- "He's in town with a few days to kill."
- ―Predator 2 tagline
Predator 2 is a 1990 science fiction action film directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Rubén Blades, María Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Robert Davi and Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator. It is a sequel to the 1987 film Predator. Written by Jim and John Thomas, the story features a new alien hunter, this time on a killing spree in Los Angeles. The Predator's slaughter of the city's warring gangs brings it into conflict with a hardened police officer and his colleagues, and also attracts the attention of a covert government taskforce attempting to capture the creature.
The cast is entirely new apart from Kevin Peter Hall, who returns to play the new Predator, Elpidia Carrillo, who makes a cameo appearance as Anna from Predator, and stuntman Henry Kingi, who briefly appeared as an unnamed guerrilla the first movie and plays the role of El Scorpio in the sequel. The film received negative reviews and gained a moderate return at the box office. However, like its predecessor, it gained a strong cult following after its initial release. It was followed by a further sequel, titled Predators (2010).
In 1997, Los Angeles is suffering from both a sweltering heat-wave and a vicious street war between the police and Colombian and Jamaican drug gangs. Police detectives Leona Cantrell and Danny Archuleta are engaged in a protracted shootout with the Colombians, awaiting the assistance of their boss, veteran Lieutenant Mike Harrigan. After an intense firefight, Harrigan's aggressive tactics force the criminals to withdraw into a nearby building. A series of explosions rock the structure, followed by mysterious gunfire. Harrigan and his fellow detectives proceed inside against orders, only to find the Colombians have been mysteriously slaughtered. Harrigan follows the only survivor, El Scorpio, to the roof of the structure and shoots him, causing him to fall to his death. As reinforcements arrive, Harrigan catches sight of what appears to be the hazy silhouette of a large transparent man, but dismisses it as an effect of the heat.
At the police station, Harrigan is introduced to Special Agent Peter Keyes, leader of a federal task force purportedly investigating the cartels, and is warned to stay out of his way, news he does not take to kindly. Harrigan is also introduced to a young, cocky officer who has been assigned to his team, Jerry "The Lone Ranger" Lambert.
That night, Jamaican gang members attack Colombian drug lord Ramon Vega in his apartment, ritualistically murdering him. The Predator strikes again, slaughtering the Jamaicans and leaving only Vega's unarmed girlfriend alive. Arriving at the scene first, Harrigan and his team enter against orders, observing one of the Predator's weapons stuck in an air-conditioner before Keyes and his team arrive. Enraged at his defiance, Keyes threatens Harrigan, saying he will "disappear" if he interferes again. His suspicions aroused, Harrigan orders Jerry to follow Keyes, while he and Danny discuss plans to return to the crime scene later for further investigation into the murders. Danny arrives before Harrigan and attempts to retrieve the weapon they spotted earlier, which has gone unnoticed by Keyes' team. Unfortunately, the Predator has also returned to the scene and, revealing itself to Danny, attacks and kills him.
Harrigan is devastated, vowing to his superiors and Keyes that he will destroy the perpetrator responsible for his friend's death at any cost. After Leona and Jerry trail Keyes to a slaughterhouse, they visit the city's chief pathologist regarding the weapon Danny had found. She notes that the material it is made of does not correspond with any element on the periodic table, and that it has almost no weight despite cutting like steel. Harrigan decides to set up a meeting with Jamaican drug lord King Willie, hoping he may know who is behind the attacks. Willie states that whoever, or whatever, is involved in the killings of his men, they are not of this world. More confused than ever, Harrigan leaves — before the Predator attacks and beheads King Willie.
Leona suspects that the killer is toying with Harrigan. Further clues from the pathologist link the killer to a slaughterhouse, such as the one to which Jerry tailed Keyes; Harrigan tells Leona and Jerry to meet him there. En route, Leona and Jerry witness a group of armed thugs threatening an innocent passenger on the subway. They pull their guns, initiating a tense standoff that is broken when the Predator suddenly bursts in through the roof of the train and begins slaughtering its armed occupants. During the confusion, Leona herds the passengers towards the front of the train while Jerry challenges the Predator. After stopping the train and getting the passengers to the surface, Leona doubles back to find Jerry and the thugs dead. She also encounters the Predator, which overpowers her.
Harrigan arrives at the scene to discover Leona is still alive, having been spared because she was pregnant. Following a blood trail down the subway tunnel, he witnesses the Predator mutilating Jerry's body — removing his skull and spinal column in their entirety as a trophy. Harrigan pursues the creature to the surface and then across town in his squad car, only to be captured by Keyes' special team.
Keyes finally reveals to Harrigan the true nature of the killer, and that he and his team have been following encounters with these "other world life forms", including an incident ten years previously when Alan "Dutch" Schaefer and his team were attacked and decimated in the jungles of Central America. Keyes and his men are determined to capture the creature in Los Angeles for study, realizing its value as a potential means for immense technological advance. Armed with cryogenic weaponry intended to immobilize the creature, they have set a trap for it in a vacant slaughterhouse which the Predator has been raiding for food. The team wear thermally insulated suits to mask their heat signatures and render them invisible to the Predator's heat-based vision. However, the Predator switches its mask's scanner through a range of electromagnetic wavelengths, finally settling on the ultraviolet spectrum, allowing it to expose the black lights being used by the team for illumination. The Predator attacks, massacring Keyes' team. Harrigan, who foresaw trouble, is able to escape custody and arms himself before heading inside to confront the Predator himself.
During the ferocious battle, Keyes reappears, still alive but scarred from the previous confrontation, and briefly succeeds in subduing the Predator, before the creature rallies itself and kills him. Harrigan flees to the rooftop where the battle continues, before moving through an apartment building and finally into the tunnels beneath the city, where Harrigan discovers the Predator's ship. The two engage in a final duel on board, which ends when Harrigan kills the Predator by slicing it open with its own weapon. An exhausted Harrigan suddenly finds himself surrounded by several more Predators and resigns himself to his fate. Instead of attacking, however, the creatures carry away their dead clan-mate, while an Elder Predator gives Harrigan an antique flintlock pistol as a sign of respect. Harrigan escapes the ship just as it blasts off into space.
Back on the surface, the remaining members of Keyes' team confront him, blaming his interference for their failure to capture the Predator. As Garber flee ahead of police backup, Harrigan, holding the flintlock in his hand, comments that they will get another chance.
- The Predator ....
- Harrigan .... Danny Glover
- Keyes .... Gary Busey
- Danny .... Ruben Blades
- Leona .... Maria Conchita Alonso
- Jerry .... Bill Paxton
- Heinemann .... Robert Davi
- Garber .... Adam Baldwin
- Captain Pilgrim .... Kent McCord
- Pope .... Morton Downey, Jr.
- King Willie .... Calvin Lockhart
- Sergeant .... Steve Kahan
- El Scorpio .... Henry Kingi
- Ramon Vega .... Corey Rand
- Anna .... Elpidia Carrillo
- Irene Edwards .... Lilyan Chauvin
- Gold Tooth .... Michael Mark Edmondson
- Columbian Girl .... Teri Weigel
- Subway Gang Leader .... William R. Perry
- Subway Gang .... Alex Chapman
- Subway Gang .... Gerard G. Williams
- Subway Gang .... John Cann
- Subway Gang .... Michael Papajohn
- Patrolman .... Lou Eppolito
- Charlie .... Charlie Haugk
- Ruth .... Sylvia Kauders
- Commuter .... Charles David Richards
- Juan Beltran .... Julian Reyes
- Federal Team .... Casey Sander
- Federal Team .... Pat Skipper
- Federal Team .... Carmine Zozzora
- Reporter .... Valerie Karasek
- Reporter .... Chuck Boyd
- Reporter .... David Starwalt
- Reporter .... Abraham Alvarez
- Reporter .... Jim Ishida
- Reporter .... George Christy
- Reporter .... Lucinda Weist
- Paramedic .... Richard Anthony Crenna
- Paramedic .... Billy "Sly" Williams
- Detective .... Paulo Tocha
- Detective .... Nick Corri
- Hooker .... DeLynn Binzel
- Officer .... Tom Finnegan
- Officer .... Patience Moore
- Jamaican .... Kashka
- Jamaican .... Jeffrey Reed
- Cop on Phone .... Carl Pistilli
- Sweet .... Vonte Sweet
- Jerome .... Ron Moss
- Brian .... Brian Levinson
- Leona's Friend .... Diana James
- Woman Officer .... Beth Kanar
- Cop .... Paul Abascal
- Cop .... Michael Wiseman
The original script had the film take place in New York City, but the setting was changed to Los Angeles for budgetary reasons, as well as to make filming simpler. Elements of the plot were apparently taken from the original Predator: Concrete Jungle comic book series from Dark Horse Comics, published the previous year, which begins with a Predator preying on warring gangs in an urban setting and charts the attempts of the city's police force to stop the creature; notably, the comic is set in New York, just as the original script. Editor and artist Chris Warner, who illustrated the original Predator comic, has since stated he is of the opinion elements in the film were directly inspired by the Dark Horse series, noting that this was "probably the first time that a comics series actually had an effect on the film franchise that inspired it".
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred as Dutch in the 1987 film, was originally intended to reprise his role in the sequel. However, Schwarzenegger declined the part following a pay dispute. The Dutch character was subsequently rewritten as Peter Keyes (Gary Busey). Returning to the role of Anna in the sequel, Elpidia Carrillo was originally intended to be in two scenes, but the part was cut back to a brief cameo appearance on a video screen in the government agents' surveillance trailer. Her character is seen amidst footage of the damage to the Central American jungle caused by the explosion at the conclusion of the first film. Actor Henry Kingi, who had an uncredited role as a guerrilla killed by Dutch in Predator, also appeared in Predator 2, albeit as a different character. Filming took place at Fox Studios in Los Angeles and on location around the city. As Los Angeles did not actually have a subway network at the time of filming, the BART system in San Francisco was used instead for these sequences.
Predator 2 heralded the first cinematic crossover between the Alien and Predator franchises when a Xenomorph Warrior's skull appeared in the trophy cabinet aboard the Mother Ship near the end of the film. The skull was included at the suggestion of effects artists John Rosengrant and Shane Mahan, both of whom had worked on Aliens as well as Predator 2. They proposed the idea as something of a joke, and also as a nod to the original Aliens vs. Predator comic book story, which had been published earlier in the year. The skull prop was sculpted by Kevin Hudson. As with many props from Predator 2, the Alien skull was later reported stolen to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Due to excessive violence, Predator 2 was originally given an NC-17 rating in the U.S. The film was cut numerous times before being granted the desired R rating. More graphic and gory shots of mutilated bodies and decapitations by the Predator were cut throughout the film, including from the death of Bill Paxton. Other cuts were made for time purposes, including a subplot revolving around María Conchita Alonso's pregnancy and the chase sequence where Danny Glover tracks the Predator to the slaughterhouse district, which was originally significantly longer. The uncut version of the film has yet to be released.
Release and Reception
The film received negative reviews, with Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert suggesting it represents an "angry and ugly" dream. Since its initial release, the film has, like its predecessor, gained a cult following. The worldwide box office revenue totaled $57,169,413 in ticket sales. Although this surpassed the cost of the film's budget, it was considered an overall disappointment in comparison to its predecessor's performance.
The film currently holds a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 4.6/10.
In 2010 the film was re-released in the NuArt Theatre in Los Angeles on 23 April 2010, at an event hosted by Bloody Disgusting. Despite hopes to the contrary, the new release did not contain any additional footage or scenes reinstated.
A novelization of the film was written by author Simon Hawke, and Alan Silvestri's score was released on a soundtrack album. Dark Horse Comics produced a two-issue comic book adaptation of the film, despite the fact no such adaptation had been created for the original 1987 movie. Three video games based on the film were also developed — the first, an on-rails shooter, was released in 1991 for various home computer platforms, while a second, a side-scrolling shooter, was published in 1992 for the SEGA Master System. A third game, a more ambitious third-person shooter, was released for the SEGA Genesis, also in 1992.
- Predator 2 has the largest credited cast of any of the films in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchises, with 55 members.
- Moreover, Predator 2 is the only film in the franchises where the "monster" gets top billing, above even the actors playing the lead human roles.
- The film introduced several new facts about the Predators that have since become key aspects of the character, including their strict honor code (hinted at in the first movie when the Jungle Hunter spared Anna because she was unarmed) and many of their most iconic weapons.
- Los Angeles did not actually have a subway network at the time the film was made, but did by the year the film was set — the first underground metro line in the city, the Red Line, opened in January 1993.
- The scene where Keyes' team is decimated by the City Hunter in the slaughterhouse is an almost exact replicate of the Hive ambush scene from Aliens. In both cases, the person overseeing the operation (Garber in Predator 2, Lieutenant Gorman in Aliens) watches events on video screens in their command center away from the action and rapidly loses the ability to control the situation once things go wrong. Both sequences also end with somebody outside of the present command structure (Harrigan in Predator 2, Ripley in Aliens) taking it upon themselves to try and help the personnel under attack. Furthermore, the way the sequences are shot is also very similar, with the actual combat edited so as to be intentionally confusing and unclear.
- See: Predator 2 goofs
- Predator 2 (novel) — The novelization of the film by Simon Hawke.
- Predator 2 (comic) — The comic book adaptation of the film by Dark Horse Comics.
- Predator 2 (soundtrack) — The soundtrack to the film by Alan Silvestri.
- Predator 2 (1991 video game) — The first of three video games based on the film.
- Predator 2 (1992 Master System game) — The second video game based on the film.
- Predator 2 (1992 Genesis game) — The third video game based on the film.
- ↑ Predator 2 (1990) - Box office / business
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Jim Thomas, John Thomas. Predator 2 audio commentary (2005), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ "AvP2Daily - Chris Warner Interview". Retrieved on 2010-09-08.
- ↑ "DigitalSpy - Arnold Schwarzenegger 'almost did Predator 2'". Retrieved on 2014-10-10.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Jody Duncan. The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio, p. 120 (2006), Titan Books.
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20051123094731/http://www.lapdonline.org/get_involved/stolen_art/files/collectibles/alien_skeleton.htm
- ↑ "Roger Ebert, Film Review for Predator 2". suntimes.com (November 21, 1990). Retrieved on 2007-07-09.
- ↑ "Rotten Tomatoes, Film Reviews for Predator 2". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-09.
- ↑ BD Hosts 'Predator 2' Screening Friday, April 23 at the NuArt in Los Angeles!