Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There are a couple of reasons why the movie ‘Predator 2’ is near and dear to my heart and why I actually like it more than Governor Swarzenegger’s original. The main reason is that my fourteen year old little sister actually paid for me to get in this movie. I was home from college and we wanted to see this movie but I, as per usual, had no money even though I had a job, but she had plenty of money though she had no job. It’s still this way even though she is gainfully employed now. Why she always had money back then is completely beyond me. On top of that in the movies final scene, and this is a SPOILER, when Danny Glover killed the Predator and the Predator’s colleagues started appearing out of nowhere to retrieve the body, my little sister shouts out in a crowded theater ‘You Kilted mah bruthah!’ which in case you don’t know is an homage to Robert Townsend’s classic Hollywood Shuffle, and pretty much brought the theater down. My little sister.

In a future version of Los Angles, which is like a dozen or so years in the past as of today, a group of crazed Columbian drug dealers are having a shootout with LAPD’s finest in a scene that would probably seem completely unrealistic, that is until the Rodney King riots happened just two years after this flick would be released, thus making director Stephen Hopkins appear to be some kind of freaking prophet. So these Columbian loons are having their way until tough and grizzled veteran cop Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) roars on the scene straight cappin’ sucka ass foolz. There’s also another watching the festivities who will make his presence felt quite shortly by completely eviscerating the surviving Columbians, leaving the LAPD dazed and confused as to how this could happen.

Harrigan wants to get down to the business of finding this killer, a killer who has just taken out his best friend Danny (Rueben Blades), but he’s about to be intercepted by tough talking FBI agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey) who’s ‘running the show’. Keyes

tells us he's looking for Jamaican Voodoo Master King Willie (the late Calvin Lockhart), and if Keyes had told me that I’d know immediately he was lying because Voodoo is Haitian in origin and NOT Jamaican, but apparently nobody in this fictional universe is aware of this simple fact. Truth is that Keyes is looking for The Predator (the late Kevin Peter Hall) but not to kill the beast, but just like Carl Weathers in the original, to become its good buddy and have it share its technology. As it turns out that’s a plan that’s like totally not going to work, which leaves Harrington in the rather unenviable position of dealing with the ugly alien with the universes most advanced weaponry to go head up, mano a mano, and may the best dude win. Since I already spoiled it for you, you know who won. My bad.

Even though I like this version of ‘Predator’ better than the original, I’m certainly not going to curse anybody who doesn’t feel the same way because McTiernan’s original is a better movie than Hopkins revisit in many ways. Though I’m sure we’d agree that Glover and Bill Paxton are better actors than Swarzenegger and Weathers, the physical nature of those two gentlemen, and the rest of the original cast do translate better to alien ass kicking than the cast of this sequel. The original is also a better thought out film, taking its time to tell its story more so than the over the top, balls to the wall action filled sequel that we are discussing at present.

But the things I like about ‘Predator 2’ are tangible. First it’s a sequel that separates itself from the original in its narrative and setting without being a remake but still maintaining the originals core theme. Even though this cast doesn’t have any future state governors among them, it is still a rather inspired bunch with such classic character actors as Calvin Lockhart who was woefully underused as King Willie, Robert Davi, Maria Conchita Alonso, Adam Baldwin who at this point still had yet to give us a glimpse to all the personality he would develop as a character actor later in his career, and lest we forget Kent McCord. I didn’t even know Kent McCord of ‘Adam 12’ fame was alive let alone still acting when he first graced the screen in this flick back in 1990, and looking like a smooth old dude on top of that. Danny Glover did a fine job as an old no nonsense every-man kicking the Predator’s ass, probably sick and tired of being the embarrassing sidekick in all those other movies he was popular in back in the day, though those movies have kept him in Gucci and Cristal.

We do admit at times ‘Predator’ was just a bit much as it did get a little tiring watching Danny Glover chase or get chased by Kevin Peter Hall for a virtual eternity, and I wouldn’t have been mad at the movie if it could have found a way to shave off a few minutes, but that doesn’t stop ‘Predator 2: Urban Decay’ – I just threw that in there, expressing my creativity, to be one of my favorite movies from the glorious 1990’s.

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