So as is evident with some of my previous posts, I am a bit of a nerd. I think a reasonably cute nerd, but still a nerd. There are few things I love more than watching a silly action movie with either Arnold Schwartzenegger, Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone in it. I particularly love Arnie because in his movies, he’ll often fire off a bunch of punny lines which he delivers with almost no emotion. Like say, he’ll decapitate someone and then hold up their obviously paper mached cranium and say “Looks like he couldn’t get ahead” or something like that.
A little while ago, Boy was playing the new Alien Vs. Predator game on the X-Box and we got to talking about the Predator franchise since I have more recently watched the Alien movies. I had seen Predator a couple of times, but as is my way with franchises, I had somehow missed Predator 2. I don’t really remember why, but I think because it came out in the era where my parents cared what I watched and felt the idea of their 8-year-old child watching a monster rip off a dude’s head would be inappropriate. Go figure!
Anyway, much as he did when I told him I hadn’t watched Demolition Man*, Boy looked at me with a mixture of surprise and sadness. “What do you mean, you have never watched Predator 2? Paunchy Danny Glover runs around in the inner city chasing a hunter from outer space! It’s awesome!”
So it then became my quest to track down Predator 2 and this past weekend, I did at Walmart when I came across BOTH Predator movies in the discard bin for $5 each! Ten dollars for a Predator fest! I was so excited!
On Sunday when we got home (we’d gone out to visit Boy’s father and my cousin who just had the baby), I was about to put in the first Predator to watch them in order, but since I had never seen the second, Boy insisted we watch it first because it would be new to me. So we did and this is what we saw.
Danny Glover is a rogue LA cop who is holding things down in the middle of a gang war in the oh so futuristic year of 1997. You know he’s rogue because he smashes his car into the middle of a gun fight and wears a kicky mustard coloured manblouse. The dude is crazy!
He and his team of rapscallion devil-may-care police buddies (featuring a dude who wears a tacky necklace and a ballbusting Latina – wait is James Cameron directing this?), follow the overacting bad dudes into a factory building and plan to off them. But wait! The Predator is in town and he kills all but one of them. Naturally the Predator leaves behind only the most coked out theatrical one so he (the coked out dude) and Danny Glover can have a show down on the roof. Coked out dude spouts some mumbo jumbo and then gets shot and takes a header off the roof onto a festivally decorated picnic table below. Perhaps disoriented by the fact that there was a dressed up picnic table in the middle of a drug den, Danny Glover shakes his head when he happens to spot a blurry nonfigure across the roofway. He attributes it to the crazy LA heat and walks away.
Danny then heads back to the police station where he is introduced to Gary Busey. Gary Busey is supposed to play some sort of secret service dude or something, but I have to admit, I wasn’t really paying attention to his job title because I was hypnotized by his scary face and giant teeth. Sometimes I think Gary Busey should start a weird looking grizzled old men’s club with Nick Nolte and Kris Kristofferson. They would make a good team!
Also at the police station is Bill Paxton who is their new recruit. He tells dirty jokes and is generally ballsy until Latina Cop nuts him and shuts him down. Latina Cop is played by Maria Conchita Alonso, who, it should be noted, seems to confuse anger and intensity with acting. In other words, she kind of sucks, but then again, anyone who tones down Bill Paxton gets a thumbs up in my books.
Now a note on Bill Paxton and the title of this blog post – I actually like the guy okay but if you are watching him in a movie, you generally know what lies ahead.
1) He’ll speak in what can only be described as “an outdoor voice.”
2) He’ll alternate between pracing around like he’s cock of the walk and freaking out like he’s going to pee his pants. (“GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!”)
3) He’ll get his ass killed.
Bill Paxton is *Spoiler*the only actor to ever be killed by a Terminator, an Alien and a Predator. He’s body fodder and he knows it, so he makes the most of his time on screen by drawing as much attention to himself as possible, so that when he dies, you actually notice. Kind of annoying, but not the worst strategy for an actor to have when he’s starting out. Now back to the recap . . .
Danny Glover gives Bill Paxton a big speech about how he’s in the real show now so he’s got to lay low, be serious and to not showboat or he’ll get his ass killed. It’s like he doesn’t know Bill Paxton at all! Bill Paxton begrudgingly agrees to all of this, but we know he’s lying and that his death is a mere half hour to forty-five minutes away. *sigh*
Cut to an apartment downtown where a Columbian druglord is having loud sex with a woman in his horribly decorated apartment. In the Columbian druglord’s defense, it was the 1990s but it’s like the dude never met a tribal mask he didn’t like. So the couple are copulating when a crazy gang of Jamaican Voodoo dudes (say “Voodoo dudes” five times fast!) bust into the apartment to off the druglord when the Predator shows up and kills the lot of them, leaving only the druglord’s naked cowering girlfriend alive. The Predator also leave behind one of his shiny weapon pieces but he doesn’t seem to notice because he has other space hunter things on his mind.
Danny Glover and his team show up at the apartment and the ballbusting Latina Cop leads away the druglord’s girlfriend, presumably so they can talk about lady things. Tacky Necklace Cop notices the Predator weapon and points it out to Danny Glover, but before they can do anything about it, Gary Busey walks onto the scene and gets really intense in Danny’s face about how he’s not supposed be there. Argh! Teeth! Danny and Tacky Necklace Cop leave with the idea they will come back later to the crime scene, which they have now been banned from, to recover the piece of Predator evidence. I’m not sure why they think withholding evidence and disturbing a crime scene is a good idea, but I also get the idea that they aren’t very good cops, so there you go.
A few hours later, Tacky Necklace Cop returns to the crime scene to retrieve the evidence when Predator kills him and steals his tacky necklace. Noo! His life essence! Danny Glover finds his body and is very devasted, but not too devasted to open Tacky Necklace Cop’s cold dead hand to retrieve the evidence for further examination. Score! Danny brings it to the lab where he is told predictably that the sample matches nothing in the lab’s all incompassing materials database. I always find that weird on shows and movies in how every substance produced by man is logged in a computer, like it’s just that easy to track everything down.
Thrown by this new development, Danny Glover gets in a towncar with a bunch of pimpy looking dudes who conveniently drive him to meet up with the head of the Voodoo gang. I never knew criminals were so accomodating! Danny and the Voodoo guy talk and the Voodoo guy tosses some KFC bones onto a trashcan and tells Danny Glover that the killer is not of this world. Who knew the space cadet dreadlock crimelord would make the most sense of anyone in this movie? Danny Glover thinks that Voodoo guy has been smoking too much ganja or something (could explain the chicken wings) and stomps off back down the alley to his gangster ride. About two seconds after he leaves, the Predator kills Voodoo guy. Damnit, movie, for taking away the voice of reason!
The movie then cuts to Latina Cop and Bill Paxton on the subway. They are having a serious discussion about who might be killing all these people, when a gang of musical theatre looking toughs get into a Mexican standoff with a nerdy looking passenger in their car. Apparently, everyone in the subway has a gun. Things get pretty tense and then the Predator shows up and starts offing people since everyone on the subway is armed. Latina Cop pushes the innocent people down the subway car, but Bill Paxton stays behind to show the Predator he means business. Of course he does . . .
It’s time to sing the Ballad of Bill Paxton everybody!:
Oh Bill Paxton, you’re anything but fine,
‘Cause Predator is coming to remove your head and spine.
You know you’re always in the way when $h!t it hits the fan,
You get slaughtered by Aliens and then it’s Game Over man!
It would seem that you just have the worst, the crummiest of luck,
Like that time you were a vampire and got your ass crushed by a truck,
So rest up Dear Bill Paxton, I sure hope to see you later,
Unless of course you’re brutally killed by an angry Terminator!
So Bill Paxton dies and the Predator goes to kill Latina Cop but then through his crazy thermal scan, he can see that she’s pregnant and leaves her alone. The Predator is Pro-life! When Danny Glover arrives on scene, he weaves his way through the throngs of emergency people and follows a trail of blood (that apparently no one else has thought to investigate) to some sort of special room where the Predator keeps all of its hunting trophies. The Predator then gives chase and Danny Glover follows him . . . until he is headed off at the pass by Gary Busey’s special investigation team (one of whom is a very young Adam Baldwin a.k.a. Jayne from Firefly!). It turns out that they are alien hunters and are trying to capture the Predator themselves.
From here it’s mostly cat and mouse stuff so I’ll abbreviate:
1) They somehow figure out that the Predator can sense heat so they put on special suits to mask their body temperature, but the Predator figures it out and slaughters them all, save for Danny and Gary.
2) Gary hypnotizes the Predator with his teeth** for a moment and then gets offed too.
3) Danny Glover fights the Predator across a couple of buildings and somewhere in there steals his deadly frisbee.
4) Both Danny Glover and the Predator crash into a sassy old lady’s bathroom and she serves up some good ol’ country sass.
5) Danny Glover kills the Predator with the deadly frisbee and is presented with an antique pistol by the Predators who see him as a superior hunter.
Anyway, that is essentially the gist of Predator 2. I hope you enjoyed reading it and appreciate that I have filled you in on the important details so that you don’t have to watch it. I do, however, encourage you to watch the video below because . . . well . . . Predators breakdancing.
*This has since been remedied. Thanks for $4 DVDs, HMV!
** Not really, but kind of.