It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Predator" begins like "Rambo" and ends like "Alien," and in today's Hollywood, that's creativity. Most movies are inspired by only one previous blockbuster.
The movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of a U.S. Army commando team that goes into the South American jungle on a political mission and ends up dueling with a killer from outer space. This is the kind of idea that is produced at the end of a 10-second brainstorming session, but if it's done well, who cares?
"Predator" is filmed very well. It's a slick, high-energy action picture that takes a lot of its strength from its steamy locations in Mexico. The heroes spend most of their time surrounded by an impenetrable jungle, a green wall of majestic vistas populated by all sorts of natural predators in addition to the alien. I've rarely seen a jungle look more beautiful, or more convincing; the location effect is on a par with "Fitzcarraldo" and "The Emerald Forest."
As the film opens, Schwarzenegger and his comrades venture into this jungle in search of South American officials who have been kidnapped by terrorists. They track and locate the fugitives, and move in for the kill. But as they find the bodies of team members skinned and hanging from trees, they begin to realize they're up against more than terrorists.