Title – Predator 2 (1990)
Director – Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space)
Cast – Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, Gary Busey, Rubén Blades, Robert Davi, Adam Baldwin
Plot – Set in a dystopian version of Los Angeles in 1997, a place where gang violence and crime runs rampant, an alien hunter sets up home in the concrete jungle with humans his prey.
“You can’t see the eyes of the demon, until him come callin'”
Review by Eddie on 01/11/2020
Swapping the actual jungle for the futuristic concrete jungle of a 1997 Los Angeles, a sitting torn apart by gang violence and crime, Predator 2 is a very different beast to its beloved forefather but its also far more enjoyable than many gave it credit for upon a relatively cold reception on release.
There’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger this time around and none of the epic set pieces, one line zingers or thrills of the 1987 original but director John Hopkins managed to make one of the most 90’s movies of the era as we follow Danny Glover and Bill Paxton’s detectives as they get more than they bargained for when they try to take on the violent gangs plaguing their city.
Filled with insane over the top violence, non-pc comedic undertones and a bunch of one dimensional characters that are merely fodder for the titular alien hunter, Predator 2 is not a nuanced cinematic offering but it doesn’t try to be anything its not and in the process does a great job at trying to be a different film to its predecessor, no doubt a reason why die-hard fans of the first installment found it hard to warm to Hopkin’s effort.
It’s also interesting that the film, in trying so hard to offer a different take on the Predator experience, hides its main asset for the majority of the films first 60 minutes, with more screen time given to the gang aspect of the tale early on as our deadlocked friend watches and observes from a far but once he takes centre stage as the police force narrow in on his hideout, Hopkins film barely lets up as it unleashes a barrage of violent confrontation’s that would have genre fans smiling with glee.
Taking it all in their stride is Glover and Paxton who do what they do best without ever trying to over extend themselves and they get solid support from bit players like Gary Busey, Rubén Blades, Robert Davi and Adam Baldwin, who all get very little to do but have fun while their allowed in an exercise that was quite clearly not overly interested in progressing any of its human components to more than fair game for its centerpiece act.
Considering the dire quality of other Predator outings in the years that were to follow Hopkins film, bar the fun but forgettable Robert Rodriguez outing Predators, Predator 2 remains the second best offering in the series outside of the classic first event and a film that is exactly what the 90’s excelled at when it came to over the top and excessive big screen spectacles.
Final Say –
Loud, brash, dumb and a whole lot of fun, Predator 2 is by no means a classic but its 100 or so minutes of pure over the top good times that eventually allows its main attraction to have a great time for our viewing pleasure.
3 beef loving aliens out of 5