Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Predator (1987)

"If it bleeds, we can kill it!"

The fact that this film is so good didn't surprise me; I knew that, ever since I hired out the video in the late '80s. I haven't seen it for, well, twenty years, though. And this time I was flabbergasted by Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance. As a departure from the norm he's actually called upon to act rather than just be Arnie. And he pulls it off superbly, anchoring the film successfully through his acting, not just through his physical presence. It's a shame he hasn't been called upon to do that more often.

The film is excellent all-round, though. The suspense; the brilliant design of the creature, its face being revealed towards the end to great effect; a claustrophobic rainforest setting; and most of all a credible and nuanced set of three-dimensional characters to get picked off one by one.

The film is fairly long, but justifies its running time through characterisation, suspense and a superb final duel between Dutch and the creature. The fact that we have only vague glimpses of the creature in the first part of the film makes the reveal so much more effective. What a shame the film doesn't have too happy an ending: after that mushroom cloud Dutch will end up with cancer, methinks.

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