This is a review of AvP Requiem which I posted in the forum after I first saw the movie in January 2008. I hadn’t posted this on the main site until now (June 2008) because I was hoping the Unrated Cut would change my opinion about the film. It didn’t though. My opinion about the movie hasn’t changed and I doubt it ever will.
By Darkness on January 20, 2008
Best. Movie. Ever.
^ That’s what I would be saying if I was a clueless thirteen year old fanboy or if I had lost my mind in some bizarre accident. Fortunately, I’m not and I haven’t.
Let’s be honest lads. Ever since AICN reviewed that script, we all knew it was going to be a bad movie. I thought there might be a slight chance of it being somewhat decent after the R-Rated trailer was released online. Alas not. I cannot *emphasize* enough just how f**king terrible this script is. Written by hack-for-hire Shane Salerno, I am completely in shock as to how A) this script got greenlighted by a studio in the first place and B) what on earth possessed the Strauses to direct this piece of shit knowing full-well how bad it was.
I don’t really blame the Strauses for the entire movie. They seem like good guys and are obviously fans of the series. Though that could be part of the problem too. I still stand by my golden rule after AvP. Alien/Predator fans should not make AvP Movies. I understand that the script could have been a lot worse too had it not been for the changes they made. Though wouldn’t any director have done the same if not more? Hell, I’m guessing the reason the Strauses landed this job was because no other director would have even touched it.
Let’s talk about the certificate. The movie is R-Rated but don’t let that fool you. The movie is still aimed at clueless kids who don’t know any better. The Strauses overplayed the R-Rating far too many times. In all honestly, I didn’t think it was that gory but maybe I’ve been de-sensitized by watching too many Saw movies. The pregnant woman was obviously the highlight here and it was a little unnerving and maybe a little over-the-top. The gore seems to be overly done all the way through like the Strauses are trying to prove a point or something.
Props to the visual effects. This is the Strause’s forté and they delivered when it came to the effects. From the Predator ship crashing to Earth and the shot of the Predator homeworld, it’s all nice to see. Seeing the blue thermal vision on the Predator was a much-welcome return too.
The music was done by composer Brian Tyler. I’m not very good at judging music in movies but I think he captured both Alien and Predator themes well.
On to the story now. I guess the beginning is a good place to start. Yeah, the beginning is a hugely wasted opportunity. They could have done some great battles with the Predators and the Predalien on the ship. Instead, it was over before it began which can be said for every Alien-Predator battle in this picture. I’m still confused as to how this carries on from AvP. What happened to the mother ship? How did Scar’s body and the Hybrid get on a scout ship? Why was the scout ship near Earth? Who knows? Do we care?
The story soon starts rolling once the ship crashes onto Earth. Facehuggers escape and the plot is in motion. Then comes a quick sequence involving Wolf leaving the Predator homeworld. This is obviously the best part of the film here. No other film has done it and it has possibly given a glimpse to the future of the franchises. My only complaint is perhaps the Predator planet should have been more jungle-like instead. Anyway, for some odd reason, Wolf is the only Predator that is sent from the homeworld to take care of the problem. Knowing full well, that there was a Predalien on the loose as well as those facehuggers, why only send the one Predator?
After the ship crashes, a father and son are out hunting when they are attacked. I have to say, there’s some horrendous acting in this film. I mean, come on, the actor who plays Sam was just awful. The kid just saw his father’s arm burnt off and attacked by a Facehugger and he stands there trying to look scared. Then the kid’s chestburster sequence was supposed to be this super-shocking sequence. When I saw it, I gave it nothing more than a *shrug*. The acting seems to be bad all the way through. Steven Pasquale in particular was completely emotionless after every line. The Strauses have to take some of the blame for the acting. This is what direction is all about.
The characters’ backstories are completely missing too. Why was Dallas in prison? What’s Ricky and Jesse’s story? What’s the deal with Kelly and her husband? A lot of the characters are simply introduced to be killed off only moments later. There’s very little characterisation. You just don’t care about them. I certainly couldn’t care less who lived and who died. I really wish Dallas had been killed off at some point though. Would have been better if the hybrid had stabbed him straight through the chest instead of wounding Ricky through the shoulder.
I also don’t get why Kelly had a daughter? I liked the actress in Invasion but her character seemed really pointless here. Instead, it was all some twisted homage to Ripley and Newt from Aliens. Molly hardly had any lines which was probably for the best. Oh, yeah, speaking of dialogue, it’s downright terrible in places. The last line spoken by Molly at the end: “Mommy, are the monsters gone?”. I could spend the whole review complaining about the dialogue.
The homages are so tiresome as well. Calling a character Dallas for starters. WTF? Come on. And what’s with the skinned body? The Predator wasn’t here for skinning bodies. No thought whatsoever has gone into writing this movie. It’s like they made a list of cool stuff from the previous movies and put it in there even if it made no sense at all.
Okay, it’s time I talked about the creatures, I think, after all this is why we’re all here. ADI, yeah, I gave them a lot of stick after AvP but they brought their game up with this movie. They made a much better Predator this time around. He looks much sleeker than the ones in AvP. The facial design was okay. Still nowhere near the original film but far better than AvP. I really wish they would bring Stan Winston back. Ian Whyte was on form in the movie. I like the guy and I thought he did a good job. I was never keen on the new Predator weapons. Never liked the Whip weapon and the Predator punching his way through the ground just looked ridiculous. The laser mines would have been a good addition if it wasn’t for the silly sound effect when the alien went through it.
The Alien designs haven’t been great for the last two movies and this one is no different. I don’t really mind the alien designs to be honest. They are what they are. You can’t really blame ADI for the shit budget. I suppose it’s good the directors wanted to have the ridged heads. Sets them apart from the AvP aliens though it doesn’t explain how they got these ridged heads. It was well established that in Aliens, the creatures had ridged heads because they had been hibernating. So why do they have them here?
The Predalien… again, it is what it is. The design was never going to live up to fans’ expectations but I think this is more because of Fox’s wishes. I don’t hate the design; it’s certainly nowhere near as bad as what the Newborn in Alien Resurrection was. As for the creature in the film, I hated the whole PredQueen concept for several years so I can’t really believe they’ve done this in a feature film. I’m not even going to try and work out theories as to why it was a PredQueen. It’s just not worth it. I’m disappointed there was no regular Queen. Would have been interesting to see how it would have acted in that sort of environment.
The much-discussed reproduction method was a complete waste of time too. It just all seemed so unnecessary. It just didn’t really seem like there were that many aliens in AvPR anyway so this seemed unwarranted. If they wanted to get more aliens on Earth without a Queen, they should have just added more Facehuggers on the ship or dare I say it, include egg-morphing. I *really* wish they wouldn’t f**k around with the basis of the life cycle in this way. The saddest part of all is that this reproduction method is now canon.
I’m actually kinda surprised that no other Alien hybrids were made. I mean, this story would have been the perfect opportunity for introducing other hybrids. The dog in the sewer for example, what happened to that? I don’t think the movie really called for other hybrids though even if they’d have had the budget. The Predalien was more than enough.
There are about four Predator vs Alien battle scenes: The sewer, the store, the hospital and on the rooftop. None of them hold a candle to the Celtic/Gill vs Grid from AvP so that should tell you something. All of them are really short and forgettable. What the makers should have done was to have gone for quality over quantity. They should have longer and better choreographed battle sequences. I don’t really mind the whole Predator-bias in the movie. The aliens are really just canon-fodder for the Predator and after AvP, I don’t mind that.
The pacing of the movie moves at lightning speed which everybody knows about. I remember Colin saying that 90 minutes was “about right” for this movie. Let me tell you, he lied. It’s like they tried to fit a two-hour movie into a 90-minute shitfest. Yeah, I heard that Fox cut 30 minutes out because they wouldn’t give them any more money to finish the effects but that’s not an excuse. They should have planned stuff like this at the start. They should have cut sequences out and extended other sequences in pre-production. Instead, they tried to do too much. They left it all too late and the editing was done very poorly.
There are many various scenes throughout the movie ranging from a school to a power plant. I guess one ray of light was the National Guard battle. Even though it only lasted a minute, it was more interesting than anything else I saw. In fact, if they’d have based the movie around the National Guard instead, it would have been a far more interesting movie in my opinion.
It’s pointless for me to talk about all the scenes in the movie so I’ll skip to the ending. The main characters find themselves on the rooftop of the hospital with the Predator and Predalien facing off. Seeing Dallas firing the Predator gun didn’t alter my opinion of it. It’s still as bad as it was in the trailers. The final battle sequence with the Predator/Hybrid was terrible and another wasted opportunity. I mean you look at what Anderson did and he managed to create a decent battle sequence with the Queen. This one here just seemed so tacked on. And I found it quite amusing the Predator took his mask and weapons off midway through the battle sequence. WTF for? What was the Predalien doing during this time? The Predalien doesn’t care about honour.
The government soon drops a bomb on the whole town killing everything and everyone. It’s all rather far-fetched by this point. And the final scene is another tacked-on scene. Are we supposed to get that the government uses a Predator gun to create spaceships in the future?
So like I’ve said all the way through the review, it’s a very bad story. I don’t know why they’re so intent on setting AvP on Earth. It clearly doesn’t work. At least Anderson tried to keep continuity by setting it in Antarctica, this guy Salerno seemed to throw continuity out the window when he wrote this nightmare. Oh and one last thing. A big f**k you goes out to Fox. Firstly for greenlighting this train wreck, secondly for not showing us anything for several months and then for spoiling the movie in the numerous trailers and video clips that were released. There was really no need to show the first five-minute segment online either. That was completely unnecessary. And lastly for screwing over UK fans again and making us wait ages to see the damn thing.
I really wanted to like this movie but there are just so many problems with it that I just cannot ignore. I have only one question to ask. Why? Why was this movie made in the first place? It’s going to puzzle me for a long time. The script is just so contrived and awful and it’s really sad to see my two favourite creatures treated this way yet again. It’s a bad movie, no question about that.
The only thing Fox and co. have accomplished here is that I now have to go back and re-evaluate my opinion of the first AvP. That’s right! I thought AvPR was far worse than the first one. And I didn’t even have high expectations. At least AvP had the whole epic feeling and the story did have a lot of potential. I mean, for me the three biggest problems with AvP were the rating, the piss-poor Predator designs and the ridiculous team-up. Fortunately, these three issues were corrected this time around in the sequel. It’s the script for me though. If the script is this bad, everything else is pointless. This movie was doomed from the outset. It doesn’t seem to have many redeeming features to speak of.
I feel sorry for the Strauses, this being their first movie and all. They really didn’t stand a chance at all. They had a shit script, they had a low budget, and poor actors, hell, I can’t work out why they signed on in the first place. It’s not done any wonders for their future projects. Then again, saying that, Anderson somehow manages to still find work. They have potential and I reckon they could make a great Predator 3 movie if they had the right script and a decent budget.
I personally hope we *never* see another AvP film ever again. Please, for the love of God, don’t make any more. I’m starting to wonder whether having Aliens and Predators in the same film together just wasn’t meant to be. I often thought things couldn’t get any worse after AvP. I was wrong. It happened and I dread to think what’s in store for AvP3. The Strauses want to do a huge $100M+ sci-fi/horror/action AvP Movie set in space and I just know they’ll do something silly and include the Space Jockey’s as well. To be honest, I can’t imagine Fox will ever give them this much money to do AvP3. Next stop: Direct-To-Video. It really wouldn’t surprise me.
I don’t hate AvP Requiem. Not as much as I did with AvP anyway. AvP was just a huge jolt to the system which I never expected. I’ll still buy the AvPR DVD and hopefully, I can salvage something from that. These new 6-8 minutes on the DVD might help the pacing a little. I still recognize that AvPR is a worse film than AvP. Not a lot I can say other than that.
Over and out.