Thursday, March 6, 2014
(Not) Love Actually: Predator 2
Fox was interested in a sequel and the brothers Thomas pitched half a dozen ideas. Their notion of bringing the Predator to an urban jungle was the one Fox shined too. After hammering out details with Nightmare on Elm Street 5's director Stephen Hopkins and producer Joel Silver, the brothers produced an early draft after only 3 weeks. Arnold's character was originally included but The Oak wasn't too keen on returning as he didn't believe in Hopkins as a director and thought taking the Predator out of the jungle was a mistake. Like the Commando sequel before it, Arnold passed and went on to star in another sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Having already worked with Silver on Lethal Weapon, Danny Glover was brought in to star as Mike Harrigan, a tough Los Angeles cop who is prone to violence and busting crooks. Predator boasted one of the greatest dude ensembles of all time with Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura and Sonny Landham in the mix while part 2 would enlist Gary Busey, Robert Davi, Ruben Blades and Bill Paxton to support new hero Glover.
A couple years ago, the American Cinematheque hosted a Predator and Predator 2 double feature. It's one of my life's greatest accomplishments that I rounded up 10 friends to go. Predator of course holds up as half macho/kickass action movie, half scary as heck survival story. Predator 2 though had many of my friends scratching and shaking their heads. Meanwhile, a buddy and I laughed our asses off and had a great time. P2 is pure action/horror schlock that is funny, trashy, gory, violent and semi-exploitative. Glover is just fine as the lead and he's given some great badass physical antics as well as random laughs such as clapping in Gary Busey's face to punctuate a threat and muttering about "damn birds". Bill Paxton is the real diamond here with his over the top performance, inappropriate jokes and general Paxton-ness. This film marks the end of his sci-fi trifecta as he's now been kilt by a Terminator, Alien and Predator.