Yes, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem hemorrhages with R-rated squibs and jelly gristle. And yes, hackmaster Paul W.S. Anderson’s moniker doesn’t soil the credits. And yes we finally visit the Predator’s home planet in all its underwhelming, pointlessly inserted glory. And guess what, my friend? AvP-R still sucks. Bad. Oh, so, atrociously bad. It’s a movie so mind-numbingly retarded, surgeons could harness its power for incision-less lobotomies.
The movie begins where Anderson’s previous smack to the ding-ding left off; an Alien executes a savage rib-spreader from out of a dead Predator’s chest. Then about 30 seconds later the now adult, and ridiculous looking, Predalien wrecks havoc on the spaceship. Some dumbass Predators fire lasers bolts inside the vessel, and the whole thing smashes into Colorado.
Of course this begs the questions: If Predators have mastered intergalactic space travel and arm-wrist nukes, why aren’t they brainy enough to quarantine the dead Predator? And why would they go around shooting holes in their ship with frickin’ laser beams when they own plenty of non-hull penetrating gear to flay the Predalien? But then again, these are probably the same Down-Syndrome, Corky Predators that spent the entire previous movie rummaging for their misplaced laser cannons.
Anyway, after the spacecraft craters the side of a mountain, Aliens overrun a small town full of non-characters. Seriously, screenwriter Shane Salerno is such a lazy bastard he doesn’t even bother with one-dimensional stereotypes. There’s the ex-con named Dallas (ha, an in-joke from Alien — you’re a sly one Mr. Salerno), his lanky brother, the tough-chick with a little girl (oh, a nod to the Ripley-Newt relationship from Aliens — does your cleverness know no bounds Mr. Salerno?), the slut, the jock, and a bunch of other tools who don’t even rise to the level of stereotype. The film might as well have been shot with cardboard standees, which is both a jab at the writing and the alleged acting — the credits say there are actors in the movie, an elusive bunch they must be because I didn’t see any.
A lone Predator drops into town to cover-up the Alien mess. For much of the movie’s long, dull haul it plays like a Predator version of Men in Black as the dreadlock lovin’ beast plods around dissolving extraterrestrial goo with some nifty neon-blue stain remover. And ye logic shall find no refuge here since the Predator creates more evidence than he destroys by skinning cops or busting up through Main Street from the sewers in full visibility mode.
Like the previous film, AvP-R practically advertises itself as a case study where the filmmakers just don’t get it. Take the fancy-pants subtitle, “Requiem”, for instance. It’s absolutely meaningless in the film’s context. Yet, I’m sure the reasoning behind it was something insipid like: Bro, the word deals with like death and funeral music and stuff like that, so it’d be much cooler sounding than AvP: Rocky Mountain Face Rape.
Then there’s the directors The Brothers Strause — don’t get me started on the pretentious bullshit shoveled by these d-bags in suggesting they’re the modern day Brothers Grimm. Studios these days throw an occasional bone to visual-effect whiz kids by handing them a bag of money and a franchise. The result tends to reflect what one would expect from a visual-effect artist: focused attention on 5 second moments, yet no coherent awareness of the big picture. Nothing is allowed to develop whether it’s characters, action or the ever important plot. It’s no surprise really. These guys displayed their depth of film expertise a while back when Colin Strause, blathering about Alien, said, “That movie was dark. That movie used a lot of rain… and that movie was scary.” Why it’s so obvious; as long as your film is dark and rainy, scares are guaranteed. Scorsese-schmornese, filmmaking is a cinch.
Well, AvP-R sure as shit is dark (half the clumsy action you can barely see) and rainy (which obscures the inept visuals you actually can see). But it’s not scary…at all. Although I bet Salerno and The Brothers Strause believe their film is like totally frightening and messed up bro, because we have aliens popping out of kiddies, pregnant woman, fetuses and even babies get little alien babies.
It’s true. AvP-R hates children.
Normally, I wouldn’t have issues with this. Kids are over-rated, especially in movies. But here, scenes of babies in peril and the Predalien shooting its load — the hybrid works as a face hugger too — down a pregnant woman’s throat reek of desperation from filmmakers who don’t understand how fundamental horror works. It’s exploitation of the grasping for straws sort rather than the grindhouse fun variety. Oh and again, it’s not scary.
I’m sure The Brothers Strause’s (seriously that label pisses me off more every time I use it) defense against the critical curb-stomping they’ll receive will be something like; Yo bro, we made this dark, rainy, therefore scary film for the fans — not the critics. Well, I’m an Alien/Predator fanatic. Have been since childhood, and I hated your movie and everything about it. When some folks worry over The Golden Compass transforming viewers into non-believers, AvP-R is an abomination that’d turn the Pope into an atheist. Simply said, it’s the worst film of 2007, and I’ve seen Dragon Wars.