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Article for the week of 1/13/08

Really Pathetic Movie Review

Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem
By, Cozmic

You know, Alien Versus Predator was just awful, in a way that makes me not want to see it again. Thus I cannot even remember really why it was so awful, besides the dumb acting, the uncool predators, the story, and probably pretty much everything else.
So hey, let’s give the sequel a fair try, shall we? To be perfectly honest I went in expecting a pretty bad movie, which usually means you get pleasantly surprised, or you are absolutely right. Yes, that is one of the arguments for being a pessimist, but you cannot argue with fact.
And right before we delve into this thing, I am going to repeat a few basic facts for those not in the know of such things, as yes, apparently they do exist. Alien versus Predator is what happens when you combine the xenomorphs from Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection and leave Sigourney Weaver out of it, with the Predators from the Predator movies, and then throw in a bunch of token humans to die in the middle of it all. It should be noted that the connection between the two franchises have existed since Predator 2, so it is not a horribly bad idea as such, and did spawn a few good games, at least. There, now you are probably up to speed, and if not, go watch Alien, Aliens and Predator (with governator goodness!).
Now, whereas the plot in Alien Versus Predator made very little sense, in Requiem it feels even less logical. The movie more or less starts exactly where AvP ended, so I will not spoil it for you if you have not seen the first one.
Suffice to say, it ends up with a bunch of xenomorphs attacking a small town in Colorado or some such, which is of course filled with people who all probably know one another somehow, and a predator (yes, singular. It is aliens versus predator this time!) who arrives to clean up the mess. Basically, it is the making for lots of camp goodness, gruesome death scenes and one might hope a lot of shooting (sans colonial marine pulse rifles, but such is life). The problem here is that the aliens are neither giant spiders, zombies, Martians (well, we can hope), giant worms or anything else one expects to find in a small town, and the small town meets the future thing does not really work for me. And as a nitpick, all of a sudden a drop of alien blood on you will apparently not burn like acid, it will totally and utterly disintegrate you. Small burns? Nope. Melted off hand? Yup.
For some reason the Predator works a lot better in the environment, maybe because they have been so thoroughly established in the original movies as being able to hang around, or maybe it is just that he can turn invisible.
And then we come to the token humans, all of which exist just to be the ones with dialogue, or so it feels. There is the ex-con Dallas, his old friend the sheriff, Dallas' younger brother Ricky (whose name I had to look up, much like the rest of these characters), the attractive blonde Jesse, a bunch of stupid jocks, and the hardcore military woman Ripley, I mean, Kelly, and her daughter Molly, and a bunch of others, all who feel like walking/dying clichés. If they expected anyone to identify or somehow sympathize with these people. This is not solely because of the script, of course, the writers are only partly to blame, as the actors are all terrifically bad as well.
But hey, at least there are action scenes, right? Well, yes, and the enormous plot holes and inconsistencies that occur in order to shoehorn these in are all very annoying. For instance, you would think that, being very proficient in killing aliens, the predator might remember that they sometimes (read: always) come from above or some other unexpected angle, and that they do not just run around on the floor. He could also remember those blade things he has, that in this one are not longer than his entire arm like in the first AvP (hey, they got something right!), and while he is at it, he could realize that just because you get beaten up the whole time and yet somehow win, you are not John McClane.
And no, there is hardly any shooting worth mentioning, and when it does happen, it feels cheap and merely aiming for a sort of shock-factor, like the rest of the movie. Fantastic, the xenomorphs don't spare the children, but could you make it seem less like “hmm, we can kill off these kids, that would be sort of cool!” and more like... is there a point to it?
In case you missed it, I was right about this movie, and not pleasantly surprised in the least. As a pure b-movie it might, perhaps, work, but the problem is that none of the movies it draws from has the same feel. To think that this is supposed to fit with Aliens, my favourite of the series, just makes me sad. Aliens had violence, gore, shooting and characters I liked. AvPR has cheap violence, gore and nobody to care about in the entire film, and should probably be forgotten and buried deep alongside the multiplayer mode from the AvP2 game.

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