Movie: disgusting lesson in violence

By Sean Leary

“Predator 2” is one of the most disappointing and discontenting movies of the year. It follows up a great action movie with a meaningless and disgusting exercise in violence and gore.

The movie has no beginning – the opening scenes are akin to beginning a book in the middle. And what you would be reading wouldn’t be very good if it was the script to Predator 2. The movie opens with a bloody battle between police and drug lords, set in the streets of Los Angeles, 1997. Into this mess comes the Predator, in a hunting expedition for human beings which is never really explained.

Insert into this storyline Danny Glover, as an overly violent cop, and Gary Busey, as a government agent out to capture the alien. Throw in a few more cardboard performances, and you’ve got the movie in a nutshell. Both Glover and Busey are fine actors, and both strain to make their characters work, but the writers of this movie don’t seem to care; the characters are stock action parodies, waiting to get killed or be the hero.

Neither of the leads has the charisma that Schwarzenegger had in the first Predator, and indeed nothing but the excellent special effects lives up to the original Predator. That movie, set in the unique atmosphere of the jungle, had a comic-bookish charm through its writing, direction, and the presence of a clear, linear plot and a recognizable hero and villain. It took all the cliches and played them up, exaggerated them, and through that gave us a good, entertaining movie.

All Predator 2 does is pull out more cliches and throw them together, but without any charm. How many movies have used the characters of the bad-boy cop, the hotshot cop, the government agents who know more than they let on, the loudmouth futuristic talk show hosts, and the rotting world in ruins view of the future? Isn’t it about time the cliches were put to rest and we got something new? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a vision of the future not overrun by disgusting violence, with people actually improving their world through futuristic technology?

The only semi-entertaining part of the movie is the battle between Glover and the Predator, and the discovery of a swarm of Predators in a spaceship parked in the Los Angeles sewers. Sure, we all know Glover is going to win, but not before the Predator plays dead a few times, luring Glover to hover over him and get close enough for the Predator to swear at him and grab his neck. And the funnest part about this is poking your friends as the music builds to see if they’ll jump.

Predator 2 might be the worst, most disappointing movie released this year if it weren’t for the fact that Robocop 2 was also released this year. It’s an unoriginal, bloody, dismal movie with great special effects; unfortunately that effort wasn’t put into the rest of the movie.