Predator (1987) Image

Predator (1987)

By Alan Ng | August 3, 2022

The story of Predator is pretty simple: there’s a strange creature hunting our heroes. Schwarzenegger and the gang must first solve the mystery of the Predator, figure out what it’s doing and why, and finally defeat the creature.

I remember being very eager to see this as a young man. First, is Schwarzenegger. He was a massive star then and yet still had not reached the zenith of his popularity. Now add Ventura as the WWF crossover, along with Weathers, and I’m all in on opening night. I’m pretty sure this was the first blending of the popular military and sci-fi genre — Platoon meets Aliens. Then there’s the mystery: What the hell is this alien creature? Predator has the luxury of being the first, the one that got to build up and reveal the franchise secret. All are reasons the film became an instant classic.

So, does it hold up 35 years later? The more I think about it, I’m forced to admit that nostalgia is what wins out in the end, and new film fans will most likely find Predator dated. First, the soundtrack is annoying. It shifts back and forth from being orchestral to techno sci-fi, which does not work as intended.

“The suspense and thrills are still there and far superior to its sequels.”

The goals of big studios in the 80s were very different as well. Films were built around action stars, and Predator was no exception. The film depended on Schwarzenegger’s fans flocking to the theaters, which they did. The secret of the alien helped build suspense and word of mouth. Let’s also be real, 1980s movie magic comes across as a bit cheesy compared to today’s slick and polished CG effects.

Sadly, over time, the plot has been told over and over again as countless films copied and still copy its primary theme, what the hell is hunting us? Let’s be real. Along with Alien, this story is not that much different from the B-movies of old. The difference is its 20th Century Fox budget.

I’m really wresting over this one. I’m going to give Predator the same score I gave it when I saw it in 1987. The overall plot is good but relies on a mystery that has been spoiled over the decades. The suspense and thrills are still there and far superior to its sequels. Though Predator 2 comes pretty damn close. Predator is a classic action/sci-fi film, albeit a dated action/sci-fi film.

Predator (1987)

Directed: John McTiernan

Written: Jim Thomas, John Thomas

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Peter Hall, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Richard Chaves, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Shane Black, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Predator Image

"…1980s movie magic comes across as a bit cheesy compared to today's slick and polished CG..."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon