Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alien Vs. Predator Requiem Review

Sometimes, a movie gets almost universal acclaim, like The Dark Knight. Or, like Fight Club, it becomes something of a cult classic. And sometimes there are movies that are widely disliked, but for you personally they're something of a guilty pleasure. For me, the first Alien Vs. Predator was that kind of film. It was by no means a great movie, but it made for a cheesy, action popcorn kind of movie. Sure, the plot (Predators building a temple in the Arctic so that once a century they can raise a few Aliens to hunt as a sort of rite of passage) wasn't going to win any literary awards, but it was enough to set up the premise, as well as avoid contradicting either the AVP comic books or the Alien movies. Two hours of Aliens and Predators killing each other (and a few curious humans who got caught in the crossfire) later, you at least have the satisfaction of having watched Aliens and Predators fighting for two hours.

With that in mind, I figured I'd give the sequel a rental. And how, having watched it, I can safely say that the Strauss Brothers should be tried for crimes against humanity. Honestly, these guys make Michael Bay look like Francis Ford Coppola.

The "story" picks up just after the end of the first movie. The Predators are on their way home with some dead Aliens and a couple of live facehuggers. Then an little Alien busts out of one of the dead Predators... and immediately grows up and slaughters the crew? It's hard to tell with the choppy camera work. Oh, and for some reason, it's not just an Alien, but some kind of Alien-Predator hybrid. Not that it matters... when the Predator ship crashes back on Earth, the Predalien sets about spawning more Aliens, just like a regular Alien queen. Meanwhile, some other Predator finds out about the crash, then sets off to Earth for Alien killing. Hilarity ensues.

Think I'm kidding about that hilarity? Well, the Strauss Brothers borrow just about every horror/slasher cliché they can until the whole thing becomes some sort of sick joke. Serious. The Aliens breeding spreads like an infection. Teenagers hanging out at the school pool at night get attacked. Total power outtage. A little girl sees a monster out the window, a parent doesn't believe her, and gets killed attempting to prove that there's no monster. The National Guard gets called in. People hole up in a gun store. The employees of said gunstore are killed. Stuff goes on in the hospital with flickery lights. Survivors split up over a disagreement over which way is safer. One side of that disagreement ends up dead. Survivors have to try to get to the helicopter... just before the nuke hits! The helicopter crashes, but the people aboard are saved by military people. And the mother promises the daughter that it's over and they're safe now. If only there was some way that a shady government-sponsored corporation could be involved, we could have a complete set of clichés... oh wait, at the end of the movie, a government agent turns over a Predator weapon recovered from a survivor to a Ms. Yutani... as in the shady Weyland-Yutani Corporation of the Alien films.

Alien Vs. Predator was mildly entertaining because the Aliens and the Predators were the stars of an action movie. The humans were inconsequential. Requiem makes the mistake of trying to make the movie a horror film by focusing on a menagerie of humans. It fails, because the humans are just as inconsequential. Most of the cast dies shortly after you first meet them. And when a few actually survive the whole mess, you're almost surprised. The Predator and the Predalien fighting? Just a distraction to help fill the time between the start of the movie and the nuke hitting when it becomes apparent that the human cast isn't enough to carry along the string of clichéd scenes that passes for the story.

Next time you find your Netflix queue running a little low and you're looking for movies to add to it, go with anything besides AVPR. Don't even watch this crap if it turns up as part of their Instant View collection, you're bored, and you've got an Xbox 360. If you're channel surfing and Requiem happens to be on TV, keep going, because I honestly can't think of too many movies worse than this garbage.

Final Score: F-


science412 said...

I can't believe that you decided to watch this piece of crap over the numerous high-quality cinema gems that I've recommended. Not cool, bro. Not cool.

Mike said...

The numerous high-quality cinema gems you've been recommended are all horror, which means the missus won't watch them. So I gotta watch something else with her in the evening. Just be glad I ripped into something for your amusement.