Sunday, April 14, 2019

Predator 2

Movie Name: Predator 2
Year of Release: 1990
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Starring: Danny Glover, Ruben Blades, Gary Busey, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Robert Davi, Adam Baldwin, Morton Downey, Jr., Calvin Lockhart, Kevin Peter Hall, Kent McCord
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3 
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
John McTiernan's "The Predator" was a solid hit, one that further established his career, but also Arnold Schwarzenegger's. Obviously a sequel was inevitable (and the other ones that have since followed), but the director chosen, Stephen Hopkins, was at the time a slightly untested one, with one of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films under his belt, alongside his debut feature, "Dangerous Game", which he directed in his native Australia. The film takes place in 1997, in Los Angeles, which has become a city dominated by gang warfare, and where the police is clearly unprepared to deal with the level of destruction wreaked by them. The Predator is lured to this city torn by warfare, and as his attacks begin, he comes under the attention of Lieutenant Mike Harrigan and his team, who stop at nothing to find and solve issues/problems. The Predator also lures a secret government agency, who has been on his trail since the events from the first film, and their goal is not to document the explorations of the creature, but possibly capture him in order to get more information on that alien species. 
Whereas the first "Predator" was a film focused on a group of trained individuals, who get decimated one by one, very much like a Hitchcock type of suspense story, only gorier and more muscled, this sequel moves the character to an urban setting and down plays the hide/reveal game that defined the Predator originally. The concept of the group of characters that gets targeted is still there, but this time around, there's less focus on each of these characters, making them all feel even more under-developed than the original ones. The central character, Danny Glover's Harrigan, seems to be a one note character, and apparently a relentlessly going one, without need for food, sleep or water. The film takes place during an interval of a few days (though that's not exactly defined), and as the gore increases, so do the clichés around certain characters (the drug dealers, the women on the police force, the playboy police officer, the scummy news reporter). Whereas the first film was about the quest for survival, resourcefulness of the group and understanding that alien entity, this second one lacks focus, with the Predator also becoming part of the scenery, and ultimately not quite as interesting. It's a film that has a good cast, with Ruben Blades and Bill Paxton trying their best, but ultimately lacks character definition, and action scenes/set pieces that are ultimately, more exciting. Quickly forgettable.