PREDATOR 2

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Predator 2 is on the menu, and while it’s probably not the best movie for generating jolly holiday spirit (see above), it serves up a wholesome platter of action and blood. To watch Predator 2 is to take a trip back to the early 90s, where bright neon was all the rage, gangbangers looked like gay strippers, and Gary Busey was still making the rounds. Yikes!

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The concrete jungle of New York City is invaded by yep, you guessed it, a Predator! He starts off small by taking a bite (crab-faced chomp?) out of crime, MUTILATING mobsters who are already embroiled in an all out war. This gets him on the police’s radar and soon the hunter finds himself being hunted. Predator is relentlessly pursued by Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), along with his rag-tag team of cops, in what might be his final great role. I honestly couldn’t tell you because Glover’s IMDB page reads like an Albanian cookbook. Despite being first billed, Busey’s mysterious government agent rarely shows up, but when he does make it on-screen his performance is worthy. My favorite character is Bill Paxton’s (Near Dark, Big Love) wisecracking rookie detective. Appearing in both Predator 2 and Aliens he CEMENTED a curious role in two sequels of oft compared series. It’s almost as if these franchises would one day be connected…

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Oh.

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Predator 2 is brimming with action, intensity, and gruesome special effects. From the skinned bodies hanging around to the articulation of the aliens costume, much love was put into the practical effects and it shows. The story is pretty straightforward but it could have been a lot worse. There are some things I wanted to see that might have turned Predator 2 into a personal favorite. I would have welcomed a bigger ultimate confrontation between Glover and Busey, maybe with the Predator intervening and KILLING them both when their guard is down to end the film. Glover is on the alien’s trail the whole film but he doesn’t actually fight him until the final sequence. Multiple smaller bouts spread more evenly throughout might have kept a steadier flow of adrenaline. I also would have liked the street gangs to be a more formidable force instead of just an appetizer.

If you have never seen Predator 2, give it a go. Even though I enjoyed Predator, I had never made it a priority to watch the sequel. Considering it is as good, if not better, than its predecessor, I’m glad I finally got around to it!

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4 skull/spine combo plates out of 5

★★★★☆

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