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Review: Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem

4/19/2008 5:37:57 PM permalink

I'm expecing many "Dude it's only a movie" responses to this post.

I went in to watching Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem (AVP-R) with admittedly low expectations. AVP was a watered-down version of a true AVP film, and I didn't even bother watching the "extended" version on DVD. When word of the Strause brothers (whose work I was not familiar with) working on making AVP-R a hard R-rated horror flick I wasn't terribly impressed, and even less so upon learning the film takes place immediately after AVP.

The heart of the movie of course involves lots of aliens running around a small town in Colorado. A Predator "cleaner," (dubbed "Wolf" by the filmmakers) comes to Earth to track down the outbreak and eliminate all evidence. Wolf must also combat a Predator-Alien hybrid creature running loose, and eliminate humans who unfortunately get in between him and his goal. Said humans are a rag tag bunch of random faces, and while Steven Pasquale and Reiko Aylesworth are familiar faces, none of the actors involved make much of their roles.

Yeah, that's it to the plot. Sure, the army gets involved late in the film (which I will discuss later as one of the MANY examples of faulty logic in the film), but it's essentially a sequence of scream, run, bleed, kill, roar, and repeat.

WARNING!!! My review includes many potential SPOILERS within the film, so if you haven't seen the film and do not want to read about specific scenes and/or deaths within the film, PLEASE DO NOT READ ANYTHING BELOW. Fair enough? Okay, thanks.

So here's my first problem with the film. Wolf receives a distress call from the Predator ship after the hybrid runs loose and kills the remaining Predators on board, forcing the ship to crash on Earth. The growth of the hybrid creature is amazing, far faster than any chestburster included in any previous film featuring the Aliens. For the sake of argument, let's say it grew so quickly because of being combined with Predator DNA. How in the world did Wolf travel from the Predators homeworld to Earth in less than a 24-hour period? Just how fast do these Predator ships travel? It's a small point, but I had to ask.

Moving along, the first victims to facehuggers are a father and son. There was a lot of hype about a kid giving birth to an Alien, and I didn't see the big deal. I didn't care about the father or the kid, so the whole death was done really for shock value. The death didn't add anything to the film, and I don't like adding a kid's death simply because it's "cool".

Speaking of odd deaths, there's the gruesome scene in the hospital. The hybrid somehow ends up in a hospital and finds its way into a maternity ward. It finds a woman about to give birth and uses its pincers to grasp the woman, laying several eggs inside her. She eventually gives "birth" to three "wombbursters," and I assume she still dies in the process. There are several silly problems to this part. First, why are the wombbursters fully Alien? Shouldn't they have been hybrid creatures? And secondly, since when do Aliens have the ability to lay an egg down the throat of a host? Everything about the Aliens' life cycle to date has said that the facehuggers lay the eggs, and not the full grown Aliens. Plus, since when can a single host give birth to multiple Aliens? Three wombbursters pop out of the woman's stomach, and up till now only one Alien has ever popped out of its host's body.

Also on the subject of the hybrid creature, why does it automatically side with the Aliens? It's half of each species, so why doesn't it fight on its own side? And why do the Aliens join with it? The movie may actually have had an element of interest had the hybrid fought both the Predator and the Aliens. The Pred and Aliens could have had to forge a temporary alliance to fight this larger and deadlier creature. The humans would still be in the way, only to bite the dust in between. I promised myself I wouldn't talk about how I would've written the movie, so I'm going to stop here on that thought.

Moving along, the army and its response are also bizarre. The best solution is to nuke the city and eliminate all survivors? I would hate to be a PR rep for the government and/or military to explain a.) why the city was nuked in the first place; b.) why nuking it was the only possibly solution; and c.) why the American public should trust the government and military in the future. Plus, what about the Colorado state government? I'm sure the governor wouldn't be too happy if the army stepped in and said, "Yeah, there's something going on in your small town of Garrison, and we want to nuke the city and wipe out any evidence of what's happening." If I'm said governor, my response is, "Say WHAT??!?!?!"

Plus, the so-called "resolution" to nuking the city is very odd. Dallas questions the military with a weaker version of my aforementioned question, and the soldier's response is simply, "We were following orders." Dallas then shrugs it off to attend to his injured brother. So the army kills every living thing in the city, and we move right along. Riiiiiiiight.

Plus, just what happens to Dallas, Kelly, et al? Do they go on with their lives? I can't imagine the military just lets them move along, but then with the logic in this movie I doubt the writers even thought of that.

There's so many more points that made my head spin, but many of them are much more nitpicky than what I discussed here. I think AVP-R's faults lie not so much with the Strause brothers' directing (though it didn't help) but with the writing. The dialogue was beyond silly, the plot had absolutely no thought or logic, and the characters were not interesting in the slightest. The production values showed no effort either. The movie looked like it should've gone direct to video, and Fox wouldn't have had to spend so much money promoting the movie or sending it to theaters. The only good thing I found in the movie is Brian Tyler's score, and he did score the hell outta it. I liked that he chose to include Alan Silvestri's tribal drum beat for the Predator, and I think his score overall was one of the better scores between both franchises.

If you actually read this far through my review, I suggest you find a new way to spend your time. :-) (I'm poking more fun at myself when I say that than anything else - so don't flame me for that) And if you choose to send any response along the lines of "Dude it's just a movie" that's fine, but I want a movie that makes me care about the characters. AVP-R is a creature feature, and the previous movies in those franchises didn't feel so cheap. There's nothing about it that sets it apart from the likes of the Friday the 13th or Freddy Kruger movies, and that's a real travesty. Don't worry though - I don't plan on seeing any more AVP movies if they're made.




Date Joined: June 16, 2006