A proud history
"What would I possibly be able to tell you about this film that you don't already know? It's a classic action movie featuring Arnold schwatzen.... no wait, that was the first film. What was Predator 2 like?"
This viewpoint is shared by more people than you would think, such is the legacy that has been left by the first film in the series. It hit our screens at the right time, way back in 1987 when I of course, was only a nipper. Everyone back then loved an action movie. Arnie, Sly stallone and Van Damme All made a good living, despite being rather poor actors, because they looked how I imagine I look after several beers.
Predator was slightly different, in that it had a plot. Not a great one, but it was in there somewhere. bad ass group of killers go into the jungle, and are picked off one by one, until our hero is left alone. He then overcomes the odds, by surviving and killing the thing that was hunting them. Brilliant.
It was very well done, quite well written, had buckets of blood, was scary and generally it was a rip roaring ride, with very few dull moments. It seemed that the latest big money franchise had been found. The potential was there for it to become as successful the film that was to become it's twin in later times, Alien. But somehow it went wrong, but as a fan of the movie myself, I just don't know how.
Kevin Peter Hall ... The Predator
Danny Glover ... Lieutenant Mike Harrigan
Gary Busey ... Peter Keyes
Rubén Blades ... Danny Archuleta (as Ruben Blades)
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Leona Cantrell
Bill Paxton ... Jerry Lambert
Robert Davi ... Captain Phil Heinemann
Adam Baldwin ... Garber
Kent McCord ... Captain B. Pilgrim
Morton Downey Jr. ... Tony Pope
Calvin Lockhart ... King Willie
Stubborn Los Angeles cop, Lt Mike Harrigan (Glover.), is struggling to keep control of the streets. Colombian and jamaican drug lords are at war, and the are armed to the teeth. Harrigan has been fighting these guys for some time, and they are tough hombres.
During one chase, Harrigan follows the colombians, only to find them all dead in horrific circumstances. even though he had seen them shortly before this. Who would do this? Who could do it? The one Colombian's that escaped is pursued by Harrigan to the roof, where he he is shot down when seemingly scared senseless by something. when The lieutenant turns he sees the blurred outline of a man, that he thinks is a trick of the light. Little did he know that what he saw was one of the greatest hunters the world has ever seen. A predator.
My two cents
On it's release in 1990, the film was generally considered to be a disappointment, and received fairly negative reviews. It reached number 4, and probably broke even in terms of revenue. That said, I personally believe it to be on par with the first predator. Ok, so Glover would not have been my first choice for the action hero role, but he pulls off a passable performance, and manages to bring a little humour, that is so greatfully received in this type of movie.
The story is a good one. In the original, the predator hunted a select group. the jungle, however did not provide him with the veritable feast of targets that Los Angeles does. Different situations call for different tactics. hence they have evolved the predator in this movie. rather like the Alien it's twin movie adapts to the human environment, the predator adapts his hunting technique. This is a definite plus for me.
Bill Paxton, who off the top of my head, is the only actor to feature in a film from the Alien franchise and the predator franchise, is very good in this film. He plays a similar character to Hudson from Aliens. he is a bit wacky, but in the end his heart is in the right place. He has great on screen chemistry with Glover, and also with Maria Conchita Alonso, who plays Leona Cantrell. Especially in their initial scenes, where he learns she is not a girl to mess with!
The film is not without faults. Glover lacks the leading man cutting edge of Schwartzenegger or Stallone. They ooze character, and can take complete control of any role. Although Danny plays the role to a decent level, I can't help but feel that Someone With a bit more of a history in action movies may have been better. He almost stumbles through this one, though on the whole it is quite enjoyable.
The ending of the film is superb, and in that scene, we learn that the predators have been playing these games for centuries. The scene when Harrigan receives a pistol from 1715, left me thinking that there was definately going to be a sequel. And perhaps there would have been, had the films reception been better. However I think that it's poor box office performance was the first step towards the action movie graveyard. Perhaps the film was a little ahead of it's time, or a little too late. Whichever it is, it seems that the film is destined to be predators ugly sister. unfairly placed outside with the trash, largely forgotten when it should have been so much more.
Predator was a surprising success story in 1987 after all the production difficulties and looked set to become the next big 20th Century Fox franchise. A sequel was soon on the drawing board but hit a number of obstacles before it had even begun production. A hesitant Arnold Schwarzenegger disliked the central premise (the Predator hunts in an urban city setting instead of a jungle) and became unavailable anyway when he decided to go and make Terminator 2: Judgment Day with James Cameron. To make matters even worse, John McTiernan, now one of the hottest directors in Hollywood after Predator and Die Hard, also declined to return for Predator 2 and went off to do The Hunt For Red October with Sean Connery instead. 1990's Predator 2, again written by Jim and John Thomas, was eventually directed by Stephen Hopkins. The only thing of note Hopkins had directed at the time was one of the many Nightmare On Elm Street sequels but he would later become best known (and most respected) for his producing and directing duties on the Kiefer Sutherland action series 24. Hopkins was not John McTiernan and with no Arnold Schwarzenegger Predator 2 was always destined to be the strange sequel that no one even remembers they made but this is a slick and somewhat underrated film with a b-movie exploitation charm that piles on the Predator mayhem and gore (Predator 2 was the first film to be given the newly instituted NC-17 rating in the United States) in gleeful fashion. The film seems rather small scale and unambitious at times (unavoidably more generic with the urban setting) but if you can park your brain at the door and accept it for what it is then Predator 2 is decent undemanding nonsense and much better than its reputation would suggest.
The central casting is rather eccentric here but sort of works. Presumably the major action stars of 1990 were unavailable or turned them down because battling the Predator this time is Danny Glover, best known of course as Mel Gibson's elder sidekick from the Lethal Weapon films. Glover seems a bit old and portly to be headlining an action film like this but he's a commanding presence and adds a splash of humanity to what is a fairly thankless and cliched part. I didn't have a major problem with him but the absence of Schwarzenegger is a shame. Like making an Alien sequel without Sigourney Weaver. Glover plays no nonsense LAPD detective Mike Harrigan. It's the far off future year of 1997 and Los Angeles is an overcrowded simmering heat hazed powder keg being torn apart by a violent war between Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels. At the start of the film Harrigan intervenes in a dangerous shoot out between the warring factions on the street as a new alien Predator hunter watches from afar - doubtless impressed by what he has seen. The Columbians are driven back to their headquarters but the Predator has already been there when Harrigan and fellow detectives Leona Cantrell (María Conchita Alonso) and Danny Archuleta (Rubén Blades) enter the building. Bodies are skinned and strung from the ceiling in the usual Predator fashion and suspicion turns to the Jamaicans and their allegiance to black magic rituals. But the Jamaicans start to be killed too in equally gruesome fashion. A third party is clearly involved. Someone who obviously knows more than he is letting on is Special Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), the leader of a federal task force apparently investigating the cartels. The secretive Keyes - who always arrives on the scene with his men in black - tells Harrigan and his team to keep their nose out of this affair but things are about to get very personal and the detective is soon more embroiled than anyone in this puzzling case.
Although the film lacks a big headline star and the larger than life Expendables style supporting cast of Predator there are a host of familiar names here. Bill Paxton is Detective Jerry Lambert, another member of Harrigan's team and essays another over the top wisecracking Bill Paxton turn while Calvin Lockhart (forever enshrined in my memory as the wooden and wonderfully theatrical big game hunter in The Beast Must Die) is King Willie, the boss of the Jamaica Voodoo Posse. Hopkins overdoes the voodoo drug baron capers a bit but it adds some atmosphere to the picture and gives the Predator plenty of people to kill. Gary Busey's mysterious special agent was the part earmarked for Schwarzenegger (presumably the plan was that Schwarzenegger's character from the first film was going to be part of some special task force hunting the alien in sequels) and while I don't think there will ever be an Oscar sitting on the Busey mantlepiece next to the scented candles and Bruce Forsyth memorabilia he's sort of fun (with his hubristic attitude we just know he is heading for a downfall) and has a pivotal role in what is the most memorable set-piece in the film. This is highly derivative of a sequence in James Cameron's Aliens where the space marines go into action watched on small video monitors but terrific nonetheless. Keyes and his team track the Predator down to a huge meat warehouse fridge where the Predator goes to feed and enter with cryogenic weapons and foam suits to negate its infrared thermal vision. They plan to freeze and capture the extraterrestrial rascal. Good plan but as you can imagine though the Predator is much craftier than they've given him credit for and much carnage ensues. I love this part of the film. The other excellent set-piece in the film has the Predator on a subway train where it's up to Detectives Lambert and Cantrell to somehow hold him off so passengers can get to safety. Lot of screaming and lights going on and off. The city doesn't work as well as the jungle as a location but there is some great stuff here.
What doesn't work is the occasional lapse into slapstick in the third act when the Predator crashes into the apartment of a couple of pensioners like Inspector Closeau. It seems out of character for what is often an incredibly violent and gruesome film for a mainstream Hollywood release. The sequences where the Predator kills the drug barons and their assorted goons in penthouses are enjoyably blood drenched and move the film firmly into horror territory. The Predator has some nifty gadgets in this one. A frisbee, razor sharp nets, that huge spear thing that can retract or expand (very nasty). My favourite scene in Predator 2 is when Danny Glover barely escapes after the Predator has killed many people in a confined area. Glover's Detective Harrigan takes to a rooftop and constantly looks over his shoulder and around each corner with great trepidation as the camera swins around to give us his point of view. He's believably terrified and this short sequence is as tense as anything in the first film. One weakness though is the juvenile MTV aura that permeates the film at times. Loud music and gratuitous nudity. The actual detective investigation into the Predator is a little wearing at times too. We (the audience) already know the culprit behind all the murders is an alien hunter from outer space. Just get on with it. It helps that Alan Silvestri again supplies the score and Stan Winston does sterling work again. His idea was that maybe this Predator was younger and more impulsive. Sleeker and faster. He certainly has more fangs. That jarring electronic noise when we see from the Predator point of view in infrared is still scary I think.
Morton Downey Jr as Tony Pope, a journalist for some trashy news channel who reports on the Predator murders, doesn't work. "This is Tony Pope, live from L.A, the city of fear. Where the psycho vigilante killer continues his daily diet for murder. Bodies strung out. Bodies with the skins ripped off. The hearts torn from the cadavers. And just recently, King Willie, the drug lord. The vicious drug lord, found in an alley just around the corner with his head cut off, and his spinal column torn from the body. A fitting demise to the Prince of Powder." This feels like a vague attempt to inject some Robocop style satire into the film but Morton Downey Jr (a real life talk show host playing a thinly veiled version of himself) soon becomes annoying. Despite the dismal reviews that surround Predator 2 and the fact that it has been largely forgotten in the decades since its release I think this is a very underrated sequel. The two disc version of Predator 2 is a nice find and at the time of writing is only about a fiver. It includes commentaries by Stephen Hopkins and Jim Thomas and John Thomas, and several featurettes about the production and design of the film with plenty of interviews with the cast. What is most interesting is the honesty of those involved in admitting they were on a hiding to nothing with no Arnold Schwarzenegger and also accounts of how difficult it was to get the optical effects completed on time (no CGI in those days). If you can except the fact there is no Schwarzenegger and this is a different beast (no pun intended!) then you should get a lot of fun out of Predator 2. Cartoonish direction, a frenetic pace, lashings of gore, some vivid set-pieces and even a decent ending.
It's hardly subtle and not as iconic as the first film but Predator 2 is brash, bold and does what it says on the box. And few films have surely had such a great tagline. "Silent. Invisible. Invincible. He's in town with a few days to kill."
Predator 2 is a little like being a ginger-haired stepchild; pretty much unloved and ignored, especially when standing alongside its more popular sibling. The original Predator is, of course, magnificent. John McTiernan's smart and intelligent action direction (something he'd subsequently follow-up with Die Hard), Stan Winston's cracking creature design, the great characters, plotting and Arnie on top form made for an instant sci-fi classic. Predator 2, on the other hand, attempts to convince that Danny 'Roger Murtagh' Glover really can take on the masochistically violent alien and it's wealth of deliciously brutal armament (including bending light to render itself invisible) single-handedly. Danny Glover? Seriously? Oh dear. Oh deary, deary, dear. Shit, obviously, does happen...!
A new Predator has taken vacation on Earth, but this time the big-game hunt has shifted from the jungle of Central America to the streets of a humid Los Angeles being torn apart by drug-gang warfare. Columbians and Jamaicans are vying for control with a beleaguered LAPD in the middle attempting to reduce the carnage, meaning there are plenty of skull-shaped trophies waiting to be collected by the malevolent beasty. A couple of bloody massacres later, including the skinning alive of Lieutenant Mike Harrigan's (Danny Glover) partner, sets the game afoot. Harrigan is targeted by the Predator as the ultimate catch, a team of sinister looking secret service agents led by Peter Keys (Gary Busey) are tracking the Predators' movements in the hope they can capture the creature and Harrigan is intent on bringing the silent, invisible stalker to justice, despite having no real knowledge on what in the blue hell he is actually dealing with. But who will get to whom first?
Any appreciation of Predator 2 will largely depend on whether you can get past the ridiculous image of the normally mild-mannered Danny Glover as a tough, volatile, anti-authority cop that kicks a huge amount of arse on a regular basis. For many, Glover taking over the role vacated by Arnie (that's Arnie for crying out loud) is just a little more than a stretch of the imagination, especially as the Predator is no ordinary adversary but a seven foot ten behemoth of death and destruction. Indeed, it's this particular piece of peculiar casting which garners the most criticism and loses Predator 2 the love it probably deserves. Not that Glover actually does anything wrong playing way against type. His eyeballing of Busey in one sequence is bonafied hard and he does have the frame and stature throughout, as well as the character actor credentials, to do whatever is asked of him, but you still kind of wonder that if the role was given to somebody else - anybody else come to think of it - Predator 2 would unlikely be judged as poorly as it often is.
If you can get past this issue (and to be honest, is it really that difficult?) Predator 2 is a damn decent action flick that sticks to the originals origins faithfully. Especially when compared to how the central character (the Predator) has been portrayed and undermined in more recent incarnations. For one thing, the Predator has remained the absolute killer of killers and hasn't pussied out to become a tame, pale imitation of former glories (Aliens vs Predator I'm looking at you). There are plentiful of skinned bodies, mutilations and blood soaked walls of gore as the Predator cuts a swath of carnage through downtown LA. What it lacks in the mystery and intrigue of the original (here the Predator commits his first massacre right at the beginning of the film) it more than makes up for in spinal columns being ripped out, regular decapitation and the healthy use of new elegant weaponry to up the body count. The now classic three red-dots of doom are present and correct, but the addition of a spherical boomerang with a circumference that can cut through steel and a mesh net that pins victims to the wall before shrinking to slice through bones and sinew are ace! Predator 2, if anything, is perfect for the gore-hounds out there who appreciate well-constructed death sequences.
Additionally, said sequences are well shot with plentiful action. The opening shoot-out between a group of Columbian's and the LAPD gives the movie a pulsating start. In a couple of stand-out sequences director Stephen Hopkins even manages to wrack up the tension admirably. The Predator's attack on commuters on the LA metro is masterful and downright terrifying and whilst the slaughterhouse district sequence is a clear rip-off of the marines first sortie in Aliens (complete with video screens and Harrigan doing his best Ripley impersonation to save the day) if you're going to replicate any action scene that builds palpable tension it might as well be from the master.
Where Predator 2 really does shine, though, is the respect the sequel affords to the original film. Of course, this is perhaps more down to Jim and John Thomas following up their screenplay for Predator with the content of the sequel. So, the hints about the creatures background established in the first film are built upon logically and the rules of engagement behind the hunt become better realised (pregnant women and children are out of bounds for the Predator, for instance). This provides a neat link between each film that importantly reinforces the persona of one of cinemas most infamous beasts, despite the noticeable change of scenery, and advances the story so that it doesn't simply seem like a remake (Predators, I'm looking at you). Even Alan Silvestri's memorable score is re-used to great effect. However, one key difference here is only the Predator and Harrigan have any real characterisation. The remainder of the cast are relatively under-used - even the mighty Bill Paxton! Whilst Gary Busey does chew-up the scenery as Keys, it's essentially Busey playing Busey. Indeed, the script is fairly basic, opting for more of the action orientated approach of the original (and consequently more bodies and mutilations) but neglecting its intelligence, refined build-up and, crucially, the characters and machismo that inhibited the original. It's all just a bit too simple.
Predator 2, therefore, has some similarities but is a slightly different beast to McTiernan's original. Whilst the Predator utterly rocks as a blood-thirsty merchant of death the remainder of the movie is a little more bombastic and in your face; a little more simplistic in its design and pace; a little more post-pub Friday movie, disengaging your brain for a right good blast of old fashioned gloop and fun than something to be truly admired and revered; and, importantly, a little less like being a ginger-haired stepchild, especially when compared to the two Aliens vs Predator films and Predators that have since followed. That is, of course, if you can get past the Danny Glover factor...
Overall - For the action, sci-fi, gore-hound junky, Predator 2 really is a great little sequel and an entertaining blast in its own right. It's no match for the original and best, but a damn sight better than the recently released Predators!
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Screenplay: Jim and John Thomas
Kevin Peter Hall ... The Predator
Danny Glover ... Lieutenant Mike Harrigan
Gary Busey ... Peter Keyes
Rubén Blades ... Danny Archuleta
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Leona Cantrell
Bill Paxton ... Jerry Lambert
Robert Davi ... Captain Phil Heinemann
Adam Baldwin ... Garber
Kent McCord ... Captain B. Pilgrim
Morton Downey Jr. ... Tony Pope
Calvin Lockhart ... King Willie
Running Time: 108 mins
Certificate: 18 (Violence, gore, horror, one cracking sex scene, lots of swearing)
© clownfoot, January 2011.
The Predator is back and this time he's taking LA by storm, terrorising and killing more people.
Danny Glover plays Mike Harrigan, a hard cop that's trying to rid the streets of LA from the deadly drug lords that have overtaken the city. But things start to get confusing for him when they soon turn up dead, hung and skinned alive.
When his best friend becomes a victim of the Predator, he gets revenge!
I enjoyed this one.
It doesn't have the suspense of the first film but it does force you right into the action straight away as soon as the beginning credits have finished.
Being a sequel, we know who the Predator is at this point so the mood and atmosphere isn't as eerie as it was in the original.
In fact, the film shows the Predator pretty early on as it doesn't feel the need to hide him.
The gore level is at a high here with plenty of blood and guts flying around. It's even more gory than the first!
I have never really understood the flak this film has got from the public. It's entertaining and the direction is good.
The characters are pretty fun, particularly Bill Paxton's character as a new cop that has joined the force and tells ridiculously bad jokes to woo women with terrible results.
Danny Glover is solid as Harrigan, the hard cop who has a showdown with the Predator. His character is much edgier than his Murtaugh character in the Lethal Weapon series.
Gary Busey also stars as Peter Keys, a task force leader, who is out to capture the Predator himself but ALIVE!
Kevin Peter Hall returns from the first film to play the Predator and does a wonderful job.
It's a shame he passed away as he would have been excellent in the Alien vs Predator film series.
The SFX are as good as they were in the original what with the Predator having such abilities to be invisible and the Predator makeup is also just as good.
Nothing faulters there.
Overall, while this doesn't have the eerie atmosphere of the original, I still think it's a solid sequel that entertains!
Is it forgettable after it has been watched?
Most likely, yes, but you will have a really good time with it and it's a sequel, for me, that matches the original in terms of entertainment.
Pradator 2 sees the return of the Jamaican/Samurai/Alien hybrid killer from the first film, albeit with no Arnold Schwarzenegger this time around.
Set in the middle of a heatwave in 1997 Los Angeles, Danny Glover plays a police lietenant whose squad are engaged in a desperate battle with a Colombian drug gang at the start of the film, but just when the battle reaches fever pitch a bizarre shadowy creature shows up and tears the heavily armed gangmembers apart, before disappearing without a trace.
The predator strikes again when a jamaican gang turn up to murder a local Columbian drug lord, whom they have tied up from the cieling and ritualistically murdered, at which point the Predator appears and picks them off one by one.
Glover and his crew are under the impression that they are on the trail of a new player on the drugs turf war and delves into the criminal underground in order to try and catch his man. He comes to loggaheads with a the Harrigan (Gary Busey), the head of a government team set up to deal with predatur incursions on earth following the attack on the US commandos of the first film, and lots of gory deaths and desperate fighting follow as the humans try to capture their elusive prey, not realising that they are the real prey themselves.
Predator 2 has some great special effects and an intriguing setting, but whilst certainly not without merit as a whole the film doest quite seem to gel. Danny Glover feels miscast as the central protagonist, and though there are some good supporting roles (Bill Paxton basically playing the same character he did in Aliens but this time in the role of a member of Glover's police squad) the on the whole the casting feels somewhat lacking. As an action film it remains well above average, and remains exciting and engaging for its duration, but it doesnt have the same classic staus as the original. The varied action set-pieces and interesting juxtaposition of an alien killing machine and open urban warfare between cops and drugs gangs is refreshing however, and its a film thats definitely still worth seeing.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The original Predator was a slow building masterclass in tension, whilst Predator 2 is a far more fast-paced film that takes the action from the South American jungle to the ghetto of L.A. It's not as refined as the original, and there's no Schwarzenegger, but Danny Glover certainly has his own charm, and this is a good, although not great sequel.
The film revolves around Lieutenant Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover) and his attempts to take down the gangs in L.A. on one of the hottest days of the year. However, someone has killed and viciously slaughtered the Columbians, causing Harrigan to think there's a new gang in town, and he's right, although he's about to face off against a new enemy that he would never have anticipated - the Predator, a monstrous beast that can cloak itself and has sophisticated laser weaponry that humankind has never seen. It has come to Earth to hunt.
What's most interesting about the film is just how sorely they underestimate the Predator once again - Special Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey) is the lead of a group investigating the activity of the first film, and he is also accompanied by Jerry "The Lone Ranger" Lambert (Bill Paxton), a rather gung ho police officer that's something of a reiteration of his Aliens character. Interestingly, Paxton is the only actor in history to be killed by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator.
It doesn't quite live up to the original, in as much as it's not so much concerned with tension and suspense as it is with crazy action and special effects, but it's still a pretty great film. The train scene is truly terrifying, and the final scenes where we learn more about the Predator are fantastic. Glover also makes an extremely likable protagonist.
Predator 2 released in 1990 had a lot to live up to as a sequel after the success of the first installment in the series. You might be disappointed to learn that the power house that is Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't resume his role as Dutch. This time round we have Danny Glover playing the lead character as an LAPD cop, Lieutenant Harrigan. He really pulls off the job well considering sequels are known never to be as good as the original.
What I liked most about this film is that it is set in a city, Los Angles in this case which makes a great setting for a Predator movie. The film is also focused more on the Predator rather than what you would expect to be the hero, you learn more of its background, behaviours, abilities, and weapons.
This is great because the predator story obviously wasn't developed fully in the first movie. Even though they are hunters they don't kill at every given opportunity, they have a 'work' culture that you start to understand.
The death scenes are pretty brutal, they come thick and fast, they aren't for the squeamish. The language is also very strong and there are scenes of sexual nature. These all suit the film perfectly and wouldn't have been included if the film was made today. It really would be a watered down version and just made to cash in on.
******************* MINOR MOVIE SPOLIERS ********************
So the story is more complex this time round, you have the police trying to solve murders and major drug crimes in what can only be described as a war zone. The city is in complete chaos which makes for an interesting playground for the Predator.
You also have the FBI trying to catch the Predator, aware of what it is, you'll find out whether they are clever enough to pull off what would seem an impossible feat for a lesser species.
Seeing through the eyes of the Predator was a great idea which builds upon the first movie, you see what sees using many of its different modes, this gives you an idea of the actual capabilities this beast has it its disposal. I'd like to say nothing can stay hidden, but from the first one you know Dutch proved that wrong already.
One of my favourite scenes is inside the Predator's ship, you see the skulls of what has been collected throughout their hunting history. Seeing the head of an alien is a great touch and shows that the individuals involved in making this movie really cared for the extra details.
******************** END OF SPOLIERS *************************
As you can see I haven't really talked about the movie's plot in detail, it would be a shame to ruin it. This movie is a worthy sequel to a classic. It is so good that it could stand up on its own if the first wasn't made. The dialogue, action, and cast are solid throughout.
Highly entertaining, just a great action movie. Worthy of being in anyone's collection.
5 out of 5.
Since we first saw the jungle warrior come to earth in Predator, we wanted to know more about the Yautja species. Why were they there? What planet were they from? And we do they insist on taking their masks off and showing us their damn face-vaginas?
The Predator has been depicted as an humanoid extraterrestrial, who possess advanced technology to aid him in killing his prey. The species follow a code in which they refuse to kill unarmed, ill or pregnant prey (this was hinted at in the 1987 film, when an unarmed Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) was never attacked; and when the Predator removed his armour to face Dutch in a fair fight).
That's pretty much all you're gonna learn about the species from the movies. The truth is: You're not really going to know much more about Yautjas unless you read the comic books or play the video games.
Predator 2, much like the original, is full of action and violence, and it makes for decent entertainment that we don't bother to think about the mysterious outer space warrior until after the credits have rolled. Bodies get skinned, heads get cut off, and bullets seemingly fly every which way. It's a solid action flick. Nothing incredibly spectacular; nothing incredibly bad, either.
It's biggest criticism is that it is inferior in most ways to the film that came before it. Primarily, for the following two reasons:
1. The Change of Environment
He(?), the Predator, is right in the middle of an urban warfare in Los Angeles this time around, between the police department and a bunch of Haitian drug dealers. The city is in a run down state of criminal activity: Most buildings are demolished, and those that are standing are covered in graffiti. And although I thought this urban environment generally looked quite appealing in most places, one has to admit that it is still a step down from the beautiful depths of the Central America's jungles.
2. The Cast/Characters
Erm, Danny Glover replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger? Surely not. Actually, he's not as bad as one would first think. I thought he held his own quite well (and I'm hardly his biggest fan); fan favourite Gary Busey is there, too, as his useful menacing self. The other characters, however, are far from as influential on the story as Glover: In the first movie we had Hawkins, Dillon, Mack, Billy etc.; here, Bill Paxton's character Lambert is sadly underused, as is Leona (Maria Conchita Alonso). Disappointing, really.
What may just pip original comparisons is Predator 2's ending. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it already, but I will say that the most unlikely of battles does turn out to be pretty relentless (make sure you watch out for the skull of familiar species hanging on the Predator's wall. Wink, wink).
Overall, Predator 2 is a mixed bag. On its own, it's an entertaining action film that doesn't take itself too seriously. Though, with the seemingly unavoidable comparisons with the original, it is more likely to disappoint avid fans of Schwarzenegger and his elite commandos' past adventures in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico.
Poetry, Prose, Critique, & More at:
In this sequel the Predator is back, during a hot summer, to claim more human trophies. This time, however, he has landed in LA, where the rising heat and gang wars make the city a war zone, and the perfect hunting ground. This time around it is Lt Mike Harrigan who steps up to go round for round with the Predator as it stalks him and kills those around him.
In this film the predator has more weaponry, but the new weapons seem to follow the same logic, and are in keeping with, the weapons seen in Predator - in particular I like the Predators discus. However, I thought it a good twist having the Predator as the prey as the government agents try to find and capture it, hungry for its' advanced technology.
This is a very good film, it isn't better than the first one, but it is certainly different and at least as good as the first. However, I do think that they show a bit too much of the Predator in this film, the first kept it more mysterious until the very end.
Director: Stephen Hopkins.
Producers: Lawrence Gorden, Joel Silver and John Davis.
Writers: John Thomas and Jim Thomas.
Starring: Danny Glover, Kevin Peter Hall, Bill Paxton, Ruben Blades, Maria Conhiata Alonso and Gary Busey.
Released in 1990, this hour and 50 minute sequel to the brilliant Predator movie is set in 1997 in the tough street of Los Angeles during an all out gang war between Jamaican and Columbian drug barons... with the L.A. police struggling to retake control of the streets.
* BRIEF PLOT *
Michael Harrigan, (played by Danny Glover) is police lieutenant working for the Los Angeles police department, and together with his colleagues, Leonna Cantrell, (played by Maria Conchita) and Danny Archuleta, (played by Ruben Blades) are trying to stop the drug war which is escalating on the streets...
But when the gang members suddenly begin to die in very mysterious circumstances the police investigation takes a very strange turn indeed.
When Harrigan is approached by special agent Peter Keyes,(played by Gary Busey) he soon realises that the real killer of the drug gangs is something very different indeed...
So as Harrigan and his detectives join forces with Keyes team, together with the lone ranger, Jerry Lambert, (played by Bill Paxton) they go in search of the mysterious enemy which is hiding in the shadows... but has some very sophisticated weaponry indeed... using it's rather special camouflage skills to try and outwit the pursuing police...
* IN CONCLUSION *
A brilliant action packed movie with plenty of thrills and some cracking special effects.
The action begins as soon as you press the play button and it really doesn't stop, merely slowing ever so slightly to explain more of the life of the Predator and why it makes its visits to our glorious globe called Earth...
Most sequels to any film are never as good as the first but there are exceptions, and predator 2 is one of those exceptions. This film is almost as good as the first and, like the first, is well worth watching over and over again.
With this sequel taking you away from the Jungle, which we saw in the first film, and straight into the streets of LA, but as the story unfold it really does explain more about the creature and its way of life more than the first movie did... so the viewer can finally understand what the Predator is really about in the hope of understanding the savagery of the so called beast... showing how the creature doesn't just kill for the sake of killing, giving the idea that it may be more like humans than first seen as the bone crunching, skin shredding monster from the Jungle... sort of bringing the two movies into harmony, sort to speak...
It is a full on movie which runs at a good pace, not too fast to confuse the story but fast enough to please the audience and to stop the boredom button being pressed.
There are many brilliant scenes with some great twists that it a rather touching little scene, (considering the nature of the beast).
There does seem to be more of a story to this sequel, with the first movie being more action shoot-em-up and total annihilation than story... although a fantastic film regardless, whatever anyone says.
The all round acting is nothing to complain about, each character doing a great job to keep the flow going...
Glover does a fantastic job as the hero of the day, (almost as good a job as Schwarzenneger did in the first of the Predator sagas), and was probably the best person for the job... remembering him from the great Lethal Weapon movie of 1987.
And look out for the rather strange character named King Willie, (played by Calvin Lockhart) who does seem to bring a little humour into the movie...albeit short lived.
As the movie roles along there are a lot of little things in the background which when pieced together really do tell more of the story of the vicious alien, so keep an eye on everything that is happening in every scene... especially towards the end when more of the creatures true life story is shown, revealing just how powerful the predator really is, especially when you see a certain well known creature who has been defeated.
The ending does lead the way for a third predator but unfortunately, as of yet, the only form of a sequel is called 'Alien verses Predator', which totally goes away from the first two predator stories, but I am in two minds as to whether a Predator 3 would be a good idea as it may become a little to far fetched, thus spoiling the first two fantastic action movies...Maybe the fear of this is why the writers moved away from the idea of a predator 3 and in the direction of bringing two well known aliens together to create 'AVP'.
* Would I recommend this..?
Yes I certainly would.
It is an all round entertaining movie with a terrific story line that will enthral the entire audience right from the start.
It has everything a good movie needs to be enjoyed and remembered for a long time and is one of them movies that you will want to watch again... if only to check what you saw behind Glovers back was what you really thought it was...?
You can get a copy of this excellent movie from amazon.co.uk for less than £4.00... Bargain indeed...
What is it with Hollywood? A film does well (sometimes against the odds), so they produce endless sequels. OK, in the case of Predator, it produced only one standalone sequel (plus the poor Alien v Predator spin-offs), but it still follows the natural law of sequels. Bigger, more expensive, more spectacular... and completely loses sight of what made the original so successful.
You see, the reason Predator worked was because it was very tense, a slow-burning action film which played on man's primal fears of being hunted by something more powerful than himself. It featured a charismatic lead in Arnie and a bunch of no-name actors getting killed in imaginative ways. What's not to like?
Predator 2 tries to replicate that by bringing the action out of the jungle and into the city. The "urban jungle" setting immediately destroys that sense of isolation which characterised the first outing. OK, the Predator may still be hidden and picking its prey off one-by-one, but the fact that there are literally thousands of people around destroys that sense of tension and danger that arises from being totally alone.
The writers also ignore one of the key successes of the first film by showing the creature to soon and too often. One of the trump cards of Predator was that the film employed similar tactics to Jaws - the monster was kept hidden for a large part of the film, and so became far scarier in your mind than perhaps it actually was. OK, you could argue that the element of surprise has gone - most people watching this sequel will already know what the Predator is. Even so, it remains true that keeping it hidden would have created at least some tension. By showing the Predator it removes that element of surprise when an attack is launched; we know exactly where it is and so are expecting the attack.
In truth, too, the plot is just a little too clichéd, predictable and dull. It takes an absolute eternity to get going, bringing in unnecessary sub-plots surrounding gang warfare and drugs wars. These simply waste time and introduce unnecessary characters, whose only real role in the film is to get killed very quickly. The various supposed plot twists are hugely predictable and the chances are, you'll be able to work out exactly where the film is heading pretty early on. Certainly, you'll be under no illusions as to which character will still be around at the end (although in fairness, this was also a criticism of the original).
Interestingly, the film starts to improve once there is only Danny Glover's Detective Harrigan left. This is the exact reverse of the original, which worked best when Arnie's crack unit was being picked off one by one, but slowed down when it became a one-on-one with Arnie and the alien. The battle of wits between Glover and the Alien introduces a sense of tension far superior to anything that goes before it - it's just a shame that it takes almost an hour to get there.
The big difficulty with the other characters is that they are just rubbish, one-dimensional and simply marking time until they are killed. Even the central characters are lazy stereotypes - the loyal sidekick cop, the ballsy female officer, the loud-mouthed yuppy cop. Worse still, some of the acting is appalling. Bill Paxton is annoying as Jerry Lambert, whilst Maria Conchita Alonso is more wooden than all the trees that appeared in the original. How on earth did this woman ever get the role? Or, to put it another way, if she was the best choice for the role, how bad could the other hopefuls have been? Worse still, Danny Glover - good actor though he might be - is no Arnie and doesn't entirely convince in the action hero role. At times, he looks desperately lost, as though waiting for Martin Riggs to come and bail him out. At least, though, he does bring a slight air of humanity to his character.
Of course, the film isn't a total write-off. As already mentioned, when it becomes a battle of wits between a single man and a single alien, the cat and mouse game does generate an element of tension. Whilst you're under no illusions about who is going to come out victorious, it's still quite fun seeing the events unfold as the two protagonists pit their wits against each other.
Where the film works better than its predecessor is that it develops the character of the Predator a little more, fleshing out its code of honour and the rules which govern its behaviour. The Predator becomes a much more genuine character in its own right, rather than just a hidden killer. In fact, the Predator is probably the most rounded and fleshed out character in the entire film! Slightly worryingly, at times you find yourself rooting for him, rather than the humans. However, having scored a goal with the Predator character development, the film then shoots itself in the foot. Clearly, the writers don't set much store on the IQ of the target audience for this film. Each time there is a clue as to the code of the creature, it is presented to you and then REPEATED AND EXPLAINED, just in case you were too stupid to work it out for yourself.
It's perhaps telling that I've seen the original Predator lots of times. It's one of those films that, if it's on TV and I have nothing better to do, I'll happily sit down and rewatch. With Predator 2, the last time I saw it was on its release in 1990 and I haven't watched it again until a couple of months ago, even though it's a standard favourite of ITV's when they want to do a bit of lazy scheduling. It passed a couple of hours amiably enough, it will probably be another 15 years or so before I feel the need to watch it again.
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Running time: approx. 108 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2008
The DVD for 'Predator 2' has been essentially designed in the same way as the DVD for the first film - no true special features apart from the original theatrical trailer and subtitles, making this yet another poor DVD package, that's also been lumped in with the first in a flimsy boxset to save some money. While the original 'Predator' film was essentially just a directed, living-computer game romp featuring Arnie and cohorts ripping and being ripped apart by an alien being via a mildly acceptable storyline (and enjoyable it was too!), the second one had more depth to it (or atleast tries) as it focuses as much on the suspense and story than just mostly action alone. And you'd need that when your hero is no longer Arnie, but the slightly less muscular Danny Glover. The Predator has returned (well a new one), but instead of residing in a jungle (lots of greenery in the first film), this Predator has come to Los Angeles (in a hyperbolic 1997) to collect trophies of human casualties for sport. A being fired by heat sensitivity and conflict. L.A. has been ravaged by feuding Columbian and Jamaican gangs (and the way they're portrayed is just stereotypically exaggerated and hilarious - surely there's more than subtle comedy going on, that isn't just an accident?) and this fires the Predator's bloodlust, and though he's mostly invisible, the actions he partakes in are completely not so. When Lt. Mike Harrigan (Glover) and his team find a building filled with mutilated Columbian corpses, the police suspect it's not the work of the Jamaicans due to the odd nature of the killings - and when a room full of Jamaicans get killed in the same way, Glover and co. promptly realise that there's now a 3rd party in town - but who? Before Harrigan can find out who, a shady government agent played by Gary Busey orders him and his team to stay away from this classified case. But as Harrigan is a stubbo
rn duty-loving cop, he can't resist disobeying. Even more so when his work partner of 15yrs (played by Reuben Blades) dies by the same, as yet unknown hand (and his blood is decidedly like thick ketchup...). And they had to have another Latino girl like the first movie just to be uniform I guess. Slowly, but surely through a vast range of special effects (like invisible walking in puddles), shoots outs (and ultra sharp boomerang disc thingies), stunts (the train scene), some laughable mystery (King Willy? Aww, come on!) and stupid comedy (by Bill Paxton...), Harrigan comes face to face with the Predator a few times before the final showdown begins. And the ending does have quite a twist to it, but to somewhat intentionally spoil as-yet-non-viewers of this, I highly doubt there'll ever be a 'Predator 3' or a prequel as the Predator series is essentially disposable (and disposed of) fun, and though 'Predator 2' did try hard to be better than the first (and did in areas - the first was just essentially musclemen with guns) it's just a bit too hacked and severed to be as good. There's too much sillyness, lack of research in some areas, that's more cheesy than funny for a film like this. And to be honest some scenes seemed to dilly-dally more than neccessary. All in all though 'Predator 2' isn't a wholly horrible sequel (it pays some homage to the first too), but it wasn't neccessary or as simply fun as the first, and due to it's hit and miss nature I'll have to give the film 3 stars, and 2 for the DVD - but to be nice and un-uniform to my Predator reviews, I'll rate on the movie here, this time (I can't really rate the DVD that much, I understand now!), and give it that rating overall. Thi DVD is available for about £15, and cheaper as a boxset if you plan to buy both films. The version I'm reviewing is R2, standard widescreen. Audio is delivered in English 5.1, and approx
. running time is 103 minutes. Rated 18.
Predator was a great movie and one which I have watched a number of times since it was released. Predator 2 had a lot to live up to and when it was announced that the original's main star was not to be in the movie I was somewhat suspicious that it would be yet another inferior sequel cash-in. Out went Arnold Schwarzennegar...in came Danny Glover as the Predator movie switched from its jungle location to the mean streets of L.A. It opens as it means to go on. A viscious gun battle between a street gang and the embattled L.A.P.D. is taking place in the middle of a heatwave. The villains are tooled up to the extent where they could probably take over a small country single-handedly and equally somewhat insane thanks to a mix of drugs and erm..insanity probably. Nice job in hand then for the police. They hole themselves up in a building and it looks like things are going to get seriously ugly for a while. However, the police aren't the only ones showing an interest in the proceedings. Something barely visible looks on with more than a passing interest...and when the police finally burst into the building with their special ops. team they find nothing but bloddy carnage and a whole bunch of dead criminals. Did they go nuts and shoot the hell out of each other? Well no, it turns out that the headhunting alien from the original movie isn't the only one of its kind to visit Earth looking for trophies and this one has chosen the middle of a drug war to hunt for his...now eyeing Glover amongst his next set of trophies.... This movie is great - not as good as the first, but still an excellent movie. Danny Glover brings some acting credability to the proceedings which was sadly lacking in the original(Arnie and Jesse "The Body" Ventura for example do not deliver Oscar winning performances) despite whispering hoarsely rather than talking through most of the movie. The rest of the cast are pretty average or really bad which basi
cally means "about to be killed" and they usually are. The alien here spends more time out of 'invisible' mode than it does in it, which means you get to see more ugly-mutha for your buck. The costume is excellent and once again they manage to portray it as one tough beastie, up there to rival Ridley Scott's inventively titled 'alien' in erm...Aliens in the hardest movie monster awards. Whatever happened to that Aliens Vs Predator movie as well? I was looking forward to that...despite thinking it would probably be a really bad movie. On the action front it serves you well. It is perhaps more graphically violent and gory than the original but then thats what sells action movies half the time so sit back and enjoy the voyeurism I say. There are few lulls here, although some glaring plot holes which are somewhat difficult to gloss over. Why is the alien spacecraft under a tower block for example? Its huge and yet manages to either sneak under a building without leaving a hole, or has been there for years...the aliens playing checkers for a decade or two before finally deciding they might go a-hunting to alieviate the boredom? Dumb to the extreme and severly badly though out...and there are more instances like that. Oh well, it would be nice to have more than the occassional intelligent addition to this genre, but I guess most producers are happy to treat us all like idiots most of the time. Ignore the gripes though and sit back and enjoy - its still great fun.
Los Angeles, 1997. On the up side, Nowhere City has finally built a subway system, but everything else is going to hell. There's an all-out drug war going down, with Colombian cokeheads and Jamaican voodoo slaughterers bloodily doing each other in at every opportunity, and hardboiled cop Danny Glover, who owns the 10 sweatiest shirts in the city, is getting frustrated with the case because creepy FBI man Gary Busey keeps butting in. To really ruin Glover's day, one of those big aliens from Predator has plopped down on his batch and decided that what will really complete the display on the living room wall of his flying saucer would be Glover's polished skull. The alien, who can make himself semi-invisible, kills his way through the rival drug gangs and Glover's trusty band of fellow cops - goodbye guest stars Ruben Blades and Bill Paxton - and sets the stage for a big final one-on-one confrontation between macho man and monstro monster that rages for a full half-hour of don't-touch-it-you-clod-can't-you-see-it's-not-really-dead action. Although this substitutes the less monolithic Glover for Arnie in the hero role, Predator 2 is a sequel that, for the most part, improves on its original. While Predator was basically a jungle body-count picture, this has been influenced by the Alien movies. Good action and special effects characterise the movie, well worth a watch on a weekday evening....
This sequel to the original Predator sees the departure of Arnie in favour of Danny Glover and see Glover fighting to maintain life in LA. The story also unravels more details surrounding the deadly alien predator. The plot is a typical kind of storyline and is lacking in difference from the original to allow for truely great film. Those involved don't do a bad job in the performance or production but unfortuantely not enough. The story around the Predator is good and so the film does redeem itself in the closing half hour when it starts letting some of this information be known. If you haven't seen either of the two then see the first rather than this one.
Predator wreaked havoc in the jungle and struck box-office gold, so Hollywood logic dictated that Predator 2 should raise hell in the big, bad city. Los Angeles, to be specific, and this near-future L.A. (circa 1997) is an ultra-violent playground for the invisibility-cloaked alien that hunted Arnold Schwarzenegger in the previous film. Scant explanation is given for the creature's return, and because Ah-nuld was busy making Total Recall, Danny Glover was awkwardly installed as the maverick cop (is there any other kind?) who defies a government goon (Gary Busey) to curtail the alien's inner-city killing spree. But why bother, when the victims are scummy Colombian drug lords? Don't look for intelligent answers; director Stephen Hopkins favors wall-to-wall action over sensible plotting, allowing Stan Winston's more prominently featured Predator to join the ranks of iconic movie monsters. And anticipating Alien vs. Predator, there's a familiar-looking skull in the Predator's trophy case! --Jeff Shannon