Ten years after the events of the first film, in 1997, Los Angeles is living through a heat wave and a war between Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels. An invisible predator watches a shootout between the police and the drug-dealers, as Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) charges into the firefight to rescue two wounded officers and drive the Colombians back to their hideout.
The Predator attacks the Colombians, causing a disturbance. Acting against orders, Harrigan, with Detective Leona Cantrell (Maria Conchita Alonso) and Detective Danny Archuleta (Ruben Blades), enters the hideout. On the roof, Harrigan shoots the gang-leader and catches a glimpse of the Predator but dismisses it as a result of the heat. Back at the station, Harrigan is reprimanded for his disobedience. He is introduced to Special Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), the leader of a DEA task force investigating the cartels, and Detective Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton) the newest member of Harrigan’s team.
That night, the Jamaicans enter the Colombian drug lord’s penthouse and murder him, but they are slaughtered by the Predator (Kevin Peter Hall, reprising his role in the first movie). Investigating, Harrigan’s team find the drug lord’s body and the skinned corpses of his lieutenants hanging from the rafters. Keyes arrives and kicks Harrigan’s team out. Danny comes back later, but after he finds one of the Predator’s weapons in a vent, the Predator kills him. Harrigan vows to get Danny’s killer. Forensics reports that the weapon is not made of any known element on Earth. Harrigan goes to the Jamaican drug lord King Willie (Calvin Lockhart), a Voodoo priest, who tells him the killer is supernatural. After Harrigan leaves, the Predator kills King Willie and takes his head.
A lead suggests that Danny’s killer had been in a slaughterhouse and Harrigan arranges to meet his team there. Cantrell and Lambert take the subway, and the Predator attacks. Lambert is killed, as are a number of armed passengers, but a scan indicates that Cantrell is pregnant, so she is spared. Harrigan arrives and chases the Predator, but is interrupted by Keyes, who tells Harrigan that the killer is an extra-terrestrial hunter with infrared vision and active camouflage who has been hunting armed humans during conflicts, most recently in Central America. Keyes has set a trap for it.
The trap is sprung, but the Predator scans various electro-magnetic wavelengths to identify the team’s flashlights and slaughters the men. Harrigan attacks the Predator, wounding it, but the creature destroys Harrigan’s weapon. Keyes arrives and is cut in half, as Harrigan flees to the roof. They struggle and the Predator falls through an apartment window, treats its wounds, and escapes.
Harrigan follows it down an elevator shaft and finds a spaceship in an underground chamber. He finds a trophy room with skulls, including one of the Xenomorphs from Aliens. He meets up with the Predator and in a final duel, he kills the Predator with a throwing disc. A group of Predators appear and collect their dead comrade. One of them presents Harrigan with an antique flintlock pistol as a trophy. He escapes as the ship takes off and he reaches the surface to surprise Keyes. The Keyes people regret that they missed a chance to capture the creature, but Harrigan is sure it will be back.
The film was written by Jim and John Thomas and directed by Stephen Hopkins. It was produced by Joel Silver, and Alan Silvestri did the music, with the Skywalker Orchestra. Though Danny Glover was praised, it opened to negative reviews, but eventually became a cult classic. What I like was what 20th Century Fox liked—the setting in the Urban Jungle, in contrast to the real jungle in the first movie. Filming in the Los Angeles alleyways was difficult. They were littered with garbage and rats. Residents were disturbed by the noise and threw bottles and bags of feces at the crew. Then they found a dead body in the garbage. By this time, they wished they were back in the Mexican jungle with the snakes and the leeches.
Needing tall people to play the Predators, they hired Los Angeles Lakers. The Predator’s spear was stolen. The Predators in the film are called City Hunter, Elder Grayback, Boar, Both, Guardian, Hippie, Ram, Scout, Snake, and Stalker. Their costumes disappeared and they are now called the Lost Predators. The theory is that the ship lands, all the Predators go to various places on Earth to hunt, return to the ship, and take off. Actor Bill Paxton has the honor of having been killed by a Terminator, a Predator, and an Alien, as does Lance Henriksen.