Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Aliens vs Predator: Requiem Review

I'm going to lay it out nice and plain for you, when paying to see a film like Aliens vs Predator: Requiem, you're not paying to see drama or character development, you're paying to watch two retro '80's movie monsters smash the snot out of each other while butchering a bunch of dumb yokels in the process. To that end, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem succeeds in spades.

If you're a fan of the Alien and Predator franchises, specifically the monsters themselves, see this movie. If you've never cared for them, or can not stand intense gore (this film is definitely _not_ PG-13 like Alien vs Predator was), or were looking for something along the lines of a real plot, then don't see this film. It's that simple people; mindless entertainment at its best.

Aliens vs Predator: Requiem picks up right where Alien vs Predator left off. Literally. In fact, they quickly reshow the birth of the PredAlien, and like the xenomorphs in the first Alien vs Predator, it matures fast. Very fast. Fast enough to surprise and butcher the Predators on board and crash the ship back on earth. This all happens in under the first 5 minutes of the film, and right away some humans get loved by a pair of Facehuggers, which begins that infestation of Gunnison, Colorado.

Before the ship crashed, however, a Predator onboard managed to send a transmission to another Predator on their homeworld. This is significant to the franchise because we finally get to glimpse what very well may be the Predator homeworld after 20 years! This Predator, nicknamed "Wolf" (according to the credits), suits up and sets off for Earth to clean up the mess and avenge the fallen.

The human cast is played mainly by small screen actors who have appeared in a variety of hit shows. I'm not going to list them all, you can look them up on IMDB yourselves, you lazy bum. Dallas (Steven Pasquale) has just returned from serving break-and-enter-time in prison, and reunites with his brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis) and the town's Sheriff, Morales (John Oritz). Kelly (Reiko Aylesworth) also returns from her time in the military to be reunited with her husband and daughter (Ariel Gade). Every Alien and Predator film that has come before has at least attempted to build up their characters, to develop them with some kind of backstory, even Alien vs Predator. Aliens vs Predator: Requiem, on the other hand, really does away with this and you can instantly recognize who is what. Dallas is the responsible anti-hero, Morales is the by-the-book-guy, Ricky's the underachieving teenage yutz, etc. Not much depth, and all the human characters really serve as is fodder for the monsters.

For the monsters themselves, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem sticks to the majority of the traditional formulas better than its predecessor. Wolf is like what we've seen in Predator and Predator 2, save that he's got some new toys to play with (love those trip wires) that really make sense with the Predator mythos, unlike those oversized novelty blades from Alien vs Predator. He's also very focused in stoping the Aliens, its just that those dumb humans keep getting in his way.

The bugs themselves are modelled more after the look of Aliens, except there's no Queen this time, and thus no eggs (though there's a bunch of Facehuggers from the crashed Predator ship). Instead, we have the PredAlien, and it introduces some changes to the established Alien lifecycle. Without going into detail, let's just say if you have an issue with bad things happening to children and pregnant women, stear clear of this film, as it's actually quite disturbing.

This really doesn't need to be a long review. Its Aliens. Its Predator. They kill each other, and they kill a bunch of hick rednecks. That's it; that's the film. Is it movie of the year? Hell no. Is it sadistically gory, brain-dead entertainment? Absolutely. Makes me feel like I'm 10 again. What?

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