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.
Years later after the incident in Val Verde, somewhere in the city of Los Angeles, it is suffering from a sweltering heat-wave and a war is raging between the police and Colombian and Jamaican drug gangs. Police detectives Leona Cantrell and Danny Archuleta are engaged in a protracted shootout with the Colombians, awaiting the assistance of their boss, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan. After a long, intense firefight, Harrigan's aggressive tactics force the criminals to withdraw into a nearby building. Suddenly, a series of explosions rock the structure, followed by mysterious gunfire. Harrigan and his fellow detectives proceed inside against orders, only to find the Colombians have been mysteriously slaughtered and hanged. Harrigan follows the only survivor, El Scorpio, to the roof of the structure and shoots him, causing him to fall to his death. As reinforcements arrive, Harrigan catches sight of what appears to be the hazy silhouette of a transparent figure, but dismisses it as an effect of the heat.
At his police station, Harrigan is introduced to Special Agent Peter Keyes, leader of a federal task force purportedly investigating the leagues, and is warned to stay out of this, news he does not take to kindly. Harrigan is also introduced to a young, cocky officer who has been assigned to his team known as Jerry "The Lone Ranger" Lambert.
That night, a Jamaican gang attack Colombian drug lord Ramon Vega in his apartment, ritualistically murdering him. The same figure that Harrigan encountered strikes, slaughtering the Jamaicans and leaving only Vega's unarmed girlfriend alive. Arriving at the scene first, Harrigan and his team enter against orders, observing one of the creature's weapons stuck in an air-conditioner before Keyes and his team arrive. Enraged at his defiance, Keyes threatens Harrigan, saying he will "disappear" if he interferes again. His suspicions aroused, Harrigan orders Jerry to follow Keyes, while he and Danny discuss plans to return to the crime scene later for further investigation into the murders. Danny arrives before Harrigan and attempts to retrieve the weapon they spotted earlier, which has gone unnoticed by Keyes' team. Unfortunately, the figure has also returned to the scene and after revealing himself to be another Predator to Danny, attacks and kills him.
Harrigan is devastated, vowing to his superiors and Keyes that he will destroy the killer responsible for his friend's death at any cost believing they are dealing with an assassin. After Leona and Jerry trail Keyes to a slaughterhouse, they visit the city's chief pathologist regarding the weapon Danny had found. She notes that the material it is made of does not correspond with any element on the periodic table, and that it has almost no weight despite cutting like steel. Harrigan decides to set up a meeting with Jamaican drug lord King Willie, hoping he may know who is behind the attacks. Willie states that whoever, or whatever, is involved in the killings of his men, they are not of this world. More confused than ever, Harrigan leaves before the Predator attacks and decapitates King Willie.
Leona suspects that the killer is toying with Harrigan. Further clues from the pathologist link the killer to a slaughterhouse, such as the one to which Jerry tailed Keyes. Harrigan tells Leona and Jerry to meet him there, but while en route, they witness a group of armed thugs threatening an innocent passenger on the subway. They pull their guns, initiating a tense standoff that is broken when the Predator suddenly bursts in through the roof of the train and begins slaughtering his enemies. During the confusion, Leona leads the passengers towards the front of the train while Jerry confronts the Predator. After stopping the train and getting the passengers to the surface, Leona doubles back to find Jerry and the thugs dead. She also encounters the Predator, which overpowers her.
Harrigan arrives at the scene to discover Leona is still alive, having been spared because she was pregnant. Following a blood trail down the subway tunnel, Harrigan witnesses the Predator mutilating Jerry's body by removing his skull and spine as a trophy. Harrigan pursues the creature to the surface and then across town in his car, only to be captured by Keyes' special team.
Keyes finally reveals to Harrigan the true nature of the killer, and that he and his team have been following encounters with these "other world life forms", including an incident ten years previously when Dutch and his team were attacked and decimated in the jungles of Val Verde. Keyes and his men are determined to capture the Predator in Los Angeles for study, realizing its value as a potential means for immense technological advance. Armed with cryogenic weaponry intended to immobilize the creature, they have set a trap for it in a vacant slaughterhouse which the Predator has been raiding. The team wear thermally insulated suits to mask their heat signatures and render them invisible to the Predator's heat-based vision. However, the Predator switches his mask's scanner through a range of electromagnetic wavelengths, finally settling on the ultraviolet spectrum, allowing him to expose the black lights being used by the team for illumination. The Predator attacks and massacres the team before heavily wounding Keyes. Harrigan, who foresaw trouble, was able to escape custody and arms himself before heading inside to confront the Predator himself.
Inside the slaughterhouse, Harrigan attacks the Predator with a shotgun, badly wounding him before the creature rallies, destroys his weapon and closes in. However, Harrigan is saved by Keyes, who tries to incapacitate the alien, but is killed by his throwing disc. Harrigan follows the Predator to a rooftop and the two clash, leaving them hanging from a ledge. The Predator activates a self-destruct device on his forearm, but Harrigan severs it using the throwing disc. The Predator falls through an apartment window, treats and heals his wounds before fleeing through the building.
Harrigan follows the Predator down an elevator shaft and finds a spaceship hidden in an underground tunnel. Inside the ship, after briefly glimpsing a trophy room with various skulls, Harrigan is attacked by the Predator. The two engage in a final duel on board until Harrigan finally kills the Predator by using his own disc. Afterwards, an exhausted Harrigan suddenly finds himself surrounded by several more Predators and resigns himself to his fate. Instead of attacking, the Predators carry away their dead clan-mate, while an Elder Predator gives Harrigan a flintlock pistol as a sign of respect. Harrigan escapes the ship just as it leaves and blasts off into space.
Back on the surface, the remaining members of Keyes' team confront him, blaming his interference for their failure to capture the Predator. As Keyes' subordinate Garber flees ahead of police backup, Harrigan, holding the flintlock in his hand, responds that the Predators will return.
- The Predator .... Kevin Peter Hall
- Harrigan .... Danny Glover
- Keyes .... Gary Busey
- Danny .... Ruben Blades
- Leona .... Maria Conchita Alonso
- Jerry .... Bill Paxton
- Heinemann .... Robert Davi
- Garber .... Adam Baldwin
- Captain Pilgrim .... Kent McCord
- Pope .... Morton Downey, Jr.
- King Willie .... Calvin Lockhart
- Sergeant .... Steve Kahan
- El Scorpio .... Henry Kingi
- Ramon Vega .... Corey Rand
- Anna .... Elpidia Carrillo
- Irene Edwards .... Lilyan Chauvin
- Gold Tooth .... Michael Mark Edmondson
- Columbian Girl .... Teri Weigel
- Subway Gang Leader .... William R. Perry
- Subway Gang .... Alex Chapman
- Subway Gang .... Gerard G. Williams
- Subway Gang .... John Cann
- Subway Gang .... Michael Papajohn
- Patrolman .... Lou Eppolito
- Charlie .... Charlie Haugk
- Ruth .... Sylvia Kauders
- Commuter .... Charles David Richards
- Juan Beltran .... Julian Reyes
- Federal Team .... Casey Sander
- Federal Team .... Pat Skipper
- Federal Team .... Carmine Zozzora
- Reporter .... Valerie Karasek
- Reporter .... Chuck Boyd
- Reporter .... David Starwalt
- Reporter .... Abraham Alvarez
- Reporter .... Jim Ishida
- Reporter .... George Christy
- Reporter .... Lucinda Weist
- Paramedic .... Richard Anthony Crenna
- Paramedic .... Billy "Sly" Williams
- Detective .... Paulo Tocha
- Detective .... Nick Corri
- Hooker .... DeLynn Binzel
- Officer .... Tom Finnegan
- Officer .... Patience Moore
- Jamaican .... Kashka
- Jamaican .... Jeffrey Reed
- Cop on Phone .... Carl Pistilli
- Sweet .... Vonte Sweet
- Jerome .... Ron Moss
- Brian .... Brian Levinson
- Leona's Friend .... Diana James
- Woman Officer .... Beth Kanar
- Cop .... Paul Abascal
- Cop .... Michael Wiseman
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.