This sequel to the popular 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger takes place in 1997 with the setting changed from the jungles of South America to the urban jungles of Los Angeles. The ozone layer has been further depleted, the smog is worse than ever, and LA is in the midst of its worst heat wave in history. As if environmental problems weren't enough,...read more
This sequel to the popular 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger takes place in 1997 with the setting changed from the jungles of South America to the urban jungles of Los Angeles. The ozone layer has been further depleted, the smog is worse than ever, and LA is in the midst of its
worst heat wave in history. As if environmental problems weren't enough, drug lords have taken over the streets, turning the city into a war zone. Trying desperately to control the criminal elements is Det. Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover), who is aided by an elite group of cops including his
right-hand man, Danny Archuletta (Ruben Blades); a tough Venezuelan, Leona Cantrell (Maria Conchita Alonso); and a newcomer, Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton). The cops are soon baffled when someone or something uses incredible strength and strange weaponry to brutally dispense with gang members. It
isn't long before the mysterious killer also starts murdering the cops. As Harrigan and his men hunt for the killer, a task force headed by government agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey) conducts its own investigation. Keyes orders Harrigan to get off the case, but after Archuletta and Lambert are
killed and Cantrell is injured, Harrigan (much as Schwarzenegger did in the original film) resolves to become a one-man gang and battle the creature his way.
The screenplay for this film is every bit as silly as it was for the 1987 film, the only difference being that this time there are none of Schwarzenegger's inane asides. However, director Stephen Hopkins's sharp, stylish work overcomes many of the script's flaws. Hopkins is a graduate of the
"Nightmare on Elm Street" school of filmmaking, having directed the fifth entry in that series. He does a terrific job of keeping things moving and the film features some distinctive camerawork and editing. The action sequences are taut and the atmosphere memorably tense. The creature itself
(created by Stan Winston and played again by Kevin Peter Hall) is a bit too reminiscent of ALIEN (in fact, late in the movie there is an in-joke reference to that movie monster), but is a frightening adversary. Busey (who gives a wonderfully hammy speech about the Predator's behavior), Blades,
Alonso, and Paxton are all solid, and it's refreshing to see a black action hero (Glover) in a major motion picture. There are also a number of delightful cameos, from such performers as Kent McCord (TV's "Adam 12"), Adam Baldwin (FULL METAL JACKET), Robert Davi (DIE HARD), Calvin Lockhart (WILD
AT HEART), and Morton Downey, Jr., of course playing a slimy reporter. The cast members seem to be having fun and it shows in the good-natured humor running through the film.
PREDATOR 2 is not without its problems, however. There is an extended subway scene that goes on too long and is ineptly staged. Further, this was the second 1990 film (following MARKED FOR DEATH) which featured an unfortunate anti-Jamaican sentiment--every Jamaican in the film is a wild-eyed drug
addict. Naturally, the film has its share of misogynist ingredients--in fact, there are numerous hints that the monster may be female. Still, the film's energy and style are enough to recommend it. Lovers of the original should be pleased with this effort, as should most fans of the genre.
(Violence, gore effects, profanity, adult situations, substance abuse, nudity.)
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