Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Prefer Predator 2 Over The Original.

Predator. It's a certified classic. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime battles a sneaky extraterrestrial killer with a taste for human blood. We can all agree that Predator set a benchmark in action films. It also helped to launch Arnold into mega-level super-stardom.

And yet, I like Predator 2 better.

Mind you, my preference for the sequel is in no way a statement on the first film. Predator is flat-out awesome in every way. Instead, look at my predilection for Predator 2 as a matter of personal taste. I'll explain why and perhaps you'll agree.

Urban Warfare - One of the biggest reasons why I like Predator 2 better is because of the setting. Sure, a killer alien rampaging through the jungle can be interesting, but I'd much rather see how the conflict plays out in an urban landscape. Changing from the jungles of Central America to the sprawling city Los Angeles adds a greater sense of danger and collateral damage. Even better... it provides more prey for the Predator to attack.

More Predator Tech - The 'City Hunter' Predator in the sequel sports an increased amount of technology. The now common Smart Disc made its first appearance in this movie. The Predator's Bio-Mask had an increased range of scanning modes, making it easier to find his prey. This Predator also sported the deadly speargun, telescoping spear and the immensely painful netgun. That's a lot of ways to slaughter!

Gary Busey - Come on... Busey adds a certain je ne sais quoi to every film he graces. That wild-eyed, crazy bastard seems credible, no matter how nutty and outlandish he plays his characters. As Agent Keyes, Busey swings his cocky attitude throughout every scene he's in. He even manages to almost defeat the Predator with a really smart plan. Almost.

Bill Paxton - The other great acting addition to Predator 2 is undoubtedly seasoned performer Bill Paxton. Sure, his portrayal of Detective Lambert is brash and over-confident, but that's what we love about him. Eerily echoing PFC Hudson from Aliens, he holds out against the Predator for as long as he can... until his head and spinal column become a trophy for the alien warrior.

Expanded Predator Universe - The Predator mythos established with the first film is expanded upon greatly in the second. We see a little bit of the motivation for why he hunts. We see what kinds of tools the hunter uses. We even get to see what the Predator won't hunt (pregnant women). In the final act of the film, the Predator shows that it's not afraid to sacrifice a hand just to survive (and even does a little bit of funky field medicine in the process). Finally, the inside of the Predator's space ship is revealed! Plus, as icing on the cake, there are even MORE Predators that show up. Which leads me to...

The Xenomorph Skull - This is where the entangled Alien versus Predator concept all began. If you think about it, this is one of the first major American films to drop an easter egg BEFORE easter eggs were even a thing. Seeing that Xenomorph skull hanging in the Predator's ship was just really frickin' cool and sent fans everywhere into a total frenzy. Could the Aliens and Predators actually face off? Were the two species in the same shared fictional universe? Yep. Sweet.

Danny Glover Defeats the Predator - Whereas Dutch in Predator only managed to defeat the 'Jungle Hunter' because the creature committed suicide, Glover's Lieutenant Harrigan actually finishes the 'City Hunter' off in combat mano-a-mano. How? By stabbing that ugly monster with its own Smart Disc. That takes humongous balls!

Agree? Disagree? Share you feedback and let me know what you think.

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