"Predator" is a slightly above-average actioner that tries to compensate for tissue-thin-plot with ever-more-grisly death sequences and impressive special effects.

“Predator” is a slightly above-average actioner that tries to compensate for tissue-thin-plot with ever-more-grisly death sequences and impressive special effects.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Dutch, the leader of a vaguely defined military rescue team that works for allied governments. Called into a US hot spot somewhere in South America, he encounters old buddy Dillon (Carl Weathers), who now works for the CIA.

The unit starts to get decimated in increasingly garish fashion by an otherworldly Predator. Enemy is a nasty, formidable foe with laser powers.

Schwarzenegger, while undeniably appealing, still has a character who’s not quite real. While the painted face, cigar, vertical hair and horizontal eyes are all there, none of the humanity gets on the screen, partly because of the sparse dialog.

Weathers can’t breathe any life into the cardboard character of Dillon, who goes from being unbelievably cynical to unbelievably heroic in about five minutes.

Director John McTiernan relies a bit too much on special effects ‘thermal vision’ photography, in looking through the Predator’s eyes, while trying to build tension before the blood starts to fly.

1987: Nomination: Best Visual Effects

Predator

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director John McTiernan; Producer Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver, John Davis; Screenplay Jim Thomas, John Thomas; Camera Donald McAlpine; Editor John F. Link, Mark Helfrich; Music Alan Silvestri; Art Director John Vallone

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Arnold Schwarzenegger Carl Weathers Elpidia Carrillo Bill Duke Jesse Ventura Sonny Landham
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more