No one could have known the impact that 1987's “Predator” would have on the film and sci-fi world. Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite team of commandos into the jungle on a rescue mission, that quickly turns into a fight for survival against an other worldly adversary. The strength of “Predator” lies in the excellent character work of Arnold's team which includes a pre-Minnesota wrestler Jesse Ventura, Sonny Lindham, Shane Black, Bill Duke and Carl Weathers. I'd love to watch a prequel of this team that is obviously close, organized and great at what they do. It's these things that make each death that much more important. The sound design is also incredible, especially in early fire fight scenes. Lastly, the mixed genre of war / sci-fi really works, as does the iconic creature design by Stan Winston.
Ten years later, 1997's “DNA”, borrows a few of the former films tropes, but unfortunately a sensible plot isn't one of them. Led by Mark Dacascos (best known as the chairman on iron chef) the film is about a doctor reengineering the DNA of an ancient being and a rival scientist played by Jürgen Prochnow stealing the equation and perfecting it. One might almost think this film shares nothing in common with "Predator" besides the subpar POV alien vision shot were treated to....then the last twenty minutes happens. It's as if Dacascos' character (that's hard to say!) watched "Predator" and is doing a reenactment of a shirtless Dutch setting up traps and fighting the alien called "Balakai" Not a terrible film by any means, but any one of the many "Predator" sequels or shared franchise films (Alien vs Predator) would be a better choice for a Friday night.