Wednesday, January 30, 2008

AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem

The Golden CompassIt was a boring, wet Friday night so the movies were calling to us. Trouble was, the only one that really suited the mood was AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem, the sequel to AVP: Aliens vs. Predator. I'd seen the trailer so we knew it was going to be a bit of a uber-violence flick but that's what both of these guys do. Anyway, on with the brief intro to the story…
AVPR picks up exactly where AVP left off, where the Alien infested Predator gives "birth" to a hybrid Alien-Predator monster aboard the spaceship heading into orbit and then no doubt homeward bound. Of course, this little guy gets bigger very quickly and runs riot, freeing up some captive face-huggers on the way, and causing the ship to crash-land somewhere near the little town of Gunnison, Colorado.

Before being killed, one of the crew manages to send out a message, which is received on the Predator homeworld by a lone warrior (Ian Whyte) who immediately embarks on the journey to Earth to rectify and clean-up the situation. Meanwhile, the hybrid and face-huggers escape from the crashed ship and impregnate a father and son hunting team before heading down into the sewer system and some more mayhem around town.

The unfortunate townsfolk of Gunnison have to contend with a rapidly growing infestation of Aliens and a rampaging Predator, neither of which cares a jot for any humans getting in their way so it's left to ex-con Dallas (Steven Pasquale), his younger brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis) and soldier-on-leave Kelly (Reiko Aylesworth) to try and save the day.

As with AVP, the reviews leading up to this release weren't that encouraging but I'm a sucker for science-fiction movies and again, the violence has been toned down a bit so it gets a 15 certificate so it still doesn't deliver on the gore front. It's directed by Colin and Greg Strause in their first shot at directing a larger budget movie. They're better known as visual-effects designers/supervisors and have a decent track record, having worked on 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 300, X-Men: The Last Stand, Poseidon, ├ćon Flux, Syriana, The Fog and Flightplan among others.

As for the cast, there are no no big-budget names here and most of them look to have come from US TV series roles. That said, they're probably right at home here as the movie itself plays along just like an episode from a series and, since we never get any real character development, we don't care who gets killed off and a lot of them do. There's no grand storyline as in AVP or any of the previous Alien movies, although the writers did inject a wee teaser at the end for a possible follow up movie but it'd need to be something much better than this to satisfy any true Alien or Predator fan. I mean the whole movie takes place over about a day and then it's over.

On the plus side, the special effects are excellent and both Aliens and Predators are up to spec but they've changed the biology to suit the faster pace of the movie. Full-grown Aliens seem to appear very quickly after a victim is injected, something that appeared in AVP so AVPR isn't entirely to blame for this, but it happens ever quicker here. Then there's the hybrid! Okay, we don't know how Predators breed but really, making it the equivalent of an Ichneumon wasp and firing its eggs into pregnant women as hosts is a bit far-fetched and then there's the speed at which these hatched. Damn that's fast!

On the whole, if you like Alien and Predator movies, then this'll pass an hour and half in a kind of no-brain required mode. It's full of plot holes and the script is awful but we get to see more Predators and more Aliens giving it to some small town Americans so what not to like at that level. I think I liked AVP a bit better than this one just for the more expansive story behind it.

Genre: Action, Horror, Science-Fiction
My Rating: 5/10

1 comment:

The Book Fiend said...

I completely agree with your review. I saw this film just the other day and yes, it certainly delivers on the gore and effects, but that's about all it has to offer, really. It's aneasy enough way to pass some time if it's raining out and you like monster flicks.