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original title: Predator 2
duration: 1h 48min
tags: This time he's coming to a different kind of jungle
keywords: alien, city, druglord, extraterrestrialalien, humanprey, humanoidalien, humanversusalien, alienspacecraft, losangelescalifornia, subwaytrain, urbansetting, predatorchasesprey, huntingpeople, liquidnit
Danny Glover is very well cast in the role (albiet he seems to have laryngitus) and is supported well by Bill Paxton if not by Maria Alonso (Who still cannot act) Although we have a few hollywood sterotypes (the yardies, generic SA drug gang) everything fits in well here.
The Predator of this movie is younger and brasher than the one in the first, eager to get trophies he feels are worthy of his alcove and quite happy to kill anyone else carrying a weapon in his presence.
The chase scene and ending to this film were both very satisfying:
(After following the predator out of the destroyed bathroom in the old folk's apartment: Harrigan: "It's OK! I'm a Cop!!!" Old lady: "I don't think he gives a s**t")
The expanded Predator armoury was welcome as was a glimpse into a Starship/trophy room and a better idea of the honour code they follow.
Basically, If you say Awesome!!/Kick A*s a lot, salivate over unfeasably large firearms and like watching guys with *ahem - "Enhanced" muscularity you will prefer the original. Predator 2 stars the same alien type from the original film, but it's a different predator this time. The predator comes to Los Angeles to hunt down people, which basically consists only of drug dealers and cops. The cops are led by Lt. Mike Harrigan (Glover), a tough cop with a chip on his shoulder. His team is attempting to fight off Jamaican and Columbian drug dealers, all in the meanwhile the predator comes to town. The predator commences in killing drug dealers and skinning them without leaving a single trace. Harrigan and his team are stunned as to who is orchestrating these murders. Meanwhile a federal agent Peter Keyes (Busey) seems to possibly have more information as to what is going on. But sooner or later Harrigan and his team encounter this strange, violent creature, which leads to an all out war to stop it.
Predator 2 contains very good special effects. The makeup effects make the Predator look stunningly realistic. And some of the sets are truly amazing looking. This sequel also begins to answer a few mysterious questions that fans of the original had.
However these virtues don't really make Predator 2 a good movie. Danny Glover tries his hardest but the script is more into the action than the dialogue. Gary Busey I feel should have been the lead character. He was far more interesting than Glover's character, and in the end Busey's acting had more charisma. The clich辿s also arise in the form of annoying news reporters, a lead cop who's too into his job, and generic shootout action. The rest of the actors just kind of sit around with dialogue that makes them sound like idiots, and just leads most of them to their deaths. Bill Paxton's character Jerry Lambert for instance is very annoying and unlikable.
I understand that most people will see this for its action, and that will more than likely entertain them. However it is not often that movies centered around action, forgetting good dialogue and characters, end up very good. While the original Predator movie added intrigue and mystery to to its title alien, this film ditches that for a few high pitch action sequences. Which while entertaining do not make up for the malfunctioning rest of the film. Also the Jamaican drug dealers never truly add anything to the story. I kept thinking they were hinting at the Predators being spiritual beings involved in voodoo or something. But no, as it turns out the drug dealers are there only for a bunch of bloody kills.
The Predator is not as interesting in this sequel as he was in the first. The jungle was a better setting than the urban jungle of Los Angeles. The original Predator was more about the build up of tension, and the mystique of the creature's reason for being on Earth. Predator 2 is all about the violent bloody payoff which hurts the title character. There are very few significant answers to what these Predators are all about, and when the answers do appear there is still not much insight.
Predator 2 suffers from bad dialogue and clich辿s. But mainly from a lack of interest in its title character, with the movie focusing more on the action. Special effects do not save a movie, sorry. I give Predator 2 a 1.5 out of 4. Go watch the first instead. It's shoot-em-up action from start to finish, beginning at such a peak that there's hardly any room for the action to build or climax. Caught in the middle of a territorial gang war between Jamaican and Columbian drug gangs, LAPD lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) learns that an alien predator (Kevin Peter Hall) is stalking and killing members from both sides, much like a big game hunter, taking trophies and hanging his victims upside down. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey) wants to keep the killings a federal matter, but when the Predator also starts killing members of the LAPD, Harrigan decides to go after it. Like the first movie, Predator (1987) (1990), Predator 2 is based on a screenplay by American screenwriters Jim and John Thomas. However, the movie was novelized in 1990 by American author Simon Hawke. It was followed by Predators (2010) (2010). A spinoff movie, AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), that unites the Predator with the creature from Alien (1979) (1979), was released in 2004, followed by a sequel, AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem (2007), in 2007. It's been 10 years since Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his rescue team encountered a Predator. This is evidenced by the film's events taking place in 1997 as indicated textually at the beginning. A reference to the 1987 events is made when Keyes tells Harrigan that the first encounter with a Predator was in the Central American jungle and only two people lived to tell about it. It's a different Predator. The Predator in the first movie blew itself up with one of its own devices (possibly nuclear but more likely generative of some sort of electronically-charged blast) that, according to Keyes, obliterated the equivalent of 300 city blocks. The Predator in this movie is also different in appearance. The monikers assigned to the two Predators are Jungle Hunter (Dutch's Predator) and City Hunter (Harrigan's Predator). This Predator was meant to be a younger and less disciplined hunter than in the previous movie. Which might also answer the question of why this one has much more advanced weaponry and armour than in the first film, in addition to just expanding the character. This one is also much more ambitious, e.g., instead of hunting in a secluded area like the Central American jungle, he hunts in Los Angeles. Keyes explains to Harrigan that the Predator seems to be able to "bend light". This could mean that the Predator's technology creates a field around him, which causes rays of light that hit a side of the object to be absorbed and retransmitted from the opposite side (or, depending upon the angle of incidence, from an adjacent side), like as shown here (for a spherical object). This would make the rays seem to pass right through the object, creating the illusion of invisibility. This effect would work best on smooth surfaces where the light hits the object in a more or less straight angle. With irregular objects and moving objects, there are more distortions around the edges and on bent surfaces, where the light is more likely to break, comparable to a glass bottle, which is quite transparent in the middle but not around the edges. If this is the case, the invisibility device does not so much render the Predator invisible but rather transparent. The Predator's reasons for skinning its victims and hanging them is not explained in this movie nor in the first movie. It was established in Predator that the Predator is a "hunter", and hunters will often gut and dress their prey while still in the field. Game animals are also sometimes left hanging for days or weeks in order to season the meat before consuming it. However, the Predator in this movie goes to an abattoir (slaughterhouse) to feed on beef, so it's unlikely that it is also feeding on humans, although it's possible that maybe it takes so long for human meat to cure that the Predator would have gone hungry while waiting, so he was saving the human meat for later. It was also established in Predator that the Predator removes body parts, e.g., skulls, spines, and hearts, as trophies, but then again, human hunters taxidermize the heads of their animal prey and hang them on their walls as trophies even if they have eaten the meat. Another theory that's been suggested is that the skinned bodies were deliberately left hanging as a warning to other humans in the area, either taunting them or letting them know that they are also being hunted. In other words, the Predator is taunting its prey, as it is stated in the movie, "to scare the shit out of its enemies" like the Jamaicans do. Another possibility that has been suggested is that the skinning and hanging of their victims is a religious or hunting ritual. Some human cultures have the tradition of marking a novice hunter with the blood of his or her first kill. Skinning the victim could signify that the prey is rendered "naked" and defenseless. Hanging the prey upside down may, according to a Predator, prevent the spirit from ascending, trapping it inside the body, making the kill more valuable. Another theory is that the Predator may do this to victims it finds unworthy to become "trophies". Harrigan, King Willy and Jerry all put up a significant fight against their foes and also stand their ground against the Predator when faced one-on-one, whereas a whole group of Colombians and Jamaicans panicked and were dispatched very easily. Notice that it wasn't mentioned that Danny was decapitated either, so given the way he panicked and begged before he was killed and his fight only lasted all of 10 seconds, the Predator felt he was not trophy-worthy. In the first film, when the Predator removed its mask, its vision was all red and different from the thermal vision. In this film, when the mask is removed, vision is completely thermal. This may be a goof or a change for artistic reasons. The point of view of the first Predator (when unmasked) is very condensed and hard to make out what exactly is being seen on screen. In Predator 2, the Predator is unmasked for a good portion of the film, so there are quite a few more shots from the Predator's perspective, and manner of presentation may have been deemed to be easier on the eyes of the viewer to be shown the thermal vision. In the first film, Mac managed to hit the Predator in the leg while it was cloaked. In Predator 2, Jerry unloads about three magazines at the Predator straight ahead in a train car, and he didn't appear to hit him once. A few times, the bullets even ricochet off the Predator's armor but seem almost as if they pass right through him or don't even touch him. Three theories have been suggested: (1) Jerry simply didn't hit him, perhaps aiming too high because he couldn't see the Predator properly, (2) the Predators have upgraded their cloaking technology to help deflect bullets, and (3) the Predators' skins are tough enough to withstand 9mm, .40, or .45 cal handgun rounds but not strong enough to withstand the far more powerful 5.56mm or 7.62mm rounds commonly used in automatic rifles and carbines or 12-gauge slug rounds in Harrigan's shotgun. Leona is in the very early stages of pregnancy, as the Predator's scan and the paramedics confirm. Similar to the reason the predator spared Vega's girlfriend, a pregnant woman would not be an honorable kill. Her husband and the father of her child is Rick Cantrell, a used car dealer who met Leona while she gave him a ticket for speeding. This fact is mentioned and verified in the Predator 2 novelization. He was never seen in the movie, however. Harrigan follows the Predator down an elevator shaft and through a hole in the bottom, landing in an underground chamber. When he notices the skulls and spinal cords decorating the wall, he realizes that he is in the Predator's spaceship. Suddenly, he is attacked by the Predator who easily bats Harrigan around. When the Predator advances for another attack, Harrigan thrusts the throwing disc into his stomach, ripping him open and killing him. Suddenly nine more Predators uncloak, surrounding him, but they do not attack. Two of them carry off the body of their fallen comrade, and all but one files out of the room. The last one presents Harrigan with a antique flintlock pistol engraved Raphael Adolini 1715. "Take it," says the Predator as he walks away. Harrigan can hear the spaceship's engines starting up, so he runs from the chamber and out into a tunnel. The ship blasts off and away, leaving Harrigan covered in ashes. As he slowly walks out of the tunnel, a helicopter lands and one of Keyes' assistants asks what happened, but Harrigan does not reply. "Damn it, we came so close," the agent says. Harrigan looks at the flintlock and replies, "You'll get another chance." In the final scene, police cars begin amassing as the helicopter takes off into the night sky. Harrigan was given the antique pistol by the Predator leader as a sign of respect and honour for defeating one of their own in combat. This is also why he was left unharmed. The pistol was from the year 1715 to show Harrigan (and the audience) that the Predators had been visiting Earth to hunt humans since at least that time, and that the first movie was not the first contact with humans after all. (There is also an 18th century storyline in the Predator comics which explains how the same pistol was originally acquired by a Predator.) The notion that Predators have already visited Earth long before the events of Predator was already hinted at in the first movie, when Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) tells the story how some men from her village had disappeared, and were found without their skin. Also, Peter Keyes (Gary Busey) mentions to Harrigan that Predators have been sighted at many other sites of conflict within recent history, such as Iwo Jima (1945). Two theories have been offered. (1) She uses an invisibility cloak and also has a silent run. This is supported in the first AvP film when Lex sees the ship decloak not 20 yards from her while she was standing in the open, and she didn't even notice it. (2) The Predators on the ship had all taken turns hunting in the city which may have taken decades. So they landed before the technology to detect her was invented and the area wasn't developed yet or the population was minimal at the time so nobody saw her, which might explain how the ship wound up being located in a tunnel beneath a building. However, part of this theory is extremely unlikely, as the types of killings done by the Predator were unheard of in Los Angeles at the time. Had there been repeated visits to the area at more or less regular intervals, the LAPD, sheriff's office, California state police and the FBI would have records of similar cases. Assuming that the ship's cloak and silent run are sufficient to avoid visual detection by pedestrians and bystanders, this does not rule out that the ship was detected by radar. This would certainly explain why Keyes and his team are very quick to intervene during the gang war at the beginning, forbidding Harrigan and his team to enter the building. As Keyes explains, they have quite some knowledge of the Predator species and their modus operandi, so when they detect unidentified flying objects that are not visually confirmed, they probably know what they are dealing with. The spaceship seemed to be there as a kind of Headquarters for the Predator aliens. Other than to hunt, no explanation is given as to their presence. Viewers have suggested that (1) each Predator was sent out to hunt. They all go hunting in various places at the same time or in close time frames in order to minimize the chance of being discovered. Once their hunt is complete, they return to the headquarters and head back into space. The predator in this film was simply the last to complete his hunt. (2) The ship was there to collect the Predator before his hunt was complete because he wasn't following the ritual and was being too high-profile. Simply put, yes, they can. In every Predator film, the Predators all have their masks removed for extended periods of time and seem to have no difficulty breathing, not to mention being able to howl, growl and roar. The City Hunter from this film was without its mask for almost the entire third act of the film, but it was also shown to have a small device it put over its mouth and took three or four deep breaths. After this, the device is never used again. It was likely because City Hunter was severely wounded and was either having difficulty breathing or the mask held a sort of stimulant to keep him going until he was able to treat his wounds. Another point to add to this is when Harrigan is on board the Predator's ship at the end of this film. He is able to breathe perfectly fine and the elder Predator didn't have its mask on. Therefore they were both breathing oxygen. It seems to be a common misconception that the Predator's mask is used for breathing, yet no other part of their equipment shows to be air tanks (though this doesn't rule out the possibility that the mask uses some sort of air-filtration unit, seeing as how it appears to be airtight, perhaps warranted by the smog or pollution levels of the city). No, they can be killed and obviously have a high mortality rate given the nature of their culture. However, it may be inferred they age slowly and have an extended lifespan. The elder Predator that gives Harrigan the pistol was clearly frail. The pistol dates 1715 which may suggest that Predator survived his "trial" and claimed that as his trophy during his "coming-of-age" ritual. If that is true then it could be surmised they have a lifespan of around 300 to 400 years. There is also the possibility that the apparent long lifespan is due to time-dilation from space travel. It is part of the theory of relativity, and it has been proven that traveling at fast speeds causes time to slow down for the person traveling. If we assume that the Predators' space travel includes getting to very high speeds, visits to Earth every hundred years might only be a few months apart from the Predators' point of view, meaning they have no different a lifespan than humans do. Drug consumption and some scenes of violent stabbings had to be removed for the Australian VHS release that was classified MA 15+. The Predator was prepared to kill the boy, but upon scanning the toy gun the child had, it revealed the weapon was fake. Therefore he had no need to kill him and the boy would not have been an honourable kill. After the Predator's ship departs, Keyes' deputy Garber flies in by helicopter and questions Harrigan as to what happened. However police units begin to arrive at the scene in response to the massive explosion caused by the departure of the spaceship, and the government team leaves rather than risk an open confrontation with the LAPD and exposure to the media. We know that Keyes' unit is aware that the Predator will operate its self-destruct device when defeated, so they probably assume it is dead by its own hand. While the AvP films aren't considered canon, humanity is still unaware of the existence of the Predator species in the first film. It's likely Harrigan knows it would be pointless to start ranting and raving about an alien that killed all these gang members and his friends. He would simply be dismissed as a lunatic and any stories about the Predator would be dismissed as well. So Harrigan would probably keep his mouth shut and convince Leona to do so as well.
There would be some physical evidence left behind. The Predator's mask, severed arm and his spear were all left on Earth. It's possible that Garber and his men would collect these items and cover up any traces of the Predator. After Predator and before Alien vs. Predator, Alien vs Predator - Requiem and Predators. In terms of the Alien chronology, the glimpse of the Xenomorph skull in the Predator's trophy cabinet is actually our first glimpse of the species, preceding Prometheus by at least 100 years.
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