“Arnold Schwarzenegger fights an outer-space monster in a third-world jungle. The monster never has a chance. Neither does the jungle. Neither does the audience.”
Hah! OK Christian Science Monitor – that’s pretty good. And while it’s true that a film about a bunch of strongmen trampling down a pristine jungle environment with guns n’ ammo doesn’t make for the most thought-inducing film, it wasn’t really supposed to. That seems like the issue with most of the reviews for this film at the time of its release: either they understood what the film was trying to be or they didn’t.
The New York Times called it “alternately grisly and dull, with few surprises”, but there wasn’t really a point in the film where surprises were the main focus. It’s true that nostalgia might be a large factor in the popularity of this film – but it seems like most critics simply missed the big picture. It was about the Predator, and how super sweet he was – nothing more and nothing less.
5. Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
Terry Gilliam’s work has never been particularly celebrated, which is pretty amazing when you think about how awesome it is. Really now – there isn’t a person on this planet who doesn’t like at least one of his films. If it isn’t Fear and Loathing then it’s Brazil, or perhaps Twelve Monkeys or failing that there is always good ol’ Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed. And yet a film like Fear and Loathing comes out – a movie that can only be described as a celebration of the bizarre – and they freaking hate it!
San Francisco Chronicle called it “Disappointing, pointless and repetitive.”
Variety said it was “hard to imagine any segment of the public embracing this off-putting, unrewarding slog through the depths of the drug culture” (they were wrong)
Roger freaking Ebert thought it to be a “one joke movie, if it had one joke.”
And the Washington Post? They compared watching this film to “being forced to listen to bad heavy metal music turned up to 11 while fat guys in Bermuda shorts compete in a puking contest in the john.” Dude…
This probably has to be the film on this list that critics didn’t get the most. They went into it looking for a story – and had they read the book they would have known better. That being said – the book itself was considered to be a failure by Thompson – it only makes sense that the movie was seen as one as well.