Predator (1987)

Directed by John McTiernan
Written by Jim Thomas and John Thomas (who are brothers, it turns out)
(number 374)

The first ten minutes of this movie is just commandos gearing up and flying in helicopters. It is not so exciting to me. And to be honest, the arguments between the soldiers weren’t interesting to me either. I was hooked on Team Predator from the moment we first got Predator vision. It was cool and creepy and weird in all the right ways.

This film does a great job of a slow reveal, showing bits of monster, hints, weirdness, blood, close ups of it healing itself where you see just the relevant body parts before finally revealing what it truly looks like in a fleeting glimpse between camoflagued movements. I love a good slow reveal, like in Signs.

This is a really solid example of one of those movies where the team gets picked off one at a time. It made me want to play Geiger Counter. I found it really compelling when the predator disarms itself and reveals its face, having clearly decided Dutch is a worthy opponent. That’s something you never see in other alien/monster movies.

Does it make me love the people? I dunno. I was mostly rooting for the Predator, but I guess, yes. Yes, I liked Carl Weathers’ character, and Billy the mystic Native American who was just like ‘yeah, we’re all gonna die.’ I admire Dutch’s ingenuity and the sequences of trying to escape/outwit the predator were interesting, involving. It’s not exactly an arc where a person learns more about themselves, but about the world and the universe.

I loved the Predator, but I don’t think that should count for this particular question.. given my love for it is a kaiju thing, and not a human condition thing.

Bechdel test: There is just one woman in this movie and she doesn’t speak English for the first half of the film. She eventually does and says her name is Anna, but she’s the only woman so no chance of a pass.

Best line:

If it bleeds we can kill it.

Get to the choppah!

State of Mind: I really enjoyed that. I am creeped out more by the alien laughing with such a human voice at the end than by any of the rest of it. Definitely one I’ll consider rewatching at some point. Way more tense and tightly filmed than say, Army of Darkness, and some really interesting concepts. Tempted to watch the sequels, definitely going to read my Archie vs Predator comics.

Watched movie count


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