Let’s see if there is anything left in the tank.
It’s the fourth Tremors movie. You think this will be any good?
This time around we’re back in the past and we have Michael Gross playing Hiram Gummer instead of Burt Gummer. However, Hiram is prim and proper and not a crazy person, so yay?
Okay, to be fair Gross does show he can play a different type of character.
The town of Rejection (sadly renaming Perfection as Rejection in the past is one of the more clever ideas) is in a perilous position. Something is attacking the miners and now they all refuse to work. The town is dying and now mine owner Hiram must figure out what is causing the issues and get things back on track. He hires expert gunslinger Black Hand Kelly (Billy Drago) and works with miner Juan (Brent Roam) to save the day from graboids.
The film oddly works as a western. The slow pace and methodical approach to the near melodramatic story removes a lot of the trite and pointless humor of the last entry. The best compliment I can give this one is that it feels like a film. (Granted, we still have serious issues in production quality).
This entry does not insult the original. We also have one of the few westerns that seems to embrace the ethnic diversity of the period. We have Latin Americans, Chinese immigrants, and a Native American as leads. I can’t believe I am about to type this: Tremors 4 might actually be one of the more realistic presentations of the wild west. Whether that is a compliment to this movie, or a condemnation of the western genre is up to you.
While the film does some things right it is also painfully predictable. There seems to have been no interest or attempt to alter the general western format or the Tremors formula in any way. The saccharine sweet story comes complete with growth and redemption, but it all feels a little lazy. I guess the best way to get rich people to see workers as human is to have giant monsters attack.
The action scenes work mostly. We have decent set pieces that deliver the explosive violence we want to see out of these films.
I didn’t hate this one. It is paced well enough to hold your interest and doesn’t diverge from standard storytelling in any way, so it is a serviceable enough film. My problem with this one is that there just isn’t anything to say about it. If you’ve seen any western or monster movie before you have seen this one.
Not being a memorable experience doesn’t mean the film is a failure. Honestly, this one can make for a decent evening if you’re in the mood. However, this one seems to go beyond not being memorable to being easily forgettable. This is likely due to both genres the film is utilizing being somewhat stuck in their development. Further, the fourth entry in a franchise isn’t going to be able to break away from the mold in a meaningful way.
I appreciate that this one re-grounds the series into something more recognizable (and less absurd) than the third. They should probably have ended it here.