Predator 2 (1990)

Predator 2
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Writer: Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Sequel to: Predator
Cast: Kevin Peter Hall, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Rubén Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Robert Davi, Adam Baldwin, Kent McCord
Seen on: 26.10.2022

Content Note: racism

Los Angeles is ravaged by gang violence and drug deals. More and more, encountes between cops and gangs end in deadly shoot-outs. Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) is a competent cop, but he has never seen the like. And then it appears that a new player has entered the game. In pursuit of a suspect, Harrigan sees a flickering shape. When people start turning up dead in the most harrowing ways, he is convinced that this has nothing to do with gang violence anymore.

Predator 2 is an absolute disappointment. Halfway through the film I started to question whether this was made by the same people who made the first film (and it was written by the same people) because the difference in quality is absolutely staggering. Predator 2 is a bad film.

The film poster showing the Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) standing in front of a skyscraper.

Transplanting the story to the big city from the jungle, was certainly an interesting to give this sequel a fresh feeling. But at the same time, I do have to wonder if, from the Predator’s perspective, it isn’t like going to the zoo to hunt game instead of the wilderness – many people in a tight environment doesn’t seem like much of a challenge.

But honestly, that’s the least of the film’s worries. Instead of focusing on the Predator and the threat it represents, we get a seemingly endless sequence of shoot-outs, more often than not involving gangs that play into every racist stereotype. As does the Predator, by the way. While the creature already had this dreadlock-like hairstyle in the first film, in this film it is enriched with other racialized hints that seem to make a Black man out of the alien. That the hero is also Black doesn’t really alleviate the discomfort of that.

Lietuenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) aiming his gun.

Putting politics aside, the film still doesn’t work. It lacks all the charm of the first film, every trace of humor, making it incredibly dreary. And the action scenes are completely unimaginative and just boring. For me, action has to be a bit more than be loud and full of gunshots to be engaging and that just doesn’t happen here.

Not even the glimpse of Predator society that should be interesting can conjure up any sense of engagement or interest. In short, this is an entry in the franchise that is best forgotten about. I can see really no redeeming qualities.

The Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) hanging off a building ledge, holding on to Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) who is reaching for an explosive device lodged in the wall.

Summarizing: just pretend it doesn’t exist.

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