Does a B-movie celebrating its status as a B-movie forgive it from embracing problematic elements of B-movie history long after we stopped accepting these harmful tropes? That’s a hard question to answer. There are films that wield those tropes as a weapon against a history of microaggressions and abusive content, and there are films that think they get away with it just because others have done it worse. Then there’s the element of if they’re even aware they’re doing it when the focus of a genre film is so rarely characters or cultural implications.
The Predator is a B-movie. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s a sequel and soft reboot to 1987’s Predator, itself a B-movie action/horror/sci-fi film that established a pattern now followed in four films. A group of soldiers come in contact with an alien race whose only goal on Earth is hunting strong members of humanity. They cloak to turn invisible, mimic our speech to confuse us, track us via heat signals, and rip our spines out when they win. A clever soldier will inevitably find a way to defeat them and humanity will be saved for a time. Then it happens all over again in the next film with very minor changes—new technology, different setting.