Released 1987

Review by: Fiji Mermaid

This movie has a mix of action, science-fiction and classic Arnold one-liners. The premise of this movie is that an “elite special forces” team of soldiers is sent into the jungle to rescue some kidnapped allies. They are sent to do this job because the last team of guys never came back. Arnold plays Dutch, the leader of this group.

The first 1/3 of the movie starts out like a “war” or “army” movie, with the soldiers dropping into the jungle to make an attack on the bad guys and rescue the kidnapped allies. Once the job is done and the soldiers are prepared to head back to the chopper to go home, you are treated to a number of “point-of-view” shots of something watching them by seeing their body heat as they move through the jungle. Which by now, even if you haven't seen the movie you know what it is, but I'd imagine for those that saw this film for the first time back in the '80s it probably had a real sense of mystery as to what you were seeing. The soldiers take a woman as a prisoner from the camp they attacked and she quickly tries to escape into the jungle. One of the soldiers chases after her and then the change in tone from straight action film to action/sci-fi takes place as the Predator chases them and collects the soldier as his trophy. While we finally get to see the Predator attack in camouflage mode, the action all happens pretty quickly, which only adds to the mystery and suspense of what these guys are up against.

The rest of the film shows the soldiers working to get out of the jungle and meet the helicopter that is going to pick them up as they know they are being hunted by an unknown killer. They make a couple of valiant attempts at turning the advantage to them and catching/killing the Predator, but in both cases their attempts fail. They are clearly not prepared to fight against a foe with this type of technology and hunting ability. In the 2nd failed attempt, the two guys who make an attempt to go after the Predator and kill him quickly become trophies. The remaining soldiers continue to move toward the pick up location, but the Predator catches up with them and kills two of the remaining soldiers. He also nearly kills Dutch, who escapes narrowly by jumping into a small lake and accidentally covering himself in mud. The Predator follows him but when he gets to the beach he cannot see Dutch who is a mere 40 ft. away because his vision allows him to hunt looking at the body heat of his victims and the mud somehow masks this.

With the new knowledge that the Predator can't see you covered in mud, Dutch sets a trap for the Predator with some somewhat primitive weapons and covering himself in mud. This time Dutch is able to put up a decent fight against the Predator, but in the end it comes down to a hand to hand fight. The Predator is able to capture Dutch and coul most likely could kill him in seconds, but opts to step back and remove his mask and plasma cannon in an attempt to even the playing field and fight hand to hand. This particular scene is my favorite of the film. The Predator than pretty much beats the hell out of Dutch for 5 minutes while Dutch drags himself to one of his booby traps in the jungle. The Predator almost falls for the trap, but is quick enough to see the trap, which he sidesteps and then jumps in for the kill. Dutch has one last trap up his sleeve of mud, and drops a huge tree trunk onto the Predator's head inflicting a life threatening injury. Dutch at first thinks he's killed the Predator, but sees some movement and moves to finish off the Predator with a large rock. The Predator is spitting up blood and looking weak, and Dutch asks "What the hell are you?" which the Predator responds to with the same question. The Predator then opens his arm gauntlet to set what appears to be countdown of sorts. It takes Dutch a second to figure out what it is, but the Predator's evil laugh is all he needs to know that there is trouble. Dutch runs off into the jungle as a giant explosion occurs. The chopper arrives and picks up Dutch to take him back to the real world.

Theatrical Trailer

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