Predator 2 is a 1990 American science fiction horror film written by brothers Jim and John Thomas, directed by Stephen Hopkins, and starring Danny Glover, Ruben Blades, Gary Busey, María Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Peter Hall. The film is second installment of the Predator franchise, serving as a sequel to 1987's Predator.
In 1997 Los Angeles is suffering from both a heat wave and a turf war between heavily-armed Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels. A Predator watches a shootout between the police and Colombians, observing as Lieutenant Michael Harrigan charges into the firefight to rescue two wounded officers and drive the Colombians back into their hideout. Before the police can follow them in, the Predator crashes through a skylight and kills the Colombians. Harrigan and his detectives Leona Cantrell and Danny Archuleta find the Colombians have been slaughtered. Harrigan pursues the gang leader onto the roof and shoots him, catching a glimpse of the camouflaged Predator's silhouette, but dismissing it as an effect of the heat. Harrigan is rebuked by his superiors for disobeying orders. He is also introduced to Special Agent Peter Keyes, leader of a federal task force purportedly investigating the cartels, and Detective Jerry Lambert, the newest member of Harrigan's team.
The Predator then kills several Jamaican cartel members, who are murdering the Colombian drug lord Ramon Vega. Despite being ordered to wait for Keyes, Harrigan and his team enter the penthouse, where they find the Jamaicans' skinned corpses suspended from the rafters. Keyes kicks Harrigan's team out, but Danny later returns to continue investigating. He finds one of the Predator's speartip weapons in an air conditioning vent, but is then killed by the Predator. Harrigan vows to bring down Danny's killer, believing, they are dealing with an assassin. A forensic scientist finds the speartip does not correspond to any element on the periodic table. Harrigan meets with Jamaican drug lord King Willie, a voodoo practitioner, who tells him that the killer is supernatural. After Harrigan leaves, the Predator kills King Willie.
Cantrell and Lambert are intervening in a mugging on the subway, when the Predator attacks them. Cantrell herds the passengers to safety, while Lambert faces off against the Predator and is killed. The Predator is about to kill Cantrell as well, but releases her, when its thermal vision reveals, that she is pregnant. Harrigan chases the Predator, but is stopped by Keyes, who reveals that the killer is an extraterrestrial hunter with infrared vision, uses active camouflage and has been hunting humans for sport, citing the events of The Predator. Keyes and his team have set a trap in a nearby slaughterhouse, using thermally insulated suits and cryogenic weapons in an attempt to capture it for study. However, the Predator sees through the trap by using its mask to scan through various electromagnetic wavelengths and kills the team. Harrigan intervenes, shooting the Predator several times and removing its mask.
Still alive, the Predator kills Keyes using a throwing disc and escapes to the roof. Harrigan knocks it over the side and finds himself on a narrow ledge with the Predator hanging below. The Predator attempts to activate the self-destruct device on its forearm, but Harrigan uses the throwing disc to sever its forearm and destroy the device. The Predator falls through an apartment window and uses a medical kit to treat its wounds, then flees through the building. Harrigan follows it down an elevator shaft and finds its spacecraft in an underground chamber. Inside the ship, the two face off in a final duel, with Harrigan finally killing the Predator by impaling its chest with the throwing disc. A number of other Predators appear, collecting their dead comrade and presenting Harrigan with an antique flintlock pistol labeled "Raphael Adolini 1715". Harrigan escapes the ship, as it takes off and reaches the surface just as the remainder of Keyes' team arrives, furious that they were unable to capture the alien. Harrigan speculates, that the creatures will return.
- Danny Glover as Mike Harrigan
- Ruben Blades as Danny Archuleta
- Gary Busey as Peter Keyes
- Maria Conchita Alonso as Leona Cantrell
- Bill Paxton as Jerry Lambert
- Adam Baldwin as Garber
- Robert Davi as Captain Phil Heinemann
- Kent McCord as Captain B. Pilgrim
- Kevin Peter Hall as The Predator
- Teri Weigel as the Columbian girl
- Morton Downey Jr. as Tony Pope
- Calvin Lockhart as King Willie
Once 20th Century Fox approached Predator screenwriters Jim and John Thomas to write a sequel, they pitched six ideas, one of which was "putting the creature in an urban jungle", which the studio liked. The eventual setting was Los Angeles, portrayed as a city blighted by gang warfare in the midst of a severe heat wave, creating the ideal "hot spot" in which the Predator would search for hunting targets. The script was then developed in just three weeks. A goal of the sequel would be to expand on the Predator's origins and motives, showing the creature has been visiting the planet for centuries, is not psychopathic, but just interested in hunting, and depicting its spacecraft on screen. Much of the movie was also filmed in LA.
Producer Joel Silver invited director Stephen Hopkins, who drew his interest while directing A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. As Hopkins joined production before the screenplay was finished, he worked closely with the Thomases in the script revisions and storyboarding the sequences they had written. Silver brought in two actors he had worked with in Lethal Weapon, Danny Glover and Gary Busey. Due to a dispute over salary, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred as Dutch in the first film, declined to return to the sequel. Production was split between location shooting, mostly at night, and soundstage filming.
The main Predator was designed to look more urban and hip than its predecessor. Design changes included tribal ornamentation on the forehead, which was made steeper and shallower, brighter skin coloration and a greater number of fangs. Describing the new Predator's design, Stan Winston said, "Broad concept's the same. The difference is, this is a different individual. A different individual of the same species. As in a snake is a snake, but different snakes are different. Their colorings are different, different parts of their characteristics, their facial structures, subtle differences." Production designer Lawrence Paull said that with the Predator ship, he attempted "a space vehicle unlike anything that had ever been designed before", a snail-shaped vessel whose interior was "both technological and reptilian, where the creature and its ship blend and work together". Given the Alien franchise was also by Fox and featured effects work by Winston, the crew decided to add an Alien head among the trophy skulls in the Predator ship.
The writers decided to set Predator 2 ten years after the original, which was the then-future of 1997, leading to some developments like new video technology and a then-nonexistent subway in Los Angeles (the Los Angeles Metro Rail started operating the same year the film hit theaters). For the set design, Paul aimed for a "kind of retrograde future that's equal parts Brazil and Blade Runner mixed in with modern-day technology", with "big and outrageous" structures but simpler prop design, such as boxy and colorless cars.