Predator

Rated R 107 minutes 1987

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the leader of an elite military force whose men are being exterminated by a hungry extraterrestrial. This 1987 thriller is an equatorial transposition of The Thing, though director John McTiernan's layered, shifting style seems as far from the crisp delineation of Carpenter/Hawks as you can get. As in his murkily mystical Nomads debut, McTiernan wants to play nonliteral games with the literal narrative line: his visuals have a thickety, rain-forest quality, and finding the center of action in the ambiguous formal mesh requires a certain amount of hide-and-seek attentiveness. Unfortunately, it's hard to say what it's all for: despite the off-rhythm styling, there's not a lot going on. With Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, and Minnesota governor-in-waiting Jesse Ventura.

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