Underrated Classics: Predator 2

In 1987, a modern Sci-Fi classic arrived in theatres. An elite Special Forces unit, led by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch Schafer, is stalked by an extra terrestrial hunter through the South American jungle and picked off one by one. Predator was a commercial hit and I love it.

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In 1990, a Predator sequel arrived, imaginatively titled, erm, Predator 2. Swapping out Arnold for Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) and the jungles of South America for the jungles of South L.A. and shifting the time forward to 1997. A drug war is raging between the two largest cartels, the Jamaicans and the Colombians. As Anna helpfully tells the guys in the first film, the Predator only comes in the hottest years and in 1997 L.A. it’s fucking scorchio!

The casting of Danny Glover as a cop who is the hero of the film was a confusing one for fans at the time. Weirdly, it was mostly because people felt only someone with Schwarzenegger’s impressive physique could take on old dreadlocks vagina face. In reality, Glover was perfect in the role. He was emotionally convincing, caring about his colleagues and wanting to rid his city of the scourge of these cartels. What he didn’t bank on was a 7ft Alien hunter (literally, as there is an Alien skull in his ship. Nice work 20th Century Fox, this will surly lead to a new franchise which will be awesome!!) coming in,  generally taking no prisoners, kicking ass and killing mofo’s all over the city. The Predator takes a particular interest in Glover’s character Harrigan because of his heroism and bravery. His skull would make an awesome addition to the collection.

Added into the mix, the arch enemy of local cops, the Federal Government, have sent in a task force to track the Predator. They know of his telltale traits after presumably debriefing Dutch after the first film. The lead agent, played by Grade A psycho Gary Busey, is amazing as a Grade A asshole agent who turns out to be a bit of a badass. Bill Paxton is also here, playing a hot shot cop who asked to be assigned to Harrigan’s team.

I think this film zips along at a nice pace, has some outstanding action scenes (The slaughterhouse and the penthouse spring to mind) and a few nice twists and turns along the way. Excellent performances are also here, with pretty much every actor giving a good performance (mostly Paxton as the new guy, Glover as Harrigan and Busey as Agent Keys). I love the Predator as a character too. He’s not just a mindless killing machine, he’s here for a purpose and has a code of practice. He spares a cop because she’s pregnant, won’t kill if the person is unarmed and will most definitely pay for the damages to the old lady’s bathroom he smashes up. Okay, I may have made that last one up.

Overall, Predator 2 is a fantastic entry in the franchise and is a brilliantly entertaining and watchable movie. Stop comparing it to the original and you’ll see that this sequel builds on the original premise without tarnishing it’s legacy. Exactly what any good sequel should do. Let us know what you think in the comments below.