Have A Cold One

Predator II

predator II

Danny Glover as Lt. Mike Harrigan
Gary Busey as Peter Keyes
María Conchita Alonso as Det. Leona Cantrell
Bill Paxton as Det. Lambert
Ruben Blades as Det. Danny Archuleta
Robert Davi as Deputy Chief Phil Heinemann.

Kent McCord as Captain B. Pilgrim
Adam Baldwin as Garber

"You want some ganja, man?" – Random Pot smoking gang member
"You cannot see the eyes of the demon until him come callin...." - King Willie speaks Voodoo mumbo jumbo.
The Jamaicans in this movie have both the most interesting and yet subtlely racist dialogue in the entire flick.


Back in the 80s Action Movies were all the rage. Cobra, The Running Man, Commando, The Road Warrior and countless low budget flicks were very popular. We didn't have access to entertainment as easily as we have nowadays. You could rent a movie, but the pickin's were often slim, so going to the theater was something you did when a new movie came out. For fans of science fiction and action movies it was downright necessary to catch the latest movie in those genres immediately. There were only three or four networks on TV back then and there was hardly ever anything good on TV during the weekend.

So, in 1991 when Predator II was released of course my friends and I wanted to see it! The first Predator Movie was a success. In the 80s Arnold Schwarzenegger was an unstoppable action movie money making machine so a movie about a special forces team fighting an alien hunter in the jungle starring big Arn could practically NOT fail. It seemed only natural that they'd make another one, even though Predator II is sans Arnold.

But they did get Danny Glover and Gary Busey for Predator II, who were still famous for Lethal Weapon. Glover plays police Lieutenant Mike Harrigan against Busey's top secret government spook guy, Peter Keyes. Other notables are Bill Paxton as Det. Lambert (because when you needed a smart-mouthed, comic relief in the 80s Paxton was tailor made for it), and Maria Conchita Alonso as Det. Leona Cantrell. To be honest I always wondered what happened to her. She was in The Running Man with Schwarzenegger and Extreme Prejudice with Nick Nolte and then "poof" she went off the grid. Per her Wikipedia page she's been working, but for me, it seemed like she stopped being in movies (at least movies I watched) after this.

1997- Los Angeles…the city is undergoing the hottest summer on record and brutal and extremely well- armed drug gangs are warring all over the streets. When Lieutenant Mike Harrigan and his crack team of cops try to apprehend a group of extremely well-armed gang bangers after a prolonged shoot out, they find the criminals mutilated and dead by an unseen combatant. Harrigan's right hand man, Danny even says "Whoever he is we should put him on the payroll." But it's not a "he" it's a Predator from outer space and it's claimed L.A as his Safari hunting grounds!

The Predators are drawn to conflict to seek out and hunt opponents they consider worthy trophies. (or so we are told in dialogue) With gangs having violent gun battles all over the place with the police and rival gangs, this Predator has plenty of targets to choose from. Harrigan and his squad stumble upon another scene a day or so later where the Predator has killed members of the drug gang called the Jamaican Voodoo Posse (I love that name) which raises the ire of Government Agent Peter Keyes. Harrigan was told to stay out of it before by his commanding officer and the Deputy Chief of Police but he's a movie cop which means he NEVER follows orders. Even when Keyes threatens him…as in telling him "he'll turn up missing" …if he doesn't back off. Harrigan ignores him. Heck, he tells his boss 3 seconds after being ordered again to stay out of Keye's way that he's simply not going to obey that order.

To be fair, Harrigan did only do his freakin' job the first two times he encountered the Predator's leavings. He didn't know what Keyes was after because he didn't know there was an actual Extra Terrestrial running around gutting people. By the time he finds out, the Predator has shifted focus and decides to go after Harrigan's squad. Keyes has no choice but to tell him about the Predator when Harrigan tracks his team to a meat warehouse where the alien has been stopping by to munch on some Grade-A American Beef. Keyes has set a trap for the Predator but that plan goes south when Keyes fails to realize the Predator isn't exactly stupid and can friggin' hear. Harrigan finally gets to go toe to toe with the Predator, and chases it to his hidden spaceship. After defeating the alien, he finds that there are a bunch of 'em in the ship. Instead of killing him though, they present him with a trophy (an 18th century flintlock) and depart the Earth.

Predator II wasn't a bad movie, but it lacked the cartoon like humor/violence of the original and really any kind of meaningful violence. We don't really see the alien kill on its rampages because the camera switches between alien-vision where everything is an infra-red blur and normal POV and the alien is practically invisible. The Predator kills Danny but we don't even see that kill, we just hear it. It kills the Jamaican Voodoo Posse leader, King Willy, but we don't see that fight at all. When it goes after Lambert and Cantrell on a subway its either alien-blur vision or strobing between pitch black with cuts of screaming people. Heck, you don't even really see the Predator get to kill Keyes because the actual moment of his being decapitated is obscured by slabs of cow meat.

Danny Glover isn't that convincing as an action hero, either. Look, I like Mister Glover and I do think he's a good actor. He was great as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon movies so it's not his acting. It's that he didn't get to do too much "action-hero" stuff. Yeah, he cursed, dropped F-Bombs and got in people's faces, but he didn't really kick some ass. There are no scenes where Harrigan beats up some crooks or does some crazy stunts to win a bar fight or something. By the time you get to the end of the movie you just resign yourself to the fact that he has to win because he's the movie's hero.

It's a shame too, because the movie did have a good cast. Glover and Busey were at the top of the bill, Ruben Blades (who can currently be seen on AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead") was underused, Alonso was just there to be "the chick". Fans of Lethal Weapon movies will recognize Steve Kahan playing the SWAT sergeant. In Lethal Weapon(s) he was the Captain over Murtaugh (Glover) and Riggs (Mel Gibson). Sci-fi fans may notice Kent McCord as Captain Pilgrim. He played Jack Crichton, the father of the Farscape series main character John Crichton on that show….and those of us long in the tooth will recognize Morton Downey Jr. as Pope, the reporter…even though Downey was largely playing himself.


1.) The movie opens with a sweeping ariel shot of what you think is the jungle, but surprise! It's downtown Los Angeles where the police are in a prolonged gun battle (and losing) with drug gangs on the street. There are news reporters there so you get the idea this has been going on for some time...but...then how are the gangs getting their ammo? They're firing at full auto with assualt rifgles that must have neverending rounds. Admittedly movies do this kind of thing a lot, but it still seems kind of silly. I mean do they have some lowly gang member running back and forth with an ammo can or constantly filling magazines? I didn't see him.
• Okay, I get it, you want to show that in this supposedly awful future of 1997 crime has almost overwhelmed the law enforcement of LA. But the police would (theoretically) be able to have access to far more ammunition than the gang members in this scene, and the gangs would HAVE to run out of ammo sooner or later.
NOT Averted...yeah, I know they show the gang members with an unholy amount of ammo and weapons in the building but if they had all of these rocket launchers and high caliber weapons of destruction why didn't they pull that stuff out earlier instead of a prolonged gun battle with the authorities? I ain't buyin' it.
• A few snipers on the buildings or a helicopter could have solved this problem pretty damned fast. Again, not averted....even though the doughy police sergeant has dialogue that states that the Special Weapons Team is involved in Another shoot out and the bad guys shot down a police chopper there. You gonna tell me that the LA police department only has ONE chopper?
• There sure are a lot of civilian gawkers in the area! I mean, geez, there are even CHILDREN in the background! Who the hell would stick around to watch an all out gun war with gangs and the cops on the street? With their kids?

2.) I love how the cops seem hopelessly outmatched until Harrigan shows up, no body armor, and does what the all of the other cops (WEARING BODY ARMOR) should have done like an hour ago. He basically just bulldozes his car into the scene and blasts the gang shooters with a shotgun.

He does not say "I'm too old for this shit!" in this movie

3.) After the Predator kills his second bunch of victims and our heroes investigate the scene Danny notes that some of the dead chumps are part of the Jamaican Voodoo Posse, led by a guy named "King Willie". Now the movie has set up the Jamaican Voodoo Posse as a major gang in the city, but Lambert (Bill Paxton) asks "Who the hell is King Willy?". Wouldn't he know that? He's supposed to be a hotshot cop in a city that is having shootouts with these gangs in the streets! When Lambert first arrives in the movie he tells Harrigan he busted his ass to get transferred to this unit. But he didn't bother to find out exactly who the criminals are first? No wonder the cops are in such a mess!

4.) Why exactly is the Predator back in the apartment where he killed all of the gang members when Danny sneaks in to gather evidence? He couldn't have been hiding the entire time unless both the police and Keye's team are super inept. (Keyes and his men KNOW the Predator can cloak itself, so you'd think they'd be prepared for that). That means the Predator killed his prey, and then came back hours later for absolutely no reason.
• It's equally as stupid to say he came back to get his little fork projectile. First, is that the ONLY one he has? That's dumb. Second, why wouldn't he have retrieved it from the wall it's stuck in before he left the first time? There was no reason he couldn't or wouldn't and he had plenty of time to do so. Third, how did Keyes and his men, who are SPECIFICALLY looking to study the alien's weaponry miss the daggone thing when they were there?
• The Medical Examiner tells Harrigan and Lambert that Danny's death was instantaneous. Ummm...no it wasn't. We could hear him screaming and even saying "No! Please!" as the Predator "boned him like a fish". (We don't get to see the murder. At all.)

This dumbass brings a cane sword to an Evil Alien Fight

5.) Harrigan jacks Keyes up in the lobby of police headquarters because...reasons? He's pissed about Danny's death, but Keye's had nothing to do with that, yet he acts like Keyes is somehow responsible for it. This is literally 2 minutes after the chief and his captain told him to stay out of the investigation and leave Keye's task force alone. In front of about two dozen witnesses to boot. How does this guy still have a job?

6.) It didn't occur to the crack team of Alien Hunting Federal Agents that the Predator might have some form of high tech night vision goggles?

7.) Seriously movie? You expect me to believe this old lady (or her unseen husband that she speaks to) let alone anyone else in the apartment building only heard the Predator roar when it treated its wound in her bathroom but not when it crashed through the third story bathroom window and started demolishing the wall?

8.) I wonder if the Predator aliens were an inspiration for the Hirogen Hunters from Star Trek: Voyager? If anyone knows, drop me an email.


♦ If you think about it, you'll want to drink more....Keyes straight up tells Harrigan that he'll "turn up missing" if he keeps investigating the weird-ass Predator murders. Now what exactly does he expect the Police or Harrigan TO do? Keyes and his team show up AFTER the Predator has killed. The police don't know at this time that an alien is involved. Does Keyes just figure the police should not even respond to multiple murders at all? Wouldn't it make more sense to let Harrigan and the others involved in on the truth? That way he could get their cooperation. Other than to make Keyes the Obstructive Bureacrat there's no reason NOT to tell him the truth.

When you're casting military-grade a**holes for a movie, these are the go-to guys

♦ For a team that is hunting the Predator and trying to keep it's existence a secret, Keyes and his fed team sure leave a lot evidence lying around at the crime scenes for any schmuck to find.
♦ Harrigan goes to mourn for a moment at Danny's grave. But...this is like 2 days at the most AFTER he was murdered! What'd they do, take him a "Drive Thru Mortuary" or something?
♦ Keyes says the Predator returns to the same meat packing warehouse every two days to feed because it has a taste for beef. Wouldn't the employees of this place notice big chunks of frozen beef going missing? Somebody has to work there. Also why would this alien hunter eat earth food in such an obvious place when it has a hidden ship under the city? Did it forget to pack a lunch?


This movie is chock full of 'em....here's a few.
Lt. Harrigan is the living embodiment of the Cowboy Cop trope. He doesn't obey a single order given to him by his superiors in the entire movie to the point of declaring his intentions to disobey them directly to his boss and assaulting Keyes in the middle of the Police Station.

Of course if the movie has an earthbound alien it a shadowy, secret government agency will be there too, and no they won't let the local authorities in on the issue, even when it would probably be to the benefit of their mission.

This flick was filmed in 1990, released in 1991 and back then the LA seen in it seemed kind of plausible in 1997. Predator II has elements of this trope and this trope in it.


With really no scary or gorey scenes this flick is one you can at least enjoy with the kids. Its worthy of having at least tried to shake up the Predator mythos, such as it was in 1991 by putting the story in an urban and heavily populated area instead of a remote jungle.

three beers

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