Today we have a double dose of 2 80’s films…
The ol’ Governator stars in Predator as Dutch, a grizzled military veteran who is convinced to participate in a hostage rescue in South America by his former associate George (Carl Weathers). With a motley crew of hard-nosed soldiers which includes Blain (Jesse “the Body” Ventura!!!), they drop via helicopter into the jungle and find a number of skinned carcasses belonging to US Special forces. After an intense firefight with rebel forces and some riotous Arnold one-liners, the troop realizes its slowly being hunted one at a time by a nearly invisible force, which turns out to be an alien soldier who has thermal vision and a thirst for blood. As the “Predator” picks off the soldiers one by one, it eventually comes down to Arnold vs. Alien in a battle to the death.
I really wanted to like this movie, but it misfired on so many levels. As for the “Predator”, the special effects looked so corny and unbelievable that when the alien finally reveals itself, it is an incredibly anti-climatic moment. Much of the action takes place during the day which also hinders the ability to build tension and any possible element of surprise… plus the Predator dispatches of Jesse Ventura with relative ease. Not cool.
Regardless, there is steady action, tons of blood and gore, and a few ill timed laughs. At the end of the day, Predator is just another 80’s Schwarzenegger vehicle that is 20 minutes too long. May I suggest Commando or Rambo: First Blood instead…
3 (barely) stars out of 5
The second film today is The Warriors, which begins as over 100,000 gang members of the New York underworld converge in a meeting where the head gangster Cyrus proclaims peace amongst all the gangs. Every race, creed, and choice of costume is presented to various degrees of hilarity (motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, baseball clowns?… everyone is represented here). Anyway, as Cyrus is preaching solidarity and unity in taking over New York, a rogue gangster (David Patrick Kelly!) shoots him which causes all out pandemonium with riots, fights, and chaos. Somehow, the murder gets pinned on The Warriors, a small gang from Coney Island who must travel through the night to get home to safety as they battle the police, a few femme fatales, and the gang who framed them in the first place.
Like many films of the late 70’s and early 80’s, The Warriors is packed with laughable costumes, nostalgic dialogue, and a timeless story. While the beginning of the film is an impressively grand production, the film felt uneventful and stale afterwards. I couldn’t keep track of who was really in this film or what their characters were named, but it was entertaining enough to keep me tuned in till the end. While I can understand a certain amount of nostalgic enjoyment (especially from longtime fans), it was tough for me to connect with the film. If you like Big Trouble in Little China, you might want to give it a shot. Not terrible, but not that great.
2.5 stars out of 5