Directed by: The Brothers Strause
Premise: A sequel to the 2004 film. Picking up where the first Alien vs. Predator film left off, a Predator travels to a small Colorado town to clean up a breakout of the Alien creatures. A group of human beings are trapped in between the warring species and must get out of town.
What Works: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem is an improvement over the previous film. It moves along more briskly and gets down to business faster. It also spends more time with the Predator, allowing him more characterization than was afforded to the species in the other film. Requiem is fun for fans of these films in the same way that Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man or Freddy vs. Jason are fun. There are lots of allusions to the other films in the visuals, music, and dialogue and fans will have a good time playing spot-the-reference. Many fans will delight in the hard-R approach of this film and it has about as much gore and carnage as was featured in Predator 2 or Alien: Resurrection.
What Doesn’t: Requiem has the same fatal flaw that plagued the original film: it takes characters of A-grade franchises and places them in a B-movie. The creatures of the Alien and Predator franchises are fascinating characters with rich mythologies. Requiem and its predecessor largely ignore that in favor of placing them in a wrestling film. This picture comes across as a slasher film with better special effects and it relies on clichéd scenarios that feel as though they belong in Friday the 13th or one of its knockoffs. The main human characters are mostly teenagers and their boy-girl relationships are stock high school conflicts, the dialogue is terrible, and lots of these characters are disposable fodder for the Predator and the Aliens. Despite the many flaws of the previous Alien vs. Predator film, it at least had well shot and choreographed action scenes. In this film much of the action is under lit and framed so tightly that it is very difficult to tell what is going on.
Bottom Line: The idea of Alien vs. Predator is a good one and there have been several successful incarnations of the concept in other media such as graphic novels, but the cinematic versions of Alien vs. Predator still lack the kind of scope that the franchises and their characters deserve. Requiem is neither a step forward nor a step backwards but to the side, adding more gore and harder action but not advancing the mythology or the genre.
Episode: #172 (December 30, 2007)