Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Lethal Weapon Vs. Predator


Our final four is split into two genres; action and comedy.  Today, we’re tackling the former with two of the more memorable action movies not just of the year, but of the decade.  Lethal Weapon didn’t invent buddy cop movies.  But it sure did shape them.  Predator didn’t define a genre, per se.  But it mashed up two existing genres in a way that was uncommon at the time.  Both movies launched franchises which remain on-going with the help of recent reboots; Lethal Weapon in the form of a TV show and Predator with an upcoming movie.  Today, we decide which movie will represent the action genre in the final round.

But first, let’s review the results of yesterday’s comedy bracket.


Planes,Trains and Automobiles ran out of gas against the Coen brothers’ cult comedy.  With over 70% of the votes, Raising Arizona took the round and became the last movie to join our final four.  So, just to make it official, our final four movies of 1987 are Lethal Weapon, Predator, The Princess Bride and Raising Arizona.  I will admit that for most of the second round I felt I could safely predict the outcome of the matches.  But I think any one of these four movies could potentially win the game.

One thing that is common among all four of these movies is that they were more successful on video than they were at theaters.  Of the four, Lethal Weapon was the highest grossing.  It took in just over $65 million dollars to be the ninth highest-grossing movie of the year.  To put that in perspective, it was out-grossed by Stakeout – a buddy cop movie that wasn’t nearly as influential.

The common detonator here is that voters went with the movies they have watched repeatedly over the last 30 years.  These are movies readers can quote.  They may even know them by heart.  Are they the best movies of 1987?  Not by any reasonable objective.  They didn’t get the best reviews.  They weren’t nominated for a bunch of awards.  But they are the movies we keep coming back to.

Which is why I don’t feel the need to say a whole heck of a lot about Lethal Weapon or Predator at this point.  You guys know these movies.  And I’m guessing you have a preference.  So let’s just get right to the voting.



Posted on January 14, 2017, in bracket game, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Well, it looks like I’m the first person here to vote for Predator. In my mind the fact that I’m voting one of these movies to be in the final at all should speak volumes.

    During production on Predator, star Arnold Schwarzenegger gave an interview (it might have been with Entertainment Tonight), in which he said something along the lines of “In each movie I’m in I work on a new emotion. On this movie I’m working on fear.” While this quote definitely shows that Arnold knew where he stood as a performer and was at least trying to put in the work to get better at it, for an experienced actor who loves watching excellent acting, it sort of makes you roll your eyes.


    • You may have been the first to vote for Predator, but you weren’t the last. This is currently a close match with Predator leading by a thin margin. For me, Predator works because its knows it’s a B-movie. I don’t have to take it seriously. The first Lethal Weapon needs to lighten up a little like its first sequel.

      I don’t know if I saw the same interview you did, but I recall hearing Schwarzenegger make those kinds of statements. Say what you will about him, but he is a smart guy. What he lacks in talent, he makes up for in charisma and drive. As a body builder, he learned how to set goals and work on continuous improvement which he applied to acting throughout his career, He also had the sense to pick talented directors and let them do their jobs.


  2. If these polls don’t close until midnight, then my “Lethal Weapon” vote counts. Looks like “Predator” is going to win; is that the film with Chris Hansen?


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