A friend of mine watched the three Predator movies–skipping the vs. Aliens franchise tangent–in preparation for The Predator, then didn’t see the new one because everyone said skip it. Everyone was very, very right; skip it. Shane Black is not some mainstream indie filmmaker who makes great genre pictures. Iron Man 3 was apparently a fluke, because Predator 4 is real bad. Real bad.
The first Predator is an exceptionally sturdy action movie with some sci-fi. The second one is extremely well-made. The third one is well-made too. Plus Fox at least seemed to think they were making a prestige sequel. Nope.
Though it is exactly the kind of movie John Carpenter would’ve been able to make good, against all odds, back in the late nineties or something. The Predator is what happens when Ghosts of Mars isn’t good.
I sort of have my fingers crossed the movie’s co-writer, Fred Dekker, will send me some hate mail. In the fifteen years I’ve been writing movie responses, Dekker is still the biggest name to send me hate mail (for movie responses, comics are a different story). The first time was about me not liking homophobic slurs in Monster Squad. The second one was a profanity-laden rant about me dogging Robocop 3 years after it came out. I wonder if I still have them saved in Gmail. I moderated the Robo one away because it was back when I had tons of teen readers for Speak. Ah, the olden days, when I got so much traffic I didn’t know what to do with it.
Anyway. Predator 4 stinks. Read all about it stinking at The Stop Button. If you’re so inclined.