'I ain't got time to bleed!' - Blain (Jesse Ventura)
But people sure to have time to remake classics. The Predator is coming…again. This time written and directed by Shane Black (who, coincidentally was in the very first Predator film). No, it’s not a reboot, it’s not a prequel, rather a sequel. What does that mean exactly…no one knows for sure. The claim of being a sequel is very vague stating that it will be part of the already established 'Predator' mythos. So WTF does that mean exactly? Basically, it means that they are in fact rebooting the franchise, denying that it’s a reboot by claiming it’s a continuation. Is it a continuation to the original or a continuation to Predator 2? No one knows for sure and I’m not sure anyone really cares either.
Predator is a classic Sci-Fi/action thriller that absolutely worked for the time it came out and still holds up well to this very day. They tried numerous times to duplicate its success but have yet to come close. Why is that? It’s a pretty basic formula…guns, explosions, action sequences, a badass alien hunter with an assortment of weapons, and of course a blood bathed R rating. So why do they continue to fail? Let’s take a look at the reasons the original worked so well:
1. 'Arnold Schwarzenegger'
Arnold was THE definitive action star of his era with his bulging biceps, distinct accent and ability to make cheesy lines like his signature “I’ll be back,” or the infamous "Get to da Choppa" line seem cool. He was THE action hero that created a standard that has yet to be matched with success. When he stepped into a scene, guns in hand, you knew that he was ready to kick some serious ass in the most awesome of ways. Many have tried, but to this very day there has yet to be another star able to capture the audience and lock down the action hero role the way our favorite bodybuilder turned actor has. His portrayal was natural, it just flowed. He wasn’t a great actor, his lines were corny, but it worked for him. People like 'The Rock' have tried to emulate this, even Adrien Brody (excuse me while I bleach my eyeballs) tried to do his best Arnold impersonation in the horrendous ‘Predators.’ Arnold, from the early 80's and 90's, was one of a kind.
2. 'A cast of real MEN'
Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke, Sonny Landham, and others looked like a bunch of badasses that you would never think twice of picking a fight with in a bar. The movie had so much testosterone that athletes competing on a professional level are banned from watching it during the on-season due to steroid-like effects. It’s really hard to find a cast that fit the mold as perfectly as they did without feeling forced or as if they are merely trying to create a carbon copy of the original.
3. 'Digital FX aren't always the best option'
Guns, blood, some laser fx, alien blood and some explosions, that’s it. The problem with today is that everyone tries to go hardcore with the digital fx, over complicating everything where sometimes less truly is more. Digital Blood sucks ass people. There is nothing like your standard, old school blood fx that actually created a much more realistic feel to the violence. A film like this is about violence, I don’t want gun shots to look like something I’d see in an animated film. It just doesn’t work.
4. 'Man vs Predator...that's it'
We don’t need some convoluted mess about how the 'Predators' have been around since the dawn of mankind, creating temples on earth where they would breed 'Aliens' to fight with as a rite of passage. We don’t need a story about how the worst criminals in creation are shipped off to some remote planet infested with 'Predators' where they must fend for their lives or get decapitated. What's next? Predator mating rituals so we can get a better understanding of where they come from, like we so desperately need? The original kept it simple. A bunch of soldiers were sent to the jungle on a rescue mission and encounter the Predator who is hunting them one by one. That’s it, Man vs Predator, survival of the fittest. Take your sassy story line, explanations about where the Predator came from, character back stories, and in the words of Dwayne Johnson…’Shine it up real nice, turn that sumbitch sideways, and stick them straight up your candy ass.’
5. 'But it worked in the 80's'
Movies created in the 80s had a different feel to them, a different vibe that worked perfectly for that time. Recreating them in modern times just doesn’t work. All attempts have failed to recreate the magic and feel of the originals. For some reason, they just don’t translate well in today’s market. ‘Robocop,’ ‘Conan,’ ‘The Karate Kid,’ ‘Clash of the Titans,’ ‘Evil Dead (I don’t care what anyone says, it wasn’t anything like the original despite decent reviews),’ ‘Footloose,’ and many more. Those films need to be left alone, forever solidified as classics of THAT time. I could be wrong…I’m sure ‘The Never Ending story,’ remake and ‘Weird Science,’ remake that are slated to be released in the not-to-distant future will work out just well.