Gary Busey's Explanation Of What Predator 2 Is About Is As Ridiculous As You'd Expect

John McTiernan's 1987 sci-fi actioner "Predator" is a clever, satirical, gloriously ultraviolent takedown of military-inflected supra-masculinity. The film is populated by sweaty, muscular, weapon-fetishizing soldier types who finally encounter something they cannot merely blast out of the trees: a strong, towering, laser-armed alien game hunter who picks off humans for sport. Ultimately the film's Final Girl (Arnold Schwarzenegger) manages to best the beast, but that's not before the creature kills and/or skins all of his compatriots. "Predator" functions perfectly well as an action film, but functions even better when looked at as a satire. 

In terms of its themes, Stephen Hopkins' "Predator 2" (1990) is a little less cut and dry. Set in Los Angeles in the year 1997, "Predator 2" is about an overwhelmed police force unable to contain a violent drug war all during a massive heat wave. A creature similar to the one in the first "Predator" begins stalking the various dealers involved in the war, further baffling the police, and frustrating the cartels who can't figure out who is murdering and skinning their members. Gary Busey plays a DEA agent who is, in secret, tracking down the alien. Busey's character was meant to be Schwarzenegger's from the first film, but Schwarzenegger declined to reappear.

The battlefield theory

The setting of the first "Predator" was a Central American jungle and a war zone. Prior to the creature attacks, the characters were engaged in a weaponized rescue operation, and they fired hundreds of rounds over the course of it. It may be extrapolated from the setting that the alien Predators prefer hunting in said war zones. Perhaps the comment of "Predator 2" is that street crime and hot weather will become so terrible by 1997, they will be indistinguishable from war zones, thereby confusing the alien Predators. A common day in L.A. now looks the same to an extraterrestrial outsider as a battlefield.

This is a mere talking point, of course, and none of the filmmakers of "Predator 2" have gone on record with anything akin to this theory. Although, in a behind-the-scenes interview included on the "Predator 2" DVD, Busey — seemingly in character — rants about the true meaning of the Predator, why it's so dangerous, and what his character is up to. It's a little hard to follow, but Busey relates the actions of the Predator to quantum mechanics, implying that the creature has some sort of profound knowledge of the true nature of the universe. 

Below is the full transcription of his explanation. Know that Busey delivered this with intensity and sincerity. It's unclear if he was meant to be in character, was simply staying in the mood of his character, or was merely trying to be as intense as possible for the cameraman filming him. 

The quantum theory of gravity

Without winking or cracking a smile, the oft-intense Gary Busey related:

"I guess you're wondering what we're doing here in these barbecue outfits. Well, it's easy. We're going in after an other-world life force from another galaxy that has a self-defense mechanism that we don't understand. It's intangible to this time and space. It's actually from the theory of relativity, and from the theory of quantum mechanics. Take those properties and then equalize them, and you have the quantum theory of gravity. Which is a discussion of how this universe started and how it will end. The Predator knows that information already. It is our job and our objective to go capture the Predator, sit him down, have a talk with him, find out why he does what he does, how he does what he does, and where he gets the weaponry and the defense mechanism he uses in order to obtain his goal. And that is our goal. If we don't achieve that goal, we will be turned into vapor clouds made of small pink particles known on Earth as blood."

The quantum theory Busey refers to involves the way gravity affects the smallest known particles. It's complicated and requires a few minutes of reading to understand. In brief, its a set of physical laws constructed to explain fluctuations in gravity that can't be defined by traditional Einsteinian physical laws, especially as it pertains to gravitons (particles of gravity) that produce their own energy and, hence, warp space in an infinite number of ways as they scatter. In order to measure such things — if spacetime is warping with every particle, no constants can be achieved and experimentation would never cease — scientists had to break space into small areas wherein spatial gravitational laws remain constant. 

WTF does this have to do with 'Predator 2'?

What does any of this have to do with a violent sci-fi action movie? Only Gary Busey may know for sure, but a listener may be able to connect Busey's theory to a broader sense of science fiction. Space aliens are a common sight in sci-fi stories, but the reality remains that the star closest to our sun is the low-mass Proxima Centauri, about 4.24 lightyears away. If there are aliens on one of the planets orbiting it, and they constructed a space vessel that could carry them to Earth, it could still take thousands of years to arrive. If the species in question is shorter-lived than homo sapiens, then even these technologically marvelous beings may not want to bother. This is, furthermore, based on the idea that an extraterrestrial life form would be anything like humans.

Busey doesn't bring up the Drake equation, which theorizes how many intelligent species may exist in the universe, but one can perhaps intuit his scientific rambling to mean that an intelligent being from another planet would be sufficiently advanced to know a heck of a lot more about gravitational science than we currently know on Earth. Such a being, armed with a shoulder laser, is a formidable thought indeed. I, too, would want to sit a Predator down, have a talk, and figure out more about what it knows about quantum gravity. Can the Predators measure distances smaller than the Planck length? It's not an unreasonable question.