There are some movies that feel like everyone has seen it except you. The original Predator, directed by John McTiernan, is one such movie for me.
I'd seen the sequel multiple times thanks to its endless rotation on some random cable network, but in preparation for the new movie, I decided to remedy the situation and watch the original.
1. After I realized those were Arnold’s and Carl Weathers’s beefy arms locked in a strong embrace, I spent 10 minutes wondering what an extended version of that scene would look like. This led me to wish there was a sequel to Sylvester Stallone’s Over the Top. Arnold and Carl could have joined up with his character in some kind of traveling, arm-wrestling trio.
2. Arnold looks really good with facial hair and he keeps it the entire film. The Running Man is a tease because he only keeps the beard for about two minutes before he shaves it off. It’s a major letdown because we could have had another film with bearded Arnold running around yelling. Win-win for everyone.
3. Carl Weathers is a snack. Something about the humid jungle making him and everyone sweat the entire time brings his edible level up a touch.
4. Bill Duke’s character, Mac, shaving literally nothing on the helicopter ride to their mission is an interesting coping mechanism, especially because there aren't really any razor bumps to be found on his face. Mac must have a hell of a skin care regimen. Humidity can be purifying too.
5. The Predator could probably skin the hell out of salmon. I know the Predators are supposed to be some of the best hunters in the universe, but that also seems to make them great butchers too. Can you imagine walking into your local grocery store and confidently knowing that the fish will be beautifully skinned upon request? Heaven.
6. There are Grand Theft Auto-levels of weapons and Michael Bay-levels of explosions. The sequence in which they make their move on the camp of soldiers is full of flying bullets and practical effects. I always have a greater appreciation for older genre films because there isn't outdated CGI all over the place. Practical effects stand the test of time.
7. Seriously, the squibs budget on this movie must have been high.
8. The Arnold puns on display are on par with Batman & Robin.
9. Arnold’s Dutch is not only a powerhouse of muscle, but he’s apparently converged with the T-800. When he threw a knife at one of the guerilla soldiers and told him to stick around, that was the moment I knew I made the right choice to finally watch this film.
10. The jungle seemed to be so humid I actually turned the thermostat in my own home to a lower temp and kept waiting on the TV screen to fog up. What a terrible place to be, and you're having to deal with an invisible killer. Stressful. This is how we know the Predator’s technology is supreme because it somehow survives the humidity of a South American jungle.
11. Shane Black’s character, Hawkins, delivers a bad joke terribly. To be honest, his death is satisfactory in the movie for this reason. He doesn’t get another chance to infringe on Dutch’s bad puns, and for that I was grateful.
12. Otters are deadly in this film and they get Jesse Ventura’s Blain slain. See what I did there?
13. Blain’s entire chest is removed with a blast from the Predator’s cannon. Mac was clearly his only true friend. He actually takes time to mourn his death and pontificate to the moon later that night. (The only moment in the movie in which hypermasculinity takes a break.)
14. The Predators are their own best EMTs. It’s none of that Bear Grylls stuff either. It's a full medical kit. The Predator truly did not come to play. If you stay ready you don't have to get ready: a Predator mantra. Another reason why they are the universe’s most formidable hunters.
15. This movie truly turns into Home Alone but in a jungle and with a much more dangerous, adept enemy. The number of traps Dutch and his crew put together is Mouse Trap-levels. I actually wouldn’t mind a Home Alone 5: Predators.
17. Who could have ever guessed mud would be the downfall to the Predator’s stalking methods?
18. On the lowest of keys, Arnold running around covered in mud isn’t the worst thing to happen in cinema history. I actually would like to advocate for more of that in films.
19. The final fight is a lot to process. To believe Dutch defeated a highly intelligent being after just telling someone to stick around while throwing a knife at them is stretching the imagination. This fight turning into a straight up and down fisticuffs is probably one of the best moments to happen too.
20. The maniacal laugh after the Predator loses is hilarious. He sounds like a Black uncle who just pulled off the greatest spades win of the decade.