34 years ago a group of commandos ventured into the Central American jungle to execute a rescue mission. What they did not know is that the second they entered the jungle they were being hunted by an alien with advanced technology. The Predator plan? To hunt the commandos down one by one to make some trophies to bring home.
Arnold‘s battle with the Predator began over three decades ago and started us down a path of awesome action movies. It spawned three direct sequels while adding in some middle-of-the-road crossover films with everyone’s favourite Xenomorph.
The Predator movies have been the benchmark, for many years, of what an action movie should entail.
Massive explosions, cheesy onliners, and a terrifying creature have been staples of the Predator movie, but which of the movies accomplished these better than the rest? Below we will take a look at the Predator movies and how they rank against one another.
For ease of ranking the cross-over Alien battles will not be included on this list.
The Predator (2018)
A Predator ship crash lands on Earth. In that ship is a rogue Predator whose mission is to bring a weapon to the human race known as the “Predator Killer” to aid the human’s against a super race of Predators.
Naturally, the military gets involved and this begins a race against time, for our protagonists, to find the alien technology before it falls into the wrong hands.
There was a lot of excitement amongst Predator fans when it was announced that another Predator film would be taking place. Especially when Shane Black, acclaimed action writer, and star of the original film, signed on to write and direct the movie. This made it very unfortunate when the movie failed to hit the mark.
The plot was all over the place at points and the story did not seem to know where it was going. There were several re-writes done during the movie so it is not entirely shocking this happened. Still, a little more coherent story would have gone a long way to making this a better movie.
The characters were also something that held this movie back. There was too much comedy shoehorned into each character and this took away from any serious tone that the movie hoped to achieve.
The action scenes were one of the few saving graces of the recent Predator instalment. They were intense, gory, and used some fantastic set pieces. This was what one had come to expect from a Predator movie so it was nice to see Black continue that tradition.
Predator 2 (1990)
After the events of the original movie, we are whisked to the concrete jungle of Los Angeles where a new Predator has set up shop. While hunting in the City of Angels, the Predator comes across a very tenacious cop. The two battle throughout the entire movie before ending up on a Predator ship where the tough as nails cop gets the best of the hunter and guts him.
The follow-up to the 1986 original received negative reviews from most critics upon release but this seemed a bit harsh. The movie was a great sequel to the original and should be thought of as a great addition to the Predator series.
The switch from the jungles of Central America to Los Angeles was a great idea for writers Jim and John Thomas. The urban setting brought a sense of realism to the story. Any horror in the jungle is far away and we can separate ourselves from it.
The Predator showing up in the city gives us the sense that this could happen closer to home than most would like.
The cast was also fantastic for this movie. Danny Glover is a far cry from Arnold, from the first, but he was still able to bring us a very strong lead.
Of course, we can’t talk about the cast without the hilariously over-the-top performance from Bill Paxton. As the “Lone Ranger”, Paxton chews up every scene he is in and perfectly provides comic relief for the movie.
Mercenaries, warlords, and drug enforcers from all over the world are abducted by the Predators and dropped on another planet. The group soon finds out that they are on a game preserve and that they are the game. The group bands together to fight off the Predators while trying to find a way off the planet alive.
This is probably the most creative script out of the Predator movies. When the idea was introduced that the Predator was merely on safari it created a multitude of possibilities. To suggest that the Predators have a game preserve is a logical step and a creative one at that. The Predator story has always had some hidden parallel to the human condition and creating these game preserves is what we would do.
The cast of characters also helped to place this movie high on the list. There are Academy Award-winning actors in the film and their performances stand out. The cast has obvious chemistry and this helps to bring you in and invest in them throughout their struggle against the Predators.
It was also great to see them explore the various types of Predators in this movie. Before this film, in regards to the movies, it was never explored that there were different species of Predator. This movie introduced a type of class war between Predators which was a very interesting angle to examine.
A group of commandos enters the Central American jungle to rescue a Cabinet Minister whose chopper was shot down. Little do these commandos know, lurking in the jungle is an alien waiting to tear through them one at a time.
When Predator first came out there was no way that anyone could have imagined the influence that it would have on pop culture. What was a simple action movie turned into an icon of the film industry and has spawned 3 sequels and 2 cross-over movies.
One of the reasons why this movie has maintained its popularity over the years was the bait and switch story that we were given. For the first act of the movie, it looked as if we were going to see just another action movie starring Arnold, who was the biggest action star in the world.
The movie then took a hard left turn and became more of a horror movie when the Predator began slaughtering the members of Dutch’s team one by one. It was a great piece of storytelling and one that helped to make this movie more than just an action flick.
The acting is not going to go down as one of the best, it was an 80s action movie after all, but it worked in the overall presentation. Each man in the movie oozed testosterone from every pore and that made their demise all that more impressive. It created the feeling that this Predator was the ultimate badass who could slice his way through anyone.
The creature effects in the movie are also a huge selling point. The master of creature effects, Stan Winston, did an amazing job creating a terrifying-looking creature that was unlike any that had been seen before. Winston’s Predator creation was a big reason why this franchise has endured and become a huge part of movie history.
Want more Tv and Film? click here.