Review: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

Yes.

That could be my entire review, right there: “Yes!”

This is the movie I expected to see when the first “Aliens vs. Predator” came out. I was so disappointed that, when I heard there was a sequel, I had no intentions of seeing it.

Then I saw a trailer on the internet, and the sheer amount of carnage (plus the fact that it had an “R” rating) made me change my mind. I’m glad I did.

This movie makes me wish I could go back in time and erase all the Alien movies after Aliens (including especially the first AvP) and replace them with this one. It’s that good. Not, GREAT, mind you… but better than the others (especially Alien Resurrection and AvP) by a long shot.

The action picks up exactly where the first movie stops. The predator ship that takes off at the end of that film crashes at the beginning of this one, unleashing a small flock of facehuggers and one very cool predator/alien hybrid into the surrounding woods and nearby small town. Right away, I knew this was going to be my kind of movie. I’m not going to give anything away, but when the first humans encounter the aliens, what you think won’t happen… happens. Right in front of the camera. Good. It’s exactly like I would have written it.

Meanwhile, on a planet far, far, away, some predator notices what’s happened and dispatches a kick-ass alien assault and containment team to deal with it. The team consists of one predator. Good.

Okay, after THAT, the movie goes on to introduce the boring main characters and the boring drama that is their boring lives. I was all set to start railing on this movie for wasting my time with bullshit and some cookie-cutter characters, but it turns out a few of them are a bit more useful and complex than they first appear. Characters with depth are a good thing, and taking SOME time away from the mass carnage to flesh them out isn’t always a waste. But this movie has a lot of “main characters”… maybe a bit too many for a film that is basically about one evil alien killing a bunch of other evil aliens with toys so cool they’d make Batman jealous. The drama doesn’t last too long, though, and you know that most, if not all, of these people are going to die in spectacularly entertaining ways before the end of the movie, so stick with it or go get some popcorn or something.

You can pretty much guess the plot of the movie from this point. Xenomorphs arrive in town. Predator starts hunting them. Shit gets out of control. And the government does what the government ALWAYS does.

With the exception of the last point, all of this unpredictably isn’t a bad thing. It is exactly what I came to the movies to see, and so I wasn’t disappointed. I DO wish the scriptwriters hadn’t signed on with the “typical government response” cliche. I mean… really. Even if it is accurate (maybe, maybe not), I’m really tired of seeing it over and over again.

Some interesting and/or surprising points about this movie:

The predators don’t give a damn about leaving their own bloody messes around, but for some reason they go to great lengths to cover up any and all traces of the xenomorphs. Interesting.

The predator isn’t actually a character in this movie. Other than a few indications that he may have some personal grudge against these aliens (maybe he was a friend of the predators on the first ship), he’s basically a silent “force of nature” type killer ala “Jason Voorhees” or “Michael Myers”. Only he blows shit up instead of stabbing people. Even the predator in the first predator movie had more of a personality than this thing.

There really wasn’t a lot of predator/human interaction in this movie. And by “interaction” I mean:
“What’s that-”
“k-k-k-k-k”
VMMMmmm
Ker-SPLUTCH!
Yeah, that happens like ONCE. What’s up with THAT?

So here’s what I think:

+15: Aliens.
+10: Predator
+5: PredAlien!!!11!
+2: Face-melting alien acid blood spray ftw!
+2: Predator tech is cool. Except the handgun.
+2: Aliens in a hospital! That’s just mean… I love it.
+2: That “Oh shit” look they give each other at the end. Dumbasses.
And then:
-10: Obvious military response cliche. Yawn.
-7: Shooting at a predator without getting your spine ripped out!? C’mon!
-5: Annoying teenagers. Please Die Horribly.
-5: The annoying teenagers didn’t die horribly enough to justify their presence in the movie. Except that one guy.
-3: That one guy near the end should have had a RAIN of alien acid blood all over him. What happened to gravity!?
-1: Predator handguns suck. Nice boom+slow reload=wtf?!
-1: Probably would have been too much to show what happened to those babies, huh? But you’ve got an “R” rating, you might as well go for it! I would have.

That’s a lot of numbers. Forget about ’em… just see the movie. It’s not as good as Aliens or Predator, but its a more worthy sequel to both than any of the others.


3 Comments

  1. Jeff, January 7, 2008:

    You seem to have forgotten to put down a minus 5 for the almost T&A in the high school that happened about 15 seconds before all hell broke loose.

  2. DarkIcon, January 7, 2008:

    YES!
    -5: Teasing!

    Thanks for reminding me.

  3. WeREwOLf, February 18, 2009:

    I realize I’m a little late to the party on this one, but…

    You forgot the very final scene, that minute-and-a-half or so that essentially kick-starts the entire “future history” of the Alien universe and is, in itself, a gigantic “oh crap!” moment that kinda sets everything in motion.

    Personally I thought it was cool how the end (past) defines the beginning (future). Yes, that does make sense… once you watch this movie.

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