Text Reviews Theatrical Review

Theatrical Review: Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem

Moments after the climactic events of the first Alien Vs. Predator, the predator ship departing from Earth, meets with major trouble within, and finds itself turned around and crash-landing back on the planet near the small town of Gunnison, Colorado. There, captured Alien parasites get free of the wreckage to quickly attack and infest a father and son out on a hunting trip. Meanwhile, other events involving some of the townspeople of Gunnison start to unfold, introducing us to some of the people who will quickly become involved in this. The Predator ship has not checked into their homeworld, and one of the Predators, finds out what has happened to their ship and quickly departs for Earth to clean up the mess, but as he’s arrived, the Aliens have also started to run amok across the town.

And that’s the premise of Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem a direct sequel to the first movie, from both it’s opening and end scenes, setting things up for a third film as well as, in a classic Planet of the Apes type of fashion, starting to come full circle to what would be the first film in the Alien franchise. Now I love all of these movies, and am proud to be one of the few who can readily admit that he really enjoys the first AVP film as well, and while these franchises obviously don’t hold the same fascination with the public that they did when they were first released, I give Fox a lot of credit for sticking with both franchises even now and continue to build this thing.

AVP: R is directed by The Brothers Strause, a couple of guys who I understand are more known for visual effects work, and I think they’ve given us a very fast-paced film here that pays a lot of homages to the other films with key event set-ups, that at least for this viewer was a lot of fun to watch. Hell, they even go so far as to have their composer, Brian Tyler, pay homages in some of his musical cues to, especially in re-visiting the Predator music. For the most part, the look of the film isn’t too bad, though I think the Strauses could’ve used some of Paul Anderson’s visual sense with a few of the scenes, as most of the movie is very dark with action being shot up against the rain and strobing lights, a few “beauty” shots wouldn’t have hurt things here and there.

The cast here is mostly a lot of unknowns, the best known being Reiko Aylesworth from 24 who plays a soldier returning back to her family in Gunnison, and they do the job mostly moving the plot forward. I know I wasn’t exactly expecting this to be about great acting performances, that’s not what these movies are about, so as I said, they move things forward and nothing more. As I watched this though, I did think that there is probably a longer cut of the film that gives us more background around the people of Gunnison, though I wouldn’t expect it to be mired in that, that would probably bring the momentum of the film to a halt if it was heavily invested in some of that, but a little more wouldn’t hurt and I’d expect that that will probably show up on the eventual DVD.

I think this is a whole lot of fun, but it’s hard for me to go out and readily recommend this considering the fan disdain over the first AVP. I thought that one was a whole lot of fun as well, and universally fans feel betrayed by it, though I’ll never understand why. So I guess I can say that if you enjoyed the first film, then I’d wholeheartedly recommend the second as well, but seeing that so few did enjoy the first film, then maybe you should save yourself from having your childhoods raped yet again, and just stay home and moan about how bad the second season of Heroes was or how the Sci-Fi Channel is wrecking everything with their treatment of Battlestar Galactica…

By Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

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