"PREDATOR 2," starring Danny Glover, is a sequel to the 1987 "Predator," which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. If anyone has any information on Mr. Schwarzenegger's whereabouts, please contact Twentieth Century Fox's Sequel Department in time for "Predator 3."
No complaints about Glover -- in fact, he's much more fun to spend screen time with than Schwarzenegger. He provides a needed human center to this man-monster clash. But couldn't the movie give a brief indication of what became of the Arn-Man? Something like, "Well, there was this American mercenary who fought the predator in the Amazon jungle a few years ago, but he took time off to work on his monosyllabic English words." Anything.
Well, it doesn't matter. The most crucial castmember in this blithely unoriginal, megadeath blitzkrieg is 7-foot-2 Kevin Peter Hall, who reprises his role as the predator.
If you remember from the first movie, the Pred is an enormous, mostly invisible force highly attracted to major violence. No, he's not the average ESPN viewer. He's an intergalactic alien warrior, with a vicious array of weapons literally up his sleeve, who all but annihilated Schwarzenegger's band of soldiers.
Now we're in gangland Los Angeles, 1997. The out-of-sight out-of-towner is back for more and special agent Gary Busey and his crack Fed team, who know about the jungle massacre 10 years ago, are keeping tabs on him. Glover, yet another movie cop who does things the unorthodox way, is busy battling the usual collection of drug-crazies and their huge supplies of cocaine and firepower, when the predator starts leaving bloodied hoodlums hanging from ceilings, slaughterhouse-style. It's up to Glover and partners Ruben Blades and Maria Conchita Alonso to kill the beast.
You can expect the same bruising, shooting, killing, quipping, smashing and finale clashing that producers Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver have sold and resold you in both "48 HRS.," both "Die Hards" and both "Lethal Weapons." There is so much violence, as gangs kill gangs, or gangs kill cops, or the predator kills all of them, that it's hard to watch without the brain succumbing to self-protective numbness.
It is also hard to swallow a mano a mano, cliffhanging (or skyscraper-hanging) battle between Glover and the alien, which is a blatant theft of the set-piece finale from "Blade Runner." Forget Hall in the monster costume. Someone in the production staff is the real predator.
PREDATOR 2 (R) -- Area theaters.