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Review: Predator 2 (1990)
Sequels all too often are retreads of the original. Yet there have been instances—few though they might be—where follow-ups merit greater acclaim and bigger bucks at the box office; though the latter accomplishment is always relished more than the former. The sequel to John McTiernan’s Predator has quite a bit going for it: a big budget, a decent cast, and a producer with a track record of box office winners that have sometimes even garnered critical kudos.
Predator 2 is basically a rehash of the 1987 hit. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not back and neither is director McTiernan. Still producers Joel Silver and Lawrence Gordon along with sibling scribes Jim and John Thomas have opted to provide audiences with a sorry cinematic excuse which pits Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover against a wily extraterrestrial on safari for human game in Los Angeles.
Harrigan (Glover) and his cop compatriots are waging a fierce war against some well-armed drug traffickers. Amid the mayhem and destruction ravaging the streets comes a visitor from elsewhere. Guess who? It makes trophies out of the pushers and Harrigan’s unorthodox practices draw the wrath of his superior (Robert Davi, last seen on the small screen as a mobster on “Wiseguy” and as James Bond’s narco nemesis in last year’s Licence to Kill) who tears Harrigan a new one.
Some shady agents led by Lethal Weapon hitman Gary Busey have come to town tracking the many deaths and giving Harrigan more grief for inquiring about their operations. Of course they prove unprepared when they think they have captured the alien.
Unlike the original, the writers have thrown in everything including the bathroom sink. Schwarzenegger’s battle for survival was one audiences knew he would not lose but there was always the possibility he might live to fight in a sequel another day.
Schwarzenegger wisely declined the offer though such Silver film veterans as Glover, Busey, Davi (Action Jackson, Die Hard), and Bill Paxton (Commando, Streets of Fire, Weird Science) have opted to have their talents used but not well; but at least they didn’t appear in Roadhouse. Director Stephen Hopkins keeps the film going though the action sequences are little more than what audiences have seen previously.
Robert Baum is Currently a Bryn Mawr, PA-based film afficanado and pop culture junkie.
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