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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Predator 2(1990)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Stephen Hopkins

Starring:
Danny Glover/Mike
Gary Busey/Peter
Maria Conchita Alonso/Leon
Bill Paxton/Jerry
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
The Predator goes on a Safari in the heart of L.A. dispatching of various drug dealers and gang-bangers (we should get a Predator to clean house in Montreal...we need it). That’s until he gets his alien infrared eyes fixed on the 'lion' of the jungle: cop Danny Glover (playing Mike). He wants that skull and he wants it now, but Glover, having trained hard in the "Lethal Weapon" flicks, is a hard target to nail. Let the ruckus begin!
THE LOWDOWN
Predator in the city...what a great idea! So many opportunities for good fun times violence. So what happened here? Why didn't this sequel pull an "Aliens" on our blades to equal or surpass the original? The gnarly urban backdrop sure led me to believe that it was bound to happen!

Well, for my humble self, it was the characters that dragged the flick down. In the first movie, the main players were endearing badass mercenaries and I cared about all of them (ARNULD!!!). Here, they’re disposable cops, devoid of charm (except for The Paxt, of course). I didn't give a rat’s ass about many peeps in this show and was rooting for the Predator most of the way. But the film's biggest letdown character-wise was definitely in its lead badass: bumbling Danny Glover. Don't get me wrong, I dig the Glove-Man and all, but he’s a side banana actor who’s good when Gibson or Liotta are around. I just couldn't buy him as a tough action dude; he couldn't even hold his gun right for the love of macho posturing! Yes, we needed a stronger hero to lead this circus.

Now although I did find one particular action scene to be a waste of a great setting (the subway sequence; I didn’t see shite thanks to those damn strobe lights), most of the physical happenings going down were mucho entertaining. The film sported exciting chases, big explosions, some suspense and lots of gory Pred kills that made my life a better one. It also helped that all of these yummy goodies were delivered with visual flair by Stephen Hopkins and that the pace of the picture was lightning quick to boot. Hands down, I was never bored. I also appreciated the deeper exploration of the Predator’s psyche and the little surprise in the end made me tingle inside. The cherries on top were the Pred's still way tight weaponry and the appearance of drug fiend Gary Busey doing his thang. I love that guy!

But overall, this sequel just didn't have the strong charm, cast or savvy that the original proudly displayed. But that doesn't mean that it still wasn't an effortless, gory and amusing time waster. I can think of worse ways to kill two hours than by watching a peeved Alien stalking the streets of L.A. and whacking out all kinds of human trash in creative ways. Who’s hunting who? The only thing I'm "hunting" nowadays is the lovely Mandy Moore, who I'd love to take out for beverages of choice one night.....and yes, I'm damn serious!!!
GORE
What's for lunch? Well, we're served up some gruesome stuff: several skinned bodies, severed heads, countless gory bullet hits and lots of the red stuff slashed around. Yum yum...that was good stew just like my ex-girlfriend used to make before I ______ (I'll keep what happened hush-hush; my lawyer's out of town)
ACTING
Danny Glover (Mike) played his Lethal Weapon part again. I didn't buy him as hero and he wore too many ugly shirts and hats. Gary Busey (Peter) did fine and his wide-eyed performances (cocaine) are always amusing. Maria Conchita Alonso (Leon) was just not convincing as a cop, she must of taken gun lessons from Glover, her delivery was also weak at times. She is kind of cute though, loved the accent. Bill Paxton (Jerry) played yet another quirky, funny role and yet again, he was really good at it. Ruben Blades (Danny) died early on, too bad the man had charisma. The dude that played the voodoo gang leader was easily one of the worst actors to ever show his mug on my TV…burn that SAG card dude! NOW!
T & A
PAYDIRT! We get some naked girl showing the T and the bush. Do you feel fulfilled? I sure don't! Time to go get laid...for real! The ladies get some guy’s naked arse; get those vibrators girls! It's buzz-buzz time!
DIRECTING
Hopkins gives us a pretty polished flick with enough Predator POV shots, zany camera work and semi-tension to satisfy the most hardened adrenaline addict. His action sequences were pretty groovy, but I'm still pissed about that subway scene, it should've brought the house down! Instead, it gave me a splitting headache and a craving to go out dancing.
SOUNDTRACK
We get a reprisal of the solid score from the original. Good stuff! And was that a Gerardo song I heard early on??? (Rico Suave has-been). "PUKE"
DVD FEATURES
Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment Release Date: February 4, 2003

IMAGE: The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image lacked definition, but at least the grain was mostly absent.

SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound ( English and French) on the other hand kicked all kinds of bootie. The score, the sounds, the dialogue...all bang on!

EXTRAS:

Featurette (~ 6 minutes): This feature was an extended TV promo for the film when it was first released. The cast and crew talk about the film, we get some on-set footage and clips from the movie. Nothing to drop your load about, but still decent.

Predator 2- Creating the Ultimate Hunter (~ 4 minutes): This slick feature takes a look at the Predator's weapons and equipment. We learn how they accomplished the Infra red vision, we get some on-set footage and clips from the film. This feature could've been better than average if wasn't so short. It's another obvious TV "promo" for the film, released at the time the flick first came out. It's okay, but I wanted more.

We also get the Theatrical Trailer.

The DVD ruled audio-wise, was so-so in its video and the extras were fairly flimsy. I needed more than two promos and a trailer to make me hard. But on the flipside, it was better than nothing I guess. If you loved the movie, get the DVD because I have a feeling its the only Edition of Predator 2 we'll ever get.
BOTTOM LINE
What we have here is an engaging, fast-paced action flick with lots of explosions and nasty violence to keep us in the game. It's a shame that the characters and the lead hombre (yes, Glover...you) weren't up to par with the exploitive flash. Also, taking into account the L.A. setting, way more craziness should've ensued. I still have hope that The Predator will come back and thrill us for a third time though, he’s one of the more interesting aliens to ever grace the screen. I wonder where he'll land next? Predator at the Hefner house? Sounds like a plan to me!
BULL'S EYE
Notice the "Alien" skull in the Predator’s trophy room.

This film is a Lethal Weapon reunion of sorts. Glover and Busey were both in the first one and the dude who plays the captain in the Weapons series also makes a small appearance as a swat member.
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