With the ex-Governator returning to his leading action man status this month with The Last Stand, now seems as good a time as any to look back over his career, specifically the highlight of his career. Now, some may argue that The Terminator or T2 or True Lies or even Total Recall are better, but here's five reasons why that simply isn't the case:
ONE; This is the best acting Arnie has ever done.
Let's be honest, Mister Schwarzenegger isn't exactly renowned for his acting capabilities, and his most suitable role required him to be an emotionless robot. But with Predator you got a full range of Arnie's emotions, including the only time you properly felt that the big man was actually afraid for his life. He's always been in tight situations, but this is the only movie where Arnold was full on terrified, which leads us to...
TWO; You were never sure if Arnie would survive.
SPOILERS! Arnie tends not to die in movies. Sure, he copped it in the Terminator series (because of plot necessity) and in End Of Days (because of exploding demons), but that's about it. Plus, when you went into Arnie's movies, he always seemed like such a super-human presence that the idea of him not surviving was laughable. But with Predator, once you've seen what the bad guy was capable of, you were no longer certain of Arnie's fate.
THREE; The Predator was a fantastic villain.
An alien who visits planets on their warmest years, who goes hunting for each planet's most dangerous game (in our case, man), who is capable of bending light to camouflage itself almost entirely, who is equipped with weapons well beyond our technology, who rocks the dreadlocks and mandibles look, and who - even once you've beaten him - has more explosive tricks up his sleeve. Yes, the Predator is a bad-ass to be reckoned with.
FOUR; Arnie is not a one-man army.
Usually Ah-nold can show up alone with nothing more than a cigar and a one-liner and still win a small war, but in Predator he is surrounded by a team of men just as hyper-masculine as he is. Carl Weather's duplicitous Dillon, Bill Duke's unhinged Mac, Jesse Ventura's tabacco spittin' Blain, Sonny Landham's fearless (to a point) Billy, Shane Black's joker Hawkins; everyone's got their favourite, and there isn't a dud in the whole group. If you had to head off to Central America to fight an invisible alien, these are the men you would most definitely want by your side.
FIVE; The endless quotability.
Twenty five years since its release, and Predator is still one of the most quoted movies of all time. Quoting Predator is to guys what quoting Mean Girls is to gals.
"I ain't got time to bleed!" "This stuff will make you a god-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me!" "If it bleeds, we can kill it." "There's something out there hunting us, and it ain't no man." And finally... "Stick around!"
For the uninitiated among you or for those who'd like a trip down memory lane, Predator is screening at The Sugar Club on January 30th. Tickets here.