‘Predator 2’ [1990] Ending, Explained: What is the Predator Doing in Los Angeles?

“Predator 2” takes place in Los Angeles, California. It is set in the year 1997, 10 years after events of the first film in the franchise. It is not the same Predator we saw in the previous film, but it has the same competitive attitude and hunts people for sport. We find out a lot more about its species in this film, and there are also subtle details that prove that they are somehow linked to the aliens from “Aliens” (1979) and “Aliens 2” (1986), which would be explored years later in “Alien vs. Predator” (2004). But for now, here’s more on “Predator 2”.

Spoilers Ahead

What Happens In ‘Predator 2’ Film?

The city of Los Angeles is experiencing heat waves. And also, conflict is on the rise, with Colombian and Jamaican drug friends waging war against the police in the streets of downtown LA. As the police face trouble lowering the heat and bringing down the thugs, Lieutenant Michael “Mike” Harrigan arrives on the scene and goes ballistic on the thugs. As the thugs begin running out of bullets, they get inside a nearby building that holds more weaponry. However, Mike and his peers are to not enter the building on Chief Phil Heinemann’s orders but secure the perimeter and wait. But Harrigan, known for his obsessive-compulsive personality, decides to go in anyway. As he is about to enter, an explosion occurs inside the building. Hannigan and his teammates, Danny and Leona, rush in, followed by a handful of cops.

As they search from room to room, one of the thugs rushes out of one, spooked and apparently trying to shoot at someone inside that room. Noticing the cops, he turns at them, heavily injuring one, and then runs up to the terrace. Hannigan follows him and finds him standing on the ledge. He points his gun at the guy and tells him to come down. Hannigan’s words fall on deaf ears as the guy is scared to death of something and is looking all around for it. Finally, he sees it, and so do we. It is the Predator with his cloak on, standing behind Hannigan. He raises his gun to shoot the Predator but instead gets shot at by Hannigan, who thinks that the guy is going to shoot him. The guy falls off the ledge, all the way down to his death. When Hannigan turns, he too sees the cloaked Predator but thinks that it is the extreme heat that is playing tricks with his mind. The cops arrive at the roof to secure it while Harrigan, who has a fear of heights, comes down with Danny to the armory, where they find all the dead bodies of the other thugs. All their hearts have been ripped off their chests [the Predator’s signature style]. They also find one of them hanging from the ceiling. They have no idea who did all this.

Once outside, Hannigan finds his Chief, Phil Heinemann, waiting for him. He is not at all happy with the way Hannigan disregarded his order to not enter the building. He is told to return to his office, which basically means he is being removed from the case that is now a “federal matter.” Hannigan is enraged as he sees a chopper land and a handful of guys come out of it and enter the building. He almost pounces on Heinemann when Danny manages to stop him and take him away, saying that it’s not worth it.

Upon reaching his station, Harrigan finds out that his case has been handed to a federal task force led by special agent Peter Keyes, and he is expected to extend complete cooperation. As irritated as he is, he walks it off without saying anything. Danny tells him that there is a new guy who has joined the department, Jerry Lambert, who has earned the title of “the lone ranger” due to his working methods. Harrigan calls for him and tells him that he may be what he is known to be, but where he is now is a whole new ball game. “Welcome to the war,” Harrigan tells him.

On the other hand, in downtown LA, Crack King Ramon Vega, the biggest drug operator in East LA, along with his wife, is attacked in his penthouse by the feared Jamaican Voodoo Posse, working under the voodoo priest King Willie. When he offers them money to let him go, they tell him that it’s not about money but power. As they prepare to kill him, the Predator strikes. One by one, it kills all of them, sparing only the woman. Then, as is the ritual, he shreds their skin, rips off their hearts, and leaves. When Harrigan and his team, including their newest addition, Jerry Lambert, arrive at the scene, they are again told to not enter the building as federal officers will handle the investigation. And again, Harrigan disobeys and enters the penthouse. As they look around for clues, Danny finds an object stuck high up on a wall that appears to be some kind of weapon.

Meanwhile, Peter Keyes and his team arrive at the spot and tell Harrigan to leave with his team. Harrigan tells Jerry to follow wherever Ramon’s woman is being taken. Lambert later tells him that the woman was hustled off in a chopper by Keyes’ men. Harrigan then tells him to track Keyes. Later on, we see Danny return to Ramon’s penthouse late at night all by himself to recover the object he saw earlier. But as he is about to reach it, he is killed by the Predator.

Chief Phil Heinemann makes it clear that Danny’s death is a final warning for Harrigan to stay away from the federal investigation headed by Peter Keyes. A few minutes later, Harrigan confronts Keyes and tells him to stay out of his way “because now it’s personal.” Danny was a close friend of Harrigan, and he had made up his mind to kill whoever murdered Danny. Lambert reveals later on that Keyes and his team are clearly not looking for drug dealers. They are setting up radar sensors and other special equipment. And they are somewhere around Vernon, a place famous for its slaughterhouse. Harrigan decides to meet with King Willie as both of them “seem to have the same problem.” Someone or something is killing both of their men. And Harrigan believes he can find some answers from King Willie.

On one hand, Keyes and his men are searching for something using their equipment, while on the other hand, Harrigan and Lambert visit the foremost medical examiner in the city to find out more about the dead victims. The doctor reveals that the federal team had cut her out too and brought in their own examiners. Harrigan shows her the weapon he pried from Danny’s corpse. It is found that whatever substance it is made up of cannot be found in the Periodic Table. In other words, it is either made of some element that is yet undiscovered or is not found on Earth.

Harrigan’s meeting with King Willie goes absurd and doesn’t make sense to Harrigan. Willie tells him that whoever is killing their men belongs to the “spirit world.” After Harrigan leaves the meeting spot, the Predator kills Willie, beheads him, and takes off with his head.

King Willie’s death adds to the turmoil that is going on in downtown LA. An analysis of a piece of wood at Ramon Vega’s penthouse revealed traces of cattle blood and steroids, and the only place where both of these can be found that is within their circle of investigation is the Vernon slaughterhouse, where Keyes and his men are. Harrigan, who has been having this conversation on the phone with Leone, Lambert and the female doctor on the other end of the line, tells Leone and Lambert to meet him at the Vernon station in an hour, from where they will continue together. Harrigan then pays a visit to Danny’s grave, where he finds his necklace.

Leone and Lambert are traveling to Vernon using the subway. A gang of thugs tries to rob a person of his money, who in turn tries to scare them with a pistol. The whole thing turned into a Mexican standoff. And just when Leone and Lambert are about to take control of the situation, the Predator makes his entrance, killing all those with weapons, one by one. Lambert tells Leone to take the commuters to the other bogie while he rushes to kill the Predator. As expected, he, too, is shot down. When Leone returns to find him, the Predator grabs her by the neck too, but then spares her life after finding out, thanks to its optical vision, that she is pregnant.

Meanwhile, Harrigan arrives at the scene. He sees Leone being carried out on a stretcher and rushes into the station to look for Lambert. But it is too late, as just when he reaches the end of the subway, he sees the Predator rip Lambert’s head off and runs away with it. Harrigan rushes in its direction, yelling and enraged. He follows it and ultimately reaches the slaughterhouse, where Keyes’ men get hold of him and bring him inside their semi, where they have their setup.

Inside the semi, Keyes tells Harrigan that whatever has been going around killing so many people is an alien. Keyes also mentions how one of the aliens took down an elite squad of soldiers in Central America. The two survivors revealed that the alien, when it felt trapped, activated a self-destruct mechanism. [These two survivors were Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and Anna (Elpidia Carrillo), and the event Keyes is speaking of is at the end of Predator (1987)]. Keyes’ men want to harness this alien technology. As they track it, a group of highly-equipped men is sent inside the slaughterhouse to capture it. Their suit doesn’t allow the Predator to read their body heat, so it cannot see them. They are using UV lights, which are also not traceable by the Predator. However, the Predator does manage to see the agents using a new mode of vision in its headgear and then kills them all.

Meanwhile, Harrigan forces himself out of the semi, fighting off Keyes’ men, and rushes inside the slaughterhouse. What follows is Harrigan searching for the Predator and finally managing to put multiple bullets in it. But this isn’t enough as it gets hold of Harrigan by his throat and throws him off his feet. Harrigan somehow reaches the terrace and hides. The Predator follows him. Harrigan manages to push it off the ledge, but it pulls him along too. It hangs by holding onto Harrigan’s arm, who is lying on the ledge of the building. It activates its self-destruct device, but Harrigan manages to cut off its arm using its own weapon which leads the Predator to fall. However, it manages to get hold of a pipeline that breaks off and crushes the Predator into a building on the opposite side. Landing inside a bathroom, it makes a neutralizing mixture and applies it to the bullet wounds. Harrigan, meanwhile, manages to make his way to this building but not before the predator escapes. A wretched Harrigan follows it down the elevator shaft and ultimately lands on an alien ship underground.

‘Predator 2’ Ending Explained: Does Michael Harrigan Kill The Predator?

As Harrigan explores the ship in awe, the Predator reveals itself to him, and they battle. The battle ends with Harrigan shoving the rotating blade, which he had acquired from the Predator earlier, into its torso, thereby killing it. Then a group of predators arrives and takes the dead one’s body away. One of them, perhaps their leader, gives a stupefied Harrigan a gun from 1715, a Flintlock Pistol, probably as a trophy. As the ship builds ignition, Harrigan rushes out of the ship, barely managing to avoid the heat of the thrusters. The film ends with Harrigan pulling himself out of debris, covered in mud and dust. One of Keyes’ men arrives in a chopper and asks him what happened. Harrigan’s expression says it all, and the guy leaves, saying with regret that they were very close but lost their chance. Harrigan declares that the guy will “get another chance.” As the chopper takes off, patrol cars can be seen arriving at the spot.

Harrigan’s last words are proof that the predators will return. As for the gun given to Harrigan by one of the predators, it is proof that they have been around for a really long time, around 290 years or more. The name “Raphael Adolini” that is carved on the Flintlock Pistol also has significance. Raphael Adolini was an 18th-century pirate who gifted his pistol, before dying, to an Elder predator known as Greyback. (The story of Raphael Adolini first appeared in the comic book short story titled Predator: 1718, which itself was a part of the 1996 anthology series A Decade of Dark Horse # 1, published by Dark Horse Comics.) Now, it can either be that the Predator who gives Harrigan is Greyback, in which case it is proof that predators can live for more than a hundred years, or it can be that the gun has been passed down from one elderly Predator to another. Be that as it may, the predators will return because, more than anything else, including heat and conflict to which they are attracted, they have a relationship with Earth that goes way back.

See More: ‘Predators’ [2010] Ending, Explained: Where Have All The Soldiers And Mercs Landed?

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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