“Predator 2” – 1990. Dir. Stephen Hopkins

With Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades, Bill Paxton, Adam Baldwin, Maria Conchita Alonso and Robert Davi.

“Okay pussyface, your move!” – LT. Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover)

Released in 1990, but set in a “futuristic” 1997 LA (that makes me giggle) crime is ramped, the streets and much of the city is controlled by gangs.  The violence and drugs roam free, causing a sheer panic and distrust in the police force and the city’s mayor.  Enter super cop Lieutenant Mike Harrigan who is played by D to the G-Glover!  He’s one bad ass motherfucker too, fuck Jules Winfield and his wallet, Danny Glover is the OG angry black man.

The opening of the film is a fast paced shoot-out between the cops and some Latino drug cartel (which I think is the reference to Danny Trejo in “Predators”) and the police are out manned and out gunned.  Then in the “futuristic” 1997 LA a yellow late 80’s unmarked squad car comes wheeling up and drives up to the front lines.  Out steps D Glover and he rushes to the trunk and looks at his plethora of guns, he grabs some huge hand gun with a scope on it and drives into the crossfire between cops and cartel and saves two biker cops.

While this fire fight continues to rage on, someone up above is watching, someone all too familiar.  We see something looking with thermal vision and I can’t help but giggle a little when we see Danny Glover’s widows peak.  Needless to say, the Predator found its new match, its new prey, the new man that is worthy of its hunt.  That man is Danny Glover.

So the hunt goes on, D Glover knows something is fishy and something is killing off all the gangs in LA and it’s not rival gangs.  He thinks he sees something one time, but can’t be sure (because the Predator was cloaked).  Want to know what makes this movie go from bad to so-bad-its-good?  Gary Busey.

Busey plays the part of Peter Keyes who is a super secret CIA or some sort of government agent who knows the “truth” behind all these ritualistic killings.  His lacky is Adam Baldwin who must have been riding off the coat tails of “Full Metal Jacket” and Robert Davi plays the Captain of the LA Police Department and he must have been riding high on the coat tails of “Die Hard”, TV’s “Wiseguy” and “License to Kill”.

There are so many things about this movie that are so enjoyable.  Bill Paxton plays the same character he did in “Aliens” and all the other pre “Twister” roles, Ruben Blades is sweet as D Glover’s partner and Morton Downey, Jr. is awesome as some TV personality.

The fact that Danny Glover is the lead in this film is pretty remarkable.  Think about it, the first Predator film is excellent, Arnold’s best film next to T2: Judgment Day.  I think T2 is a better film, but I like Predator more.  Anyway; I can’t imagine the pre production process of this movie!  Hmm, well, Arnold is going to make “T2”, Stallone is too much money, JCVD quit the first Predator film, Kurt Russell is working with Goldie, Mel Gibson is way too much money.  Oh!  I got it!  Let’s get that guy who was Gibson’s partner in those Lethal Weapon movies!  Then we’ll get that creepy bad guy from the first Weapon movie and he’ll play the quasi bad guy in this movie!

Yep.  That’s how the pre-production meeting went down.

For as bad as this movie is, Danny Glover does do a great job of carrying the film on his shoulders.  This film is slightly like “The Losers” where it’s so bad and over the top it’s good, but the two major differences are that the “The Losers” didn’t take itself seriously, and Jeffery Dean Morgan can’t carry a movie on his own – Danny Glover can.

I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I bought the Predator two pack on Blu-Ray and I must say, the transfers for both films are excellent.  The transfer for “Predator” looks and sounds really, really good.  The transfer for “Predator 2” isn’t as good, but it’s still a pretty remarkable transfer considering it is “Predator 2”.

“Predator 2” is one of the sequels that I like; it doesn’t rely too heavily on the first film.  Elements and characters are slightly referenced, but the film itself builds a lot of suspense with the “unknown” killer – we don’t see the Predator until forty plus minutes into the film.  That being said, I highly doubt that it would have been made without the steamrolling success of the first film, but then again you never know, Ed Wood and Roger Corman would have produced this film in a heartbeat.

“…“Predator 2” is a masterpiece of crap.  Someone needs to give                             Danny Glover props.” – M. Carter from M. Carter at the Movies.

There are a lot of things that I do like about the film, I like the character of Harrigan – the rouge Harry Callahan type cop – who says fuck every other word.  Its character we’ve seen over and over and over again, yet seeing Glover in the role, it’s very enjoyable.  This was the first film to get the then new rating of NC-17 but it was re-cut to get an R rating.  Why not just go balls out and leave all the gore and nudity and swearing and let the movie roam free with a NC-17 rating?  And believe it or not, “Predator 2” is what started the whole Alien vs Predators crossover phenomenon.  At the end of the film, when D Glover makes it to the Predator space craft, we see a trophy room, and what kind of skull is displayed?  That’s right!  An alien skull that is the epitome of sex on film.

Rating: 5.5/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

5 thoughts on ““Predator 2” – 1990. Dir. Stephen Hopkins”

  1. I’ve always loved this film. It’s funny – reading your review it actually sounds like you think the same, but then the low marks suggest otherwise.

    It’s just wall-to-wall excitment, the pace hardly lets up. Hopkins uses this new city ‘jungle’ to great effect, Glover is great in the lead role (he might not be Arnie but he’s hardly lacking macho heroism or the cool one-liner), Paxton’s great, and some of the action set-pieces are fantastic (the underground train battle is one of favourite action-horror scenes).

  2. Yep, I think I’m due a rewatch, but I remember just (like yourself) buying it as part of a two-pack and being… disappointed, to say the least.

    1. Oh I wasn’t disappointed. I knew full well what I was getting myself into with Predator 2; but when you see a Predator/Predator 2 two pack on Blu-Ray, how does one pass that up.

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