big burly lead here, but he is supported by no less than Carl "Apollo Creed" Weathers, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Bill Duke, and Sonny Landham. These are some large hammy dudes. Bonus points for this movie as probably being the only movie to star two US Governors. That's some serious cred there.

3) The Jungle. Easy to hide in. Easy to sneak around in. Lots of tricky parts. No clear field of vision. Great for hunting, especially if you're carrying a laser cannon.

The movie runs exactly as you would expect: as The Humans move into play, ostensibly to perform their military operation, The Predator enters the scene and systematically hunts them down and kills them, one by one. As they realize the situation, they try to fight back, and create traps to stop The Predator, but it's just not enough, and eventually it's down to Arnold and The Predator. He coats himself in mud to evade the heat vision, he builds some traps, and eventually succeeds in taking down The Predator... but our alien friend has one last trick up his scaly sleeves!

I offer this as one of the best action movies of the 80's. Yes, really. The action is good. The story moves at a good pace. The characters are distinct, and as interesting as possible for an action film. The idea of The Predator as a master hunter on a galactic scale is played well (and sequelled badly).

Plus, it's quotable. Most action fans can find a way to use Ahnold's impassioned plea to "GET DO DA CHOPPAHHHHH!" in casual conversation. I know I do. Likewise, the grim determination as he says "If it bleeds... we can kill it" is good in lots of situations. And who hasn't wanted to say "You are one ugly motherfucker" to someone before?

In summary: Predator - more quotable and more macho than Alien. That's worth the bucks right there.

And now, jokes taken straight from the movie.

Hawkins: "Hey Billy! The other day, I was going down on my girlfriend and I said to her 'Jeez you got a big pussy. Jeez you got a big pussy.' She said, 'Why'd you say that twice?' I said I didn't!"
Billy: "..."
Hawkins: "...you know, because of the echo?"
Billy: "..."

And, a little later...

Hawkins: "Hey Billy! The other day I said to my girlfriend, 'Hey, I'd like a little pussy'. She said 'Me too, mine's as big as a house!'"
Billy: "..."
Hawkins: "You know, she wanted a little one, because... because hers was as big as a house?"
Billy: "..."



In summary, part two: Billy was the best character. All hail Billy.
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