Tom Woodruff Jr.
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Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
9th Feb 08
Following on directly from where the last movie left off, with the birth of the ‘Predalien’, the action now transfers to Earth, and rather conveniently to a small Midwestern town where the rest of the world would be oblivious to the ensuing mayhem.
As a scrap kicks off with the Predalien trying to kill off every Predator on the vessel, one silly bugger accidentally blasts a hole through the ship’s hull, causing the ship to crash in the woody surrounds of Gunnison, Colorado.
Before you know it face-huggers are impregnating people that no one else will miss till the plot requires otherwise and characters are introduced with no other purpose than to get messed up between the two battling alien species. It’s loud, it’s dumb, but is it fun? Welcome to Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.
With the critical derided first instalment still bagging $171million worldwide at the box office, it was inevitable that there would be a follow-up. That the follow-up took three / four years to reach cinema audiences indicated that perhaps some effort was being made to ensure that second time round the scrapping monster icons would offer something more substantial than the PG-13 rated thrills that didn’t impress last time out.
Making their feature film debut The Brothers Strause (Greg and Colin), whose Hydraulx outfit supplied special effects for the likes of 300 and The Invasion (both 2007), they took over from Paul W.S. Anderson (who now produces). Their intention was to make the Alien and Predator scary again, to do a ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre with creatures’. In that respect they have failed considerably. It is far from scary. Instead it is just very noisy. It is too loud to ever be tense, opting instead for explosive action over trying to make the audience shriek in terror.
The movie failed to make an equivalent financial dent at the North American box office grossing just over half of the $80.3million the first outing did, and as with the last, it also failed to register with the critics.
Considering how bland the first Alien Vs Predator movie was, hopes were not exactly high for this sequel. Against the odds though it makes for passable entertainment; it isn’t a bad movie but then it isn’t a great movie either. Far from the Chainsaw Massacre they were aiming for The Brothers Strause have instead come up with their Friday the 13th with aliens tearing up the clichéd group of American kids that Mr. Voorhees normally chops up.
With the first movie heavily criticised for toning the shocks down to a teenage friendly PG-13 rating in the States, The Brother Strauss have upped the grim stuff to secure a more fan-pleasing R rating (although both rated a 15 in the U.K.) to include onscreen nastiness to both children and pregnant women. Elsewhere though there is still quite a bit of killing that takes place off-screen which begs the question as to why, if the Brothers are prepared to go so far in certain respects, they still remained shy about going the full hog.
1st Nov 04 Above all though, it is the relationship between John and Laura Baxter which is the film’s central focus throughout, and the gradual disintegration of their relationship amidst a haze of grief.