Predator 2 (1990)

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Stephen Hopkins directs Danny Glover, Gary Busey and Bill Paxton in this urban sequel to alien hunter in the jungle classic.

A poster in my bedroom throughout the early 90s, Predator 2 is often mistakenly sneered down on as a watered down cash-in for the standalone Arnie favourite. Sure, it misses the muscular adventure of its progenitor (but satisfies kinetically), the humour seems more forced (the kind of sledgehammer jokes Emmerich and Bay made their own that decade rear their stillborn heads prematurely here) and Danny Glover (he’s perfectly fine) lacks Schwarzeneger’s star mega wattage… But it all works. The action is aggressively full on, the nudity and gore brush provocatively right against the limits of a mainstream studio R rated sensibilities. Proper grind on that barrier. Entertainingly right on the nasty edge. Compelling OTT performances from B movie greats like Bill Paxton, Robert Davi, Calvin Lockhart and, especially, Gary Busey make it buzz with energy. You feel the heat and sweat and chaos of the urban near future imagined. So it is not as tight nor as magical as its beloved starting point. This is still just about as good as a genre sequel gets and that ending is a mind blowing extension of the franchise’s mythology and still untapped potential.

9

 

 

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