Along with the first two Terminator movies, this sci-fi action thriller from John “Die Hard” McTiernan remains the highlight of the Governator’s movie career.
When a high-ranking cabinet official is kidnapped by guerrillas in a Central American jungle, Schwarzenegger’s heavily armed special ops team are sent in by the CIA to recover their man. Little do they know, however, that a chameleon-like beast from outer space has also crash landed in the rainforest and now spends his days skinning marines and using their skulls as bongos.
Stan Wilson’s famous costume design elevated the Predator to the sort of iconic status that only H. R. Giger’s Alien has achieved in the world of cinema beasts – the 2004 big screen showdown “AVP” was a testament to their lasting appeal. But what really links these two record breaking franchises is the virtually identical plot, which has simply been switched from outer space to the Amazonian jungle.
Predator uses an identical storyline to Ridley Scott’s 1979 movie (and borrows the group of trigger happy marines from James Cameron’s pulsating sequel) as seven unknowing victims are picked off one by one by a murderous extraterrestrial in an alien environment.
Even Carl Weathers’ Dillon, an outsider who works for the government against the rest of the group, is an exact copy of Ian Holm’s Machiavellian turn as Ash, who puts his crew at risk for “the company” in Alien.
John McTiernan, in only his second directorial outing, keeps the action moving at a breakneck pace, mixing spectacular shoot-outs with knowing humour and impressive CGI trickery.
The claustrophobic setting adds another dimension to proceedings, as do some interesting allusions to the Vietnam War, but it is Schwarzenegger’s central turn that makes this an action classic.
Still in his prime at 37 Arnie is the colossus around which the whole movie centres, and lines like “You are one ugly motherf**ker!” and “Stick around” are among the most memorable of his career.
It’s just a shame that the sequels were such dross, although any fans out there may be interested to know that “Alien vs. Predator 2: AVP2” will hit the big screen sometime next year.
While the original remains one of the best sci-fi action movies ever made, the Danny Glover (not the finest replacement for Arnie we could have come up with) sequel left much to be desired, and the AVP cash-in was a mind-numbing exercise in CGI tedium.
Therefore it seems that the only real reason to shell out £150 for this Limited Edition Box Set is the ridiculously cool Predator Warrior Bust that comes with it. Standing at 13.5 inches tall it would certainly command a fair amount of attention on your mantlepiece.
As for the three Special edition DVDs that accompany it, there are directors’ commentaries, in-depth documentaries and bonus footage galore, but for real fans it is the eight new minutes of action packed footage on the Alien Vs Predator Extended Cut that are most likely to set pulses racing.
We're not sure why you would want this bar the 13.5-inch tall Predator Warrior Bust. Still fans do get more extras than they could ever want. One for the purists out there.
Staring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Shane Black, Elpidia Carrillo, Sonny Landham, Kevin Peter Hall
Directed by: John McTiernan, Stephen Hopkins, Paul W.S. Anderson
Extras: Predator: The Special Edition, An in depth documentary, Director's commentary, Extensive bonus footage, Revealing featurettes, Predator 2: The Special Edition, 2 separate audio commentaries, An in depth documentary, Extensive bonus footage, Revealing featurettes, Alien Vs Predator: The Special Edition, Both theatrical and extended versions of the film, Full length audio commentary, Deleted scenes, Making of featurette