Talk:Predator (film)

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The Predator is not actually laughing. He's playing a recording of Billy's laugh. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:36, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Can a WP movie or book summary include made up data?[edit]

My question is - how accurate should a movie summary on Wikipedia be and are we allowed to make up or invent data to make a plot easier to explain? The first sentence of the summary was:

An alien spacecraft enters the Earth's atmosphere and jettisons a pod, which descends and lands somewhere in Central America.

The specific inaccuracies are:

  1. The alien spacecraft never "enters" Earth's atmosphere. It's shown passing by in space.
  2. A "pod" is never shown in the movie. All we see is a white colored spot of light that enters the atmosphere and glows orange for two seconds before fading to blackness.
  3. While a "landing" is implied as we later have an alien on Earth it's never shown nor do we know where it landed. My personal first impression was that the landing had been in the ocean as that's what's shown in the scene immediately after whatever it is was is jettisoned and descends into the atmosphere. The alien is shown walking across the bottom of a river and so it probably can walk on the bottom of the ocean. The movie never shows an alien base or home.

Next we have:

Some time later, Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives in Guatemala with his elite team for an operation to rescue a presidential cabinet minister and his aide who were abducted by guerrilla forces in Val Verde.
  1. Guatemala is never mentioned in the movie.
  2. "Val Verde" is never mentioned in the movie. The only explicit geographic hint we get is at one point a map is shown and one thing that's visible to the viewer is "das Mangabeiras" which is probably Chapada das Mangabeiras in central Brasil. However, the natives shown in the movie speak Spanish and not Portuguese meaning that "das Mangabeiras" must not be the one in Brasil. There are implied geographic hints such as the jungle setting and the Spanish speaking "guerrillas."

Those first two sentences make the summary easier to understand simply as they invented a frame of reference for the reader. The movie viewer never gets that frame of reference. Note that after the initial sentences the summary appears to be accurate. Is it WP:OR to invent a frame a reference for an article about a fictional topic? --Marc Kupper|talk 16:36, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I thought about this for a bit came up with wording that removes the WP:OR elements that had been included in the plot summary.

There's still one part that I'm on the fence about which is "Realizing the creature only attacks those possessing weapons, a wounded Dutch sends Anna unarmed to the extraction point." I'll need to re-watch that part of the movie as I had not realized then that Dutch had decided that the creature only attacks those possessing weapons. From what I recall, they are running through the jungle to both escape the alien and towards the extraction point. They are shot at with Dutch being wounded. Dutch yells at Anna to continue on her own to the extraction point and he crawls back to apparently make a last ditch stand that would hopefully slow down the alien enough that Anna can escape. --Marc Kupper|talk 17:44, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you about the location: that should be derived from the film, but if a location isn't given on-screen then at least "Central America" or "South America" (which is, very clearly, the part of the world where the film is set) should be mentioned to provide frame of reference.
I disagree on the bit about the alien spacecraft. Well, partly anyway: You're right that it doesn't enter the atmosphere, but to suggest that we can't say a landing craft is released or that it lands where the film is set (which is clearly the intent) is taking NOR to extremes beyond the bounds of common sense. Of course the Predator lands in Central/South America, otherwise it wouldn't be where the rest of the film's characters are. I don't know where you're getting the impression that it walks on the bottom of the ocean...I don't recall anything of the sort from the film, other than it coming up out of a river after having fallen over a waterfall.
I do think we can rewrite these parts of the summary. I've never been happy with the "Val Verde" bit since I don't recall that fictional country ever being mentioned in the film. --IllaZilla (talk) 17:45, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree - it's set somewhere in central or south America. The movie was probably filmed during the Iran–Contra affair and came out while it was still in the public attention meaning it's quite likely most people assumed the setting was Central America.
At this instant I can't think of clean wording that does not sound as lame as "the movie appears to have been set in Central or South America."
How about, "The movie is set in the border region between two unnamed South or Central American countries"?
I'm really not comfortable with saying where the thing landed and would rather the plot summary be as open-ended as the movie.
I was happy to see that the original summary says "Some time later" as the events could have been hours or centuries later. Later in the movie a "local legend" is mentioned that the deaths are only in very hot years. Either this creature had been around for many years or there has been hunting by that type of creature for many years.
In fact, my first impression of the helicopter coming in and all of that "military" activity was that the approach and/or landing of the alien had been spotted and this was the reaction. Later we the viewer realize that the alien's arrival was not known to anyone in the movie and are given a hint that something has been going on for years. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:07, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I've added a footnote that explains the location. I'm fine with the map showing it's in Brasil but am not happy with the unsourced guess that it's in south or central America. That part violates Show, don't tell which is touched upon at MOS:NOTED. BTW, on that Brasil map this blog has screen shots of the maps. I did not mention it in the note but the boundary between the RECIFE and BELEM Flight information regions is clearly noted on the map. You can see a PDF with the FIR regions for that area here.
We needn't hesitate on identifying the drop zone in the prop map; it can be seen clearly from the blog post cited above [1]. Landmarks reference are unneeded as the coordinates are clearly visible. The drop zone is dead center (as much as possible with a hand-drawn felt marker) in the quadrant with its northwest corner at 10°S, 45°W. This puts the marked drop zone precisely at 10°30'S; 44°30'W. We shouldn't take this map's dead-center marking too exactly, though, as General Phillips informs us that he has a "transponder fix on the position about here." Tachypaidia (talk) 01:21, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Although the coordinates are clearly visible, I did not mean to imply that the landmarks are inconsistent--they are right on. Visible is the town of Barra (100 miles to the SE) and Parnagua Lake (19 miles to the NE); and of course, the Chapada das Mangabeiras mountain range looms large in presence and print, with the appropriate map elevations. Curiously, 10 miles to the SE is the Guatambu Airstrip (a happy naming resemblance to Guatamala).Tachypaidia (talk) 01:58, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I re-watched the part about the "creature only attacks those possessing weapons" and decided to leave that in the WP article. It's one of those implied things. Poncho got shot and dropped his weapon. Anna reached for it. Dutch said "no!" and when Anna continued with picking it up to shoot the creature Dutch kicked it out of her hands and told her to run.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Marc Kupper (talkcontribs) 03:50, 9 September 2012‎
On the other hand, Anna was a captured enemy prisoner, and under normal circumstances one would not trust a prisoner with a firearm. Also, Dutch might simply have believed she would be more likely to die if she fought the alien or ran while carrying a rifle than if she ran away unencumbered. (However, when I watch the movie the interpretation that came to my mind is the same as Marc's: that Dutch had guessed the alien only attacked armed people--who had a sporting chance--and was trying to save Anna.) SEppley (talk) 12:34, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Location in plot[edit]

The plot currently reads "unnamed country", but this seems confusing, so I added Latin America because its apparantly set in a border between Central and Southern America. Yeah its not great, but apparantly it used to say "Val Verde", a fictional location used a lot in these films. I think no one could find a source so it was removed, but I found this from the Val Verde article and was wondering if we could use it to retcon or not:

"According to the novelization of the 1987 film Predator, Alan "Dutch" Schaeffer's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) rescue team is sent to Val Verde ostensibly to rescue an American politician. However, in Predators (2010), Isabelle (Alice Braga) states that the events of the original film took place in Guatemala"

Either of those two I guess is applicable if we choose to retcon, but which has more authority?

--JTBX (talk) 09:15, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

I changed it just now to Central America as thats what everything hints at and what the article says.--JTBX (talk) 23:36, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

I popped in Predator 2, the part where Gary Busey's character is explaining the Predator to Danny Glover's. He says: "Ten years ago, one of his kind stalked and eliminated an elite Special Forces crew in Central America." I agree that, though a specific location is never mentioned in Predator, it's clearly meant to be Central or South America. And with Predator 2 explicitly saying Central America and Predators explicitly saying Guatemala (which is in Central America), I think saying "Central America" is just fine. --IllaZilla (talk) 07:45, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks.--JTBX (talk) 08:18, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Internal evidence from the film itself identifies Central America. After the attack on the guerrilla base, Dutch inquires of Mac for any sign of the remaining hostage, to which Mac replies, "Found the other guy [...] but if they're Central American, I'm a <expletive> Chinaman." Tachypaidia (talk) 01:25, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Alan Schaeffer?[edit]

Where is Dutch's real name given? I'm fairly sure he's only referred to as "Dutch" in the movie. (talk) 00:05, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

The novelisation gives his real name, and it has been reused in several other pieces of merchandise.--Leigh Burne (talk) 08:13, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Not Delta Force[edit]

I removed the bit about Dutch and his men being Delta Force. They are not US military in the film; the novel makes it clear they are in fact private military contractors occasionally employed by the US army. Hints of this remain in the film, most obviously the fact that Dutch and his team apparently have the option to pick and choose operations at will, which serving personnel would never be able to do - if they were enlisted, they would simply have to follow orders regardless of whether they wanted to or not. This alone proves they aren't military personnel, special forces or otherwise.--Leigh Burne (talk) 08:13, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Correctness of quotations in Spanish language[edit]

This quotation in Spanish language, extracted from the following passage in the Plot section, is in the need of attention:

An ensuing firefight fails to draw out the creature, so the unit regroups and questions Anna, learning that their stalker is an unknown creature locals call "El cazador trofeo de los hombres", meaning "The hunter who makes trophies of men."

Whoever edited this passage faithfully replicated an erroneous version of this dialogue that can be found in all the most prominent online databases of information related to films and television programs. Spanish is not my native language, but as anyone who has a smattering in Spanish language could easily confirm, this sentence, "El cazador trofeo de los hombres", is syntactically incorrect as it lacks both part of subject and the verbal predicate. In the original dialogue, Anna refers to the alien antagonist as "El Diablo cazador de hombres", and then again as "El que hace trofeos de los hombres". The latter literally means "He who makes trophies of men", but is mistranslated by Anna herself in the movie as "The demon who makes trophies of men". The incorrect phrase that is ubiquitously disseminated on the Internet probably originates from the early dialogue as it was presented in the script for the movie when it was originally titled Hunter, a copy of which is available at Could anyone make amend as they deem appropriate? (talk) 17:36, 13 May 2016 (UTC)