10 Things That Make No Sense About The 1987 Film


John McTiernan’s Predator revitalized the sci-fi movie monster during a particularly creative decade. Not only did it give audiences a glimpse at one of the coolest aliens ever designed, but it also kicked off a franchise that has stood on its own, while crossing over with 20th Century Fox’s seminal Alien universe.

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Predator fans know that the movie is over-the-top, unrealistic, and (oftentimes) ridiculous, and that’s part of the fun. Still, it would be a sin not to point out some things that just don’t make any sense, even for a chill-out popcorn action/horror flick like Predator.

10 Mid-Air Arm Wrestling

Dutch & Dillon Arm Wrestle

John McTiernan obviously wanted that infamous double-bicep shot in Predator, and for good reason. After all, this was a manly man’s action movie, loaded with enough testosterone to give a Cornish Rex facial hair. It would have been silly for Dillon and Dutch to walk towards each other, sit down at a table and arm wrestle – hence the classic mid-air competition.

In truth, this would be nearly impossible given the lack of any surface for leverage. At best, Dillon’s arm would have been shoved off to one side, rather than arcing downwards. Still, it’s a scene that everyone remembers, and that’s the most important thing.

9 Helicopter Briefing

Dutch & Dillon in the chopper

The opening of the film establishes Dutch and his crew getting the scoop on a mission to rescue hostages from an armed guerrilla force, but there’s no exposition or briefing to be seen. Instead, Dillon decides to go with the team as a fifth wheel who just so happens to know the full details; or so Dutch thinks.

Dillon decides to wait until the helicopters are beyond the halfway point to the drop-off before sharing some details about the op with Dutch. This includes a no-backup rule, which Dutch can’t help but feel dismayed about. It makes no sense for them to get so far into the first stage of the mission with a seat-of-the-pants briefing.

8 The Truck Bomb

Dutch's distraction

To show off Arnold Schwarzenegger’s predictable and stereotypical movie moments, a scene was devised where Dutch plants explosives on a propped up truck acting as a generator and rolls it down a hill. The truck hits its target and explodes, creating enough chaos for the team to start mowing down their targets one by one.

The obvious question is why the guerrilla sitting next to the truck failed to see Dutch standing right behind him, which would have been anyone’s first instinct. Instead, he goes right after the truck with Dutch standing there in full view, with no cover.

7 Indiscriminate Destruction

Predator - The Shootout

The entire purpose of Dutch’s mission was to infiltrate the guerrilla compound and save supposed hostages, which doesn’t make any sense when the firing starts. The team kicks things off by firing indiscriminately in every direction while pumping grenades into buildings.

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Yes, McTiernan crafted one amazing action sequence, but it makes little sense seeing as how Dutch and his team had no clue where the hostages were being held. After witnessing one being executed just minutes prior to the attack, they could have been right there in the line of fire.

6 The Mini-Gun

Blain in Predator

This nonsensical plot device was done purely on purpose, and even the director admitted it. The idea of Blain carrying a massive helicopter mini-gun into the Central American jungle is cool for the sake of cool, even if it defies all logic.

Still, this particular mini-gun weighs a ridiculous amount, especially factoring in the ammo. Plus, it requires an electrical power source to run. Still, the movie would not have been as iconic had it not been for “Old Painless” and its special brand of jungle-chewing destructive capabilities.

5 The Guerrillas Are Not Targeted

Guerrilla Forces in Predator

The Predator’s entire lifestyle and culture are built around the hunt, and its arrival on Earth meant that it was seeking the most dangerous prey on the planet to slaughter in a particularly brutal fashion. That would have included the guerrilla forces Dutch and his team were sent in to neutralize, but for some reason, they are left untouched.

This makes no sense, especially since the film establishes that a previous spec-ops team was wiped out prior to Dutch’s arrival. Why the Predator seems to target only U.S. military personnel while leaving cold-blooded guerillas alive is anyone’s guess.

4 Super-Clean Outfits

Dutch & his team in Predator

Dutch and his team might have been the best in the business, but their true talent was keeping their uniforms squeaky clean and in pristine condition under even the harshest of conditions. At least, that’s how it appears in the film.

After slogging through the jungle and engaging in a brutal firefight with guerrilla forces, none of the team looks worse for wear. Their military outfits look like they came fresh out of the washing machine with barely a speck of dirt on any of them. Surely they’d be a filthy mess in relatively short order.

3 Setting The Traps

Dutch & his team set traps

After the deaths of several of Dutch’s team, the remaining survivors begin rigging the jungle with traps in an effort to lay enough groundwork for an even fight. They do so in broad daylight, which presumably takes many hours of hard, noticeable labor.

This would beg the question as to why the Predator wasn’t watching them the entire time and studying their tactics. Yes, it would have been better to make moves than do nothing and wait to be picked off, but surely this seasoned, deadly Predator wouldn’t have allowed his quarry to go unwatched for such a prolonged period of time.

2 The Super-Bow

Dutch's bow in Predator

After his entire team is slaughtered, Dutch decides to make a stand in the jungle and go toe-to-toe with the alien trophy hunter using nothing but his survival skills. He begins laying a series of traps to prepare for another round with the creature on more even footing.

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Somehow, Dutch is so good that he creates a makeshift recurve bow out of common jungle materials that is so strong, an arrow can pierce a massive tree and emerge out the other side. This might be cool, but it’s patently ridiculous.

1 The Mask

The Predator takes off his mask

The first Predator film establishes that the creature’s mask acts as a sort of infrared filtration unit designed to highlight living things while dampening the heat of the surrounding jungle. When the mask is removed, the creature sees the fully unfiltered spectrum, which is jarring, to say the least.

This might have been so the Predator could level the playing field against a worthy opponent, but it doesn’t explain how these creatures which are drawn to heat and conflict ever managed to crawl their way up the evolutionary ladder long enough to craft technology that made them see better. Also, this plot device would never be brought up again in subsequent sequels.

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Updated: December 6, 2020 — 1:00 am

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