The Predator is the latest chapter in a franchise that dates back to 1987. The original Arnold Schwarzenegger action-horror film is still regarded as the best in the series, if not the only good entry in the series. Shane Black actually played a member of Schwarzenegger's team in that film, and so it's little surprise that the man who co-wrote and directed the new entry paid tribute to the original in his own way.
There are several callbacks to the original Predator in the brand new entry. In many ways, the entire structure of the new film is meant to echo the original, but beyond that, there are clear moments where The Predator wants to remind you of the original film. Here are some of the best.
The Spacecraft Opening
One of the interesting things the original Predator does is leave the characters in the dark about exactly what it is they are facing, while at the same time informing the audience right up front that the Predator is an alien. We see the spaceship do a flyby of Earth and drop the creature onto the surface. The Predator opens in much the same way, with a Predator spaceship traveling through space, although this time, it's under attack by another craft. It uses some cool technology to jump through space and escape, arriving, once again, on Earth.
Stringing Up Its Prey
The first victims of the Predator we see in the original movie are skinned and hung by their feet in the trees. The first victim of the Predator in the new movie gets dropped from the tree branches dead and is also hanging by his feet. He's not completely skinned, but the Predator is in a hurry here and clearly doesn't have time for that sort of thing. This isn't the only aspect of the way the hunter acts like the alien from the first film. It leaps between treetops in the same way the original creature did, as opposed to say, the ones in Predators who mostly stayed on the ground and used their dogs to hunt like they were chasing a fox.
Officially, the score for The Predator was written by Henry Jackman, not Alan Silvestri, who handled the score of the original film, but you wouldn't know that from the music. Many of the music cues, especially those surrounding the Predator itself, are clearly inspired by Silvestri's work in the first movie, if not taken directly from that score, making The Predator sound like you're watching the original movie as well as watching it.
One Ugly Motherfucker
One of Arnold Schwarzenegger's memorable lines from Predator is what he says at the end of the film when he finally lays eyes on the actual creature's face, and not the helmet it's been wearing the whole time. Dutch calls the creature "one ugly motherfucker." I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder because Olivia Munn's Casey Brackett has a very different opinion when she sees the alien for the first time at the beginning of The Predator. She leans down to whisper to the unconscious thing and calls it a "beautiful motherfucker."
The Dirty Jokes
The original Predator has some funny moments, but the new movie by Shane Black really amps up the comedy. Much of this comes from Keegan-Michael Key, whose character Coyle uses jokes as a defense mechanism against the horrors he's dealing with in his life. Most of his jokes are at the expense of Thomas Jane's Baxley, or more specifically, Baxley's mother, and they're pretty vulgar jokes, too. Coyle isn't the only one who likes to make jokes about female genitalia. In the original film, team member Hawkins also tries to get Billy to laugh more than once with some equally dirty jokes on the same topic. Clearly, the director wanted to keep this aspect of Predator going, since Hawkins was originally played by Shane Black.
Get to the Chopper
Arnold Schwarzenegger is, quite simply one of the most quotable action heroes ever. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, nearly every one of his 80s classics had a line worth remembering. Predator had several, but probably the most well known is Arnold shouting "Get to the chopper" as he urges his companion, a young woman named Anna, to escape. In The Predator, the character of Nebraska shouts "get to the choppers" in an obvious homage to Arnold, though in this case, Nebraska isn't talking about a helicopter, he's talking about motorcycles the team can use to escape.