This movie is disliked not so much because it's a bad movie but more so because it never becomes nowhere nearly close to the level of excellence of the first 1987 movie. But lets be honest, this movie is not bad at all, especially not when compared to other similar genre attempts.

Still they did plenty wrong with this movie and made some serious bad steps. First of all; its settings. The jungle playground has this time been replaced by a large city. Yes, I get it, the city is often regarded as an asphalt and concrete jungle but that is just a figure of speech, no need to take it as literally as they did in this movie. Its settings already take so much away from its concept, that still made the first movie such a strong one.

But also the hunting game of the Predator himself seems to have changed this time. Yes, this in itself is also partly due to the fact that it's being set in Los Angeles, that of course is being inhabited by millions of people. How can you effectively play an hunting game in it? No matter were you go, there are always people, so it's easy to kill. And that also seems what the Predator is doing in this movie; he just randomly kills people, without really toying with them first, or put any real effort into it. This takes away so much of the tension already and is part of the reason why this movie really isn't half as effective as the first movie.

But what perhaps even more troubled me was that the roles were more or less reversed this time. The main character is after the Predator, instead of the other way around. As a matter of fact, the predator doesn't even seem aware of the Danny Glover character, until half way through or so. Because of this the movie for large part is lacking a real sense of danger, which again, takes away so much of the movie its tension.

Another mistake they made was that they showed the Predator way too early on. He's in the first few minutes of the movie and gets fully shown, pretty much right away. The Predator is supposed to be a, literally, invisible hunter, who strikes out of nowhere. No need to show him all the time, in order to make him a scary killer and monster. They really wanted to show off way too much with the Predator this time and all of his cool new weapons.

Typical sequel stuff. It tries to desperately to be bigger and better than the first movie, while it's actually involving a totally different cast and crew this time, which already makes this feel like a totally different movie from the first one. I'm not saying that John McTiernan (the director of the first movie) is a brilliant director but his touch was perfect for "Predator", while Stephen Hopkins is a director who has basically never surpassed the level of average, with any of his movies.

But that's all the negative stuff. The movie still has plenty of redeeming qualities in it. The story is quite weak but at least it's entertaining and ensures that the movie never becomes a boring one. There is plenty happening and the movie also has some amusing and good characters in it, played by some fine actors. Yes, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Bill Paxton and Robert Davi all play some very typical roles for them but that's simply what they are good at and is why their characters work out and become entertaining ones.

And like I said before; just compare this movie to any other genre attempt and you have to conclude that this movie is simply a good and enjoyable movie for what is is.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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