Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM
WRITER: Shane Salerno
DIRECTOR: The Brothers Strause
STARRING: Steven Pasquale as Dallas
Reiko Ayelsworth as Kelly
John Ortiz as Morales
Johnny Lewis as Ricky
Ariel Gade as Molly
Kristen Hager as Jesse
Sam Trammell as Tim
Robert Joy as Col. Stevens
David Paetkau as Dale
Tom Woodruff Jr as Alien
Ian Whyte as Predator
QUICK CUT: Some guy goes hunting some big game in the woods of Colorado, but ends up becoming a nuisance to the small town.
...You know what? Does anyone care about the humans in this movie? *I* sure don't, and they either are generic enough or get killed off quickly enough that their personalities don't matter. We're all here for what the title says.
THE GUTS: Welcome back, Triskaliens! Or is it Predatrisks? Either way, I have got a movie for you today to kick off April. It's a bit different for the site, but bear with me. I am about to let you feast your eyes upon Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Or for the sake of brevity and my fingers, AVPR. Now, normally I like to watch franchise movies in order, but I decided to make an exception here. The original Alien is one of THE all time best horror movies, AND a good science fiction movie. It is pure classic, and I love it. I love it more than the more widely accepted sequel, Aliens. It's the difference for me between scifi horror, and a more action oriented sequel. Don't get me wrong, BOTH are great, both do their genres proud, but I love the scifi and horror more.
The Predator movies are also great, especially the first one. It also captured that action and horror vibes equally well. I'll even fight people over Predator 2, which I also enjoyed. It was really only a matter of time before these two franchises collided, and so they did in the first Aliens vs. Predator movie, which is not Requiem. It was generally panned (Although again, it had some highlights), and most people disliked it because it didn't have an R rating, and they couldn't go all out with all the juicy alien fighting.
Now, that would be a LOT of movies to get through just to eventually come to AVPR, and while I am sure to swing back around to those other ones some day, this one is probably the one most worth talking about. And I'm impatient. And hey! What better time to do one big franchise crossing vs. movie, after I just finished reviewing Batman v. Superman? Also, I know I have been stuck in the 21st century for WAY WAY too long, but don't worry, we're gonna hop back into our DeLorean and swing back to the 80s any day now. So let's dive right in to AVP: Requiem.
The movie picks up right where the last one left off, and all you need to know is the hero Predator from that one got infected by a Xenomorph, and gives birth to a chestburster that's also part Predator, as they always take on traits of the host. Kicking things right off with the potential threat of a creature that is half Xenomorph and half Predator, so now it's gonna go hide on this spaceship, and we're gonna chase it like the original Alien, right?
Welll...while this assumption would not be *wrong* per se, as that is what happens, it also happens during the first five minutes of the movie. We get infected host, chestburster, stalking through a spaceship, and killing the crew all before we hit three minutes in. The entire plot of "Alien" condensed to a mere 180 seconds.
And then we crash BACK down to Earth, because they turned around for some reason. Hello plot contrivances! The ship's crash landing is witnessed by a hunter and his son, and facehuggers crawl out like spiders leaving a sinking ship.
The facehuggers find the hunter who manages to shoot one, but that pesky alien acid blood splashes all over and his arm falls right off.
All of this sets off an emergency alarm that alerts a Predator back home, and since he's our hero for the movie, he needs a name. I am not calling him "The good Predator" for the whole movie. I shall dub him...Scott. After he picks out his favourite killin' mask from his wall of armour, he flies off to Earth to deal with this little problem. The most notable part here is getting a glimpse of the Predator homeworld.
But that's all we get, because this is a movie about Earth, so it's back to Earth and the town of Gunnison, and we meet Dallas, who's getting out of jail for crimes no one really cares about, because there's Aliens and Predators about.
He mentions his brother, so we cut right to him and his new job as a pizza delivery loser. While Ricky goes to make a delivery to the house of the girl he likes, he also gets a knuckle sandwich for his dinner. And seriously, the old pizza delivery guy with a crush on the cute girl he delivers to? What is this, a porno?
Meanwhile, Kelly the soldier gets dropped off for a nice break from killing things, and oh you picked the wrong week for a vacation. She reunites with her husband who's not running a diner or busy being a werewolf in Louisiana anymore, and their kid. Don't get too attached, we're gonna be tearing through humans soon enough, I hope.
Thankfully, we return to the sewers were some homeless people are hanging out waiting to get killed, and some facehuggers and an alien show up to eat some faces. But they're in for a rude awakening when the Predalien shows up to kill them too.
I would say the upshot here is we finally get to glimpse the creatures, but uh...this movie is dark. Criminally dark. People think Batman v. Superman has poor lighting? Look, that movie's visual 'problem' is that Zack Snyder looooves his muted palletes. That is not the problem here. Everything is so dark, you can't see the dark because of all the dark! This movie is lit entirely by muzzle flashes and laser blasts.
At least you can HEAR what's going on!! Fortunately, Scott finally arrives, and we can at least kinda see that amidst the darkness.
Scott checks out the crash site and replays stored footage of the Predalien's attack from a dead friend's mask. You know what? I need a godsdamned Predator mask to see what the sprock is going on in this movie.
He assesses the situation, and gears up with all the fallen Predators weapons, so he's got like, extra toys to play with. Which is good, because he's gonna need it. Once he's done, he disintegrates the ship so shady government goons don't get any fun future tech. Ah, he HAS been here before.
The humans go about their boring human stuff, like searching for keys in sewers, and searching for missing hunters, and waiting for the action to resume.
Scott's busy cleaning up any evidence of the infestation by disolving it with magic blue liquid, but he gets spotted. That's not a problem though, because this back country cop is no Dutch, and is easily disposed of.
Meanwhile, Jesse has broken up with her boyfriend and asks Ricky to go swimming. If nothing else, that's a prime setup for horror movie massacre time. Which is a minor problem with this movie. It becomes too much of a slasher flick at times. Kids go to secluded place, the killer arrives, and slices them up.
Down in the sewers, Scott is setting some traps for a pair of xenomorphs, but they get the best of him, and escape up to the surface to continue chasing them.
After their long trip, the aliens are feeling kinda peckish, so stop by the diner to have a nice bite to eat, starting with the chef, and then the waitress.
Meanwhile, Scott tracks other aliens to a nearby powerstation, continuing their love of wandering around pipes. More deaths occur. This is pretty much the plot in a nutshell.
Jesse and Ricky meet up for their swimming date, but the ex shows up to try and beat Ricky up some more, just in time for the fight at the power plant to black out the town. Oh, and a Xenomorph shows up to kill the bullies as well.
The Xenomorphs next bop down the street to Kelly's house and eat her husband. But back at the pool, Scott takes out a Xenomorph in the back of the head, and then continues to dissolve the water. On Earth, we call that trick 'evaporation'.
All of this embiggening body count has gotten the attention of the cops, as plotlines converge and everyone figures out there is something very wrong going on in this tiny Colorado town. ...Well, at least it's not an evil ancient oil slick entity.
During all of this, Scott's taken a few hits, so pauses near a cemetery to patch himself back together. Which also happens to be where Kelly and her kid run off to to catch their breath. The caretaker loses his shit, the Predator sees he has a gun, and explodes his head.
With everything going to shit, Dallas tries to take control and says they need guns. His cop friend Eddie says the National Guard is on their way, but Dallas counters with they won't be here soon enough. Cue the very next scene being the National Guard showing up before Dallas and crew can get all armed and ready.
Much like in Phantoms, the army showing up does little more than give more fodder for the corpse grinder. They show up, and die pretty quickly.
While the Predalien heads to the hospital to lay eggs in pregnant women, humans are dying by the dozen and Kelly finds her way to the gun shop with everyone else, Which is also where Scott ends up to behead a Xenomorph. There can be only one!
The humans try and run, but an Alien catches Dale and tries to eat him until the Predator kills it first. Unfortunately, that pesky acid blood kills Dale in the process. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bully.
Back at the hospital, the women are giving birth and dying in the process, and the Predalien is taking care of anyone who gets too nosy and wants to see the newborns.
The humans find the site of the National Guard Massacre, and contact someone to find out what the evac plan is. They get directed towards the center of town, where sure, there's gonna be an airlift to get them out! The person who works with the army smells something fishy, and thinks they should go to the hospital where they can use the waiting helicopter to escape on their own.
Scott sees Xenomorphs heading to the hospital to congratulate the new father on its kids arrival, so it looks like everyone is heading to the hospital for our final act fight. Finally.
The humans sneak around the hospital as the Predator and Predalien finally meet and punch their feelings out for a bit. Out of nowhere, Jesse gets sliced up by one of Scott's fun toys.
Her death sets off Ricky, who only manages to not be killed for shooting the Predator because a Xenmorph takes the big guy down an elevator shaft. But Ricky does see the gun that Scott dropped, so yay something that might work.
They make it to the roof and get surrounded by anything capable of killing them. Dallas tries to get the new toy running and dutifully tells everyone to make their way unto the vertical flight machine. Dallas and Kelly distract the death machines with their guns, while everyone gets around to doing that.
Scott's gotten bored though and decided he wants in on this fun, and starts taking out the rest of them, so the humans can escape. Although I suspect that part is just a happy by product of his punching.
But anyways, none of this is what you came here to see. The movie is called Aliens versus Predator, and so they finally deliver by having Scott punch and stab and kick the Predalien monster. And boy, it would be great if this scene was better lit and not drowned in blue and dark and rain and abyss.
The fight gets cut short when the military nukes the town, leaving our group in the choppah as the sole survivors of the massacre.
Kelly crashes the choppah, the military grabs them, confiscates the Predator gun, and it gets delivered to the Yutani corporation, because these damned crossover movies have each ended with a tease setting up the original Alien.
And that is AVPR, the movie that dares its audience to actually be able to see anything in its poorly lit everything.
Video: *just falls over laughing for 100 minutes* Ahem. This SHOULD look great, considering the stature and money behind it, but someone went NOPE and said let's film it in a coffin. When you CAN see what's going on, it looks solid enough, with maybe a few dodgy bits of effects work, but overall it's fine, if you can get past the murk. Oh, and if you've made it this far...APRIL FOOL'S. Yes, those are not the actual screencaps of the movie, they are flat black images, poking funat this movie's inability to light shit. If you haven't figured it out yet, you can click the black images and see the ACTUAL screencaps beyond.
Audio: Sounds decent enough, and its way better than the visuals.
Sound Bite: "That's crazy, the government doesn't lie to people!"
Body Count: HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THIS. If only you could've seen most of these! Even the unrated cut feels lacking because everything is murkified.
1 - Two and a half minutes in, and a Predator get taken out by the Predalien.
2 - And then another
3 - A third Predator gets taken out after the crash.
4 - The hunter gets facehugged to death.
5 - As does his son.
6 - A hobo gets facehugged.
7 - And a second one.
8 - A Xenomorph gets killed by the Predalien.
9 - And he then kills another hobo.
10 - A local cop gets killed after spotting the Predator.
11 - The chef at the diner gets eaten.
12 - Then the waitress.
13 - A DWP worker gets his brain picked.
14 - One of Dale's friends goes for a swim when an Alien does its Jaws impression.
15 - Another one gets snapped in two trying to make it out a window.
16 - Kelly's husband makes the mistake of saying, "See! No monsters!" before getting eaten.
17 - The Predator kills a Xenomorph at the pool
18 - A caretaker makes the mistake of holding a gun near a Predator, so his head goes splat.
19 - National Guardsman #1 gets taken out by I think the Predalien
20 - An alien takes out #2.
21 - And a third
22 - And a fourth.
23 - Probably more, probably some Aliens.
24 - The Predalien snaps a nurse's neck.
25 - A xenomorph gets beheaded by the Predator.,
26 - Gun shop worker gets shot in the face.
27 - As does his friend.
28 - The Predator takes out a Xenomorph as it tries to kill Dale.
29 - And its acid blood melts Dale good.
30 - At LEAST one more Xenomorph dies in the gun store.
31 - One of the pregnant women dies giving birth to unexpected babies.
32 - As does a second one.
33 - And at least one more
34 - Followed by the poor doctor that came in to check on them.
35 - Some random guy gets grabbed and chomped by aliens.
36 - A xenmorph gets its head sliced off.
37 - As does its friend
38 - And then the weapon accidentally sticks Jesse to the wall.
39 - Dallas shoots the head off a Xenomorph and somehow manages to not get covered in acid.
40 - The Predator shows up and kills another one.
41 - The Predator and Predalien get blowed up.
42 - 15,000 - As does the entire town.
Best Corpse: Jesse's death gets bonus points for being so shocking and out of nowhere, and pretty gruesome. With a special shout out to the head explosion of the cemetery caretaker.
Blood Type - D+: You would think a movie with no rating would be more hardcore and blood, and while there IS a lot of blood and violence, it's lost in all the dark. And many of the effects are CGI.
Sex Appeal: Girls in swimsuits.
Drink Up! Every time you wish a human would die and the movie would get back to the good stuff.
Movie Review: I seriously want to like this movie. I *do* on a lot of levels. Whereas the first AVP movie was very Predator focused, this one ended up being very Alien focused, giving them a lot of stuff to do, in various stages of their evolution. The Predator manages to hold its own right alongside them though, so it's not too overpowering. Each group gets a chance to shine, and even the Predalien has a lot going for it, with a solid design, and really creepy kills. But the movie DOES become a slasher during that second act, which is little more than a bloodbath. Which *I* don't mind, but it does kinda drag. If the movie was better shot, I'd give it a few more points, but that is a giant failing. Also, the characters are all pretty bland, and just kinda there to move things along and/or die. Mostly die. Two out of five vials of glowing blue liquid.
Entertainment Value: It IS kinda fun, though. The cast isn't bad, if very bland and generic. No one really stands out or captures the energy of the movie. The plot is little more than run and survive, but it does that well, and watching the massacres going on around the cast is a lot of fun. It doesn't hold a candle to most of the movies in either franchise, but it has its moments. Three out of five pizzas.