After the cult favorite Predator entertained audiences so thoroughly with its relentless violence and gore, it was only a matter of time before a sequel reared its ugly head—and ugly it was. Three years after Predator debuted, Predator 2 came to be and…well, except among the true diehards of the series, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who really liked this film. I was a late bloomer to the series but I really enjoyed the first film of the series…the second? Yeah, not so much. It just put in too many horror stereotypes to truly enjoy and by the time we got down to the nitty gritty of the plot…I just wanted it to be over.
This electrifying action sequel unleashes the deadly invisible Predator in another jungle — the urban jungle of Los Angeles. Danny Glover stars as a lieutenant who mistakenly concludes that mangled bodies found by the police are the work of feuding gangs. Instead, he finds himself confronting a savage alien who has come from a distant world to hunt humans for sport.
What made the first film so great was the sense of isolation, the big guns, and really just the testosterone that the film exuded. Even the alien hunter was all-man, with an ugly ass face and plenty of weaponry to back it up. For the sequel, however, we’re introduced to cocaine snorting men and topless women almost immediately and…I just was thrown right out of it then and there. That’s not what I came into this movie to see and as much as topless women are a staple of horror films…it just didn’t need to be in this series. But, alas, Predator 2 just got even worse from there.
For one thing the whole idea of him being in the city was just kind of stupid from the start and…well, hell, let me just address the elephant in the room. If Arnold Schwarzenegger actually had a hard time taking this bastard Predator down, how the hell would a combo of Gary Busey and Danny Glover do it? I mean Arnold had a sub-machine gun for crying out loud and that still didn’t work. It’s just a ridiculous scenario after how built-up the first Predator was, I doubt he could be taken out by a pair of lightweight cops.
But, suspend that disbelief for a little bit and we’re still left with a largely mediocre action flick. The plots stupid (it took place in the future though…the year 1997!) and the acting is just horrendous. It did give us some shots of an early Adam Baldwin, however, so for the Firefly fan in me I at least found that mildly entertaining. But for the most part there was just little in his film that I found to be truly enjoyable.
It wasn’t even the lack of Arnold in it that I had a problem with, as him sparring off with another Predator just sounded ridiculous anyway, but…Busey and Glover? I just couldn’t buy it. On top of all of that the film just wasn’t visually appealing and the only moment that I found enjoyable was the deeper looking into Predator lore.
I’m continually surprised that for as big of a cult and fan following the Predator series has…they’re really quite mediocre films. The Alien Vs. Predator films suck as well…so much in fact I’m curious as to who is writing them, as it can’t be that difficult to write a movie with two awesome alien creatures beating each other up. Predator 2 shares a common flaw with the vs. films as well in that they focus on the human element too much. We come to see the Predator destroy people and as gorey as their deaths become in this film, it’s just not enough to make up for the relentlessly boring human side-story.
Overall this is a film strictly for the fans, as even though I greatly enjoyed the first film…this sequel was just utterly stupid to me.
But with the other Predator outings being on Blu-ray, the series wouldn’t be complete without this entry so we get a redux of the 2005 Special Edition release on Blu-ray for the first time. The film itself arrives in a standard Elite Blu-ray case, with the usual firmware notice inserts. Menus are nicely animated and easy to navigate.
Video includes an AVC encoded transfer for the film that, after the horrendous appearance of the first film on Blu-ray (and DVD…that transfer is just…horrid), I was quite pleased by what we got here. It definitely shows the age of the film, sure, but it also looks quite impressive from start to finish. Plenty of detail is present in the image and the grain that marred the original DVD release looks a lot more amicable here. Granted there is a lot of soft looking sequences as well, but, again, considering the age I won’t fault it too much. I had more fun watching this new transfer than I did watching the film, which isn’t saying much considering the film is disappointing. Also included is a robust DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that does its job more than adequately—plenty of surround and subwoofer work.
Extras are all ported over from the two-disc 2005 DVD release and include:
• Commentary by Writers Jim Thomas & John Thomas and Director Stephen Hopkins
• Commentary by Director Stephen Hopkins
The Hunters and the Hunted (35:41)
Weapons of Choice (6:49)
• Trailers A, B & C
• TV Spots (Weapons, Jungle Revised, Much Worse, Thrill of the Hunt)
• The Predator Goes to Town (1990)
• International Featurette (1990)
• Creating the Ultimate Hunter
• #1 Hard Core Special Report: City at War
• #2 Hard Core Special Report: From Penthouse to Slaughterhouse In Town
• Still Galleries
All total there’s…well, there’s hours and hours of extras to check out here and you’ll get more Predator lore and history from these than you will from the film itself, so if nothing else this is Recommended just based on the quantity and quality of the extras alone. It’s really a solid release and one that’ll slip nicely alongside the other title of Predator lore…even if they are a bit mediocre.
Predator 2 is now available on Blu-ray.