BUY IT AT AMAZON: CLICK HERE
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
- Commentary by The Strause Brothers and producer John Davis
- Commentary by Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff
- Unrated Footage Marker
- Red Band Trailer
- Green Band Trailer
Continuing the franchise that proves that fanboys need to be real careful what they wish for.
Steven Pasquale, John Ortiz, Reiko Aylesworth, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade
Obviously, Ann Coulter reproducing wasn’t going to turn out well…
The Predalien, assorted xenomorphs
A shipload of stiffs, a Cleaner
Continuing directly after the events of the first Alien vs. Predator, the ship carrying the rescue team of Predators and the corpse of the Predator protagonist is leaving earth…until the alien chestburster subletting said Predator corpse’s body decides to have a coming out party. Things on the ship then go as expected as this new xenomorph, a mixture of Predator and Alien (the Predalien…clever, no?) makes quick work of our green-blooded friends (non-Vulcans, FYI) and the ship crashes back to earth near the small Colorado town of Crested Butte, CO. The Predalien, which is also a queen that can dispense with the whole egg / face-hugging portion of the life cycle and inject multiple embryos directly into victims’ stomachs, then quickly starts adding to the brood. Meanwhile, back on the Predator homeworld, a Predator “cleaner” is dispatched to earth to deal with the Alien threat; and more than a few humans again get caught up in the resulting off-worlder smackdown.
I’m like all of you. In the winter of 1990 I saw Predator 2 (a highly underrated flick by the way) and I saw the Alien skull that was placed in the Predator ship as an in joke by the filmmakers and I was excited that the two franchise universes had collided in a most unexpected way. Then of course all holy hell broke loose in genre circles. Immediate calls go out to combine these two franchises – Alien and Predator – into an uber-franchise and fanboy wet dream. It took 14 years: 14 years of graphic novels and a gazillion video games, before it happened. The end product? Alien vs. Predator. The result? Yet even more calls for the head – and subsequently the spinal column and other vital organs – of genre whipping boy W.S., mass seppuku and a pronounced spike in phenelzine prescriptions.
No big surprise here that the Aliens quickly changed their attack style from facehugging to assgrabbing…
My take on the flick? Well, I didn’t hate it, but then again I’ve discovered that I can readily check my brain at the door in my declining years (and subsequently my balls after having been married for almost 10 years…but let’s stay on topic, shall we?). The original got more things wrong than right, but it did feature some worthwhile E.T. on E.T. action, and if you know the story of the video games and comic books, it did make a serious attempt to try to be faithful to the mythology established in them to a certain extent. Now comes along Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, which again tries to be somewhat faithful to the AVP mythology established in the graphic novels and video games, succeeding somewhat, but again is dragged down in places by what it doesn’t get right.
“We’re surrounded by ferocious killer Aliens! What are we going to do?”
“Well I don’t about you assholes, but I’m sticking tight until Jack Bauer arrives…”
The Good: AVPR finally delivers what was promised way way back in those bullshit, handjob promos for Alien3. We were promised “On Earth…everyone can hear you scream.” Yet instead we got simply more far flung deep space shit instead. Hicks and Newt were FUBAR within two minutes and Ripley became a skinhead. No action anywhere near our fair little blue floating orb. AVPR rectified that: xenomorph terra firma action. And not stuck away in the most remote area of the world. There are Aliens running around the local sewers, hardware store, high school, hospital, and hell, probably checking out the nearest strip club and hitting Taco Bell on a border run for all we know.
The Predalien is also what we’ve been waiting for in terms of getting new kinds of Aliens. We know the torpedo-headed darlings are adaptable to any terrain and incorporate the genetic traits of their hosts, yet for all their screen appearances, the only change we’d seen is a dog alien in the aforementioned Alien3. Now, at last, we see what a xenomorph would look like with dreads. Plus she’s a queen who immediately embraced the human tradition of popping out multiple kids at once that she can’t afford to take care of.
Regarding the lone predator, he’s a leaner meaner Cleaner version, with duel-mounted shoulder cannons and some fun blue gel that eliminates all traces of either Predator or Alien. Apparently the Predators have their own branch of MIB. Except Predators tend to neuralize with headshot energy blasts. Although the Predator is there to do some cleaning, he keeps it real by bagging a couple of ten-point whitetail humans on the side. He’s not there to save anybody, he’s there to wipe shit out. However, what is good is that there’s a dearth of CGI. Most of the Aliens appear to have been practical effects and they do look pretty good.
The Not-So-Good: The climax of AVPR is telegraphed like a bad wrestling move. Midway through the movie, it’s patently obvious that the Predalien is breeding them faster than the Cleaner can mop them up, and you know the film is going to end only one way. Now whether it’s the Predator or us that do it, you know someone’s going to be calling on ole Mr. Atom. Furthermore, one would think that the Predator would be smart enough to realize this and do it himself, but he’s still looking for some one-on-one action with the Predalien. He’s an exterminator that keeps stepping on the roaches one at a time rather than bug bombing the entire house, which makes a lot more sense.
Yep, Winehouse is really sliding…
Plus, with most of the action taking place in the dark, and much of it in the rain, it’s hard at times to get a handle on exactly who’s whacking whom sometimes. When you watch this film, make sure there’s no glare anywhere near your TV. Concerning the human element, there wasn’t a single character that you cared whether they lived or died. Considering that a boy got facehugged early on, and a surprise skewering by way of a Predator Ginsu frisbee, you weren’t certain who might make it out. Nor would you care very much.
If you didn’t like the original AVP, then chances are you’ll like this one even less; but I don’t think AVPR is as bad as people seem to think. However, I don’t consider it an improvement on the original. It does deliver some stuff that we’ve been waiting for, and tries to be faithful to the traditions of both original franchises. But ultimately it comes off exactly like it was probably meant to be, just the next chapter in the franchise that’s almost certain to continue for at least one more film. The ending builds on what we know will eventually become the evil Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Where I’d like to see this series of films head is the future, with lots of humans with guns, lots of Aliens and lots of Predators, where there this three-way war can really be let loose.
Alienspeak: “You’re one ugly motherfucker.”
Predatorspeak: “So then you’re as turned on as I am?”
The transfer of this film looks great in 2.40:1 Anamorphic and the sound is also fine in Dolby, with two English tracks as well as French and Spanish. This is the unrated version, which normally means less than nothing, but here they incorporate a nice feature in that you can set the film to mark added footage with a little AVPR logo, which lets you know exactly what’s been added. Most of the extra footage is just some extra gory shots here and there, with maybe one or two minor scenes added in. Still, this is the best way I think to keep track of extra added footage and I’m surprised hardly anyone’s been doing it up to now.
There’s also two commentaries, one by The Strause Brothers and producer John Davis, and one by effects guys Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff. The Green Band and Red Band trailers round out the offerings. On the two-disc version, there’s also five featurettes, and seven stills galleries, but I just grabbed the single-disc version off the used rack at the local 20/20 Video, so sue me.