PREDATOR 2MOVIE REVIEW
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Head Production Designer
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
Special Effects Make-Up
A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
Jim Thomas and John Thomas (EXECUTIVE DECISION) the great Writing team behind the original PREDATOR, also wrote this violent, gore filled nightmarish sequel -
And! It! Rocks!
Joined by the original Producers of PREDATOR (Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver, and John Davis) the movie welcomed a new Director Stephen Hopkins (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: The Dream Child, THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS) and basically let him have at it.
As in the first PREDATOR, the alien creatures hunt humans for sport, specifically other hunters. They study the city, safe and almost invisible in their hi-tech camouflage suits, looking for outbreaks of violence against which they can pit themselves mano y mano. Of course, the odds are on their side since they have far superior weapons and physical prowess. Hey, hunting is never a fair fight!
Danny Glover (BELOVED) plays Lt. Mike Harrigan, an L.A. Cop who is clearly insane, but whose focus of madness is directed toward the bad guys of the city. Too mad to back down from a suicide mission, Harrigan is prone to flip out when confronted by violence and will thoughtlessly put his own life on the line to end a bloody confrontation. Harrigan works out of a precinct in an L.A. war zone, and he knows it is a war zone, that's why he is there. But he also has just enough marbles to know that He Is crazy and wonder why anyone else would request a transfer to his team.
So it bugs him that Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton: TERMINATOR, ALIENS, NEAR DARK, FRAILTY) who has a reputation as a reckless "cowboy" and whose last partner was shot, actually wants to work in the "war zone".
Can his team handle Two maniacs?
Harrigan's partners Danny (Rueban Blades: THE DEVIL'S OWN) and Leona (Maria Conchita Alonso: FEAR CITY, VAMPIRE'S KISS) also question Jerry's motives and let him know about it. Jerry, meanwhile, is a slick-backed huckster-talking, joke-cracking hustler who will do any number of the wrong things to get on somebody's good side. It is amazing that this movie character is built while the action is exploding all around. In PREDATOR 2 director Stephen Hopkins made a movie that other horror/action directors such as Paul Verhoven could not have bettered.
Harrigan witnesses the bloody aftermath of the Predator's work, without ever seeing the Predator itself. Convinced that the bloodshed must be due to the brutal takeover tactics of the Jamaican gang led by King Willy (Calvin Lockhart: BLACK WEREWOLF) Harrigan finds his investigation stepped on at every turn by Federal agents who are claiming a turf war of their own.
Agent Peter Keyes (Make that THREE maniacs! Gary Bussey: Stephen King's: SILVER BULLET, LOST HIGHWAY) leads a group of men, all wearing sunglasses of course, who want the police out of the way at every violent slaughter. And every new scene where the Predator makes an appearance is a real bloodbath. No one pulled back on the gore in this movie.
Even cooler, the Predator in the first movie, Kevin Peter Hall, comes back to do it again! Too wild!
Thanks for this must also go to the return of Stan Winston (IT'S ALIVE, DEAD & BURIED, THE THING, ALIENS, PREDATOR, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, TERMINATOR 2, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE), as well as a pace-popping score by Alan Silvestri (Stephen King's CAT'S EYE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, THE ABYSS, DEATH BECOMES HER, THE MUMMY RETURNS, IDENTITY, THE AVENGERS: ENDGAME)!
Gorillas are much stronger than humans but they evolved in the same gravity. Strength and the ability to climb and leap may just have been selected for more on their world than on ours, so you can't make any assumptions about gravity. You can, however, make a good guess about the atmosphere.
After the Predator loses his (hers? its? Who knows?) helmet in the fight with Danny Glover's character we see the creature taking several hits off a breathing mask. The implication is that the Predator homeworld's atmosphere probably has a higher oxygen content than ours.
What this movie also does is something that all sequels should do but often don't: give a real exploration of the principal character. ALIENS did, but ALIEN 3 didn't ("Why, we can turn it into a doggy alien!" is hardly an exploration) and neither did ALIEN: RESURRECTION (where the Aliens are developed from contaminated human DNA). I bring up ALIEN specifically because PREDATOR 2 tied the two movies together in a striking and wonderful way. DARK HORSE comics have explored the matter further and so has the new computer game ALIENS vs PREDATOR. With PREDATOR 3 to be released in 2000*, I'm hoping for a movie that takes the best of the two story lines and gives us something to really go wild about. In the meantime, go wild with PREDATOR 2.
4 Shriek Girls
*It never happened.