Saturday, January 1, 2011

Predator 2 (1990)

1st View
Format: Netflix WI
Venue: Rivendell (Home)

The Good: 

Though I'd heard its name maligned by more than a few, I found Predator 2 to be an enjoyable, perfectly satisfactory sequel. I appreciate the urban landscape as a metaphor for the jungle even if the delivery of said metaphor was a bit heavy-handed. The action sequences were decent, apart from one agonizingly long scene wherein Danny Glover climbs down a drain pipe, and the kills were great. I also liked the idea that the predators travel through time and have hunted humans from a variety of ages. Finally, the shot of the trophy room on the predators' ship proves that the idea for an Alien/Predator crossover was stewing for some time. 

The Bad:

Two performances leap immediately to mind when contemplating the negatives of Predator 2: Gary Busey and Bill Paxton. Now I think it's fair to assume that Busey has never topped anyone's "Greatest Actors of All Time" list, but in Predator 2, he's not even enjoyably bad. He blandly goes through the motions and leads with his front teeth to the point that I couldn't wait for his character to leave the frame. On the other hand, Bill Paxton is an actor I legitimately admire. Aliens, Near Dark, even Twister all demonstrate his ability to be natural, versatile, and likable as a scumbag, vampire, or even meteorologist (shudder). But in Predator 2, Paxton is little more than an enormous mouth on two legs and nothing he says is even remotely funny though obviously intended to be played for laughs.

The Weird:

Why does the predator scream in Predator 2? I'm not so much complaining about a shriek of pain in, for example, a scene wherein it gets its arm cut off by a grumpy Danny Glover. But its cries of agony are indistinguishable from its victory cry which sounded like it was coming from one of those termagants on My Super Sweet 16 who didn't get the Porsche in the color she wanted. Odd. 

Rating: 7/10 Atkins

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