Predator (1999)

I guess that after Predator, which concluded with a massive explosion that this film claims is large enough to level "300 city blocks", nobody wanted to visit the forests of South America any more. That would make any potential predators pretty bored, I'd imagine, so for the sequel, one of them has come to Los Angeles for a new hunt. And what a prefect place to go. There are drug dealers and police officers -- both making good sport for a hunter like the predator. Again, I'd imagine. The plot centers on a police Lieutenant named Michael (Danny Glover), who always seems to show up to the crime scene too late. He ends up at one, where a few bodies have been found without bullet wounds. His team speculates that they were killed by one man, unarmed, who took less than a minute. What a guy! We know it's a predator, because we watched it do the deed, but none of the characters speculate that it could be. I wonder what the survivors of the first film ended up doing with their lives, although they're fate is only mentioned once, and the only thing mentioned is the explosion. I wanted to see them again, but instead, we get Danny Glover and a bunch of characters who don't get personalities or even memorable names. Oh, I'm sorry, I guess they do get personalities. One of them is a girl, who is tough and doesn't like people flirting with her. The other is a showboating man, who, whenever tasked with doing something, says "that's my specialty." I must have gone completely crazy to think that these people didn't have personalities, and I'm not sure what I was thinking. So there you go, this film is great because it has two characters that are full of cliches. The plot revolves around Michael going around and trying to figure out what is killing a bunch of people, although he's less concerned about the why. We know that the predator likes to hunt people because it's fun. It's moved to a prime location, that's for sure, and when this is explained to Michael in one scene, the revelation completely consumes his entire face, even though he didn't seem to care earlier. He's told that he's the "lion", the one that the predator really wants to kill, although the reason for this is never explained. I figure the predator took a look at the other actors and realized that Glover is the star, and that it should go after him. Predator 2 opens with a bang. There's a street fight going on between police officers and some drug dealers. Yes, this scene is largely unrelated to the rest of the plot, why do you ask? Drug dealers are frequent targets and topics of conversation for the film, although it never actually does anything with them, or makes a point about the drug war in the United States. They're just there, hanging out, waiting to be attacked. Where's the sport in that? The other action scenes are largely incomprehensible messes, quickly cut back and forth between an outsider's perspective and the predator's, with most of them taking place in dark environments where the only time we can see is when we take the predator's eyes and watch things in infrared light. But at these points, we can't see what's happening to anything not directly in front of this creature, so it kind of defeats the purpose. And then we'll cut to someone screaming of firing a gun, but can't quite make out what's happening. This happens during most of the action scenes, and it made me miss the bright, vibrant jungles of Predator. However, I still can't find fault in the design of the predator, even if the big reveal as to what its face looks like is anticlimactic this time around. Maybe it's because there's no surprise, or maybe it's just not set-up as well, but I was left more apathetic than anything when its helmet it no longer attached to the costume it dons. But the face still looks realistic, and the predator is still a terrifying, yet organic looking creature, which is something director Stephen Hopkins likes to show off. The predator has the ability to turn invisible, but uses the ability far less here, likely to show off how awesome it looks. And then there is the dialogue, which either consists of bad jokes or exposition. There's nothing that you'll fail to understand in this film, as the characters explain absolutely everything to you, even though you'll probably have figured everything out way before they tell you. That's especially true if you've seen the first Predator film, because it makes the first 45 minutes redundant to you, because you already know what's doing the killings. The characters are involved in a mystery film, but you're just sitting there waiting for the predator to show up and eat them for dinner. Predator 2 is a sequel in the fact that the alien of the title is still going around killing people for fun. That's all. The plot is different, but worse, the characters from the previous film don't return, and the new ones are cliched one-dimensional garbage, while the action scenes taking place against a vibrant backdrop have been switched with indiscernible messes with too much darkness to tell what's going on. Predator 2 is not a good movie, and there's very little to enjoy while watching it.

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