A motley crew is defined as an assembly of individuals of various backgrounds, appearance, and character that come together for a single cause. Utilising this as the centrepiece of a narrative has been a hallmark of cinema for many years now, leading to some of our most beloved films across countless genres.
An engaging and original motley crew forms much of the appeal of Shane Black’s The Predator.
With the film hitting cinemas and IMAX 3D on Sept 12, Movies In Focus thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to round up the greatest motley crews in film history.
Not only did James Cameron achieve the impossible by creating a sequel to a beloved film that matched its brilliance, he somehow managed to assemble an even greater motley crew to lead his story. Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Ripley is joined by an extensive roster of unique and engaging characters, from the badass tag team duo of Pvt. Vasquez and Pvt. Drake to the cowardly Paul Reiser. This is not to mention Bill Paxton’s gloriously unhinged and hilarious Hudson – think the famous knife scene with Bishop or simply ‘game over man, game over.’ Aliens may be one of the best action films of all time but it is made one for the ages by the quality of the characterisation and character interaction throughout.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
In Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut, he brings together a number of career criminals all under the codenames of colours. Most of them only enjoy a small amount of screen time and we are left largely in the company of Mr. Pink, Mr. Blonde and Mr. White; three individuals of vastly different temperaments and attitudes. With one defined by his pragmaticism, one by his insanity and one eventually by his morality, this leads to some truly invigorating and exciting cinema. Throughout his career, Tarantino has become known as the master of lengthy but entertaining conversations about trivial subjects. Easily ranking amongst his best is the motley crew of Reservoir Dogs discussing Madonna and tipping in the opening scene of the film.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
The Usual Suspects is undoubtedly one of the most iconic films of the 1990s, and this is significantly down to the crew of misfits that carry it. Centred on five criminals who are seemingly thrown together in a holding cell by fate, the film is constantly brought to transcendent levels of entertainment through the eccentricity of the characters and calibre of performances at the story’s centre. This includes Stephen Baldwin’s crazed McManus and Kevin Spacey’s Verbal in a performance that very deservedly won him an Oscar. In fact, it arguably remains his finest role to date.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Tarantino’s second entry on this list and for good reason – he knows how to create a film around a bunch of idiosyncratic characters interacting in unpredictable scenarios. This is certainly true for the titular Basterds of his revisionist war film; a group of Jewish Americans who go behind enemy lines dressed as civilians. From Brad Pitt’s Aldo Raine to Eli Roth’s Donny Donowitz, each character is more ridiculous than the last and all the more entertaining for it. If you need proof of how masterfully this film presents its motley crew, just revisit the famous premiere scene where they are attempting (and failing) to pose as Italian filmmakers accompanying Bridget von Hammersmark
The Predator (2018)
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
The heroes at the heart of The Predator are led by Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), whom they meet on a military prison bus.. A group of veterans suffering from PTSD who know each other from group therapy, Williams (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Lynch (Alfie Allen) and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera) complete the team. They are different yet so very alike.They all long for the connection and brotherhood they once had.”
THE PREDATOR IS IN CINEMAS AND IMAX 3D SEPTEMBER 12