Predator 2 (1990) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

You know the drill, I suppose. The Predator is a big-game hunter from another planet. He and his colleagues come to earth from time to time on safari, in search of humans tough enough to make the hunt a thrilling challenge. In the original film, the Predator took on a team of elite special forces guys in the jungles of Central America. The sequel moved the action to central L.A., where Preddy is taking out the baddest drug lords and cops he can find. His ultimate prey is Danny Glover, who plays a rogue cop who makes his own rules. (Gee, we've never seen one of those on film before.)

Not aware that his enemy is an alien, Glover wants to get Mr Predator in a mano-a-mano situation, but he keeps getting shunted off the case by his superiors and the Feds. It's not enough that ol' Danny has to take on an invisible hi-tech alien who is about 8'6", 450, but he also has to cope with some Feds who know all about the alien, and want to capture him alive, for scientific and military purposes. Glover doesn't know jack-all about science, but he knows this: Seņor Predator killed his partner, and for that he's goin' down.

I had never seen this film before today. It's a lot better than I expected it to be. It completely abandoned any and all attempts at credibility, so it took some hard shots from critics. In fact, it really wasn't a big favorite of the hard-core Predator fans either, and it certainly has its faults, but I found that it had some real positives:

1. The film has an odd and creative visual sense. The L.A. of the story is not like the one we know. It has some common elements with the real Los Angeles, but it has just as many elements in common with Batman's Gotham City, Tim Burton variation. The film was lensed in 1990 but set in 1997, so the genre was theoretically "dystopia." Maybe the film's bad reviews had something to do with the sheer absurdity of expecting Los Angeles to turn so quickly into a chaotic war zone ruled by the criminals. As we view it from 2006 and later, that no longer matters. We can just view it as a fantasy set in a re-imagined L.A.

2. Some off-beat performances by Morton Downey Jr (as a slimy "tabloid TV" reporter) and Bill Paxton (as a smart-ass cop) provide welcome comic relief. Actually, you could list these as positives or negatives. They were negative in the sense of "totally lacking in credibility" but, hell, the whole movie is lacking in credibility so I just kicked back and let it flow. Given your acceptance of a premise that the story takes place in an alternate universe which is a funhouse mirror version of our own, you should find those two guys entertaining.

3. There is genuine tension and a sense of drama in the hunting and showdown scenes. Director Stephen Hopkins is quite competent, and has shown himself to be comfortable with a lot of very different kinds of movies. He has made six more movies since Predator 2, and five of them are rated higher at IMDB. They are not all good movies, but some of them are.

  1. (6.78) - The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)
  2. (6.40) - The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
  3. (6.39) - Under Suspicion (2000)
  4. (6.10) - Judgment Night (1993)
  5. (5.70) - Blown Away (1994)
  6. (5.50) - Predator 2 (1990)
  7. (4.98) - Dangerous Game (1987)
  8. (4.70) - Lost in Space (1998)
  9. (4.42) - A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)

Predator 2 has some weaknesses as well.

1.  Danny Glover is a terrific actor, but the lead called for a real hard case with a chip on his shoulder, like Samuel L Jackson. I had a hard time buying into Danny as a 1990's bad-ass, especially since the costume department had him dressed in his baggy sharecropper clothing from Beloved. Danny, with his sturdy body and his compassionate eyes, looked like he was ready to plow the Back 40, share his meager supper with some hungry strangers, then read some uplifting bedtime stories to his children.

2. The story ended with a lot of loose ends. What happened to Maria Conchita Alonso? Why was she pregnant? (I thought she was supposed to be a lesbian.) Was Bill Paxton the father of her baby? Why did the alien spare her? What was the deal with the 1715 pirate gun which virtually appears out of nowhere at the end?

I assume that this was once a much longer movie, but that some clarity was sacrificed in the editing process in the interest of pacing. Unfortunately, although the DVD is a 2-disk special edition, all of those special features on the second disk offer no real illumination of the confusing points. As it turns out, there are answers to all the questions I asked, and some of those answers are actually quite interesting, but are simply not in the movie. I found out by Googling some obscure facts from the movie that there are various comic books and paperback novels which feature the Predator race. The authors of these works have fashioned quite a complex mythology about the Predators and their long-term interaction with humans and also with the race known to us as "Aliens" through their own eponymous movie series. I discovered that a lot of guys are really into this, just as I was once into the mythology of Conan the Barbarian. Here's a good summary of the written sources and the actual mythology for both the Predator race and the Alien race. You may already know that the Aliens and Predators faced off in in a 2004 movie, but perhaps you did not know that their contact was foreshadowed in Predator 2, which was lensed way back in 1990. Preddy had a trophy case, and it included a Giger-influenced skull which obviously was meant to be one of the Aliens.

Anyway, I guess my point here is that too much of this information was "off the page," making details of the film completely confusing to those of us who haven't read all of these additional books and comics.



  • Commentary by director Stephen Hopkins, as well as writers Jim Thomas and John Thomas
  • All-new documentary: The Hunters and the Hunted
  • Three behind-the-scenes featurettes: The Predator Goes to Town, International Featurette, Creating the Ultimate Hunter
  • Predator 2 Evolutions: special effects development clips
  • Predator Weapons of Choice: weapon analysis clips
  • "Hard Core" full-length mock news reports from the movie
  • Behind-the-scenes still photo gallery
  • The widescreen transfer is anamorphically enhanced (16x9)


Dark full-frontal nudity from Teri Weigel, the renegade Playmate. Wikipedia gives a summary of her career, including her battles with Hef's team. A quick Google Image Search will show you why she's had such a tempestuous relationship with the clean-cut Hefmag.

Here's her official home page.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C. It's not the genre classic that its predecessor was, but has enough positives to be watchable, and was underrated by the critics. The 5.5 at IMDb gives you approximately the right range.

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