Movie Review – Predator 2

1990 Twentieth Century Fox

Two and Half Star

1987’s Predator is a great science fiction/action movie. Unfortunately almost all the characters kicked the bucket ruling out their return in a sequel. Even though Arnie’s character survived he declined to reprise his role as Dutch for Predator 2. Enter Danny Glover as Lieutenant Mike Harrigan, a police detective caught up in a Los Angeles gang war during a hot and steamy summer. He finds he must also deal with yet another troublemaker when a Predator comes to town and starts taking trophies left and right. Meanwhile nefarious government agent are tracking the Predator hoping to catch it in a totally lame brained scheme right out a Road Runner cartoon.

Predator 2 is an entertaining sequel that falls into the same trap as quite a few sequels do, it tries to be the first movie too much and fails to totally find its own way. The story here is pretty much a formulaic remake of the first only set in the city instead of a jungle. It has a lot of the same plot points as the first but does manage to avoid being a total carbon copy in a number of ways.  The best thing is Danny Glover as the gung-ho, stubborn detective. His character is not a carbon copy of Dutch which is greatly appreciated. There are some cool action scenes and the end battle between Glover and the Predator is great fun.

There are a few flaws in this movie that keep it from being better. The excellent supporting cast is totally underused and the whole secret government agency plot feels a bit stale. Still a fun movie with an appealing main character and some nice little touches (such as the trophy case with the alien head), too bad a few scenes weren’t thought out a little better.

The good:

Great cast.

I love Danny Glover’s character. He’s just plain crazy.

Sadly Ruben Blades character dies way too early.

Bill Paxton playing an obnoxious character? What a shock!

I love the design of the Predator’s ship.

The demon who makes trophies out of just about anything.

Looks a bit toasty in there.

The Predator has a nice selection of weapons this time around.

Great scene where the Predator scans through the light spectrum until it can see the agents.

There you are. I see you…

The whole end sequence with Glover pursuing the alien and finally defeating it is nicely done.

All right, who’s next?

Nice trophy for the Lieutenant. It seems the Predator’s can even respect a human if he wins fair and square.

The not so good:

Why isn’t the Predator wounded or killed when Jerry is unloading round after round directly into it during the subway battle? Yes the Predator is cloaked but it’s clearly walking straight up the aisle towards Jerry as he shoots enough ammo to fill a fishbowl. The Predator doesn’t even seem to get a scratch. The first movie made it clear that the Predators can be wounded or killed even by our primitive firearms and later in this movie it is wounded by a shotgun so why isn’t it wounded in the subway? Has its cloak become a shield all of a sudden?

The Predator is clearly walking up the center of the subway car…

…and Jerry is clearly firing right at it. Why isn’t it even wounded?

The Predator’s cloaks also seems to be a bit on the psychic side and turn on and off all by themselves. Several times during the movie and especially during the scene in the spaceship at the end the Predators cloaks deactivate and activate without them touching the wrist controls (a couple of them look like they make an attempt but not all of them).

I liked the sound effect used for the shoulder gun better in the first movie. It had a nice snap to it.

Well ain’t this cheesy.

Hmmm…this looks familiar.

Did they really have to copy the end of the first movie so much?

Random thoughts and observations:

Well at least Anna from the first movie makes a brief appearance.

Even a Predator knows there is no defense against the broom. Run you ugly motherfucker!

King Willy has an awesome car!

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