Predator is an awesome action movie in it's purest form. Consider this: 1) A bunch of big, bad [...], military guys with even bigger guns will go into the jungle on a mission. 2) The leader of this group will be Arnold Schwarzenegger 3) In this said jungle will be an alien opponent of mythic scale just waiting for some new sport. 4) It will have an unknown director who will use optical effects never before created. Now consider the genious who green lit this project, producer Joel Silver. Silver may just be the greatest thing to happen to the action movie since James Bond leapt from Ian Fleming's page onto the screen in Sean Connery's body. The very idea of this film is preposterous, yet Silver saw something, as he must have with such films as Lethal Weapon, Die Hard (also directed by McTiernan), and The Matrix. He must have seen the potential for greatness.
Why is Predator so brilliant? I don't know, it just is. From the word "go" this movie is nonstop. McTiernan, just put the pieces together right. Surrounding Schwarzenegger with guys like Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, and Sonny Landham, was inspired. Also inspired: giving Ventura the gattling-gun and the line, "I ain't got time to bleed, or Landham's line, "There's something out there waiting, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die." Alan Silvestri's heart pounding score, the amazing special effects from the predator's camouflage and it's POV, and Arnold, how great is Arnold? Pretty great (he certainly has some of his best one-liners).
Man, this movie just rocks. It transcends it's genre, everything about it is tip-top. It is definitely one of Arnold's best roles. So what do I think? Is Predator one of the best action/sci-fi movies ever made? I think yes.