Friday 16 January 2009

Film review: Alien Vs Predator: Requiem

Alien Vs Predator: Requiem


I'm going to just cut straight to the chase here: this is the worst film I've seen in a very long time. The last really bad movie I saw was the crap-tastic Pirates of the Caribbean 3, but that at least had one or two redeeming moments.

I'm a bit of a Predator/Alien geek, so I normally enjoy these sort of films. I actually saw the first AVP film in the cinema, and thought it was decent. Having watched it again on DVD (the UK recession has been good for one thing: dirt-cheap DVDs) I came to the same conclusion - it's not big or clever, but it was decent entertainment.

There was some sort of plot, some attempt at characterisation, and plenty of 'geek' moments (I still love the shots of the ancient tribes worshipping the predators as they stand atop pyramids). All things considered, it was good fun. Nowhere near as good as the Alien films (well, the first two at least) and probably not even as good as either Predator movie, but still a decent addition to the franchise.

AVP: Requiem, by contrast, is just a total mess and the problems are legion. For a start, most of the movie is filmed in the dark. Why? No idea. Perhaps the directors thought it would make it scarier. It doesn't. It makes it pointless, because you can't see what the hell is happening most of the time. Subsequently any decent action (if there actually was any) is wasted.

As for the plot, there isn't one. Aliens and a predator invade a small town, and everyone runs around screaming and panicking. That's about it. Characterisation is equally non-existent: the main leads are wooden and utterly lacking in depth. The script is horribly stiff and packed with crap one-liners. My favourite was the token pretty blonde squealing "We're not going to make it, are we?" in an attempt to generate some emotion. I just wish one of the other 'characters' had replied, "No, you're not going to make it. You see those nice aliens outside? They're going to forcibly remove you from the gene-pool so that the rest of humanity doesn't have to listen to your constant hysterics."

There aren't even any decent 'geek' moments for us geeks to enjoy. The main attraction was the fact that the 'boss' alien had predator characteristics (having burst forth from a predator) but this admittedly cool aspect was sadly lost in the darkness. The disappointing confrontation between the pred-alien and the predator (I think there was a fight, though I could be wrong) was a bit like watching two people have rampant sex in the dark. In fancy dress.

Overall, a shocking film and a total waste of the potential of the franchise.

Rating: d


Todd Newton said...

Yeah, I just watched this (on blu-ray!) in November and was sorely disappointed. It's like they took everything that made the first AVP worth watching, flushed it down the toilet, and replaced it with popsicle sticks and gum. The only reason that any part of the story was interesting was because it took place here in Colorado (in just about the coldest city in the state during the winter), but I was actually rooting for the lame characters (of whom there are many) to die. The whole re-worked Predator-laser-as-pistol thing was almost exciting, but it reminded me too much of the movie I Come In Peace with Dolph Lundgren (QUALITY 80's sci-fi, btw).

If this movie had come out in 1982, it still would have sucked. Lesson learned? Special effects movies DO need something interesting to justify their two-hour length, otherwise you might as well just drool over the DVD case.

This franchise (the AVP combo franchise) is totally ruined. Epic fail.

Jim Haley said...

Finally, someone who agrees with me. I remember seeing all these reviews about how AVP:R was SO much better than the first AVP - and I wondered what film they had seen. Like you said, characterization wasn't high on the list even in the first AVP, but it was still WAY ahead of it's sequel. I had the same problems with the 'dark' and 'inability to see fight scenes'. Utterably unwatchable (and Pirates 3 is a fairly good comparison).

Anonymous said...

I can't see shit in this movie! To dark (visually).

Unknown said...

I hate the fact that some rich Hollywood people have taken 2 great characters and destroyed them. Have they no sense? Do they not understand how well loved and serious fans of Aliens and Predator are? Obviously not. All that money and power and The Brothers Strauss (the knobs who directed Predator 2), make an absolutely horrible film that is badly acted and directed. Many of the scenes are directly copied from other films (why did you pay a scriptwriter to do this,are you thick?), its quite embarrassing actually. In many other reviews people have stated that the action between the Alien and Predator is good, well its not that good and you cant see most of it because its dark. If the directors were trying to make it scary then they are stupid, well all know fine well what Aliens and Predators look like, hiding them is shadow is frustrating not exciting! Thanks for destroying 2 interesting and well loved sci-fi icons. As far as I'm concerned Hollywood can continue to destroy these 2 icons as the damage is well and truly done now and there's no coming back from it. I'm sure in a parallel universe somewhere, they actually made decent follow ups to Aliens and Predator. I live with that small hope...