ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM: Small Town America Kills Two Franchises at Once

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007; Unrated Version) – Directed by the Brothers Strause – Starring Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Kristen Hager, Gina Holden, Chelah Horsdal, Robert Joy, Johnny Lewis, and Sam Trammel.

No one forces me to watch dogcrap movies like ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM, of course, so I’m not looking for any sympathy when I say that watching this film was a complete waste of 100 minutes of my Spring Break. (When you’re a student on Spring Break, you go somewhere nice and get loaded; when you’re a teacher on Spring Break, you take an actual break.)

AVPR is slick and stupid and absolutely no fun to watch. It’s hard for me to imagine they could make an ALIEN movie or a PREDATOR movie, let alone an ALIEN VS. PREDATOR movie that would be such a chore to watch, but here it is, an amateurishly made dumpster fire that can’t even manage to make either aliens or Predators look cool, let alone tell anything close to an interesting story.

It’s a bit of a struggle to decide whether AVPR is more mind-numbingly stupid or mind-numbingly amateurish, but after giving that question 4.3 seconds thought, I’ve decided I don’t really care.

AVPR takes the ALIEN and PREDATOR franchises to small town America. Picking up right where ALIEN VS. PREDATOR left off, there’s an Alien/Predator hybrid on the loose in the Predators’ spaceship. There’s a fight, the ship crashes into a quiet little mountain town, and then hilarity ensues as the aliens start facehugging and chestbursting. A signal gets back to the Predators home world, where a Predator (lets call him Benny) who’s apparently got nothing better to do than sit on his couch and listen to the CB band decides this is a good opportunity to get in his space car and fly across the universe to clean up this mess.

So …

So Benny touches down and starts cleaning up the mess. He’s got this fancy blue liquid that dissolves everything it touches so no trace of the aliens or the Predators will be left behind. It’s a stealth mission then, right?

Well, no, because Benny blows the hell out of everything he comes across. When he’s eliminating the first human hosts (a father and son) in the woods, a police officer crosses his path, so Benny does what Benny has to do to make sure no trace of this mess is left behind: he kills the cop.

And then skins him and hangs him upside down in a tree.

The film gives half-baked attention to a host of human subplots, but they’re all pretty dumb and poorly executed. We’ve got Dallas (Steven Pasquale), an ex-convict who returns home just in time for the fun to start. He’s got a little brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis), who hates his life because he delivers pizzas and has the hots for rich girl Jesse (Kristen Hager), who orders pizza that he has to deliver. Because AVPR has the brains of a dumb teenage slasher flick, it’s fitting that it’s populated by high school kids who walked onto the AVP set from a dumb teenage slasher flick. Jesse is hot and dating a complete tool, who likes to smack Ricky around for daring to have the nerve to look at his hot girlfriend.

Of course, his hot girlfriend likes being looked at by Ricky, and Ricky likes looking at the hot girlfriend, and the jealous boyfriend likes beating up Ricky, so they should live happily in some kind of kinky threesome of sex and violence.

Whoah. Wait. I can’t believe I actually started writing about AVPR like it’s a real movie.

Three-quarters or more of this movie takes place in the dark, making far too much of this movie impossible to see. It’s not hard to figure out why the Brothers Strause have done this, of course – darkness saves cash – but a little bit of flickering lights and green-tinted night vision goes a long way. There’s whole sequences in the movie (like nearly everything that happens in the hospital) where the majority of the screen is black and we only see glimpses and flashes of anything.

The real shame here is that absolutely nothing feels unique or visionary. AVP suffered from some of this, too, but at least Paul W.S. Anderson can competently film a movie. AVPR just feels like a quick and dirty cash grab – like 20th Century Fox knew that dropping a little money into making the film would net a tidy profit so they went ahead and did it.

Unlike any of the previous movies, there’s no one to root for in AVPR. They introduce returning military soldier Kelly O’Brien (Reiko Aylesworth) and you’d think this would be the Sigourney Weaver/Sanaa Lathan role, but nope. She’s just another character in a movie with too many characters. It’s a bit interesting that two of the main leads – Dallas and Kelly – are returning home to Gunnison for this movie because even in this movie the filmmakers realize that most of the townspeople are too stupid to follow around for 90 minutes. That includes Sheriff Eddie Morales (John Ortiz), one of the most incompetent sheriffs you’ll find anywhere.

In fact, only two townsfolk even make it out of the movie alive – Dallas’ brother and Kelly’s daughter. The rest are either killed by the monsters or wiped out when the U.S. military wipes out the town by dropping a bomb on it.

Your tax dollars at work.

Slick and stupid, ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM would like to traffic in style over substance, but it can’t even do style all that well. What we’re left with is a film that basically takes the ALIEN and PREDATOR franchises and sticks them in a dumb slasher flick. It’s too bad – I like the franchises and I like lead actors Steven Pasquale (from Rescue Me) and Reiko Aylesworth (from 24), but this is a film that once watched, never need be seen again.

________________

ALIEN / PREDATOR Review Index

ALIEN: A Survivor, Unclouded by Conscience, Remorse, or Delusions of Morality
ALIENS: My Mommy Said There Were No Monsters. No Real Ones. But There Are.
ALIEN 3: A Bunch of Lifers Who Found God at the Ass-End of Space
ALIEN RESURRECTION: Must Be a Chick Thing
ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: I Think This is a Manhood Ritual
ALIEN VS. PRDATOR: REQUIEM: Small Town America Kills Two Franchises at Once

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3 thoughts on “ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM: Small Town America Kills Two Franchises at Once

  1. Amen! This was a steaming dump from start to finish.

    Why (other than the studio cutting corners) is it so hard to make a good AVP film? The first person shooter for the PC was a fun game, and Dark Horse has made some great graphic novels… Just borrow that mold and use it.

    Give us battles on strange planets, or on space stations… Let me see the scene of one lone predator effortlessly slaughtering 50 aliens, armed with nothing but his spear and wrist knife, that was done so well in all of 5 panels on the graphic novel… Give us Colonial Marines on a mission to capture Predator tech and/or xenomorph eggs.

    This stuff should not be that hard to deliver.

    I only hope that Prometheus is well done, and does well, then maybe there will be a push to dig back into things and do it right.

    Like

    • Totally agreed. My only guess, Eric, is that the studios are too afraid to trust the Aliens and Predator alone to get people in the theater, and that the outer space/marines material is just too expensive. AVPR only cost $40 mil to make.

      I’m really looking forward to Prometheus.

      Like

  2. It is truly impossible to watch this film seriously. If you do, you’ll probably find that your kitchen knives have started to look more friendly. A complete joke that makes Alien Resurrection look like a landmark in cinematic history. OP nailed it.

    Like

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