(1990)3Jeremy WheelerPredator 2 is one of those solid sequels that gets the short end of the shaft when people tend to talk about this series, which is really too bad because it delivers the Predator goods in a fun and pleasantly different way. Not only does it continue the creature's mythology, but it also has a fresh story that's full of big action, gobs of style, and more than enough spooks to get you on the edge of your seat. It also isn't afraid of over-the-top indulgence, as with the lightning striking the monster and the few cornball lines where the Predator actually talks (used solely as a nod to the first film). Written by the same writing duo as the first film, Predator 2 extends a further mystery to the character, but just like its predecessor, the movie hinges on gusto action performances -- supplied here by a rough and buff Danny Glover and his motley team of tough butt-kickers, amply filled out by Rubén Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, and freshly riding on his newfound Aliens fame, Bill Paxton. While Paxton is a little much, he still milks likability out of his brash character, while the other two make more of a mark here than in most of their other film roles combined. Aided by a few other inspired casting choices, including Morton Downey Jr., a scene-chewing Gary Busey, and Calvin Lockhart as the classic Jamaican drug lord King Willie, the film is littered with colorful actors spouting off iconic dialogue left and right. With a charging Alan Silvestri score that carries over the original themes while consistently moving the action forward, the film is graced with a rhythm that rarely lets up. Drawbacks include some uneven optical effects and a laughable performance by the #2 FBI baddie, Adam Baldwin, who's front row in one of the most blatant Aliens rip-off scenes in movie history. Still, Predator 2 knows what it needs to be and it provides the gory goods in full, thanks to some superb direction by Stephen Hopkins, who later moved onto more serious fare in his career.