Thursday, June 12, 2014


You thought it wasn't possible to make a worse Aliens/Predator movie than AVP?

Well 20th Century Fox and the Brothers Strause really outdid themselves for the occasion. And in case they made a good film despite their best efforts, they bathed the movie in enough shadows to make sure we couldn't get to see it either way...

Want more Alien/Predator-related reviews? Check the following!!

Movie: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem alternatively also known as AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem, just AVP:R or simply AVPR or AVP2
Directed by Greg Strause & Colin Strause
Release date 2007
Genre Sci-fi/Slasher Horror film 
Country USA

Before we start, lemme just warn you all. This is another one of 20th Century Fox typical "lackluster film" they used to cram out one after the other in the 2000s. You know, by simple trying to cash on the name of a well established proprieties, they released several of these so-called "movies", done on the cheap. Trying to polish and sell these cheap blockbuster flicks done by the number, with barely enough budget, but with enough CGi FXs added in post-production and some visual polish they could make their revenue back in no time (see Fantastic Four, X-men 3 or Die Hard 4).

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is the direct sequel to Paul W. S. Anderson's 2004 film Alien vs. Predator. The long awaited crossover between the Aliens and Predator film franchises.

This film was this time directed by brothers Colin and Greg Strause, two highly inexperienced people (the key word being inexperienced), put in charge of what could have been a loving letter to fans of both cult classic sci-fi franchises... And I really wished this could have turned better.

The Strause brothers worked for ages in the special effects field on such films as Titanic, 300, etc.

They were actually slated to direct this sequel as their film debut pretty shortly after Anderson's mess of a first film, thanks to their good work relationship with Fox studios. In fact they were in fact "allowed" by the studio to direct it while supervising the effects on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer at the same time.

And how did they win this "chance" to produce this film? By showing Fox how cheap and fast they could make this film, which was sure to be a money-maker no doubt. See where this whole lackluster-thing come from?

I'm no expert, but I'm sure you have to put some money out to gain more money back. Or at least such an anticipated film by fans should have warranted just a tiny bit of consideration on Fox's part. I mean, it's only their other world-renowned franchises next to Die Hard... Then again...

As if nobody learned anything from the previous Alien vs. Predator film, the film is once again set in modern day (I mean, even the Predator films took slightly pace in a "near future" of a couple years later..).

This time the "action" takes place in Gunnison, Colorado. A random rural town in the US - just because!

Directly picking up where the last film left, when the camera zoomed in to reveal the corpse of the "Scar Predator" Predator (?) left by itself in what appeared to be some luxury suit (??) aboard the Predator spacecraft. Yes. They just transported on board the dead body of a fallen Predator comrade who was apparently clearly impregnated by a facehugger. Don't Predators usually have thermic visions? Didn't they catch the huge snake-thing moving around in his belly?? Apparently we have to believe not a single Predator even checked out the conditions of the death of their teammate.

Anyway, I imagine the ship was being manned by an entire crew of young Predators just as stupid as AVP1's trio of Predators, since those same Predators start blasting the huge aberration of a "Predalien" creature running around the ship in no time. Shouldn't it take hours for that thing to grow so huge?? The Predators - of course - crash their own spaceship down in no time with their own weapons!! That should kill this hybrid Predators dead, right?

Wait - no, it's still breathing! If going down in a blaze of glory was the only solution, surely they could have dispatched some form of nuclear explosion like the Predators are always shown to possess... Oh, who am I kidding? Of course that's thinking way too smart for this film.

Anyhow! The Predalien starts spreading more Xenomorphs through the sewers of this dull little town. And the Predators answer to all of this situation? They send in a ninja-level assassin Predator, one lone Predator "cleaner" to clean an entire Xenomorph infestation situation going rapidly out of control. He's supposed to be this ultimate badass Alien exterminator, but he's really simply wandering around aimlessly the entire movie. Really, were are supposed to take this Predator as the most badass of his species but he really comes as pretty stupid for the most part. 

He's called from the Predator homeplanet (first time ever showed on screen!) by a distress signal of sort aboard the crashed ship. So he comes to Earth to investigate the situation.

And by investigate I just mean using a mysterious flask of blue liquid to dissolve stuff. Using his blue goo, this Pred' clean any evidences of the Aliens on Earth. Why? No idea... Probably the easiest dumbest way to avoid any continuity issues with the Alien films. And yet leaves a trail of dead skinned bodies around, since he still manages to find the time for a kill or two while cleaning evidences.. Because on the other hand that doesn't cause much issues regarding the Predator series. 

What follows is about an hour and a half of stupid human protagonists caught in the middle of a war between species.

Like a weird scifi-special episode of Dawson's Creek trying to kill our last remaining brain cells by surprise.

Following generic bland cliché characters that don't warrant you remembering any of their names.

Some pizza boy has the hots for the local hot girl. Some stereotypical bullies are after him for the most part, and get what's coming thanks to the Alien invasion a minute later (it really sounds like a cheap SyFy original movie...). Pizzaboy's brother is an ex-con, and just back in time for all this mess, but he's a good since, hey, he's friends with the town Sheriff. There's also some female soldier back from Iraq and having a hard time adjusting to her family again. And... ugh... just ught...

The film even ends up trying to incorporate the "get to the chopper!" into its actual "plot" at the end.

Also - Spoiler Alert! - the film ends on a cliffhanger they probably thought would have been an interesting development for the entire series, but by itself in this mess of a film was really just adding to this mess and will probably be ignored forever. A certain Ms. Yutani (as in...Weyland-Yutani? Oh, I see where this is going...) get hers hands on some Predator technology. Now this could have been interesting, but it was already much better handled in the Concrete Jungle game.

The film stars.. a lot of forgettable annoying characters. AVPR is filled with generic actors, the entire cast was probably picked from SyFy original shows (and by that I mean of the TV reality-kind, more than actual drama shows).

The only good thing to come of this entire cast is that AVP 1's Ian Whyte came back in the role of our main Predator, while Alien 3/Resurrection/AVP's Tom Woodruff Jr. also returned in the Alien suit.

The Strauses originally wanted to get Adam Baldwin character Garber from the original Predator 2, effectively connecting the original films with these two AVP flicks. Thankfully it didn't happen so we can all ignore these ever happened.  

Various characters are randomly named after some of the original films' protagonists.

The Xenos' gestation period goes from the previously established 24 hours to a poorly-edited couple of minutes (as AVP 1 also did). The Aliens' acidic blood can burn through people's arm off at the beginning of the film, then later on is barely acknowledged.

The Predator fairs slightly better, but not by much. Our "genius" choses to dissolve evidences of the creatures' presence but yet finds the time to randomly hunt people around and leave their skinned bodies behind. Why? To adhere to the tribal codes or as a nod to fans. Why do that as he wants to keep things contained? Pick a side, Pred! You can't do both! Why was he even sent to Earth? To protect our species/planet? To keep things secret? To clean their own mess? Why only one Pred', surely they could have dispatched an entire Predator "clan"?!

The movie barely makes any sense, you shouldn't ask much from it.

It moves way too fast-paced to have any sort of plot or development, characters pop up left and right, disappear for most of the film only to randomly return at later points. They're killed on by one for no reason, it's not even that brutal or gory, just used for mere shock value or jump scares...

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem marked both franchises' return to R-Rated glory. Following Paul W. S. Anderson's popcorn flick, the original AVP was just a watered-down cheesy PG-13 action film. This time around it's for Mature audiences only! Yet, they clearly missed the point or the occasions to actually make a good use of it.

Sure, a kid and his own father get face-hugged in the first minutes to warrant this rating of the film (since the entire following movie is way too dark to see anything anyway!). 

But it just feels like they missed the point of both franchises on purpose, while the actual violence is not even directed at the annoying slasher flick-like characters!

The film simply goes for cheap thrills, its only attempts at gore are aimed at a ward of pregnant women attacked by the Predalien and the above-mentioned young boy hatching a chestbuster in the beginning of the film after witnessing his own father die in front of him.

I mean, seriously, a bunch of pregnant women lying in beds at the local hospital are forced to breed a dozen of eggs each! On screen! While aiming for gore and a more "mature tone" it simply just came as cheap and was all in bad taste, to be frank. I mean, really? Guys? No. Just... no. That's simply going for cheap shock value rather than proper horror.

But it's not like you'll be even able to see anything to be disgusted.

Greg and Colin Strause might be special effects makers, but they are no film director! Specially coming after the likes of Ridley Scott, James Cameron or even John McTiernan.

Their awful camera work certainly shows they are far from proper film directors.

The film is not only just a cheap looking insult at all previous Aliens and Predator films. It just looks plain cheap.

Despite their best claim to stick to practical effects as much as possible (not like we could see anything to begin with..), a lot of interiors, the spaceship and the entire Pred' planet were all just simple CGi sets to cut down on costs as much as possible. We're far from Danny Glover's original epic confrontation aboard the Predator spacecraft.

The film is just drowned in total complete darkness for the most part. While the original 2004 AVP film already had its fair share of similar problems with this, here it's multiplied a thousand times. There probably was some good scenery but it was simply wasted here since despite their special effects background the Strauses preferred to drown the whole movie in total darkness. You know. Because it created a similar "horror atmosphere" as the original Alien film (or so they thought).

But that's not the worst thing. Requiem just wastes its short screentime on so many useless characters, only to be killed one after the other without it barely registering with the audience, since none of those get any chance to develop or being actual 3-dimensional characters rather than just bland cannon folder for the monsters.

While AVP was clearly the better film in terms of production values, with its bigger budget, simply better envirnoments and settings, better FXs, it ultimately failed thanks to its awful creature design, acting and pacing.

AVPR tries to aim for a closer tone to the actual Alien and Predator films but its just awful setting, awful acting simply are sub-par. Worse, the better creature design which was greatly improved was just wasted thanks to poor cinematography (which can definitively ruin an entire movie in my eyes). And at the end of the day, both are just terrible films.

If AVP kinda ruined Preds in favor of the Aliens, AVPR kinda took a piss at Aliens for this Wolf Predator character.

While this AVP 2 was the worst received film of the entire Alien and Predator franchises, I really think it simply did just as badly as its predecessor AVP 1. Only while AVP was somewhat decent to look and almost watchable - but an incredibly stupid film - at the end both suffer from awful plot and dialogues, bad characterization and very poor production qualities.

AVPR seems to try making up with good designs, a better sense of action and some better scenes... That is, whenever you actually can see anything on screen. But it was doomed from the start thanks to its Earth/modern day setting which just seems to really ruined the validity of both series in one single strike. Thanks to the incredibly stupid opening scene where Anderson left the previous episode, it turns that opener into a full 5-minute parody of Ridley Scott's original film...

Cringe-worthy dialogues. Full of clichés. Everything happens so quickly, the film is way too fast-paced for its own good, ditching entirely the last remaining tension you could find from the original Alien film... Also the Predalien just looks plain stupid in all its dreadlocks-beauty. The incredibly stupid opening scene due to where Anderson left previous film kind of 5-minute parody entire original Ridley Scott film - -

Like Paul W. S. Anderson's own attempt, there probably was a good concept underneath this entire awful execution. One can only hope Fox either gives both creatures their proper series back or allows for another "AVP", an Aliens Vs. Predator redo hopefully in the hands of actual capable people. Heck, Dark Horse Comics have been doing it for ages and most of the time to much success!

The  film could have simply ditched the most useless forgettable humans to just turn this sole Predator into an actual main characters. Heck, if Dark Horse writers can do it, surely one Hollywood screenwriter could just as well!

The problem is... for the most part it's just a boring flick following uninteresting Dawson's Creek's rejects. Bathed in pitch dark. Thrown into a science-fiction action film for some reason.

AVP is probably a bit more enjoyable (as long you're brain dead...), AVPR tries to be a better film but just fails. Both have so many flaws... Both sucked, clear and simple. At least AVPR is a much shorter film for what it's worth!

On the good side, the music went for more references to past films. Brian Tyler was the film's only good aspect, trying to recapture at best any sort of quality, but the score still somewhat ended up midway in between a cheesy blockbuster action flick. Nothing on par with the quality of any of the past films in both series.

It comes to no surprise this was the lowest grossing entry in the entire series. It bombed badly at the box office (and should have given a clue to Fox they need to put some talent in the control of these films, or just give those a proper budget, instead of just shuffling the series aside for cheap name recognition alone).

Overall, a terrible script... a good thing we can barely see any of it!

The long-awaited sequel to the crossover everybody was asking for. Fans were expecting this could fix Paul W. S. Anderson's misdirection. Why did it have to be so bad?!...

To be honest, the main problem is that this film just reeks amateurism. From the poor directing, paper-thin characters, a bad script. At best the plot itself feels like a mere filler one-shot from the worst possible comic book materials Dark Horse put out back then.

The film was also released as a "new" Unrated Cut, which barely saves anything. Simply adding 7 more forgettable minutes in which nothing much changed. Some minor extra deaths and a longer shot at the chestbuster coming from the kid in the beginning.

Excuse my language her, but simply put, let's call this film for what it is. A huge turd on a big pile of shit.

Avoid at all costs!!

I give it:
1 / 3 UFOs!

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