Will Pfeifer: Action epic pits alien against Schwarzenegger

Will Pfeifer

Last week, I reviewed “Last Action Hero,” one of the few bombs in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s filmography. (I like it, but no one else does.) This week, I’m covering one of Arnie’s unqualified successes: the 1987 action flick “Predator.”

“Predator” succeeds because it is stripped to the bare essentials. A group of tougher-than-tough commandos (led by Arnie, of course) are on a mission in a Central American jungle when they run into the title character — an extraterrestrial hunter out for (lots of) blood. Before long, the only ones left standing are the alien and Arnie. No romance, no subplots, no nonsense. Just the top action star of his age and one very mean monster.

As a bonus, you also get to see two then-future governors share the screen. Besides Arnie, the cast includes former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. (The two also share the screen in another 1987 action flick, “The Running Man.”)

In fact, Jesse has the best line in the whole film: When a buddy points out that he’s bleeding, Jesse just scowls and says “I ain’t got time to bleed.” If you want to learn how to write action movie dialogue, that’s a good place to start.

Will Pfeifer writes about new DVDs on Tuesdays and older ones on Fridays. Contact him at wpfeifer@rrstar.com or 815-987-1244. Read his Movie Man blog at blogs.e-rockford.com/movieman/. See video reviews by the Movie Man at rrstar.com/multimedia.