A highly paid mercenary, (so far up the food chain that he doesn’t officially exist), is half lured/half forced out of retirement to rescue a billionaire’s kidnapped son. She believes he’s being held in D4, an officially non existent, (are we seeing a theme here), government facility like Area 51.
As this is going on a former Ranger is finding out that all is not well with the experimental program he placed his autistic grandson into. It seems conventional treatments only made him violent so he was given the chance to participate in trials of a new treatment. Unfortunately when he goes to visit the boy there’s no trace of him, or the program. He is convinced his grandson is also at D4. Needless to say the they cross paths and some nasty secrets are revealed. Ones involving high level coverups, human experimentation and attempts to make a super soldier…
Unfortunately D4 begins with a scene from near the end of the movie and that gives a lot away and that really hurts the film as you have a good idea of who makes it to the final showdown and who dies along the way. I have no idea why film makers think this is a good idea, it almost never works and kills a lot of suspense and shocks along the way. The other problem is the pacing, it takes almost an hour before the mercs reach the compound and encounter the creature, and at that point the big twist becomes very obvious. The actions are well done, give or take obvious CGI blood spray, but it takes to long before they start.
The acting is pretty much standard one note tough guy and tough gal performances. They all look badass and talk tough even as an unstoppable killing machine kills off their squad mates. Ted LeGarde gets to show a bit more range as the Vietnam vet Ranger but lets face it, we don’t watch these kinds of films for the acting.
D4 at it’s core is Darrin Dickerson’s show. He wrote, directed, stars, (as Smoke) and edited it. Plus his son Montana plays the old man’s grandson. And for all the film’s flaws he has to be commended for making a watchable and technically polished film for a budget of approximately thirty thousand dollars. The film looks like it was made for a lot more, the only misfire from a production standpoint is the weak CGI, a common problem in a lot of films at the time, even much bigger budgeted ones. It’s a pity, and rather puzzling that he never did anything else. D4 should have at least gotten him gigs as a director for hire because he can obviously bring a film in on a tight budget and have it look better than most of what currently plays on SyFy.
At times resembling a bargain basement version of Predator, or maybe an updated Creepazoids, D4 isn’t a bad film, it just isn’t a really good one. If the action had started a bit sooner, and the end not telegraphed at the start this could have been a tense little thriller. Instead it’s just a well made time waster. Worth a watch or even buying if you see it cheap, but hardly essential.