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

Lightning Review: Predator

This review was originally posted for MovieRob‘s Sci-Fi-themed Genre Grandeur.

Predator movie posterSynopsis
An elite team lead by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) gets sent into the Central American jungle to locate and rescue an official who is being held hostage by insurgents. They soon realize that someone, or something, is hunting them.

Predator is as simple as an action movie gets. The plot is all explained within the first ten minutes before the team jumps into a helicopter and gets dropped off into the jungle. No time wasted setting up the characters; Just immediately to the action. The movie knows we aren’t here for the characters, we’re here to see the titular creature. And the film takes its time revealing it to us. There is no hint about who the creature is, or that the team is even being hunted, until thirty minutes in. Then the creature doesn’t make it’s full appearance for nearly another forty-five minutes. It was a very Alien-like reveal that worked tremendously well. I really liked that the jungle was used as the environment to show the Predator hunting. It gave the film the chance to show how the creature stalks its prey, much like a great cat. Plus with all the foliage, not only couldn’t the characters see very well, but neither could the audience, creating tension. Since the plot was so simple, the majority of the film was spent on the action. The film could have been about ten or fifteen shorter without a major impact.

I thought Predator was GOOD :-). The simple plot allowed for as much action as possible. However, this also means the film could have been shortened a little without affecting the overall film. The Predator is one of cinema’s greatest creatures and this film shows that a simple action movie can still be a blast.

Also check out my review of the sequel, Predator 2.

The original concept for this film originated as a joke. Someone said that the only person Rocky Balboa of the Rocky (1976) series of films had yet to fight was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). (From IMDB)


Cast & Crew
John McTiernan – Director
Jim Thomas – Writer
John Thomas – Writer
Alen Silvestri – Composer

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Dutch
Carl Weathers – Dillon
Elpidia Carrillo – Anna
Bill Duke – Mac
Jesse Ventura – Blain
Sonny Landham – Billy
Richard Chaves – Poncho
RG Armstrong – Gen. Phillips
Shane Black – Hawkins
Kevin Peter Hall – The Predator