Predator 2: Special Edition
October 11, 2005
Starring: Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades, Adam Baldwin, Maria Conchita Alonso, Corey Rand, Kent McCord, Calvin Lockhart, Henry Kingi, Steve Kahan, Morton Downey Jr., Robert Davi, Lilyan Chauvin, Elpidia Carrillo, Kevin Peter Hall, ,
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Ah yes, the early nineties: those were the days. The bigger the hero’s gun, the cooler he was. No worrying about offending people about terrorism as you went about blowing up everything that moved, or how the focus groups would react to the previews and how the studio could change the film “for the better.” Nay, Predator 2 belongs firmly in the slightly hazy part of our youth along with other things we remember being better than they probably are. Danny Glover got a lot of stick for replacing Arnie (who picked another film called Terminator 2 instead; go figure) but he’s more than up to the challenge of the rogue cop who ain’t afraid to kick some ass, and it must have been a nice change to play the Riggs character for a change after being stuck as stuffy old Rog.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the first film was set in Central America where a crack squad of mercenaries led by big Arnold Schwarzenegger found themselves hunted by an alien that wanted their skulls for trophies. His character survived, but the sequel chooses to introduce a new hero in Captain John Harrigan, and this time a Predator arrives in the urban jungle of L.A with “a few days to kill.” Harrigan is under intense pressure from the constant drug wars so when his superior orders him to cooperate with mysterious federal agent Peter Keyes (Busey), Harrigan quickly realizes he and Keyes are after the same thing: The Predator.
You’ll be shocked to find the director of recent critical darlings 24 and The Life and Death Of Peter Sellers is responsible for one of the most foul-mouthed, violent films of the 90’s (the criminal stopping in the middle of a firefight to masturbate is only the beginning). And you’re actually watching the cut version (it was the first NC-17 rating in America, which is the kiss of death, before it was brought down to an R). But such is the overblown excess of blood and guts and action that you just have to love it. The only thing Hopkins does hold back on is the Predator and like the first film we see very little of him until the final showdown, allowing for some creepy “I can’t see the monster but he can see me” moments such as the attack on King Willy in the alley or the new weapon extravaganza in the penthouse.
Much blame has been laid on this movie for featuring an Alien skull in the Predator’s trophy cabinet, kicking off the less than impressive Alien vs. Predator franchise, but it still makes you smile every time you see it. Newbies might wonder what’s so great about the sequel, but trust us. This is a trash classic. Any film where a razor-discus chops someone in half at twenty paces is more than worth your time. Now where’s Predator 3?
The best thing on display here is not the Stan Winston stuff or the new interview with director Stephen Hopkins, but the utterly hysterical Hard Core news reports starring Morton Downey Jr. as intrepid reporter Tony Pope. The phrase “over the top” doesn’t even begin to cover it (his reaction to the car explosion is priceless).
It’s a nice change to have a special edition that isn’t crammed to the back teeth with needless information, and the commentaries by Hopkins/writers Jim and John Thomas (snigger) tell you all you need to know between them. It’s even let slip that Alien vs. Predator 2 is in the works. To round things off there’s a photo gallery and several embarrassing interview clips from 1990 when Glover and Busey seem to think they’re making Richard III and Stephen Hopkins thought wearing one huge gold earring was in style. The sad thing is it probably was.
Final Verdict: 89%