PREDATOR: ULTIMATE HUNTER EDITION
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: John McTiernan
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
An elite group of commandos head into the South American jungle to save some Americans only to come face-to-face with an unseen enemy. They soon find themselves to be hunted by a terrifying and formidable alien being that kills for sport and is tracking the most dangerous animal on Earth.
WHAT I LIKED
Being a child of the 80s, I have plenty of love for not just “Predator” but the whole slate of Schwarzenegger action movies of that era. “Predator” was made when his career was in full swing, and we are treated to a very fit, very game Arnold. Putting him in the film with other muscleheads like Carl Weathers and Jesse “The Body” Ventura just made for a hell of a lot of fun and plenty of testosterone for this movie.
“Predator” starts out as an action flick and delivers all the explosions and gunplay you’d expect from a bunch of soldiers in the jungle. However, it soon turns into a cat-and-mouse horror movie with a mysterious monster that still looks freaky and fantastic to this day.
Made in the same era as the first “Alien” movies, “Predator” follows a very similar storyline, which has been seen in plenty of other movies like both versions of “The Thing.” The story is one of attrition that has a violent end to most characters and provides a kick-ass final showdown.
This movie is also what galvanized John McTiernan as a big budget director, which led him to some of his better films in the next couple years.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
With the film being 23 years old, there are some effects and scenes that don’t hold up 100%. However, considering how small the budget was and what it would cost to make the same movie today, “Predator” is one hell of an impressive effort. Let the cheesy 80s action dialogue go and enjoy the movie for what it was.
This is the first time “Predator” has hit Blu-ray, and the image transfer isn’t fantastic. Still, if you can handle a look that at times appears to be a DVD blow-up, it’s a great film to revisit before “Predators” hits the screens later this summer.
Most of the special features come from the 2002 DVD release. These include McTiernan’s commentary and a text commentary by film historian Eric Lichtenfeld. Old featurettes include “Predator: Evolution of a Species – Hunter of Extreme Perfection,” “If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator” and “Inside the Predator.” There are several short special effects bits that show the evolution of the monster’s look and the camouflage effect. Additional features include short interviews with the cast and director, deleted scenes and outtakes and a photo gallery.
New features include a sneak peek at “Predators” plus its trailer, as well as “Predator Profile” which gives an overview of the title characters weapons and suit.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the Schwarzenegger and the “Predator” films.