Lightning Review: Predator 2

Predator 2 movie posterSynopsis
In 1997 Los Angeles , Lieutenant Harrigan (Donald Glover) is in the middle of a gang war when, unbeknownst to him, he is targeted by a Predator (Kevin Peter Hall). He must figure out why his squad members are disappearing while dealing with a government official, Special Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), who is taking over his investigation of the cartels.

One of Predator‘s strongest features is its simplicity. A team of commandos is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Predator 2 tries to keep the same simplicity but in an urban jungle instead of a lush, green one. It’s an interesting concept to move to such a dramatically different environment but I don’t think the film fully took advantage of the setting. Maybe it was the way the Predator hunted this time wasn’t as exhilarating or maybe it was the film’s pacing. Either way, I didn’t feel the suspense I felt in the previous movie. The film has a good cast who do what they can with what little script they are given. Danny Glover is a good follow up to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch. I particularly liked Bill Paxton as the quick-talking Jerry Lambert. The character’s attitude is much some of Paxton’s other characters I like, such as Private Hudson in Aliens or even more recently John Garrett in Agents of SHIELD TV series. Similar to the Xenomorphs in Aliens, Predator 2 expands on the Predator’s as a species, apparently called the Yautja (e-wat-ya), more by showing they hunted a variety of species, not just humans, as well as expanding their arsenal.

I thought Predator 2 was OK 😐 It tries to be simple like Predator but it doesn’t have the same thrill or suspense so it ends up feeling dull at times. The great cast does well but they can only do so much with the little material they have to work with. This is a rare case where the plot was too simple and to have a twist or two would have kept it interesting.


Cast & Crew
Stephen Hopkins – Director
Jim Thomas – Writer
John Thomas – Writer
Alan Silvestri – Composer

Kevin Peter Hall – The Predator
Danny Glover – Lieutenant Mike Harrigan
Gary Busey – Peter Keyes
Ruben Blades – Danny Archuleta
Maria Conchita Alonso – Leona Cantrell
Bill Paxton – Jerry Lambert
Robert Davi – Captain Phil Heinemann
Adam Baldwin – Garber
Kent McCord – Captain B. Pilgrin
Morton Downey Jr. – Tony Pope

Movie Quote of the Week – 12/11/15

Movie Quote of the Week banner

Answer to MWL 12/9/15: Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) – Lethal Weapon

I’m too old for this shit. – Roger Murtaugh

Thanks for everyone’s submissions and one Christmas turkey to the following people for answering correctly:

Rob (Movierob)
Dr. Humpp (Dr. Humpp’s Curious Collection)
Marta (Ramblings of a Cinefile)
That Other Critic (That Other Critic)
Tim (Filmfunkel)
Jesgear (Jesgear’s Blog)
Carly (Carly Hearts Movies)

Rage Review

Rage movie posterSynopsis
Paul Maguire (Nicolas Cage), an ex-mob enforcer who has become a successful businessman, fears his dark past has caught up to him when his daughter (Aubrey Peeples) goes missing.

I hadn’t heard of Rage until my roommate rented it from the local movie store. The premise sounded interesting enough and I was willing to roll with it, at least at first. It started out like Taken and soon became John Wick, which to me actually sounds like a cool premise and sounds interesting. However, it didn’t really matter what it wanted to be because in the end, it was a load of garbage.

This film ran about forty-five minutes too long, and it only had an hour and a half run time. For the majority of the film, Nicolas Cage and his crew do a lot of talking about the terrible things they did in their past (well really a lot of talking in general) but only a small fraction of it is even seen. So much time is spent trying to set up these characters but the movie just ends up spinning its wheels, not really accomplishing anything. There was a deleted scene that contained the deed they “said they would never talk about” which was glimpsed at. It still didn’t elaborate nor go into the details as to why but had the full scene been included in the film it would have helped the story, if only a little bit.

When we finally get to see the reveal, everything came crashing down and I lost it. Everything the film was trying to build towards was essentially thrown out the window. It made no sense and came completely out of left field. The thing is, Rage didn’t slowly go downhill. No, it got there abruptly. It was like the Mustang Cage’s character was driving around went from the driveway into a brick wall at full speed.

Cage has had his fair share of eccentric characters and over-the-top performances, but this has got to take the cake. I can’t take him seriously. He will go from seemingly fine to yelling for no apparent reason. You can’t even make the claim that his character is some sort of psycho (because they seem to like to do that all the times in movies) because he is portrayed as the calm and collected one of the group. I really enjoy Rachel Nicols as an actress but she gets underutilized in this film. Maybe that’s a good thing since there isn’t much she could have done to help it anyway. Even the presence of Danny Glover could do nothing to redeem this movie.

This film is billed as a thriller but I didn’t feel any suspense. And the action is few and far between, so I have a hard time calling it an action film. I will admit some of the action sequences were pretty good. However, I was already too removed from the movie to really care. At least that kept me interested for marginally longer than I otherwise would have.

Instead of watching Rage, I would have preferred to do almost anything else. For instance, I would rather have watched a fresh coat of paint dry, at least something would have looked nice at the end. Or I would rather have watched a dog vomit for an hour and half, at least the entertainment value would have been about the same. I would have watched a picture take an hour and a half to load on 1998 dial-up internet, at least something worthwhile would have come out of the wait.

I didn’t think I would find a film I loathed as much as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but lo and behold, here we are. The reveal was supposed to be this big dramatic twist but was anything but riveting and nullified everything the character had done and been working towards. Don’t waste your time with this one, unless you have done everything there is to do ever. And I mean everything, like you have already walked across an entire meadow of Legos or tried to break the world record of how many glass windows you ran your head through before passing out from blood loss. Even for a cheesy Nic Cage movie, this isn’t worth your time.



Cast & Crew
Paco Cabezas – Director
James Agnew – Writer
Sean Keller – Writer
Laurent Eyquem – Composer

Nicolas Cage – Paul Maguire
Rachel Nicols – Vanessa Maguire
Max Ryan – Kane
Michael McGrady – Danny
Peter Stormare – Francis O’Connell
Pasha D. Lychnikoff – Chernov
Patrice Cols – Anton
Aubrey Peeples – Caitlin Maguire
Max Fowler – Mike
Jack Falahee – Even
Danny Glover – Det. Peter St. John
Ron Goleman – Det. Hanson

Recently, I tasked Rob with reviewing this film. You can see what he thought about Rage here.