I know, I know, I loved it years ago... we all did, and I couldn't fathom the bad reviews this thing got after the first one garnered such praise. Well, you can't go home again, Kemosabe, because after Fox's Commemorative Edition was released to coincide with the DVD release of AVP, I can say that Predator 2 is a third-rate Robocop with graduates from the Bill Shatner school of acting and enough story to fill a half hour of HBO's The Hitchhiker! It's the only action film I've ever fallen asleep during two nights in a row (except Pearl Harbor).
The Predator Race only wants to hunt the best, or else there's about as much challenge here as in your average hundred dollar Regis Philbin question. This time out, our Predator Du-Jour latches on to Danny Glover's Lieutenant Mike Harrigan, LA's poorly dressed Super-Cop who spends most of his time pretending he's that other guy from Lethal Weapon! Amid a violent (and silly to the point of Gomer Pyle-ishness) drug bust, the Predator realizes Mike's his quarry and slowly starts to pick off everyone around him in increasingly gory ways (much like Rich in Survivor 1)!
While Profiler's Robert Davi tries to fire Harrigan and Farscape's Kent McCord tries to commend Harrigan and I'm with Busey's Gary Busey tries to replace him, Harrigan goes on a one-man out of shape rampage through the valley of tar that once was LA to take our Finely Coiffed villain over his knee for a spankee!
I say "One Man" because everyone else around him ends up getting cut and gutted like the losing character in a quarter's worth of "Mortal Kombat"!
And you won't miss the supporting characters either. In a film that actually features Bill Paxton, it's amazing to note that every actor from Adam Baldwin to Rubén Blades to Maria Conchita Alonso all seem to be vying for Paxton's own Overacting Crown. The usually excellent Glover actually seems like he's on Uppers to keep up with old Gary and Bill. Hell, even a pre-porn Teri Weigel shows up to get completely and wonderfully naked, but seeing as how Morton Downey Junior also shows up to ham his way through the Greek Chorus role, Weigel's goodies can't save the day.
Still, that Predator is pretty freakin' cool as played by Kevin Peter Hall and designed (and operated) by Stan Winston! As a B-Movie you could do worse than this A-List bad guy. In fact, it's hard to even think of him as the bad guy! He's really the only likeable character in the movie. I'm a big Glover fan and I was still rooting for the net-clad hunter to win! The Predator's exchange of the Rain Forest for the Concrete Jungle is a great idea, as is the mythos-expanding final act. Too bad the whole thing collapses under its own weight and that of the silly effects and Corn-Dog-on-a-stick acting.
Seriously, folks, if director Stephen Hopkins was going to sacrifice good acting and effects for shock value and gratuity, why didn't he just make a full length movie of Predator showing off his kick-ass new weaponry during a full-city chase of the completely naked Teri Weigel? That would be a movie worth watching! Then after she slays the Predator in the end, Teri can pose and vogue with Maria Conchita Alonso over the elongated credit sequence. I'd buy that for a dollar!
But instead, I bought this movie for $12.99 on sale! You can't go home again, folks, no matter how hard you try, and those favored popcorn films of the past will swiftly occupy that same spot in your life that Plaid Bell Bottoms, Butterfly Collars, Poison albums and anything starring Corey Fucking Haim now does. Predator 2, a movie about a Nimrod from the Stars, manages only to achieve Two Stars out of Five (which I find poetically ironic)! Oh, it can be cool, and its after-market impact can scarcely be measured, but except as a commercial, and a belching contest between over-the top-actors, this isn't your father's Predator!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAnyway... I've got to run home now... I hear one of the Syndicated Married with Childrens is on tonight featuring Teri Weigel as Jade. See you in the next mid-budget pre-porn reel!
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