Ah, it’s been a while between posts, and longer still between Friday posts in which we consider fantastic films for Friday nights, but I’m back now with another thrilling chapter for Flashback Friday. Since it has been a while and I’m a little bit rusty, I’m going to ease myself back into the swing of things, by going back in time to the 80’s, since it is probably the decade with which I am most familiar and certainly the one for which I feel the most affinity.
In that spirit, let’s look at another one of my all time favourite Big Arnie films – Predator.
For a long time, Predator was one of the few of Arnold’s cinematic masterpieces that I didn’t own, so when I saw it on sale recently for $6.98 I thought ‘self, we should get that film and make it part of a weekend long Schwarzenegger retrospective.’ So, that’s what I did. Watching it over a cold and rainy weekend, sandwiched between other such classics as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Commando, Total Recall, End of Days and Eraser, I was surprised to find that it really wasn’t at all like I remembered it to be.
It was far more bloody.
In this film, Arnold is again playing himself, but he’s calling himself Dutch. Dutch could be the brother or close relative of John Matrix from Commando. They’re both huge, hulking army guys, who like to kill people and blow shit up. It’s also interesting to note that one of the other cast members was also in Commando, so maybe they’re stellar films to be watched in tandem. If nothing else, it will ensure you reach peak 80’s action film overload.
(Dutch and Matrix = The Ultimate Bro? The Ultimate Bromance?)
Technically, this is an action film parading as a sci-fi film, but that’s okay. I’m willing to overlook the tacked on sci-fi elements (like the opening scene in which a space ship seems to drop a space pod in the earth’s atmosphere before shooting off to a galaxy far, far away and without any further explanation of who these aliens are or why they’re marooning one of their guys on our planet) and include it as part of the sci-fi cannon.
The basic idea is that Dutch is the leader of some kind of military special opps team – you know, the kind that go into bad situations that no one else has the guts for – and he gets sent into the jungle to rescue some hostages. Once he and his team touch down in the said jungle though, it quickly becomes apparent that someone has been telling them porkie pies about their actual mission, but that doesn’t make too much difference, cause they keep finding people that have been skinned alive and hung from trees – so you know – they need to focus on not meeting the same fate.
There are a huge amount of plot holes in the narrative of this film, so if you’re looking for something that’s going to make sense on a logical level, in addition to being action packed, then this ain’t for you, babe.
One thing I will say for Predator though, is that the special effects are quite good. Keeping in mind that we’re talking about an 80’s film, the explosions, the death scenes and the damn awful skinned bodies are still as gut churning as I remember them. The scenes in which we are slowly introduced to the Predator are a bit funny when we think about how they might be done today but hey, with the amount of testosterone drenching both the characters and the dialogue, you have to have some kind of comical outlet to take the edge off.
(There he is! The Predator! Look at his face!)
There are some classic lines in this film. Not as many good ones as can be found in Commando or Eraser, but still, a treasure trove of awesome one-liners. Among my personal favourites:
I ain’t got time to bleed – LoL. Get’s me every time.
If it bleeds, we can kill it. Thanks, Dutch.
and lest we forget: Get to the Choppa!!
(I don’t want to ruin the ending for you- but it involves this mud looking substance, which I bet is a miracle on your skin)
As I said before, this is not a mind bending, think piece of a film which is going to really leave you pondering the big life questions (who am I? what is the meaning of my life? Is time really just a flat circle?). It’s more an easy action film, in which one must suspend their disbelief to maximum level. That said, it is enjoyable, especially on a Friday night, when you’re a bit exhausted and not really in the mood to take stock of your life.
(this picture pretty much sums up the feel of the whole movie, so if there’s too much testosterone here, maybe it’s not for you after all)