Predator 2 Movie Review

Every good monster movie deserves a sequel, and with few exceptions they get a crappy one. Predator 2 is right in line with that legacy, a lackluster (and Schwarzenegger-free) action flick that steals every page it can from the Aliens playbook.

Since Predator took place in the jungle, Hollywood's sense of irony dictates that the sequel should take place in the city: In this case, Los Angeles, where a bloody gang war is underway. But the cops (notably renegade do-gooder Danny Glover) can't quite reconcile the body count, and it isn't long until they start to realize that another force is at work, which might explain the metallic bits that no one can identify and the corpses missing all their vital organs.

But from the one guy that wants to capture the Predator instead of kill it to the assault team that goes after it and gets completely decimated, everything about Predator 2 feels very familiar. Where's the little girl that needs to be protected from the creature? (Well, it's sorta there in the form of an unborn child.)

The bulk of the film is kind of nonsensical: Why the alien is here, why Glover cares about stopping this gang war, and why the Predator doesn't just leave when the going gets rough... these are questions that never get answered. And you're not supposed to care, since the action doesn't stop, the weapons are updated, and the gore is extreme (with the original cut earning an NC-17 due to violence).

Predator 2's primary contribution to cinema is as a bridge between the first film and Alien vs. Predator, thanks to the ingenious idea of putting an "alien" skull in the Predator's trophy case on his ship. This launched a series of video games and, 14 years later, the sequel that wrapped it all together.

Does this merit a double-DVD special edition of the film, complete with two commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes featurettes galore? Fans of the series certainly won't mind the bonus goodies, but casual viewers can stick with a simple once-over of the film itself.


Predator 2 Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1990


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