Predator 2

One of the things that bothered me about Predators was the fact that it ignored the events of Predator 2. It's not like this is a straight-to-video clunker with a no-name cast. Sure, some sequels deserve to be skipped over (take Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, for example), but most genre fans will tell you that Predator 2 is a respectable follow-up to a classic creature feature that could never be topped anyway. In my opinion, this is an underrated flick that combines two indubitably rich eras of rubric filmmaking. I'm talking about horror movies from the 80's and action movies from the 90's. Predator 2 gives us the best of both worlds!

Danny Glover stars as Sergeant Murtaugh...I mean, Lieutenant Harrigan, a ballsy cop who defies orders and lands himself betwixt and between drug-fueled gang violence. In one corner, we have coked-up Colombians. In the other corner, we have Jamaican voodoo priests. Yep, Jamaican voodoo priests. I almost expected one of the drug lords to be managed by Mr. Fuji (sorry, I can't pass up an opportunity to squeeze in a wrestling reference). The opposing forces are so overwhelmed by the ballistics on deck, they don't notice that there is an extraterrestrial hunter trespassing on their property until it's too late. Where is Dutch when you need him?

I don't know about you, but I like action movies that contain...action. Predator 2 actually contains more action than its predecessor. The opening scene is a raging, volatile succession of gunfire, explosions, dead bodies, vehicular demolition and coarse language. This is a film that earns its restricted rating. It was originally slapped with an NC-17 rating, and unfortunately, the studio shredded the "director's cut" to pieces. Two decades later, we still don't have access to the uncut version of Predator 2. That pisses me the fuck off because this hulking juggernaut suffers from sloppy, thoughtless editing.

How thoughtless? We're missing twenty minutes worth of footage! And it's so obvious. Predator 2 should be a carnal gorefest, but there are significant kills that happen off-screen. Fuck. The film still looks good thanks to director Stephen Hopkins. If his name doesn't ring a bell, he also helmed Blown Away, The Ghost & the Darkness and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. I've always admired his style. He has a keen eye for swank visuals, and he can hold his own when it comes to capturing in-camera effects. Dig that shot of the titular brute haughtily grandstanding on top of a building with the skull of his latest victim in hand (er, claw). Add a bolt of lightning for theatrics, and you've got yourself one kickass Polaroid.

I shouldn't have to remind you that Glover is a dependable actor, but I might as well mention that he gives a strong performance in a somewhat cramped role. It would have been easy for him to sleepwalk through familiar territory. I mean, this is basically Lethal Weapon with a more persistent antagonist. He seems to be having fun, though. So do Bill Paxton and Gary Busey. Holy shit. I just realized that The Pax has crossed paths with a predator, a xenomorph and a terminator. Hey, who do you think would win in a fight? Bill Paxton or the werewolf from Silver Bullet? Nevermind. I'm getting sidetracked. Go watch Predator 2.

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