Director: Stephen Hopkins
Starring: Danny Glover, Gary Busey and Kevin Peter Hall
Length: 108 min.
Release: November 21, 1990
LAPD lieutenant Mike Harrigan and his cocky detective partner Jerry Lambert soon realize that what seemed a bloody feud between voodoo high priest King Willie’s Jamaican gangs and Ramon Vega’s Colombian drug gang is actually the work of a scary third party. Peter Keyes’s federal team shields the crime scene even for the LAPD. BUt after forensics proves it must be an alien, who keeps making victims, the chase brings them all together.
If the first Predator movie were to be a prime cut of the best quality beef money could buy…then Predator 2 would be all the left over ground up chunks of crappy meat, fat and whatever else was lying around in the butcher shop to make a salisbury steak for a frozen TV dinner. Simply put…this one is bad…really…really…bad.
Are the special effects great?…absolutely. Does it have big stars?…yes it does. Does it have a good musical score?…once again, yes it does. So what’s wrong with it? Everything else.
I’ve always said that (as a general rule) in order to make a great hero you need an amazing villain. Predator 2 is proof that some times the opposite is also true. In this case, they have a great villain, and a very weak and un impressive hero. This does not make me invest in the story. I mean come on…they gave the lead to Danny Glover!?!? He is most certainly NOT a lead action hero! Yeah sure, he’s got the Lethal Weapon series, but he only looks good as an action star along side another GOOD lead action star like Mel Gibson. Glover was not a strong enough action star to carry this film and make it believable that he could go toe to toe with a predator, especially after Arnold barely made it in the last one! To be honest they almost set the bar too high. I mean, how do you top Arnold? The conflict just didn’t seem very strong after facing off against Arnold and, to be quite honest, Glover was not very believable as a cop with an attitude and balls of steal.
And don’t get me started on the script/story. It’s total crap. I mean, a Predator in the “urban jungle” sounds like a good idea on the surface and many of the new toys they gave the predator were really cool, but they just couldn’t come up with a story and dialog that really pulls it all together. It all seems far too forced and over the top. You can tell they are trying too hard to top the first one, and it gets too bogged down with all the gang war stuff and then the gangs vs cops and then for some reason its really hot. Not sure why it matters…but it is.
Really the only take away from this is the predator special effects. Again, it’s some of Stan Winston’s best stuff. It’s just too bad it was squandered by a tiresome story and characters you could care less about. Predator 2 gets 1.5 stars out of 5.