Special forces, a unit of the armed forces and considered the elite soldiers are called to a Guatemalan jungle to conduct a rescue mission. One of the helicopters crossed over enemy lines and was shot down. Dutch, a massive six foot plus man with bulging biceps, hard cold eyes, and a thick non-American accent, leads his group of ruffians into the jungle for some search and rescue. To them, playtime.
During the short flight, jokes are told to lighten the mood, previous missions are discussed, and challenges are made between Dutch’s men and a CIA operative tagging along. Eventually, they find the downed chopper only to see the occupants dead, the others missing. The missing turned up skinned and hanging upside down from trees.
Thinking guerrilla groups did this to their brothers in arms, Dutch and his team infiltrate, ambush, and destroy a nearby enemy camp. However, lurking in the distance is someone…or something watching them carefully, calculating, and on the hunt.
The CIA operative confesses the rescue mission was a rouse and they were sent to destroy the camp from the get go. Furious, Dutch tell his men to move out, only to stumble upon a female survivor whom they take as a hostage.
Billy, a Native American, how has extra sensory abilities and tracking skills believes someone is watching them. The Group remains diligent in their mission and make way for the landing zone. The Predator has other ideas.
During the trek, the young woman tries to escape. As she is chased, the Predators inferred view comes onto the screen. Two warm bodies run and stagger through the jungle. The woman falls a soldier gets her and starts to drag her back when the Predator seeing his moment appears in a shimmer of camouflage and captures the solider pulling him further into the dense brush.
When the others finally arrive, they find her terrified and covered in blood, the fallen soldiers gear nearby. They as what she saw…”The jungle came alive.”
The squad searches for their fallen comrade and find him in the same state as the men they originally came looking for-skinned. Half the men want revenge right off the bat. This was no way for a soldier to die. Others want to leave gathering a sense of danger around them.
One by one in gruesome and horrific fashion, each of the soldiers are hunted down and killed until the unarmed woman and our hero, Dutch are the only ones left standing.
The demon, in this case a nasty alien creature is revealed and the battle for survival between Predator and prey begins.
Like Beowulf, Dutch is a super strong human with skills and abilities beyond most mortal men. He is a weapons expert, very powerful physically, and even possesses instinctual survival skills. He adapts and uses his environment around him to help in his mission of vengeance. Beowulf used a great sword because it was handy in the caves of Grendel’s mother. Dutch uses tress, gun powder, and knives for his fight because it is all he as. Both men seek revenge for the death of their brothers in arm.
There is little consideration for the death and destruction the Special Forces operatives inflict on the guerilla camps, but when their own brother is slaughtered, hell breaks loose. Vengeance takes shape, the horrific and graphic violence that follows could just as well come from the text of Beowulf than the screenwriter’s imagination.
The Predators motives are never know. Unlike Grendel’s mother, the Predator has no heroic reasons for hunting down and massacring the men. He stalks them, studies them, and takes his time formulating the best and most efficient way to kill his prey. The military men try their best to get a hold on what is after them, but most fail due to their own shortcomings or fears. And like a true hunter, the Predator keeps trophies of his victims in the form of skulls.
Toward the end of the battle, the Predator reveals his true face, setting aside his weaponry for hand-to-hand combat with his most challenging human opponent. The predator like most demons or monsters of the heroic epic is injured beyond repair. As Dutch is about to smash its head in with a boulder, he stops. The Predator taps on a control band on his arm and sets off a self-destruct sensor blowing him and everything near him to kingdom come.