Outside the Frame

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Film Review: Aliens Vs Predator – Requiem

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AVPR: Aliens versus Predator – Requiem. Now that is one mouthful of a title, and is just the first of many problems to be found in this film. The Predator and Alien franchises created some of the greatest sci-fi moments in film history. The original Predator and the first two Alien films especially, have attained extraordinary cult status containing some of the most-repeated quotes in film geekdom and being parodied countless times since their release. Add to this some intense psychological terror or awesomely excessive 80’s action, brilliantly memorable characters, and most of all two of the scariest, most horrifying and dangerous creatures to come out of sci-fi cinema, and you have yourself instant film classics.

So wouldn’t the idea of pitting these two alien giants versus each other in a violent showdown of blood and action sound like cinema gold? Especially since there was a huge resource of back-story for the world of these film franchises including numerous books and graphic novel. Well as we saw in 2004’s AVP: Alien vs. Predator, gold can easily turn into lead. Again the ultimate showdown between sci-fi monsters was not enough to save the film from terrible acting, an awful plot and lazy directing.

The outcome of that first foray into the battle between the two most bad-arse aliens in outer space should have been a warning to anyone considering resurrecting the idea for a sequel. Well it seems no one heeded that warning and instead we got Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. This film makes the first one look like Citizen Kane. Characters who are just plain boring, a sub-plot more fitting for a generic teen movie and a narrative that does not even try to fit itself within the fictional world from which the titular creatures were spawned, AVPR is lacking in quite a lot.

A film in which we were supposed to get one of the coolest creatures in cinema history, the alien/predator hybrid, was in the end rather dull. Although the creatures looked quite amazing, they did seem to be mired in too much fancy CGI. As with the first AVP, the creatures definitely lacked the rawness and visual impact that was so intense in their separate original outings all those years ago. Also, surely someone involved with this mess could have realised that the only thing going for this film were the two titular creatures and so would have thought to add more than one predator to the mix.

Furthermore, the action was slow and minimal. The director was seemingly more interested in trying to force us to swallow the poor storyline, and feel for characters who were trying to be complex but instead were simply one-dimensional and as memorable as a bag of potatoes. There was no Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch in sight, or in fact anyone to even compare to those two iconic sci-fi heroes.

WARNING: View Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem at your own risk. Should you wish to pass the time and see some very average popcorn entertainment that occasionally raises a glimmer of nostalgia then by all means watch the overly acronymic AVPR. But you would probably be better off renting the original Alien or Predator movies. At least then you are guaranteed to be entertained. 

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Written by Dale Weber

Tuesday, 15 July, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Films

Tagged with , ,

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