Rambo meets Alien in this terrific science-fiction thriller from 1987, directed by John McTiernan just a year before Die Hard made him Hollywood’s most sought-after director of action-packed blockbusters. Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite squad of U.S. Army commandos to a remote region of South American jungle, where they’ve been assigned to search for South American officials who’ve been kidnapped by terrorists. Instead they find a bunch of skinned corpses hanging from the trees and realize that they’re now facing a mysterious and much deadlier threat. As the squad is picked off one by one, Arnold finds himself pitted against a hideous alien creature that’s heavily armed and wearing a spacesuit enabling the creature to render itself invisible. The title says it all in describing the relentless, escalating action that follows, maintained by McTiernan with an abundance of visual flair. The film’s special effects are still impressive, and stunning locations in the Mexican jungles create a combined atmosphere of verdant beauty and imminent danger. The plot doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny, but the movie’s so exciting and tightly paced that its weaknesses seem irrelevant.—Jeff Shannon
About Predator (1987)
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sven-Ole Thorsen, R.G. Armstrong, Bill Duke, Kevin Peter Hall, Henry Kingi, Richard Chaves, Sonny Landham, Jesse Ventura, Elpidia Carrillo, Carl Weathers, Shane Black, Steve Boyum, Peter Cullen, William H. Burton Jr.
Director: John McTiernan
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