Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, and Kevin Peter Hall. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox. The story follows an elite special forces team, led by 'Dutch' (Arnold Schwarzenegger), on a mission to rescue hostages from guerrilla territory in Central America. Unbeknownst to the group, they are being hunted by a technologically advanced form of extraterrestrial life, the Predator. Predator was scripted by Jim and John Thomas in 1985 and was originally titled Hunter. Filming began in April 1986 and creature effects were devised by Stan Winston. The film's budget was around $15 million and when the film was released in the United States on June 12, 1987, it grossed $98,267,558. Initial critical reaction to Predator was mixed, with criticism focusing on the thin plot. However, in subsequent years critics' attitudes toward the film warmed, and it has appeared on a number of "best of" lists. Two sequels, Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010), as well as two crossover films with the Alien franchise, Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), have been produced.
An alien spacecraft enters the Earth's atmosphere and jettisons a pod, which descends to Central America... Some time later, Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives in Guatemala with his elite team (It is implied that they are Mercenaries/PMC due to their lack of attachement to the chain of command) for an operation to rescue three presidential cabinet ministers abducted by guerrilla forces in Val Verde. Dutch's old military buddy, CIA Special Agent George Dillon (Carl Weathers), steps in as a liaison and joins the team: Sergeant Mac Eliot (Bill Duke), weapons and ordnance specialist Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura), tracker Billy Sole (Sonny Landham), translator Jorge "Poncho" Ramirez (Richard Chaves), and radio man/medic Rick Hawkins (Shane Black). The team is inserted into the jungle by helicopter and begin their hunt. They soon find the wreckage of a downed helicopter, and later, the remains of several skinned bodies identified to be a Army Special Forces unit, whose presence in the country mystifies Dutch. They track the guerillas to a heavily defended rebel encampment which they destroy, except for a woman named Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) whom they take prisoner. Dutch is enraged when Dillon confesses the rescue mission had been a ploy to get his group to attack the camp and that the men they found earlier disappeared in a failed rescue mission of two CIA agents. As the team make their way to the extraction point, they are observed from afar by an unknown creature using thermal imaging. Anna briefly escapes, but when Hawkins catches her, he is seized and dragged off. The creature ignores the unarmed Anna. Moments later, while the team is looking for Hawkins' killer, Blain is killed. Anna offers the team insight on the creature which is something of a local legend. The team sets a trap, but it avoids capture, severely wounding Poncho in the process. Mac and Dillon are killed in the ensuing chase, and Billy is slain making a stand. The Predator catches up to Dutch and engages in a short shootout during which Poncho is killed. Realizing the creature only attacks those possessing weapons, a wounded Dutch sends Anna unarmed to the extraction point. He narrowly escapes the creature by inadvertently masking his body's heat signature with mud and witnesses the Predator's true form when its active camouflage fails. Dutch applies more mud, improvises various weaponry and traps, then baits the Predator into coming out by starting a large fire. Hearing Dutch's war-cry, the Predator arrives to investigate and eventually traps him. Discarding its electronic weaponry, the eight-foot alien hulk challenges Dutch to hand-to-hand combat. Battered and barely able to move, Dutch manages to drop the counterweight from one of his traps, which falls and crushes the creature. As Dutch asks the mortally wounded alien what it is, the creature mimics his question in garbled English and then activates a self-destruct mechanism on its wrist device while laughing, gradually increasing its laugh into a human-like pitch. Dutch barely escapes the massive explosion and is later rescued by helicopter along with Anna.