Predator 2 (1990)

Predator Two poster

Just watch a documentary about Lions instead.

Wow Predator 2. Just wow. Who convinced you to jump off the plank into the shallow end of the pool? Smacking your face against the concrete. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, (the same studio hack who made the intergalactic cheesecake Lost In Space), the sequel to the original 1987 sci-fi action classic can best be described as bullet porn. Sure, I suppose you could call the original that as well, but I think it fits more with this one, simply because, instead of focusing on a cool story with awesome effects and crazy alien monsters, the focus here is on the bullets, and their only purpose is to sexually arouse as many lunatic gun nuts as humanly possible while they mercilessly rip holes through the flesh of the living. Teg Nugent personally supplied all the guns and ammo for this production [citation needed].

So according to my sources, Arnold Schwarzenegger was supposed to be in this one, but, feeling that the concept was a total waste of imagination, declined the offer. Shocked and shitting their expensive Armani pants, they thought quick enough to pick the next best guy they could think of, which turned out to be Gary Busey. Oh, so they wanted to turn Predator into a comedy! Hey, I like to keep an open mind. That could conceivably work. Except, it didn’t, and this was no comedy. This was a tragedy. For a few seconds, this place was Armageddon. There was a firefight. Not joking! The film starts off with a bunch of guys shooting at each other for no real reason, and thus begins the bullet porn.

So the gimmick is that the Predator has a new “jungle” to play in. This time, it’s in the city of Los Angeles. He’s traded thick South American rainforest for skyscrapers and concrete buildings. Hey, this actually sounds good on paper, but somehow it failed in execution. I guess it just begs the question; why would the predator want to hunt in the city? Los Angeles of all places? There is a metric-fuck-ton load of people that could spot him, even with his nifty cloaking device. The jungle made sense because there he wouldn’t draw a lot of attention. And everybody has cars. I think somebody down the line just went “hey, cities are often called ‘concrete jungles’… and Predator was in a jungle! OH! I got it! Predator in the city! GO!”. And the nightmare begins.

So Danny Glover is in this movie. What’s he doing waltzing around a Predator movie you ask? He plays a wannabe black version of Serpico. A reckless rebel cop who always disobeys orders and plays by his own rules, which constantly pisses off his superiors. He’s also afraid of birds. Why? Because it adds comic relief and some cheap jump scares later in the film. that. is. it. They say the only reason they even keep him employed is because he’s also the best and brightest and most honorable, and he’s put a lot of bad guys behind bars. Even though he’s wrecked seven police cruisers, they still let him drive.

So basically, there’s a gang war going on. It’s Jamaicans versus Colombians. Whoa! Jamaicans?! Really? Okay. The Predator takes this opportunity to hunt all the gang members as Danny Glover and his sad sack of cronies follow him around, trying to figure out what this invisible voodoo demon’s deal is. It’s all terribly unexciting, and just ugly to look at. The picture is muddy and the narrative is clogged with quick sand. Why does everybody’s pistol have a sight on it? Do they need the extra help? Nobody even uses the sight anyways. Maybe it’s a laser sight. If it is they never use it. Maybe it’s a flashlight? If it is they never use it. What a shame, they look so cool too.

While investigating a murder scene caused by the Predator massacring a bunch of Jamaicans who planned to use voodoo, Danny’s partner, played by Rubén Blades, get’s shanked by the predator. But not before he takes off his coat to climb a wall in order to retrieve an alien artifact left behind in the torture porn chamber. It gets hot as hell when you climb things! This was a nice bit of realism. I liked that part. Too bad the rest of the film is just creative memetics being thrown into a meat grinder and pressed into ground beef.

So, Gary Busey is playing some government agent, and he’s constantly getting in Danny Glover’s way, trying to keep him from interfering in the three way gang-predator war. Garey pisses him off really good, so to prove how rebellious he is, Danny assaults his superior in the station and everybody around them stops and watches, admiring the “dramatic” movie scene that’s being filmed at their place of employment. After this, Danny decides it’s a good idea to go get high with a bunch of Jamaicans in their zebra striped pimp mobile. This is not at all racist or stereo typing. Danny gets dropped off to meet the Jamaican voodoo master/leader, and the Jamaican voodoo master gets slaughtered by the Predator after trying to challenge it do a duel with blades. This one had a little something extra in his ganja if you know what I mean.

So more boring stuff happens that nobody cares about. As Danny talks on the phone, we get a pointless scene of girls getting wet. Okay, so maybe that’s not pointless. That’s something nice to look at to distract us from the thought that we’re watching an unfortunate victim of Hollywood cash grabbing. Danny then goes to the grave of his buddy who got offed from before while trying to climb a wall. It’s at this point where you start to realize that this film shoehorns in the original score from the first film wherever it can, even though the original sounded like a natural extension of the whole jungle atmosphere, and played in the context of this film set among the city, it sounds inappropriate and out of place, like the music doesn’t belong there. It serves only to remind the viewer that the first movie was much better.

Okay, so, on a field trip down in the sewers, Danny’s remaining team members are riding in a subway, about to bag some bad guys. The Predator is hanging out on the roof of the train car for some reason, and decides to crash through the roof and kill everybody because he’s an asshole like that. This is all highly unrealistic. This scene is just one big fat lie. This is where suspension of disbelief falls off the cliff and explodes in a gooey ball of red matter. Everybody knows L.A. has no functioning public transportation system. A working subway system? In L.A.? Hah! Yeah right. Hey film producers, it’d be more realistic if you just had everybody move around on hoverboards. It’s much more plausible.

But wait, it turns out the Predator is not as big of an asshole as first imagined, as he spares the life of the female officer because his infrared vision revealed a baby inside of her. That’s good sportsmanship! Wait until it’s mature, and then slash the fuck out of it’s throat. The Predator then stands on a rooftop and allows himself to get struck by lightening. Whoa! He just, like, stuck his magic wand out into the air and lightening hit him and it apparently charged him up or something. WHAT?! Is the Predator actually a robot? With 20 Trillion volt surge protectors installed in his chassis? I don’t understand why that just happened.

After all this tom foolery, and a bit of a foot chase, Gary Busey get’s Danny Glover’s attention by ramming into his car and escorting him to their mobile command center, where they tell him how they’ve figured out what the Predator is and that they’ve set up a trap for it in order to capture it. How do they plan to capture it? By shooting liquid nitrogen at it. Uhh. Wait. Why? That makes no sense at all. Why didn’t they try using molten lava to capture it instead? It’s just as smart of an idea as using liquid nitrogen, and probably more effective. So, not surprisingly at all, the Predator is way too smart for the stupid little trap the government idiots have set up for him, and he proceeds to murder all of them except Gary Busey. They need him for later. The script said so.

So Danny Glover forces his way out of the command center and takes an awfully long time putting on body armor and loading his guns and suiting up just like Batman, getting ready for combat. He makes his entrance by blasting an obnoxiously big and loud explosion into the wall of the trap building, totally disproportionate to what we would expect out of a simple M203 grenade launcher attached to an M-16. The M-16 also has infinite bullets by the way. Unfortunately it doesn’t also come equipped with infinite grenades, because shooting the monster with explosives would have been too easy and made too much sense.

Predator eventually knocks the rifle out of his hand. But fear not! Danny pulls a shotgun out of his trousers and blasts the Predator at close range. Knocking him down, the Predator is presumed dead, so Danny goes to take off it’s mask, and in an insult to ingenuity, he steals Arnold’s iconic line “you’re one ugly, mother..” but the Predator awakens and shows him how much of a dick he is to use such a cheap and un-inventive way to connect the two movies together. As revenge, the Predator takes his plastic gun and shatters it against the ground.

I say plastic, because only a plastic gun would have shattered like that. I don’t care how strong the Predator is. That was dumb. After Danny gets his ass kicked for being a nosey little sheep, Garey Busey comes back and tries to enact his revenge, by spraying more liquid nitrogen at the Predator. Predictably, the Predator is only mildly irritated at this, and uses his cool alien frisbee to decapitate Busey.

Shocked and pissing himself at this new turn of events, Danny does the smart move and runs away, where the fight continues on the rooftops. Danny actually has the balls to charge into the Predator with his own body and push them both over the edge. While they hang perilously over the edge of a building, he manages to cut it’s arm off with the frisbee before Predator can detonate his bomb, although how slicing his arm off is supposed to defuse the bomb is something left to the imagination. Next time a suicide bomber tries to blow you up, just cut his head off before the bomb goes off. It’ll work! I saw it in this movie one time.

Predator manages to fall himself into an apartment window and uses the plaster from the walls, mixed with a little bit of alien liquid (probably the same stuff used to power the prawn’s mothership), to use as some kind of cauterizing gel to heal his wounds. Now with a stub, the Predator grabs what appears to be a hypodermic needle and shoots himself up with some speed in order to keep going. Whatever gets the job done I say.

The chase leads into the Predator’s spaceship, which is probably the best part in the whole movie. No really, this part is actually kind of good. We see the trophy case of the Predator, which displays many skulls of varying shapes and sizes, including human and Xenomorph! I know lots of nerds went apeshit over this way back when and I’m sure they still do now.

This was the first time any hint was given that the “Alien” franchise and the “Predator” franchise took place in the same reality. Really cool. It certainly adds a lot of depth to the universe. I for one would love to see what the other kinds of aliens that are out there in that universe look like. Living and breathing. Perhaps getting mowed down by some colonial marines. A really nice touch. This scene alone makes the movie worth watching.

Danny then uses his stolen alien frisbee to shank the Predator in the gut. Hurray! Good job buddy. You did good today. Now try not to wreck any more cop cars when you go back to work. Suddenly, a few more Predators reveal themselves out of the awkward mist effect in the ship, and they carry the body of their brother away. The leader of the clan gives Danny Glover his vintage 1715 Raphael Adolini flintlock pistol, implying that they’ve been to Earth many times in the past and hunting humans is like, going out for a barbecue to us.

Say, why do they all cloak when they walk away? Why do they need the cloak on in the ship anyway? Nobody else can see them except for Danny Glover, and he’s already been given a free pass to live. That must be a big waste of energy to keep those things on all the time even when no humans are around. That must be awkward if everybody is invisible. Conversations would appear to happen in an empty room, and at least one of them would probably say something to a wall, and his buddy next to him would go, no dude I’m over here. These guys must be a riot to hang out with.

To completely sink and finish whatever good there was in this scrap heap, the end of the film essentially rips off the ending of the original. The spaceship takes off, creating a large explosion which Danny Glover has to run away from. Walking out of the epicenter, he’s covered in ashes and a Helicopter comes to rescue him. Okay technically, the Helicopter was just there to tell him that he’s a jackass for blowing this opportunity to capture a real life extraterrestrial. Cop cars come and presumably they are the ones that pick him up. But everything looks exactly the same! Such a shame. This movie sucks, and I am proud to have had the honor of espousing my own brand of harsh criticism upon it.

Frank Darabont once said that “The amazing thing about any movie is not whether it’s good, but that it got made at all.” I disagree with this, on account that countless numbers of determined people have managed to make a movie without a whole lot of opposition. Sure, it’s extremely hard and demanding work to create a motion picture. But there are thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, most likely MILLIONS of motion pictures that have been made. Most of them suck, but they get made. Which leaves me to my argument. So many people can in fact make a movie. But so few of them are good ones. It is indeed amazing as it sounds to finish a motion picture, but I think it’s an even MORE amazing thing if it turns out good. Any idiot can point a camera at something and hit record for a few hours/days, then go into windows movie maker, patch it all together, and have a film. A really shitty film. The amazing thing is that it got made! No, not really.

No, the real hard part is in making it good, and compared to the countless number of movies out there, the good ones are very, very few. The Godfathers, the Space Odysseys, the Dark Knights, the Terminators, the Shawshank Redemption’s. What’s amazing about those is not the fact that they got made at all, but the fact that despite all the chaos that happens during the making of it, it somehow turned out to be brilliant, a work of art, something to be loved by millions and hailed as genius. What’s my point to all this? Did I mention that Predator 2 sucked? Oh yeah. This film failed to live up to the greatness of the first one, and cemented within me many thoughts about what not to do. Such as, make bullet porn, though to be honest I probably wouldn’t put it past me. My point is, bad movies, like Predator 2, should be criticized, in order to advance the art form.

I recommend this to anybody who hates themselves. Anybody who is ugly, depressed, or angry should watch this. It might make them feel better. Actually, I guarantee they will feel better. Also, masochists. This movie will bring the pain!

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