Movie: "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem"
Directed by: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
Writing credits: Shane Salerno
Plot: An alien-infested Predator ship crash lands near a small Colorado town. The aliens get loose and wreck havoc in the town while a single Predator hunts them. Stupidity ensues.
Review: You gotta love the blatantly obvious marketing ploy behind the name of this movie, which points out the fact that unlike its predecessor, this one is rated R, because it's part of the abbreviated title, AVPR. And it does deliver far more violence and much better kills than the previous PG-13 attempt.
As you would expect with most horror movies, the human characters are a miserable, stupid, unlikeable lot, so that you're sure not to care about any of them when they die (and fortunately plenty of them do). In a dashing display of patriotism, one of the characters is even an army grunt having just come home from a tour of duty in the Middle East, and she conveniently has experience driving an APC (which those wacky civilians refer to as "the tank") and piloting helicopters. Eventually the National Guard shows up in town to contain the situation, which only reminded me of the annoying five minute recruitment commercial (with horrible 3 Doors Down song) I was forced to sit through before the movie. I half expected them to deploy 3 Doors Down from one of the APCs to sing some inspirational victory music to turn the tide of battle (or perhaps drive the aliens away). At one point the few survivors that have banded together are in an APC trying to escape town when they conclude that the only way out is via helicopter, and decide to go to the hospital (which the audience happens to know is infested by aliens) to take theirs and fly out of dodge. Um, hello? You do know about these things called roads, right? You're driving on one?
Fans of the video game AVP2 will appreciate the Predalien running around throughout the movie (especially his presence in the hospital maternity ward), and that brings to mind that this entire movie felt more like an offshoot of the video game series to me than either of the parent film franchises. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it made me feel nostalgic for the game again. There were some good fight scenes, but unfortunately a lot of them are entirely too dark, so all you can tell is that this shadowy dark figure is totally pummeling the shit out of that shadowy dark figure (which is especially confusing when the Predator and Predalien have a gentlemanly brawl in the street). Still though, it's far better than the first movie, and I would guess it delivers a much closer product to what the fans actually wanted and expected out of the clash between the two sci-fi franchise icons.
Best part of the movie? When the colonel who has decided that dropping a nuke on the town is the only solution looks at the radar monitor as the bomb-toting plane flies ever closer to its intended target and actually says in a pained, grit-filled voice "God help us all". I laughed out loud.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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