"take one iconic space monster"
"add another 'almost as iconic' space monster"
- light the fuse for an all time classic!
Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem (15)
Dir. The Brothers Strause (Greg and Colin)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Remember - in space, no one can hear you scream.
On Earth, everyone will hear you – it’s just a shame that you’ll probably be screaming ‘I want my money back!!’…
Learning nothing it seems from the minor hit Alien vs. Predator from 2004, except that there is an audience of people who will still pay to see these two iconic creatures – the money men at Twentieth Century Fox have given us Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem (AVP-R).
As big fan of both series of films (I liked the first AVP film) I was stoked at the thought that this just night be the ultimate stand-off between the classic shiny headed, chest bursting, jaw extending xenomorphs and the dreadlocked space hunters with a nifty line in infra-red vision and shoulder mounted laser cannons. Directed by ‘lifelong fans of both franchises’, Greg and Colin Strause, who were eager to recreate the magic of the terrifying space saga and pay homage to the hallmarks that made the originals so memorable.
Set in a modern day small U.S. town, a predator training ship carrying the hybrid ‘predalien’, hinted at in the last AVP film, crash lands leading to a very bad time for the population and an ensuing massive alien infection. A sole predator ‘cleaner’ is dispatched from the predator homeworld – he’s a badass alien exterminator tasked with saving the day before the situation gets out of hand. What’s not to love?
Um, how about just about everything?
AVP-R is a cheap looking, slap in the face of all the Alien or Predator films that have gone before. Gone is anything classy, or any scenes that will make you drop your popcorn and applaud, in fact anything much worthy of praise or merit - apart from some occasionally decent special effects. Instead we get a derisive, predictable and painfully muddled plotline, weak and entirely disposable characters – you know you’re in trouble when the most likeable is the dim blonde love interest Jesse (Kristen Hager).
"Miss Hager shows off her acting skills"
Then there’s the supposedly heroic Dallas (yes the namesake of the Captain in the original Alien) played by Steven Pasquale – not sure if he’s any relation to Joe - an ‘off the shelf’ bad boy who specialises in shouting out a running commentary on what’s happening right in front of him like: “People are dying... we need guns!”
So how can you enjoy the slack jawed and ‘trying a bit too hard to be nasty’ thrills on offer in AVP-R? I’d advise unplugging your brain and leaving behind any love you have for the Alien or Predator films thus far - approach AVP-R with very limited expectations and they might just be met.
Having said that if seeing a ward of pregnant women being overrun by aliens, a young boy having his stomach burst our after seeing his father die the same way and actually finding yourself starting to feel sorry for the Predator that seems to have to wander around aimlessly for quite a lot of the screen time appeals to you… Step this way!
NEW DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM FOR 2008 (all ratings out of maximum 10):
Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööööööö (9)
- Chronic and dangerous levels, approach with caution
Comedic Value: ööööö (5)
- Laughable more like!
Endorphin Stimulation: ö (1)- flatline excitement levels...
Tasty Action: öö (2)
- couple of almost interesting fights, but most of the 'action' is badly directed and lacks punch
Arbitrary final rating: ööö (3)
- The brothers Strause should be impregnated with alien spawn...
Liable to make you:
“weep for how bigger missed opportunity this was... and how crap it is!"
DM Poster Quote:
“They really should have stayed in space ”