I'd been very interested in reading this script since I stumbled upon the pitch thread. I think I may have been coming at the script with a slightly more critical (fan) eye than the other readers here. For those that don't know, I co-run the biggest Aliens/vs/Predator fansite online (www.avpgalaxy.net
) and I've dedicated over half of my life to those franchise. While I prefer the Alien franchise, I have some strong views and opinions on the Predator series that most don't agree with.
I believe one of the strengths of the Predator franchise, be it movies, games, novels, comics, etc, is it's flexibility in storytelling. It can easily be placed in...World War 2 (I still want to see something big revolving around this), present day, Ancient Japan, other worlds, etc. So I believe the story for A.J Black's Predator 3 works very well. As far as the rest of the (single) Predator franchise goes we've only see 1 other entry set in the future in the novel Predator - Forever Midnight (which was less than stellar) and all other future entries have been the AvP's and all been focused around the Alien side of the franchise.
Predator 3 follows that direction...kinda. We get the not-so-distant future, which works very well and brings about a fresh environment but then it still has to tap into the Alien franchise through the Weyland-Yutani reference. This is a pet peeve of mine in that it seems people don't believe that Predator can survive without something Alien propping it up. You wont be seeing anything Predator in Prometheus and you never saw it in Alien Resurrection (bad movie, I know). Anywho, I really enjoyed the setting. It did create a different feel for a Predator story and it's something I would like to see more of.
In terms of characters, I think Shelby was easily the standout. She was the one with the most growth and change and greated genuine sympathy. I rather liked Jackson. I hadn't anticipated his turn so I was surprised by that. While he obviously clashed with Diego, it seemed more of a (ex-)military vs civilian kind of thing. Plus, he was charming and soft spoken. It was surprising. I did rather enjoy his segment with the Predator and ending though.
I have to agree with Brian about Diego though. He hadn't really been presented as a fighter. He was certainly determined and played the "caring captain" role, it was hard to buy into him being that kind of lead.
And I think I can now know a Tony script! It's gotta have BANG! BOOM! ROOOAAAARRR! PPPPPFFFFFTTTT! in it. That really made me smile as I had been expecting plenty of sound effects.
The writing was extremely solid, it all flowed well and the action was all well described. Some slightly sluggish bits (the first time the disk was thrown, didn't realise it had been thrown due to description) but otherwise it was all good.
Nit-picking here. I don't like the Yautja. I don't like this "honorable" crap. It humanizes them too much. I much prefer a sadistic race revolving around hunting for pleasure, not some ritualistic honor. That is my opinion and as such I didn't like the inclusion of it in this script.
I do think these projects need to stop playing off of references to earlier material. IMHO these kind of movie franchises don't have enough meat to be constantly playing back to elements from before, or even non-used elements. Thankfully you didn't include too many. I counted Harrigan, a few slight quotes and (my previously mentioned) Yutani and Alien connections. And the gladiator bit at the end, that was in some unused ideas for the 3rd movie.
I had been worried when I read Uber-Predator. I had been fearing some mutant, four armed monster thing (it's happened) but you handled the "boss" enemy well and it made complete sense.
I think over all I'd rate Predator 3 a 3 out of 5.