Eric’s Guide to the “Predator” Series
Well there’s really not much to say to set-up this guide through the “Predator” series.
I did the “Alien” series last year and since there were so many films I held off talking about the “AVP” films so I could pump up an article about the “Predator” series. So every time I do one of these types of articles I sometimes go from best to worst or vice-versa depending on what I think best suits the topic. For this I think it would be best to just follow the release date order to see how this series has gone up and down throughout the years. Let’s begin.
1.) “Predator” (1987)
The film began as all great films do, as a joke. Speaking of bad jokes… “Rocky IV.” You see in case you hadn’t noticed “Rocky IV” gets just a little bit ridiculous. As such, people were joking about what would Rocky fight in the next film, an alien? Everyone laughed except for at least two writers who instead responded, “awesome pitch!” And so “Predator” was born. These are always so hard to write because what can I really tell you that you either don’t already know or have heard from a million other people before me? It’s an awesome 80s action flick and horror film molded into one. The two styles are meshed so well it’s crazy. Full of great lines and moments and the world’s manliest handshake. An instantly iconic monster design to rival that of the “Alien” series.
I guess the best way would be to explain how I as a lad was introduced. That is to say that it was one of those things I was aware of as far back as I can remember thanks to having 2 older brothers who could watch it. As a result I was well aware of the Predator and its mythology long before I actually saw the movie. I grew up playing with the old Kenner toys and some of the comics. My favorite being “Batman vs the Predator.” After I finally saw it, it did not disappoint. In fact, it gets better the more times I watch it.
Eric’s Advice: Obviously you should see this if you haven’t already.
2.) “Predator 2” (1990)
I think the “Predator” series may be the only series to escape Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shadow. While there have been attempts to bring his character (Dutch) into the sequels for cameos, none have panned out. Also, when you hear “Predator” you think of the alien itself first and not Arnold. Plus a thing to remember is that this film is the one to really introduce the honorable warrior angle and a lot the technology. It may have been panned by critics when it was released, but it has a sizable following today. There are a number of exciting and memorable scenes in the film. Good actors and an unique setting that offer all sorts of other scenarios separate from the first movie.
ALL THAT BEING SAID I’ve sat through this film several times. While I recognize all the things I just said, I still find this movie really dull. It has a similar effect on me as the original “Pink Panther.” I put on the movie. I’m excited to see the scenes/moments that I like and to hopefully appreciate it like others do… and then nothing. The film begins and I immediately become uninterested with my life choice to sit down watch it. I really don’t know what exactly it is that causes it, but it’s what happens every time I try to watch it. King Willie’s death, seeing the inside of the Predator ship and the subway attack are great and grab my attention again. But then it looses it just as quickly as the next scene begins.
Eric’s Advice: Full of cool ideas and designs, sadly not much else. Skip unless you want.
3.) “Alien vs Predator” (2004)
Ever since a 2 second cameo of the xenomorph skull in the ending of “Predator 2” the fans had been clambering for a crossover. For years comics and video games were the only way to experience this. Every now and then we’d hear about a film version happening. This and “Freddy vs Jason” had an insane amount of different scripts commissioned throughout the years. Then, Paul W. S. Anderson (“Mortal Kombat,” “Event Horizon,” “Resident Evil”) came out with his plan and FOX thought that they had a winner. This was without a doubt one of the most hyped-up I ever was for a movie. I DEVOURED EVERYTHING I could about the making of this film. I remember going to the official website and downloading any BTS videos they had. They may have been about 10 minutes long at most, but back then it could take hours to fully download them. But I did it over and over again because I just HAD to see this movie.
Even some idiot bringing their baby to the theater to see this couldn’t deflate my enthusiasm. When the movie finished it was one of the biggest disappointments ever. Part of the reason is it’s a great setup for a film. The xenomorphs have the numbers advantage, Predators have the technology and we humans have our intelligence and problem solving. Then, you lock all three factions in an isolated area. A temple in Antarctica which may not be in space, but the outside is harsh enough that it might as well be in terms of “where can the humans even hide?” Add to that the temple itself is an ever-changing maze. You can see how this could work for suspense, but also as something for the humans to figure out and use to their advantage to help level the playing field. But no, they take no interesting turns with this awesome setup. Rewatching it after all this time I can admit I was probably too harsh on it before. That having been said with the passage of time it still hasn’t made me like it. It’s really due to this film having so much going for it and yet refused to do anything interesting.
Eric’s Advice: I kinda hate this film for its wasted potential, but it’s objectively not terrible. Not that great though either. See only if curious.