"Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem"
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
20th Century Fox
2007, 20th Century Fox
, "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem"

I’m firing off this quickie review in effort to save you a few bucks if you haven’t taken the bait yet (and I confess that I swallowed the cheese based on the violent trailer that was released for this flick). AVP:R isn’t as bad as most critics would have you believe (of course, many of them are saying that viewing this film will give you stomach cancer), but it’s definitely nowhere near as cool as some horror nuts are making it out to be either. The story is as predictable as any twentieth generation slasher movie (or fifth generation Japanese ghost revenge film) and some of the acting is truly awful (the dude playing the sheriff must have had some incriminating pictures of the 20th Century Fox execs). The setting has been moved from the previous version’s arctic wasteland to the teenage wasteland of small town America, and the original screenplay apparently had a much larger budget in mind than what the crew ended up with. They try to convey a feeling that the aliens have overrun an entire berg, but since we never see more than three of the buggers at any given time, the apocalyptic atmosphere is never successfully achieved.

I’ve seen quite a few reviews saying this is better than the first AVP, but it’s not. Sure, this one has more (CG) blood, which is cool, I guess – but the script for this new flick is utterly hackneyed (and yes, worse than AVP). The original “vs.” movie at least tried to come up with an interesting reason why the conflict between alien and Predator sprang to life, while this sequel just goes along making shit up as needed, and completely tosses out any internal logic in effort to get a familiar “money shot” that I suspect the bean counters told the crew had to be included. For example, the lone Predator that is sent to Earth to – well, I don’t know exactly what he’s supposed to be doing – but anyway, he arrives and starts using a fluorescent blue chemical to dissolve all the dead face-huggers and human host bodies to apparently cover up that anything is going on. Why he’s doing this I have no idea, but it’s made all the more confusing when the alien hunter kills and skins a human cop that stumbled onto him. He then hangs the body from a tree, where it’s found by the sheriff – thus recreating the Predator money shot of a skinned human hanging from a tree – and totally screwing the script pooch. If you’re covering tracks, why the Hell would you skin and hang a body for the cops to find? So it’s stuff like this that just leaves you scratching your head.

Of course, few of us go to monster movies expecting an original plot (while most of us secretly hope to see one, experience has taught us to have very low expectations, and sure enough, you’ll know how this 90-minute movie ends about 22 minutes into it) – thus the “selling point” of this flick is that it’s brought the R rating back to the outer space boogiemen’s franchises. I went in hoping to see lots of ultra-violent alien-on-alien ass whuppin’, but I left sorely disappointed. There is a fair amount of fighting (with humans getting wasted on the way), but the battles between the Predator and his alien prey are always shot in the dark, utilizing quick cuts and confusing close-ups, giving us no idea of what the Hell is going on. Even the “climatic” battle at the end is a disappointment as it’s a jumble of weak camera work and utterly lackluster choreography. So the fight scenes suck balls, and let’s face it, that’s what we’re paying for with a movie that has “vs.” in the title.

In conclusion, this film is pretty much an utter waste of time, but if you must see it, I strongly recommend going to a matinee… that way you might get your $5 worth of action and alien encounters. You certainly aren’t going to get $8.50+, though.