Glover's Lethal Predator
"Predator 2" is a prime example why some movies just don't need a sequel or at least a sequel which doesn't try to do anything different. The first "Predator" movie worked well because whilst a bloody action movie it boiled down to a battle between Arnold Schwarzenneger and the Alien visitor on a hunting spree. It was surprisingly thrilling as the intensity of the battles peaked and ended with that Alien visitor blowing himself up. So what do you get with the sequel well other than a change of characters and location just more of the same and it is weaker in comparison. In fact "Predator 2" is little more than an action movie which tries to imitate what went before with big guns, daft jokes and brutal violence. It could have been good if instead of just going for action it built upon the character of the Alien but nope we just got action and violence from start to finish.
The year is 1997 and in the midst of the drug wars which are rocking L.A. lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover - Lethal Weapon 2) finds himself and his team onto a very mysterious case as gang members are being murdered in a ritualistic way. Initially suspecting voodoo high priest King Willie (Calvin Lockhart) and his gang of these murders Harrigan soon discovers that these murders are being committed by someone or something else who moves around untraced. But Harrigan also finds himself coming up against a group of mysterious special agents lead by Peter Keyes (Gary Busey - Lethal Weapon) who try to block his investigations.
The good things about "Predator 2" are that I like the change of location with it now being set in the sweltering heat of L.A. and the introduction to the drug wars between the Jamaicans and the Columbians has a certain amount of promise about it. But that is it because in reality "Predator 2" is rather unoriginal as we watch Lieutenant Mike Harrigan discover the Predator and basically battle it over a protracted series of scenes. And to make it even more unoriginal he is a bit of a rebel and so when his path gets blocked by mysterious special agents who are interested in this alien killer he and his team who are destined to die, carry on investigating and rubbing people up the wrong way.
It is all rather annoying that the storyline ends up being so unoriginal and basically a vehicle for numerous actions sequences. "Predator 2" could have been so much better if instead of this obvious storyline it focused on delivering more about what the Predator is. There is a scene at the end where Harrigan finds himself in some sort of Predator temple and in that one scene we discover that they had been around on earth for centuries. Now that was good and if only more of "Predator 2" had focussed on telling us more about the Predator it could have been fascinating. But nope, "Predator 2" is pure and simple and action movie which for the most imitates other action movies.
As such what you have with "Predator 2" is plenty of action which tries to push the boundaries in every way possible whilst delivering some wise ass comedy. The comedy comes from the cocky Jerry Lambert who joins Harrigan's team but it is so cheesy and over the top that you are not laughing because his cockiness is amusing but because it is bad. And as for the action well chase scene, gun fights, big guns and dead bodies strung up from the ceiling sums up pretty much every battle we witness. There are some good scenes, a battle aboard a train is quite frenetic and whilst over the top the big scene which sees Harrigan battling the predator in a meat packing factory is effective. But it just feels all too much, that instead of trying to develop an interesting story which built things up we just get one big action scene after another.
The knock on effect of "Predator 2" being nothing more than an action movie is that the characters are thin and so are the performances. Danny Glover brings a touch of "Lethal Weapon" to his character with basically a more aggressive version of Murtaugh and whilst there are times when Glover is entertaining, usually when choosing a gun from the arsenal in the boot of his car, most of the time he plays second fiddle to the action. And to be honest with Glover being the lead it means that everyone else fades into the background such as Gary Busey as the mysterious Peter Keyes and RubÃ©n Blades as Danny Archuleta. This may sound bad but the most memorable character in "Predator 2" is Leona Cantrell played by Maria Conchita Alonso because she is sexy and feisty.
What this all boils down to is that "Predator 2" is one of those sequels which is not needed. It fails to really further the mythology of the Predator and just delivers a violent action romp through L.A. with Danny Glover as Lieutenant Mike Harrigan being the man after the alien trophy hunter. As such it failed to float my boat and left me disappointed that it was just an excuse for action and violence but for those who only want to watch chases, gun fights and big action scenes with a touch of comedy will probably find it fun.