Trent: Arnold goes hasta la vista, and gets replaced by… Danny Glover? Who is afraid of heights and too old for this shit? If you think this switcheroo shouldn’t work, then you never saw “Predator 2,” a hilarious, non-stop, balls-out predatorial bonanza that may well be the best action sci-fi thriller of 1990.
Beatricia: Or, counterpoint, it would be the worst action sci-fi thriller of 1990, if it wasn’t for the fact that Predator”-alumni Senator Jesse “The Body” Ventura starred in “Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe” as an Intergalactic Cop, while Dolph Lundgren starred in “I Come in Peace” as a Predator-hunter in Texas. It was a dark year, 1990. And the potty-mouths in this movie! The script is just a constant rearranging of George Carlin’s “Seven Words you Can’t Say on TV!”
Cousin Franz: “Predator 2” is a fascinating snapshot of American paranoia circa 1990. That was a very different, less assured Hollywood. If screenwriters Jim and John Thomas had come to director Stephen Hopkins to make this happen in today’s climate, the concept for the sequel would have been obvious: You lost an elite squad in a lush Central American jungle? You send a second elite squad to find out what happened! They, too, start getting killed off brutally and effectively, each death more elaborate than the last. This time there’s a TEAM of predators, (because sequels have more of the same but bigger!) Along the way, Arnold Schwarzenegger would join the surviving team as a hilariously short-spoken veteran who’s seen it all and can’t wait for the ugly m***********s to come back. He would clue us into a grandiose Predator mythology. The finale would involve the teasing promise of EVEN MORE PREDATORS descending upon EARTH- and where do YOU stand?
But NO. It was the 90s. So the sequel has nothing to do with the original, other than the fact that there is a Predator Alien Hunter. Different characters, tone, theme, setting, style… To me, this is what makes “Predator 2” a great movie! It is unexpected and unexplainable, almost like a cosmic joke.
Hank: Well, yeah, it IS a joke! What’s wrong with that? The whole movie is entertaining, humorous nonsense. We get to see that the Predators have been collecting trophy skulls from all over the Universe, including the Xenomorph from “Alien”! They might as well have added the skull of Alfred E. Neuman to the list!
Tracey: This movie is toxically racist (“Evil Colombians! Voodoo Jamaicans! Dread-Locked Illegal Aliens! Look at what will happen to LA in the distant future of 1997!”) Even supporters of 45 might admit it goes too far! “HEY, not ALL POCS are rapist gang-bangers! Some mow lawns and sell oranges and produce records! Geez!”
Trent: HMMM, racist what-what? You tripping on your Social Justice, Tracey! The GOOD GUY is black! His heroic partner is Latin Salsa Legend Ruben Blades! The OTHER heroic partner is Cuban actress Maria Conchita Alonso! It’s the opposite of racist! In fact, it’s a movie that has three non-Anglo leads, and one of them is a Hispanic feminist who’s a literal ball cruncher. I thought you might like that!
Tracey: NOPE. Hated it. I will say that Bill Paxton and Gary Busey are very funny in their bumbling-arrogant white guy and stuck-up-yet-inept white guy roles, respectively. They save the movie. So, surprisingly, I will give it a cherry.
Grandpa Felicius: Dismal film-making devoid of any moral center. Mere carnage.
Blurbarella: “Hilarious– Universe– Elaborate– Cosmic Joke– Geez! — Surprise– Dismal– Devoid of Any– Center.”
4 out of 6 Cherries