1990 - R - Mins.
|Director: Stephen Hopkins|
|Producer: Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver|
|Written By: Jim Thomas, John Thomas|
|Starring: Danny Glover, Garey Busey, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Adam Baldwin |
|Review by: John Ulmer
The entire notion of being trapped by an indestructible murderous creature in an unfamiliar world is put to waste by moving the Predator from the jungles of the first movie to the urban jungle of L.A., where cop Harrigan (Danny Glover), a drug enforcement officer, hunts down the Predator on his own turf. This isn't too bad of an idea, as the city gives the agile and stealthy Predator room to jump from building to building above the skyline at night, picking off prey and hanging them from the top of buildings, skinned alive.
But that doesn't happen here.
"Predator 2" moves slowly, unwittingly. It rarely shows the invisible Predator stalking its prey from above. Instead, it shows him walking into a moving subway train and slicing and dicing everyone. This isn't scary. This isn't even really all that fun.
The film starts with a painfully stupid action sequence that looks like a game of "Grand Theft Auto III" gone awry. A gang has held up a street outside a building, blasting away their super-duper machine guns at the cops on the street, who act as if there's nothing they can do about it. (Getting snipers on top of a building and picking off the idiots might be a good idea.)
Enter Harrigan (Glover), the man who knows exactly what to do. What he does is ridiculous, but I won't ruin it. But before he has a chance to send his team of men into a large skyscraper where there gang members are hiding, an invisible Predator slaughters the gang and hangs them up from the ceiling.
Thinking that a new gang leader is on the streets trying to make a name for himself, Harrigan shrugs off the startling incident -- until it happens again. A young, eager rookie (Bill Paxton) joins his team and they begin a manhunt for whatever is out there killing the gangs of L.A.
This film has no tension, no wonder. It's rarely an improvement over the first in terms of the creature. Sre, we get to see new weapons, but they've totally screwed up his sound effects and POV.
I mean no respect to Danny Glover, but let's face it: When it comes to hardboiled action films about alien species battling macho men, who else can play the role but Arnold? The future governor of California was filming "Total Recall" (1990) at the time and couldn't come back for a sequel though the plot references him once.
Quite simply, "Predator 2" lacks everything its predecessor had. The first had swearing but not too much; this has the F-word even spewing from the Predator himself -- a reference to the first film, but actually quite comical and not as scary as it should be (remember when Arnold says, “You’re one ugly mother__”? Danny Glover starts to say it this time and the Predator finishes the sentence for him. Good reference, perhaps, but also pretty stupid). This film also resorts to more gore, nudity, sex, and so on, than it really needed. It's like they're trying to push past the first film's level of violence to make a real hard R-rated film.
This movie opened the gateway for 2004's upcoming "Alien vs. Predator," presenting the fact that the Alien and Predator species live in the same galaxy together. When Harrigan investigates inside a docked Predator ship, there is an Alien skull clearly visible. That's about all you can credit this film for.