main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Headscratchers: Predator
  • Here is a good one: Whatever happens with Anna after the end of the movie? I mean, afterall she is a communist guerrilla fighter that was about to be part of some major operation against an american ally, and now she is in the hands of the US military and the CIA.
    • I just watched Predator 2, and there is a blink-or-miss moment when Agent Keyes is explaining Harrigan that they are against an alien being, showing Anna in a monitor, sitting in some sort of interrogation room. Poor girl suffered a fate worse than death: spending hours alone in the same room with Gary Busey.
  • In Predators, how is that nobody noticed the huge gas giant and all the moons up in the sky until the big reveal? Sure, I could buy that the jungle was dense enough and the team was busy freaking out and trying to figure out what was going on, but the DO reach a clearing before that scene.
    • I always just assumed that it was overcast, and they couldn't see them. But, hey, it added to the mystery when first seeing the movie.
      • My assumption is that as the sky is a cgi effect they had no idea what they would be seeing until post production. The scenes in the clearing had been shot and dusted and they were then committed to keeping them.
      • However making it look good will make the audience forget how idiotic such a noticable sky is.
    • Maybe they were just too traumatized and freaked out to take a good look up and really think about what they were seeing. Be honest, how often do you look up at the sky and really pay attention to it as opposed to just letting your brain fill in "It's there"? Especially if you're stressed, distracted, or in pain?
  • Schwarzenegger smears some mud on himself and somehow that covers up all his body heat and he's blind to the predator? Badass, but still, come on.
    • I have to admit, this is a legitimate argument. The mud might mask his body heat for a while, but eventually it's going to warm up to body temperature. It's logical the first time, when he has just crawled out of a cold river and is covered with fresh, cold mud, but not in the later scene where he has painted himself with mud that has had time to dry.
    • Mythbusters confirmed this trick would not work. Kari even explicitly mentioned Predator.
      • One could possibly handwave it by the fact we do see Dutch reapplying the mud during the montage where he's building the traps. Its likely he did so several times offscreen and we were supposed to infer this was what was going on. After all, if we watched him constantly reapplying the mud, it'd suck the tension right out of the scene.
    • Fridge Brilliance time. Arnold only had to be "invisible" for a few seconds when the Predator was hot on his tail the first time the mud trick worked, which would've worked (the Mythbusters said the Mud did cloak the heat for a bit, but that it warmed up after a bit and wasn't entirely covering anyway). Later, reapplying the mud wouldn't have made it invisible, but it sure as hell would've made him cloaked. Not unlike the Predator; hard to see, but not completely invisible. Arnold leveled the playing field.
  • If the Predator sees in a different spectrum from humans, why is the laser aiming spot from its gun the same colour as an earthling one?
    • Earthling targeting lasers are generally infrared. Infrared = Heat. So it makes perfect sense that a creature that sees primarily heatwaves would make a targeting system that uses a beam of focused heat.
    • But why so low in the infrared spectrum that it includes red?
    • Who says it's a laser sight the way we know it? Maybe it's something completely different that just coincidentally happens to be red.
    • This is also a good time to point out that in real life, you do not see the beam from a laser targeter unless there is a significant amount of dust or other particulate matter in the air to scatter the light. Normally, you only see the little red dot where it reflects off the target. Of course, the director always contrives for us to be able to see the beam because of Rule of Cool.
      • Considering that there are scenes where we do only see the dots,
    • Actually, most military grade laser sights are not in the visible spectrum - you only see them with special equipment. Maybe red isn't in the predator's visible spectrum at all, and as far as they know its invisible to the naked eye.
  • Uh, yeah, new Predators movie? Pretty sure planets that big can't be that close to one another, especially if one of them is a gas giant.
    • Maybe all of them EXCEPT the gas giant are moons- including the "planet" the movie is set on? Think Jupiter or Saturn.
      • Pretty sure this is the idea — they're on a moon, not a planet. It's just natural for them to say "planet" because it's so Earthlike.
  • Also, how did that doctor know about the paralyzing properties of an alien plant? He knew way too much about its effects and how quickly they worked for him to take an estimated guess.
    • I assumed it was an earth based plant that grew there as well and he recognized it.
    • He used the scientific name in describing it. I assume the Predators seeded the jungle with plants native to the planets of their prey- maybe to make them more "comfortable"?
    • Presumably the hunting ground planet is intentionally populated with dangerous plants as well as animals to spice things up.
    • IIRC, the script says that the plant in question is an actual plant on earth. Well, was. It's extinct now, and has been since... the dinosaurs, I believe. Of course, this only begs the question on how the doctor knows so much about an extinct plant.
      • Why wouldn't he? As you note, it was a real plant, and for someone who paralyzes people with toxins in order to kill them, researching plant life that could do just that seems like a useful hobby.
      • Even with research, the most he could know would be whether or not its modern relatives (if any) are toxic. Organic compounds like poisons don't fossilize, so even the best botanical paleontologist in the world couldn't say for sure if it's toxic or not, or how severely so.
    • Maybe the doctor had actually been in the hunting ground a lot longer than he claimed, and has had time to test the poison on previous groups of "prey"? He could've faked being a new arrival to get the others off-guard.
  • Why did the head Predator blow Noland up? He sure as hell deserved to be collected as a worthy trophy.
    • The head Pred may have never actually seen or hunted Noland before, since Noland has apparently gotten good at going undetected. The Predators in the film may not be the ones who brought him to the planet, but I haven't read the prequel comics so someone needs to verify that.
    • He had gotten hold of a lot of Predator tech, which is a no-no in Predator society. Also, he's killed at least two Predators- maybe he was considered the equivalent of a rogue elephant or man-eater on Earth- too dangerous to take chances with.
    • Also recall that most of the Predators in that movie aren't the kind in the first two movies (or in AvP). They're some sort of new breed or subspecies. They may be hunting more for the sadistic thrill than trophies, since they also don't seem to adhere to the same honor code that the previous Predators do.
  • Why did the Predators kidnap Eric from That '70s Show? I mean, yeah, he's a psycho killer and all, but he's still not good at one on one combat, and is virtually defenseless against them. No matter what kind of person he is, he still isn't a survivalist or a real hunter or even any kind of challenge for a Predator to defeat. Also, he's virtually unarmed except for some tiny scalpels. Aren't Predators supposed to ignore unarmed targets? It just doesn't seem sporting to me.
    • The only explanation I can think of is that these Super Preds are a lot more sadistic and less honorable than the classic ones, and probably threw him into the group for shits n' giggles. What makes these new Predators different from the old ones is that they really like to test and toy with their prey. They probably weren't intending to hunt Edwin in the first place.
    • Or maybe they rate prey as dangerous the same way they rate their own status- by number of kills? He might be very, very good at what he does.
      • This seems likely to me. It would explain the presence of the drug cartel enforcer. That guy is not a warrior in any sense of the word. His immediate response to any threat is to wave his twin submachine guns in the vague direction of the threat and spray away like a madman, with no regard for accuracy or for the fact that he has no way to get more ammo for his guns. So why was he snatched by the Predators? Obviously, because he's taken out a ton of people during his work for the drug cartels.
    • Note that the Predators almost never actually attack Edwin. One of them advances on him menacingly, but doesn't fire on him or even raise his blade until Nikolai jumps out to save him. At the end, the lead Predator seems to stab him out of mercy or boredom because Edwin is clearly bleeding out and helpless. They probably expected him to pick up or improvise a weapon at some point, but he never did.
    • Or it could be that as a doctor he was sent along so that the prey could be patched up and put up a fight longer.
    • I just assumed that the Predators, being a very warlike and having a hunting-based culture, are pretty alien to the concept of serial killers. Thus when they saw Edwin they thought "He's racked up a really high body count, he's probably really good at killing/hunting.", instead of how we would intemperate him as a cold blooded murderer who slaughters innocent, possibly defenseless victims without reason.
      • Maybe it was the opposite, and they chose him BECAUSE he was a serial killer. Maybe This Troper is a little idealistic, but he likes the idea that the Predators would find his habit of targeting the weak and defenseless offensive, so they brought him up to put him down like a rabid dog.
      • That seems unlikely. If all they wanted was to put him down they could have grabbed him from Earth and cut his throat while he was unconscious. On the other hand, the "high body count = good hunter" explanation doesn't seem to work either. The Predators clearly have an understanding of the concepts of honor and fair play. That's why they ignore unarmed/harmless prey in favor of dangerous prey. Logically, the Predators should be offended by the concept of a killer who exclusively targets prey that can't defend itself.
      • Maybe the Predators also have a concept of irony, and thought it appropriate to put him in a situation where he couldn't really defend himself.
      • It's worth remembering that these Predators are not the same clans as we see in the other movies. Their methods of hunting and their motives for doing so are likely very different from the ones we've seen before.
    • In the previous films, the predators only hunt prey that can defend itself. They only attack armed humans. It doesn't seem like the serial killer's method of killing defenseless women would have been all that impressive to the predators. They shouldn't be interested in the number of kills, but in the challenge of the kills. By the same token, killing him for sport wouldn't be that impressive either. The predators aren't interested in bringing their brand of justice to the humans, they just want to hunt the strong ones.
      • Given that Edwin is a serial killer, it's possible he took trophies from his victims, which would definitely have interested the predators regardless of how he actually killed them.
    • The one that bugs me is Stans, who had to have been behind bars for a fairly lengthy period of time (assuming he appealed the sentence, it might've been years). Unless the Predators read human newspapers, how the Hell would they know about him?
      • How would they know about Edwin? They observe and stalk presumably for a long time before picking prey. If you're looking for predators, San Quentin is a good place to start and they probably watched how he interacted with the guards and inmates.
    • Its possible that they chose Edwin and Stans to be vipers-in-the-nest to make the hunt more interesting. Unlike everyone else chosen who are professional killers, Edwin and Stans are the two most unpredictable (comparatively speaking) in choosing when and if they are going to kill someone. Its reasonable to assume the Predators took into account that Humans tend to band together against threats and are stronger for it, which is why they often try to seperate them. Having a serial killer and an unstable convict in the group would lead to a greater chance that the others would make mistakes and be too busy watching their own backs instead of watching out for the Predators.
    • The Predator honour code seems a little flexible. They will only hunt people who are armed, true, but that needn't be more than a knife. Their own weaponry is far superior to anything individual humans are likely to have, including an invisibility cloak. The one in the first film was able to take out a whole squad of Green Berets and most of Arnie's team with little difficulty. The one in the second slaughters entire drug gangs with ease. They're obviously not above heavily stacking the deck in their own favour, including deliberately introducing a fly-in-the-ointment who will be more of a threat to his fellow humans than he ever would to a Predator.
    • Most likely of all, this film's breed of Predator may simply be going for quantity of trophies over quality, themselves. We see evidence of several dozen "prey" being dumped into the hunting ground in a fairly short period of time, and they're drawn from a whole range of locations, cultures, and possibly eras with no regard for whether they'll work well as a team, or kill each other before the hunters can get to them. These Predators may simply be opportunists, abducting candidates for their hunts en masse and fairly indiscriminately, just so they'll have loads and loads of targets. They're like canned "hunters" who just want to boast that they've shot a grizzly bear, and couldn't care less that it was drugged, arthritic, and stolen from a zoo before being dumped in front of their hunting blind.
  • No helmets in combat,wearing short sleeves or no shirt in the jungle,no apparent backup escape plan and the lack of any leadership or command abilities by Arnold all bug me in this first Predator film.
    • The no backup escape plan was justified in the story, they weren't supposed to be operating there, it was a covert mission. Heading to the pre-arranged drop zone was the plan and that was that. The rest of it was just Rule of Manly.
    • In every military operation, there is a built-in assumption of failure and a redundancy for that failure. Even if there hadn't been a Predator they were going into an unfamiliar area that they hadn't reconnoitered. An backup escape plan would have been a MUST.
      • But what could they have dome differently? They were in enemy territory in a country where the US was not authorized to go, in jungle too thick for a chopper extraction. They could only count on getting a helo in during that short window at that one spot, so that was the plan. It's worth noting that if they hadn't been attacked by an alien killing machine it would have gone off perfectly. As for a backup plan, it's almost by definition going to be more dangerous or difficult than the primary plan because otherwise it would be the primary plan. What would they gain by switching to it?
      • Also, the backup plan would've assumed they were being chased by human guerrillas through the jungle. Soldiers don't generally create plans for the event of attack by hyper-advanced alien hunters. (Although maybe they should.)
    • As an aside, soldiers in Vietnam rarely wore helmets (the helmets at the time were better at stopping shrapnel than gaping head wounds from getting shot in the head), and even though flak vests were issued, American soldiers often conveniently "forgot" to wear them, because in the jungle they became hot, itchy, and inconvenient. And do you honestly think a helmet or a bulletproof vest is gonna stop a Predator's plasmacaster?
      • There is anecdotal evidence from Viet Nam vets that combat helmets can effect hearing, which also resulted in them not wearing them
    • They weren't expecting a Predator,but they WERE expecting heavily armed guerrillas.Not to have made provisions for that would have been unnecessarily foolish.
      • However, the plan is for them to have taken care of that particular problem by the time they need to extract. With the camp quite superlatively destroyed and the speed of their escape, they only would've needed to worry about running across a couple of scouts, and only then by dumb luck. Given the team's (completely justified) confidence in their ability to take out the guerrillas, they didn't expect such a major threat at that stage of the op.
    • I think theis may be a case of Truth in Television, because I've yet to see a video of real life Mercernaries (and remember, Ahnuld and his troops were mercs) wearing combat helmets.
  • If the Aliens evolved with acid blood that makes them more dangerous to kill, why did Predators evolve with neon blood that makes them more visible when injured?
    • Since Preds naturally see heat instead of color, it can be assumed that they come from a planet where other creatures see that way too. That means that in their original habitat where they evolved it didn't make them any more visible.
    • It has also been established that they breathe a different atmospheric mix than we do. The expanded universe establishes that they are methane breathers (but at the same time, it also establishes that they CAN breathe our air for about 30 minutes before it causes irreversible damage to their lungs). Maybe in their natural atmosphere, their blood doesn't glow... maybe the glow is the result of something in their blood reacting with some trace gas in our atmosphere.
      • That's absurd. A methane breather couldn't survive in oxygen-hydrogen atmosphere any more than a human could survive in one made of carbonmonoxide. It would make much more sense for them to simply have an atmosphere with more oxygen, requiring the use of a breather to avoid getting out of breath.
    • It could be that Herbert West had, at some point in time, discovered and exploited the blood of a Predator because of its special properties.
    • Just because they've been canonically linked, there's no reason for them to have anything in common physiologically.
      • Sure. That does make sense. Except that it is also cannonically established that Predator blood can neutralize the acidity of Xenomorph blood. I'd love to see someone explain that, cuz random chance don't cut it.
  • If Predators can resort to blinkin' nukes to clean up evidence, why do they keep leaving skinned bodies around for anyone to find?
    • Because leaving skinned bodies around doesn't leave Predator technology around. That is the main reason for using nukes... not to destroy evidence, but to keep their prey from being able to reverse-engineer their technology and use it against them.
    • The expanded universe answers both of these questions, in different places. The skinned bodies are prey that did not make satisfying kills, hence why no skulls were taken. Another piece of the expanded universe showed that Predators, for all their vicious ways, have a weird conservationist attitude towards their prey, and know that if a sentient prey species got a hold of Predator tech, it could cause great damage to the species "ecosystem". The EU and AVP: Requiem have also established that when it comes to making sure there's no foul ups with lost tech or disrupted "ecosystems", the Predators will throw the "honorable hunt" handbook out the window until the mess is cleaned up.
  • The entire premise of the first movie's mission bugs me. Dutch acts PISSED and SURPRISED when he discovers that their original mission was just a cover for their true mission. Unless Dutch and his men were mercenaries,his angry (and the deceit) make little or no sense. Soldiers in the US Army are expected to follow orders regardless of their personal feelings about the orders. The general would have simply given them an order and they'd be expected to follow it. The whole concept about Dutch's team only being there for a "rescue" is ludicrous and the movie could have actually preceded w/o those lines of dialogue and have the same level of clarity.
    • It's suggested that Dutch has some degree of say in the missions he and his squad takes (he is a Major, after all.) Recall the first relevant conversation that foreshadows this, where Dillon asks him, "Why did you pass up Libya?" While he could be ordered straight into the mission, his and his team's state of mind wouldn't be in it if they were being red-taped into a type of mission they objected to. It's still not particularly realistic, but this seems to be what they were going for, at least.
      • Even if he was ordered into it, there's a reasonable expectation that his CO isn't lying through his teeth about the whole thing, especially about something that changes the entire mission around. What if Dutch's plan hadn't taken out the hostage-takers at all? If he'd been more subtle and devised a clever, lower-risk way to sneak the hostages out, he would've completely blown his "real" objective through no fault of his own.
    • Dutch may not be in their chain-of-command. If Dutch reports to another, superior General that has given him standing orders, he may indeed have the clout to refuse a mission. So Dillon would either have to tell the story in order to get Dutch to volunteer, or bring the mission into the ambit of Dutch's orders so that he would have to take it on.
    • I'm pretty sure they were mercenaries. Dutch is pissed because he accepted the mission on the basis of what he was told, only to find out that it was a lie.
      • They were mercenaries. Specifically, as Arnie says: "a rescue team - not assassins". Dutch had every right to be pissed about being lied to.
    • To be fair to Dillon - they were there for a rescue. The lie was that they were rescuing CIA operatives and not a cabinet minister.
      • No Dillon all but admits that the rescue was never the goal - the goal was to stop the rebels from invading with soviet-provided weapons. The "rescue mission" angle was just how they got Dutch to accept the mission.
  • While this was probably a budget saving move for the film production, but why did the "rescue" take place in the daytime? Wouldn't the twin advantages of darkness and surprise been more effective than simply surprise? The guerrillas aren't shown to have night vision equipment nor are they to be very effective (brief attack that leaves all of them dead) and the insertion appears to have been done early in the morning.
    • They were executing the prisoners. Dutch saw them shoot one. He had to hope the others were still alive and move before the guerrillas could kill them.
  • The portable helicopter mini-gun was,of course, completely impractical,but why didn't anyone bring a sniper rifle? And wouldn't they all have M-16's or MP-5's,not a combination of the two?
    • Sniper rifles aren't manly enough.
    • More Dakka baby. More Dakka
    • It doesn't make much sense to carry a long-range weapon in a dense jungle, especially when the team is trying to move fast.
    • If, as mentioned above, they were mercenaries, then the mismatched equipment makes sense: it's all been purchased with their own money rather than issued. Alternately, the lighter weapon could've been issued to heavy weapons as a backup - you don't necessarily want to burden somebody with the huge minigun and a full-sized rifle.
  • Did I miss something or did they have a map of the area? GPS was in its infancy at that point, so that wouldn't have been available and since they were unfamiliar w/ the area wouldn't a map be a must?
    • They did. IIRC after they raid the camp, they stretch out the map on the front of the burned out Soviet helicopter and plan their next move.
      • And later, Billy and Dutch, map in hand, talk about how their escape route really, really sucks.
  • I wonder how no less than 200 pounds weighting Predator moved jumping from tree to tree on treetops without making any sound of breaking branches, etc?
    • It tends to stand on the base of the branch, near the trunk, where the branch is strongest, and seems to land lightly for the most part.
      • Also, the camo tech it has might also have secondary functions. Sound dampening or some kind of grav field that would lessen velocity from falls. It does seem to fall rather slowly.
  • Why are so many people so eager to pick up a fight with a Predator after they realize that they will be hunted only if they count as interesting prey? Yeah, it's personal for some like Dutch and Harrigan, but others could just drop their guns and go "neener neener!" at a creature whose code of honour only allows hunting armed or otherwise immediately dangerous prey.
    • At what point in any of the films did any of the characters beyond the shadow of a doubt figure out that the Predator's only hunted prey that they deemed interesting? How did they know that it would adhere to its honor code and not just gut them where they stand because even if they're unarmed, they could still be deemed as worthy? (Remember that Dutch still got his ass kicked around in close combat even though he was completely unarmed and outmatched by the Predator, and Jorge still got his brains blown out even though he was unarmed and critically injured. That and one of the reasons why the Predator in the second film is adhering to its honor code so closely is because it's implied that it was being monitored the whole time by other Predators who would punish him for violating it). Think of it this way: If someone told you that the creature who's just flayed all your buddies alive, hoisted their skinless corpses up, and made trophies from their skulls, will stop attacking you if you completely disarm yourself because they think they may follow an honor code that would stop them from attacking you, would you do it?
      • It's less about just having guns vs. not having guns, and more about being a warrior or not. Anna in the first movie was clearly a noncombatant, even from what the Predator could see: She was smaller, physically weaker, unarmed, and tied up—clearly, to him, she was not worth hunting. Arnold, even without his guns, is clearly a fighter—physically fit, has command of the others, walking straight and tall, all signs of an alpha male to the Predator.

        Someone like Anna is like a rabbit that's already been trapped; Arnold, Harrigan? They're nice big 8-point bucks.
      • Only thing is that the only ones in both the films who seem to get a basic grasp of the Predator's honor code is, well, Dutch and Harrigan. The former did tell the only non-combatant to not interfere (and she only tries to defend herself because, well, she probably thought that was crazy), and the latter only really connects the dots near the end of the film, where there's no-one left to tell anyway (and he himself gets dead-set on hunting it down and killing it). Neither could really shake the Predator off anyway because they've already shown first-hand what they're capable of, and thus wouldn't be able to weasel their way out of getting hunted.
    • If you throw down your weapons there's nothing stopping the Predaor from just killing you hand to hand. It may even prefer to do so as it's a more impressive story. At least when you've got a gun you have a chance at hurting it, nobody's ever punched a Predator to death in the movies.
    • This video speculates on that exact point.
    • It's plausible that throwing down your weapons would save your life if you managed to think of that in time. Who however would think that an invisible being with a plasma cannon has a sense of honor?! The problem is none of these people are aware of what creek they are in. It's remotely possible (until the end of the movies) that Dutch or Harrigan could have pulled this early in the film but by the time Dutch was unarmed he was already proving to be a master trapsmith and Harrigan had basically already won. Remember he chopped off the Predators hand to prevent it from using the suicide nuke. I think that's about as close to an "I surrender" as you're gonna get out of a Predator.
PoseidonHeadscratchers/FilmThe Prestige

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy