Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (thar be spoilers below!)

AvP:R (the R isn't really for Requiem, it's to make sure you suckers know that it's rated R) was directed by the Brothers Strause (in their feature debut) and written by Shane Salerno (Armageddon, Shaft).
 
I love the Alien movies, though I'm far from being an expert. I love them, love them, love them. All of them, even Alien3 (so long as it's David Fincher's work print version, not the Fox executives' version) and while there may be a few issues with Alien: Resurrection, I love it, too. Predator...well...I found them to be interesting, but not "omigod PREDATORS R SEW COOL!" interesting. The Alien aliens win for me.
 
I hated the first Alien versus Predator movie. Hated it. Paul W.S. Anderson's shoddy treatment of both properties, and essential transplant of the two species into the Resident Evil script, really frustrated me, though the Predalien hybrid introduced at the end of the flick was really interesting.
 
AvP:R makes the first one look like a masterpiece of Shakespearian proportions.
 
The film starts out with the biggest mistake EVER which was carried over from the first flick. Can you tell me, honestly tell me, that the Predators would actually carry their impregnated homie back onto the ship without any sort of protection? They have a super-special Alien tracking sight thingie in their masks, for the love of Pete. They'd KNOW that their fellow Predator was carrying a really nasty hybrid and would DISPOSE OF HIM / HER IMMEDIATELY. And by really nasty, I mean to say that the Predalien was a Queen / Uber-Facehugger unless forcefeeding multiple embryos down their host's throat is how the Predators procreate...
 
AND WHERE DID THEY GET THE FACEHUGGERS THAT ARE ON THE SHIP IN THE BEGINNING?! They couldn't have rescued them from the temple, there wasn't enough time to bottle the six (or whatever) of them up so nicely before the building went bye-byes.
 
The Predator knives (the ones that come out of their little gauntlet things): are they some special acid-resistant metal or something? Even their armour isn't acid blood resistant, but their weapons are, by golly...
 
There were very few, very VERY few, things in the script that were surprising and even fewer things that weren't slightly misogynistic or racist. Only white people live, only the menfolk (and the half-assed Ripley stand-in) get to shoot the guns, and only men get to be impregnated by facehuggers while already pregnant women get to be impregnated by the Predalien Queen. This is one terribly written movie. And, may I mention how much I hate that the lead male character is named Dallas?
 
Shots and even whole moments were stolen (even repeated once or twice) from the various Alien films (maybe Predator, too...I don't know,) but usually Aliens and Alien3. It was nice the first couple of times, but when conservatively 66 of your 86 minute runtime consists of stolen shots and moments, it gets boring fast especially when it doesn't feel as though the shots were understood by the filmmakers beyond "Oh, yeah! That was an awesome moment...let's do that!"
 
There are two really good things about this film, though: Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. came back for the effects (their Alien work is phenomenal) and the score by Brian Tyler took all kinds of cues from the Alien and Aliens scores (again, probably the Predator stuff, too, I don't know) and melded them into something that really worked for this film, though it did feel a little uneven, going more for the military feel of Aliens and I imagine the bombastic Predator.
 
My biggest problem with these movies is ALIENS ON EARTH BEFORE RIPLEY LEAVES IT?! WHAT?!?! Maybe it's explained in the comic books or one of the games or something, but you can't tell me that none of the characters in the first Alien film had ever heard of the complete nuclear annihilation of even a small town because of alien infestation ESPECIALLY when there were four survivours. If Weyland-Yutani were so gung-ho about finding these things (including the Predators?) separately or together, they would have LONG before the Nostromo was even drawn on paper.
 
The new breed of "versus" movies have the same problems: the crew aren't paying attention. If explanations to any of my concerns are in the comic books, they really need to be in the movies for them to make sense IN THE MOVIE.
 
Frustrating and disappointing.

4 comments:

Marvin the Martian said...

Such Christmas-y thoughts - acid blood and facehuggers! I was thinking about The Terminator on Christmas, so I can't poke fun.

I agree with all your points about the first movie. You clearly paid much more attention to than I did. I've seen it 3 times in hotel rooms, always missing the first hour. It's a strange film. But all videogame/comic-based films are. I was glad they made another AVP, if only to help flesh out what happens next after the ending of the first one. A combined Alien-Predator! Scary thought. But I'm glad you reviewed the next film - I will wait for the video. ;-)

Happy New Year!

Lori said...

I work at a movie theatre and, strangely, we got rid of all of the Christmas movies a week and a half before Christmas. I usually try to watch at least one new Christmas movie every year, but none of this year's crop looked very good anyway.

Happy New Year to you, too!!

mike said...

YOur right on about alot of your thoughts and comments, though i feel that i must point out some things. (pardon me but im about to geek out here) The whole thing about predators is that their whole culture is based on hunting, so it follows that they would hunt the aliens. (this is from the comic books, btw) Now te orgin of the aliens has never been explained to my satisfaction; they are xenomorphic (they take on some traits of their host), they kill just about anything that moves (not a good thing from the stand point of survival) and its never been explained how, or what, they eat. This leads me to the supposition that they are an artificial creation; a sort of biologic weapon if you will. they subsume the head of the food chain, then work their way down; once thats done, they die off for lack of hosts. Total ecological havoc. Now as to why the preds would carry the alien embryos, well (according to comics and the few books) they 'seed' select worlds for the hunt, though if im not mistaken, they dont generally seed a queen, though i guess they bend that rule occationally, or that (like bees) some of the face humpers get a genetic switch flipped and go queen. Though you are dead on about the impregnated pred on the ship; that was just careless, and stupid writing on the part of the writers and director. The one thing that truely bugs me is the ending; wth was that scene with mr. nuke-em-all and that chic? Mrs. "your-world-isnt-ready-for-that-technology"? some tie-in? a prelude to a sequel? wth, man? it made no sence!

Lori said...

Mike:

The only Aliens related comic book I ever considered reading was the Superman vs. Batman vs. Alien vs. Predator because the idea seemed so ludicrous -- thank you for geeking out! The only books I have are the first and last Alien novelizations.

But the Aliens never died out, per se. I think the warriors and drones would have died of exposure on LV426 when the derelict ship crashed and the temperature plummeted, but those eggs that Kane found were viable. They were still viable when the colonists went to the crash site 57 years after the Nostromo fled.

I can see that they could have been a biological weapon; perhaps the derelict's pilot was shipping them someplace (under military orders or just as an expendable pilot or a terrorist, if we want to go that route) and the thin blue laser membrane thing broke and a face-humper (thanks for that!) got out, impregnated it, and voila! It crashes on LV426 (I would have loved to see the alien that popped out of its chest...)

However, they do eat: flesh. If they don't take a warm body back to be a host or to make an egg / cocoon out of them (like Captain Dallas' unfortunate end in the "director's cut"), or if they can't because there are no eggs and no queen, they kill. Parker looked like he was getting eaten and Lambert sounded like it. The dog/ox alien in Alien3 was eating one of its victims, if I remember correctly. it could have been one of the prisoners, or maybe it was a dog.

I think the end of AvP:R was just their poorly thought out way of retconning the movies into the Alien canon. Predator was "modern day" as opposed to the future, though I guess it was timeless in the script, but Alien takes place at an undated future time (actually, I think one of the flicks placed a date, possibly Aliens, but I can't remember.) The spin machine would have taken care of the reason behind an annihilated town, but I'd have to wonder about the predator since they seem to like earth so much.