Home > Action, Sci Fi, Thriller > Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

The AvP movie franchise had so much promise. It really did. The idea of Xenomorphs and Predators duking it out had been tested in print media, to great success. Both sides were well-detail as far as social structure, weapons, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses as fans of both series tried to calculate who would win, in the style of Deadliest Warrior. Then the first movie came out, and it was… mediocre. Nothing stellar. Of course, Universal seemed to like the idea of taking the Alien franchise to Earth (and portraying the chaos that would ensue in a populated area), so they made a sequel to their mediocre crossover.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is that sequel. Directed by Colin and Greg Strause, AvP:R picks up right where the previous movie left off and stars Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, and John Ortiz.

When I say this movie picks up right where the last one left off, I’m not kidding. Reminding the viewer in its first scene how screwed the Predators are when a Predator-Alien hybrid (hereafter Predalien) hatches from the chest cavity of the last surviving Predator from the first film, the film dives right into the action as this nasty critter matures and lays waste to the crew of the Pred ship. A distress signal is sent back to the Predator homeworld, and a single Predator is sent to investigate as the wrecked ship crashes in the woods outside Gunnison, Colorado, releasing a number of facehuggers and the Predalien. The facehuggers are first encountered by a man and his son out hunting, and as these facehuggers appear to still be on the accelerated gestation exhibited in the first AvP, it is not long at all before their guests hatch out. Meanwhile, the Predator lands, investigating the cause of the crash, and we learn that Pred visors can record as well as see in multiple light spectra. In the recording, he sees the beastie that shredded his comrades, and goes searching for it, using a weird blue liquid to destroy any evidence of the Predalien’s predations.

In town, a number of potential victims locals and visitors are seen, including an ex-con returning home to her family, the distressed wife of the hunter, the town sheriff, and a reluctant pizza boy sustenance delivery specialist trying to woo the girl of his dreams, only to incur the wrath of her current douchebag boyfriend soon-to-be-ex. Of course, the human plot soon spirals off into pandemonium when the Predalien takes up light housekeeping in a storm drain with its growing army of offspring, and the Predator heads into town in hot pursuit. And, uh… a monster movie ensues.

This movie managed to be even more mediocre than its predecessor. The quality was neither high enough to be considered a good movie, nor low enough to be an enjoyably bad movie. If you look at it as a pure monster movie, it’s about Sci Fi Original Movie-quality. As an Alien movie, it’s proof that the franchise might be running out of steam, and as a Predator movie, it doesn’t have quite the cultural details that made the hunters in the first two movies engaging, and the human characters are more one-dimensional than the cast of the first AvP. I found myself in the state of mind where I was having a hard time caring about the human side of the plot enough that the Predalien menace was thrilling, and in all the movie seemed to be aiming to shock me or gross me out than really engage me. In other words, it took the qualities that failed in the first and added blood and guts to make the second movie fail harder.

The Xenos in this film are variously bad CGI drones, ugly Xeno costumes (looking distinctly ragged, as opposed to the sleek, efficient design that made Alien and Aliens work so well), or unconvincing CGI chestbursters. The only Xeno that looked good was the Predalien, who combined distinctive traits of both Xenos and Predators, but it didn’t have nearly enough screen time to make up for it. The use of heavy shadows in the fight scenes boded ill for the FX guys’ confidence in the Predalien design, but given the context it mostly worked.

For a long time, the Alien people have wanted to make a “Xenomorphs on Earth” movie. They’ve been kicking it around since the early stages of Alien:Resurrection, and James Cameron was even working on his own Alien 5 script when the AvP movies began production. I hope this isn’t the best they can do. My advice for anyone who decides to try again – take the time to do it right! Putting good monsters in a bad story just makes a bad movie. As for AvP:R, give this one a big miss.

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