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With: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Elpidia Carrillo, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall
Written by: Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Directed by: John McTiernan
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 107
Date: 06/12/1987
IMDB

Predator (1987)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I didn't much like Predator when I caught it on video back in the late 80s, and I wasn't looking forward to giving it another chance now that the Governor of California was in the movie rather than a silly, monosyllabic, monotonous actor who had starred in a gusher of bad movies (Junior, The Last Action Hero, Batman and Robin, etc.)

How surprising then, to find myself absorbed in this mindless pulp adventure, so obviously derived from a combination of Rambo and Alien. Aside from the stupid dialogue and Arnold Schwarzenegger's failed attempts to read it, the film actually packs a punch.

Schwarzenegger plays Dutch, the leader of a crack team of commandos sent into the jungle to rescue some hostages. They blow a bunch of stuff up, rescue one girl, and find themselves under attack from a really big alien with dreadlocks and a cloaking device that allows him to blend in with the background.

The more the film goes on, the less people talk and the more the focus becomes a purely visual hunt-and-chase with only the jungle as cover. Oddly, the special effects have dated quite well, and the action scenes -- shot by relative newcomer John McTiernan -- work well, despite a few clunky spots.

At the time, I preferred Rambo, but having seen both films again in the past couple of years, I can report that Predator has aged far more gracefully.

A halfway decent sequel was released in 1990 with Danny Glover taking over for Schwarzenegger and giving it an emotional heft that the first one lacks. Likewise, McTiernan went on to make two far superior films, Die Hard (1988) and The Hunt for Red October (1990).

This new 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD has been released to help promote the new film Alien vs. Predator, which opened with no press screenings and has all but disappeared.

Disc one includes a commentary track by director John McTiernan, a text commentary and an "inside look" at the new movies Alien vs. Predator and I, Robot. Disc two contains "If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It", a 30-minute "making-of" featurette, "Inside The Predator," "Predator Special Effects," three outtakes, a deleted scene, a photo gallery, and a "predator profile," and a trailer for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set.

In 2010, Fox released Predator on a good-looking Blu-Ray, this time to promote the new sequel/spinoff Predators. The disc includes most of the extras from the 2004 DVD, plus a new, high-def featurette, and a sneak preview of the new movie.

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