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Predator is the ultimate hunter – all fans know as much of course. But here we have proof of that fact – and what’s more proof that no one move franchise can contain him.

Thanks to Christian atĀ www.channelflip.com for sending us this awesome clip!

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Predator 2 is a masterpiece. From Danny Glover’s subtly nuanced performance to Stephen Hopkins’ masterly direction, the film never puts a foot wrong. Every character, however small, resounds with a full life of their own. Glover’s approach to the role of Lieutenant Mike Harrigan is not really a ‘performance’ per se, rather a full scale inhabitation of the character. Harrigan’s oversized pastel coloured shirts and constant sweating represent perhaps the most perfect depiction of the postmodern man’s spiritual journey outside (or should I say, ‘outside’) his own corporeal boundaries. His body is contained within great swathes of material, perhaps representative of the asphyxiating layers of late capitalist corporate and police bureaucracy within which Harrigan finds himself entombed. However, the constant sweat patches display that a physiological reality remains defiant underneath the swaddlings. His masterful delivery of the line ‘He can kiss my sweet ass’ reminds us ruefully of an attempt to reclaim the reality of the body within the structures of simulacra that comprise his daily reality. Moreover, the depiction of his apparent fear of heights is cause for further critical praise. Despite numerous encounters with tall buildings, Glover only ‘remembers’ his character’s fear of heights once or twice. This selective memory – and the complete abandonment of his fear when Harrigan jumps off a building at the film’s climax – displays powerfully the manner in which social constructs and fetishes like ‘phobia’ are in fact highly unstable, a momentary return of the repressed in Freudian terms which can appear and disappear at any given moment.

The depiction of the Jamaican drug dealers as drug smoking, voodoo worshipping, eye rolling lunatics again calls us with a plaintive craftsman’s eye to the employment of pastiche as a replacement for the degraded, free-floating form of parody. With the delivery of the line ‘fucking voodoo magic man’ the drug lord ‘King Willie’ (his own moniker a clear reference to the phallic processes of the naming realm of the Symbolic evidenced by Lacan) is performing a subtle dance with the signifiers of nationhood (voodoo, of course, originating in Haiti – a deliberate wrong footing by Hopkins to draw attention to all our preconceptions) and contemporary, ‘orientalist’ (to use Edward Said’s term in an apposite manner) constructions of personality.

Perhaps the crowning achievement in this masterful work is the sequence in which the Predator bursts into the apartment of an elderly woman. Harrigan shows his badge – ‘Police’ – and the woman responds ‘I don’t think he gives a shit’. What better affront to the traditional bourgeoise teleology most evidenced in the inevitable creation of the unified system of the police force? The Predator, therefore, becomes both paradoxically rebel and anti-rebel, his uncaring response both an opposition to and identification with traditional hegemony.

What’s more, the decision to have the Predator in Predator 2 say ‘motherfucker’ despite the fact that it was actually the Predator in the first film who heard the word shows a powerful and defiant postmodern abandonment of stratified boundaries. In a world where reality itself is textual, Hopkins shows that the limits of logic are uncontained and that truly great filmmaking relies on the endless intertextual ‘play’ evidenced in works like Derrida’s masterful On Grammatology. One longs for Hopkins to return to the Predator franchise, though this masterpiece would be difficult to surmount.

Could this be the best film ever made?