The journey has certainly been eventful. From its initial beginnings in 1979, the Alien and Predator franchises have had their highs and lows. It was always going to be a tall order to follow-up on the initial critical and commercial success of the first two Aliens films and the first Predator film. It was Dark horse comics that first brought the two together and with hindsight it is the perfect combination. The ultimate warrior squared up to the galaxy’s most lethal species. It wasn’t too long before the comics were mooted for a movie franchise of their own. How could it possibly fail? With the Blu ray release of Prometheus this week it seemed like an opportune time to have a look back at one of the not so highs from the Alien universe, the 2007 film Aliens Vs Predator – Requiem.
A spaceship of Predator warriors crashes into the woods outside of small town. The crash turns out to be caused by Aliens that have escaped confinement . One warrior manages to escape the wreckage and tries to destroy the ship and himself only to fail with an Alien bursting from his chest. Nearby a hunter and his young son witness the crash and go to investigate. What they find are a couple of Alien facehuggers looking to meet new and interesting people and impregnate them. It isn’t long before the Man and boy are posted missing. The local sheriff forms a search party and heads out into the woods. At the same time a distress signal from the Predator ship has alerted their comrades on the Predator home world (perhaps?). A warrior is sent out to deal with the situation. The scene is set for another showdown between the two deadly rivals with the townsfolk caught in the middle. To make matters worse, the government is aware of the crash and what it means. Their answer to the problem is all to typical.
This film has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I find it hard to believe that the franchise had sunk so low to endorse this turd of a movie. To start with the story is just nonsense. Instead of coming up with a reasonably original idea they have apparently watched a couple of slasher horror films, replace slasher with predator, added Aliens and kept all the crappy dialogue. It’s really weak.
The main element in the early Alien films was the build up and the tension. This is sadly lacking in AVPR. In the first five minutes you get three chest bursts and two facehugs. So much for build up. From there the film follows a very familiar path. At no point do you think that it may take a left turn into something different and interesting. It’s all too obvious what is going to happen and when. Every plot point is signposted well in advance. Every relationship is one-dimensional. You can even work out the order of the killing and who will survive. None of this is down to the actors. I have seen several of them in other films and been duly impressed by their work. It is the quality of the material that lets them down. There is nothing for them to work with here.
I would have expected a lot better from the directors, The Brothers Strause, if only due to their track record working in visual effects on some of the biggest films of the last ten years. It doesn’t seem that they have gained any inspiration from working with people like James Cameron and JJ Abrams.
The only positive from this mess is that a rethink seemed to have resulted. The next two films relating to this universe, Predators and Prometheus, have both been much stronger and worthy of association with the original material. Maybe we had to get to the nadir in order to start to rise again.
Overall this a really poor film not really worthy of being branded with the Alien name. definitely not recommended.