Other than the title having the letter ‘s,’ tacked on the end, this sequel is not a vast improvement nor a different movie like Aliens was. It’s almost the same movie from 1987 but it did suck much less than AVP; I never saw AVP 2 because I was so underwhelmed by the predecessor. This doesn’t mean Predators is terrible, it just doesn’t break any new ground regarding the alien game hunters.
The beginning is awesome as we see the film’s main character Royce suddenly waking up and he’s plummeting to the ground. He has a parachute yet it won’t open, it lacks a rip cord. Then it activates with seconds to go. Royce lands, gets his bearings and teams up with several soldiers, several criminals and a doctor who also have recently landed. They’re a motley bunch from around the world: an IDF sniper, a Zetas enforcer, an RUF member, a death-row inmate, etc. Each one except for the physician, is a dangerous killer…on Earth. Now they’re on a planet the Predators (this race has never had an official name) use as a game preserve and the odds are against them for obvious reasons: the Predators have advanced technology to make themselves invisible namely.
Seventy percent of the movie then just repeats what happened in the original…the protagonists are eliminated one by one except this time there are three Predators working together as a team. This precedent was established in AVP. The only new thing we learn about them is that their race may be divided into two camps based upon size, similar to the differences between wolves and dogs as a survivor of past hunts explains. (Not a spoiler alert, everyone knows Laurence Fishburne is in this.)
Despite Netflix’s DVD having a couple glitches while it played, I thought the movie was an okay waste of time. My disappointment remains because Rodriguez and his crew failed to pull of what Cameron did 24 years ago; making a different genre flick with the same foe. Alien and Aliens go together and they’re great, there’s no disconnection. However, the former is Sci-Fi Horror while the latter is Sci-Fi Action. Predator 2 has more differences than Predators did and it had the great Bill Paxton as a cast member.
The problem in my opinion lies in the franchise’s star, the Predator. Besides hunting down humans like they’re animals, is there any other plot one can tell with these creatures? I do have a quick answer of “Yes with a but,” because Dark Horse and DC Comics succeeded in the Nineties through their joint comic miniseries Batman v. Predator. Mixing the two genres resulted in a plausible, well-executed story. As for another movie…I’d say Fox should retire the alien until someone can achieved a solution like Cameron did through Aliens.