Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Predator 2 - In town with some time to kill

Nobody ever deliberately sets out to make a bad movie, at least that's what the aphorism says, but back in the late 1980s they were trying fairly hard. The Predator sequel came out in 1990 and it's hot, sticky and very, very shouty.

Set in a slightly futuristic version of Los Angeles, where everyone seems to have powerful automatic weapons, Danny Glover is the rogue cop who strides through the chaos pissing everyone off along the way. His alpha dog performance inevitably attracts the attention of a visiting Predator and the scene is set for the inevitable final showdown. But first we need a lot of actors to show up and shout a lot, so bond villain Roberto Davi, Aliens star Bill Paxton, and the increasingly eccentric Gary Busey all get their moments of ranting and raving but it's all just so much sweat off Glover's back, or blood off the Predator's.

Bill Paxton stands out and earns his place in film trivia lore by becoming the only actor to have been killed on-screen by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator. Meanwhile Glover struggles through the mayhem and the nonsense about rival drug gangs before he arrives on the hidden spaceship for his battle with the big bad.

It's all complete nonsense, and rather loud and vaguely insulting nonsense at that. Somehow the sequel manages to have none of the cult charm of the original. Possibly the director Stephen Hopkins lacked the action film talents of John McTiernan in the first film. It's a terrific dud which only serves to remind me how big, brash and souless action films could be in the 80s and early 90s. One miserly Predator star or scar and on to third part of this box set. Can Adrian Brody's funny voice acting get anywhere near the magic of the original?

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