PREDATOR 2, 1990
Cast: Danny Glover, Gary Busy, Kevin Peter Hall, Bill Paxton, Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso
Amidst a territorial gang-war, a sophisticated alien hunter stalks the citizens of Los Angeles and the only man between him and his prey is veteran LAPD officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.
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Itís rare for a sequel to surpass the original. There have been so many made in the past that simply cannot even compete with the original. Unfortunately, the same can be said for Predator 2 which does provide some action filled moments with plenty of suspenseful thrills, thereís just not enough here to warrant a satisfactory action picture.
Now, keep in mind from a story perspective itís a bit more complex, or rather, more involving than the first. We get some background on the Predator to help fully flesh out the rather obscure villain that was only hinted at in the first. Itís not necessarily important, but it does add some insight on the character that actually makes you appreciate the first even more.
Taking place 1997 in LA which is not only combating a massive heat wave but also gang violence, we meet Lt. Mike Harrigan (Glover) a somewhat rogue officer who abides by the rules until itís time for him to enact his own brand of justice. Throughout the film heís accompanied by two long time associates Danny Archuleta (Blades), Leona (Alonso) and then later the recent transfer Jerry Lambert (Paxton). Together the team brings down various gangs, but become perplexed when someone starts doing the job for them.
The Predator is now hunting in LA, killing gang members for sport. His interest however shifts to Harrigan after observing him on duty and assumingly views him as a worthy opponent. While the first film focused on the team trying to survive, Predator 2 is more of a cat and mouse game, which is interesting to some degree but is simply not enough to carry the film.
Gary Busy plays Peter Keys, the head of a secret government task force looking to retrieve the Predator to study its weapon. He iodizes the creature and views it as the perfect killing machine. Thereís a great sequence in a warehouse in which the task force lowers the temperature to a freezing numbers in hopes of confusing and trapping the Predator. The Predators perception is based on heat movement, at least thatís what we assume. However, they soon discover that his visor houses several different settings capable of seeing objects that lack heat. What follows is a fun and entertaining action scene that saves the picture from being completely awful.
Thereís also a great sequence on the train in which the Predator works his way through passengers, most of which seem to be armed, until reaching Leona and Lambert. Itís a bit campy however as the dialogue and the action treads into B movie territory, but itís still a fun scene.
The cast does a solid job with their roles, but most of the screen time belongs to Danny Glover and the Predator. Thereís a lot they could have done here and while they explore some history with the Predator including an ending that shows the Predatorís ship and his trophies, thereís a lot that mirrors the first one. So, if youíre a fan of the original than thereís really no need to catch this one, however, for its entertainment value and rather compelling action scenes, I would still say to check it out. Just donít expect to be in awe.