Predator 2 : Special Edition (DVD)

“Nothing more than an OK movie. The characters are clichéd, the storyline is a bit wonky, the effects aren’t that impressive and there are not a lot of memorable moments” – Clint Morris


Predator 2 : Special Edition (DVD)

Danny Glover, Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Gary Busey, Adam Baldwin, Robert Davi, Morton Downey Jr

Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t always made the right decisions when it’s come to his career – hello “Last Action Hero”! – but one thing’s for sure, he knew what he was doing when he gave the birdie to “Predator 2″.

Entertaining but merely in that ‘entertain audiences by blowing more stuff up’ sense, Stephen Hopkins sequel is as by-the-numbers as a colouring book kids activity, but still strangely enjoyable. Still, side-by-side with John McTiernan’s original and it’s a dull bronze standing alongside glittering gold.

Thanks to James Cameron, Schwarzenegger found himself with a better offer: “Terminator 2 : Judgement Day”. Knowing too well that the film would probably make a pretty buck even without him – they bought in a new lead and just cranked up the effects budget with the change they saved on not re-hiring the Oak.

Danny Glover (who at one time was contacted to do the sequel with Arnie) stars as a Los Angeles Copper, circa 1997 (Um, the future, as it were). The city is now ridden with crime and the climates as hot as hell.

Not only does our hero have to deal with hordes of malicious gang members – as we see in the film’s opening minutes – but he’s got another adversary to do battle with : The undetectable towering Predator (Kevin Peter Hall, again in the suit) – who’s out of the Jungle and in the City, with – as the poster reminds us – “A Few Days to Kill”.

Disappointing that they couldn’t do more with the sequel. After all, “Predator” (1987) was one of the best action thriller’s of the 80’s – top script, funky ensemble and an endless array of awe-inspiring action and adventure. Sadly, “Predator 2” is nothing more than an OK movie. The characters are clichéd, the storyline is a bit wonky, the effects aren’t that impressive and there are not a lot of memorable moments. Still, if you enjoyed the original – you’ll no doubt still enjoy the sequel. Enough.

The Special Edition comes with quite a few good extras, beginning with dual commentaries. One from director Stephen Hopkins, and another from Jim and John Thomas. Both commentaries are quite informative, but Hopkins seemingly holds your attention a tad more.

Over on Disc-2 there’s a retrospective documentary (featuring a mesh of old and new interviews) chronicling the making of the movie (and just further proof that Gary Busey is a frickin’ loon), a couple of older featurettes, a look at how they did some of the pre-CGI special effects for the film, full-length versions of the made-up tabloid TV show “Hard Core” that features in the film, and some other bits and bobs.

Overall, it’s not a bad offering. Good sound and vision and a nice array of extras. Pity the film’s not that much chop though.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris