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Originals Please

I was channel surfing yesterday and watched the end of the original 1987 Predator.

I haven’t seen it in years but I’ve always been a big fan of the film. It’s such a great concept, and a quintessential 1980s action-sci-fi-Schwarzenegger film.

The Alan Silvestri score is phenomenal and it’s shocking to think we had to wait so long for a soundtrack release.

There have been how many sequels by now—six? How many are any good? I hear the last one was well done (Prey), I have yet to see it.

Our kids came over to see what I was watching so I had to explain what was going on.

“Why is he taking off his armor?” they asked.

I explained, “Because he’s a sportsman. There’s no sport in killing an unarmed man.”

They were like, “Ohh.”

This was such a great moment in the film. The Predator is such a great villain and adversary because he’s scary and threatening—but he has a code. So you understand him.

He looks like a primitive monster, but he’s actually advanced in technology and super smart. So he’s interesting.

The first movie had all these great moments where the characters, and the audience, discover these things that answer the mysteries of the premise—but with great simplicity.

And the third act has scenes. It has a set-up to the showdown—they fight, there are some clever twists, and a satisfying ending.

It’s just not possible to do this in sequels. The audience is way ahead of the characters and no longer surprised.

So the filmmakers have to take things sideways, invert them, complicate them, undo them.

And they’re almost always disappointing.

Hopefully we will go back to getting some originals!

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