Aliens vs Predator: Requiem

Sunday · 3 Feb 08 · 10:24 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Well, I watched Aliens vs Predator: Requiem yesterday.  This, of course, is a sequel to the 2004 film, AVP: Alien vs Predator, which itself is a crossover of the Alien and Predator franchises (in film and other media).  Alien vs Predator was an enjoyable film, though it couldn't compare to any of it's predecessors.  It was also hampered by its PG-13 rating, which reduced it to a watered-down videogame-type movie (my 2004 post on that).  So, I was a bit skeptical when a sequel, AVP-R was announced, though my faith was restored by the awesome trailer, which made the movie seem like it would improve on every aspect of AVP.  But on reading the initial reviews for the movie, which all panned it, there was a sinking feeling that developed...

This is definitely a case where the marketing guys won out.  The initial reviews were right — the trailer and poster are far better than the actual movie!  So, what's AVP-R all about?  It picks up right where AVP left off — the Predator ship is leaving Earth after the battle at the end of the last film.  Of course, one of the Predators got itself infected by an Alien facehugger, so a hybrid "Predalien" is spawned.  It causes chaos on board the ship, and because of that the ship crashes back on Earth, in the small town of Gunnison, Colorado.  Hold on.  Look, am I really supposed to believe that the Predalien grew to full size, and then caused chaos on the ship, all before it left Earth's orbit?  Were the Predators waiting for this to happen or something?  Well, anyway, back on the Yautja homeworld, another Predator is alerted of this little "accident", and he quickly reaches Earth to clean up the mess (as I read in a few reviews, it seems the filmmakers nicknamed this Predator "Wolf", after Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction — he's the "hero" of the film and does everything short of saying "It's thirty minutes away.  I'll be there in ten.").  The town of Gunnison is soon teeming with Aliens running amok, and Wolf trying to get rid of them.  Some random human characters (many of them are "movie highschool" stereotypes) get tossed into the mix and have to stay alive in the crossfire.

AVP-R is not a good movie.  It's entertaining, but it's not a good movie.  There is zero suspense, and no scares at all (atleast, a few fake "boo" scares would have been appreciated).  You won't care for any of the human characters, and there is some horrendous dialogue that had me and my brother laughing out loud at some spots, when we were watching the movie.  For example, when the Predator blows up a power plant and plunges the town into darkness, a woman later remarks in Captain Obvious style, "the power's out".  A character later seriously says "people are dying".  And one of the most remarkable exchanges goes like this — one character says, "If you're wrong, and the helicopter's gone, we're all dead!", to which another character replies, "If I'm right, they're dead if they follow you!"  Huh?  That didn't make any sense whatsoever.  Sure, AVP had its share of not-so-good dialogue too (one character became "Captain Exposition" and says "The hieroglyphs are a little hard to make out.  But the story's all here.").  But I don't remember anything being as bad as some of the stuff in this movie.  Screenwriter Shane Salerno is to be blamed for the dialogue and the many illogical things that happen during the movie (the opening thing I pointed out, the fact that the Alien's blood is supposed to be acidic yet it corrodes stuff only when the script requires it to, the Predator having a limitless supply of that blue liquid, etc).

The filmmakers also threw in lots of references to the earlier films in the series (following AVP's trend, they even included a nod to Weyland-Yutani at the end).  Unfortunately, none of those had any impact.  They tried to recreate the scene in Alien³ where the Alien hisses against Sigourney Weaver's face.  Seeing an Alien hissing against the face of some random waitress (what!) here, just made me cringe.  It's one of the many things in this movie which will make you exclaim Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

The movie is directed by visual effects specialists The Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg) and granted, it does well in that respect.  Only problem is, a lot of the time, you can't clearly make out what's going on because its either too dark or the scene is cut very tightly.  Anyway, a bonus for us is that the movie is R rated, which means they show more violence than the previous entry.  Still, this is nothing compared to the brutal violence and action of Predator 2 (which, by the way, also had just one Predator in a city — and look how well they did with that) or the grotesqueries we saw in Alien: Resurrection.

At the end of it all, AVP-R is good for a laugh or two.  It's entertaining and easy to watch, and does surprise you now and then by killing off some of the moronic characters in unexpected ways (as you can make out from the trailer, a kid gets facehugged).  And for completeness sake, if you're a fan of either franchise, you won't want to miss this movie.  But it's sad to see the Aliens and Predators reduced to normal monsters here.  In the original films they were majestic characters, all that is lost in AVP-R.  All things considered, I'd rate the movie a 6/10 as I did enjoy it.

AVP-R Poster and Firefox Logo

Did anyone else note a similarity between the AVP-R poster and the Mozilla Firefox logo?  I can see it now, a web browser made by Weyland-Yutani — "HTTP code 937: All bandwidth rerouted to search for alien organism.  Your data is expendable."!

3 comment(s) for this post.

Comments for this News Post

3 Feb 08 · 11:18 PM
Comment by user Varun
Yeah, this movie has one of the worst scripts ever... and whoever got that dumb blue liquid idea. Anyway like you said, fun timepass movie it is.
4 Feb 08 · 08:46 AM
Yeah Man...The worst part is I unkowingly downloaded the Cam Quality. I could give an award for "Worst Movie of 2008". All the aliens and predators are quite not serious. I guess it couldn't be even a fun movie, unless you go with your friends, shout in theatre and make fun of aliens and the predators.
kamal saxena
4 Feb 08 · 11:34 AM
i saw it yesterday and was majorly disappointed. and i believe the person who played predator wud have been as disappoitned as l was. you see his role was majorly cut down. :)
style content - absoleute zero
predators character - godness and the charisma absoleutly gone. the warrior is now a 3rd party in the background trying to tame his pet.
aliens - more looks like rabbits, meant only for breeding and populating the city
absolute disaster.
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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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