Header Ads

Predator: 10 Things That Still Hold Up Today | ScreenRant

A 1980s action film about Arnold Schwarzenegger punching an alien visitor doesn’t sound like the kind of movie that would stand the test of time. But, surprisingly, John McTiernan’s Predator still holds up as a suspense-filled masterpiece.

RELATED: 10 Ways Die Hard Still Holds Up Today

While the handful of unrelated sequels that followed all failed to live up to the first movie’s legacy, the 1987 original is a timeless gem. There are a few key reasons why Predator remains one of the quintessential movies of Schwarzenegger’s career and a wildly entertaining ride that new audiences are discovering every year.

10 Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Great Performance As Dutch

Throughout the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a bunch of musclebound supermen thrust into extreme circumstances, like John Matrix in Commando and Ben Richards in The Running Man. The more absurd, the better. That’s what makes his turn as Dutch in Predator one of the best Schwarzenegger performances.

He carries a giant machine gun, shares real brotherhood with his fellow soldiers, beats up an alien, and delivers some of the most memorable one-liners of his career like “Get to the chopper!” and “You’re one ugly motherf*****.” Dutch is one of Schwarzenegger's definitive action movie roles with the actor showcasing his trademark stoic visage that is occasionally punctuated by odd moments of humor.

9 The Claustrophobic Atmosphere

While Predator is more of an action movie than its terrifying 1979 counterpart Alien, the movie still has plenty of terror. As soon as the guys realize they’re being stalked by the Predator, director John McTiernan creates an unbearable sense of dread.

Well-placed music cues and tight framing keep the audience on the edge of their seats. As the runtime progresses and the monster is closing in on the heroes, it seems increasingly unlikely that any of them will be lucky enough to survive the ordeal.

8 Alan Silvestri’s Tense Score

The music of Predator was provided by Alan Silvestri, the legendary film composer who created the themes for such classics as Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Avengers. His score for Predator beautifully complements the movie’s creepy atmosphere and the constant feeling of looming danger.

The most memorable track in the Predator score is, of course, the foreboding main theme, which masterfully conveys a sense of impending doom and has been used in every Predator movie since. This track also conveys a sense of "otherness" in the picture that quickly becomes the Predator's signature theme.

7 The Rapid Pacing

When a screenwriter is telling a story about an alien killing people, the best approach is to set up the characters as quickly as possible so the alien killings can begin, because no one is buying a ticket to that movie so they can get to know the cast.

RELATED: 5 Reasons The Predator Franchise Deserves Another Shot (& 5 Reasons It Should End)

The rapid pacing of the Predator script, written by brothers Jim and John Thomas, wastes no time getting into the action. Once the Predator has been introduced, it terrorizes the heroes nonstop until the end credits. There's no time for romance or even significant backstories for each character; instead, there's just one action scene after another.

6 Kevin Peter Hall’s Haunting Portrayal Of The Predator

Playing a movie monster like the Predator is easier said than done. According to the DVD featurette “If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It,” Jean-Claude Van Damme was initially cast as the Predator, but it didn’t work out because his slender martial artist physique wasn’t intimidating enough.

As a result, Kevin Peter Hall stepped into the role and created a suitably petrifying otherworldly presence stalking the heroes through the jungle. With Peter Cullen providing the alien’s spine-chilling vocal inflections, both men create a memorable movie villain that still terrorizes audiences today.

5 Carl Weathers’ Unforgettable Death Scene

There are plenty of gruesome death scenes in Predator, but one that stands out in particular is the alien’s blood-soaked killing of Carl Weathers’ Dillon. Until this point, Dillon was equal to Dutch in strength, skill, and leadership. That's what makes his gory death all the more shocking and disturbing.

Dillon aims his machine gun through the jungle where he thinks the Predator is hiding. Then, he gets his arm ripped off in glorious slow-motion and his severed limb falls to the ground, still firing the machine gun. Weathers’ impeccable acting really sells the terror of facing death head-on.

4 The Explosive Action Sequences

Unsurprisingly from the director of Die Hard, the action sequences in Predator are thrilling, kinetic, and explosive. It’s a rollicking action thriller from the beginning, even before the Predator shows up. Early on, Dutch and his team raid a guerilla camp in a spectacular shootout sequence. This scene sets up the relentless action that will dominate the remainder of the movie.

RELATED: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Predator

The characters’ gun-toting confrontations with the Predator in the second act are big, loud, and bombastic in the way all the greatest ‘80s action movies were, and the whole thing culminates in a huge explosion when the alien activates its self-destruct device. These action scenes showcase not only the military might of the film's protagonists but also the cutting-edge technology and ruthless tactics the alien employs to succeed in its mission.

3 Stan Winston’s Terrifying Creature Design

Stan Winston is the special effects wiz responsible for some of the most memorable movie monsters ever created, like the Terminator, the xenomorph queen from Aliens, and all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.

One of his most iconic creations is the titular monster in Predator. The ruthless alien is initially introduced with a spooky mask, but the third act reveals an even more unsightly face underneath. The alien's gruesome face only heightens the terror in the climax when Dutch has to battle the Predator face-to-face to survive.

2 The Body Heat Twist

At the climax of Predator, Dutch flees from the alien, dives into a river, and crawls out into the muddy bank where he thinks he’s safe, only to find that the Predator has followed him down the river and is right behind him. This leads to a surprising turn of events that finally gives Dutch an advantage.

The Predator approaches Dutch as he lies helplessly in a pile of mud, then he realizes it can’t see him because the mud has lowered his body temperature. This twist sets up the riveting finale with a level playing field. For all of its advanced technology, the alien is now at a disadvantage due to a relatively simple tactic that Dutch can use to survive a seemingly impossible fight.

1 Arnie’s Fight With The Predator

The climactic set-piece in Predator sees Dutch taking on the alien singlehandedly and beating it in hand-to-hand combat. This finale pays off the movie’s simple but effective “Rocky vs. Alien” premise of an underdog facing overwhelming odds.

It’s important for B-movies like this to deliver on their promise. Predator promised a fistfight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and a bloodthirsty alien and it delivered, just like The Meg delivered on its promise of a fight between Jason Statham and a 75-foot prehistoric shark. The concluding battle is simple yet effective with Dutch barely defeating the alien, who is blown up by his own self-destruct device. There's no overuse of CGI or extraneous characters to take away from the action; instead, the focus is on the two combatants and their primal desire to slay each other.

NEXT: 10 Ways The Terminator Still Holds Up Today

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.