Predator 3D review (3D Blu-ray)

Action films just weren't the same when Arnie gave up one kind of showbiz to go into tat other sort of showbiz: politics. Try as they might, Jason Statham and Vin Diesel have never really stacked up against the old-school likes of Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone and, yes, the big daddy of them all, Schwarzenegger (although The Rock has come close). Arnie is now back making moofies (YAY!) so it's timely to see one of his all-time greats getting the 3D conversion treatment.

Some consider Predator to be the best action film ever made. While I wouldn't go quite that far, it's certainly up there in the top 10 ... and it's also one of my favourite films of all time. It easily ticks all the right boxes – a simple plot, big beefy men with big beefy guns, some cracking one-liners and plenty of blood and gore. And speaking of the plot: Dutch (Arnie) and his team of commandos are sent on a mission to a South American jungle to rescue some missing dignitaries. Instead, they end up being hunted by an alien. And, err, that's it.

But it's not, really. Even after multiple viewings, Predator still manages to be tense, exciting and surprising. It's easily one of big Arnie's best films – it certainly helped to cement his place on the Hollywood map – and Weathers (best know as Apollo Creed in three Rocky films) has not done anything half as good since.

It's big, it's loud and incredibly well-paced. And to top it all off, it's got one of the best movie villians ever created – the Predator himself, a marvellous piece of design from special effects supremo Stan Winston. Sadly, the sequel and Alien vs Predator spinoffs have all been terrible. It's true to say that they just don't make them like this any more.

3D QUALITY ★★★★★ The 3D is nothing short of stunning. There are a lot of dodgy 3D conversions around (Clash of the Titans, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Green Lantern immediately spring to mind) but this Predator upgrade has been done perfectly. There is not a ghost to be seen, and the 3D effect really does enhance the film – taking you deep into the jungle with Arnie and his men. You can almost feel the sweat and smell the danger, and the terror when the Predator attacks is palpable. And this is probably the best the film has ever looked – much better than previous DVD and Blu-ray releases. More like this, please.

EXTRAS ★★★★There are both 3D and 2D versions of the film and the bonus material is in 2D (and only on the 2D disc). It's not the first time Predator has been released on Blu-ray, but the 2008 suffered from a lack of extras, and a poor transfer to high definition. This new 3D Edition goes some way to rectifying that. There's an audio commentary by director McTiernan; a making-of featurette called If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It (28:47); another behind-the-scenes featurette, called Predator: Evolution of the Species (11:13); a text commentary by film historian Eric Lichtenfeld; the seven-part behind-the-scenes featurette Inside the Predator (33:42); a two-part look at the special effects; four deleted Scenes and outakes; the theatrical trailers for Predator and Predator 2; a photo gallery; a slideshow Predator Profile; and a preview of Robert Rodriguez's Predators.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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