I know I said last week that I was taking this week off. But, truthfully, with SO many good movies in theater right now, I couldn’t resist tossing this one into the mix.
Uh, yeah. Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem. Great movie.
Okay, it’s no Bridge Over the River Kwai, but it was a film I had been eager to see despite me deep-seeded loathing of the first Aliens Vs. Predator. Don’t ask me why. I’m a glutton for punishment.
I went and saw the film Wednesday night after everyone went to bed at my house. Cami had no interest in seeing it for obvious reasons, so it made it easy for me to get out of the house for a while. Believe me, after the holidays, I needed the time alone.
As far as my reactions to the movie are concerned, let me give it a left-handed compliment:
“It’s better than the first one.”
I had high hopes for AVP:R and a lot of that had to do with the ultra-violent red band trailer released in August. Watching that, I thought for sure that the movie was going to correct the mistakes of its misbegotten PG-13 predecessor. Well, it does that and then some. And then it rapes what’s left. Right before it pees on it.
This movie doesn’t know where the line is and that’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on where your moral compass is pointing. NO ONE gets off light in this film. An 8 year-old gets tagged with a face hugger in the first five minutes. Once the aliens start multiplying, people are dying left and right. Stoners you meet in a pawn shop get their heads blown off by a Predator five minutes after you meet them. The alien queen stumbles into a hospital maternity ward and impregnates already pregnant women with eggs. Drooling over a nursery over crying babies, you know there is some twisted thinking at work here.
I’m not going to bother getting into the plot. There isn’t one. The human characters in the film are cardboard cutouts. The ex-con, the troubled teen, the military chick, the well-meaning sheriff. So what? They all become cannon fodder.
The movie is dark – not just in terms of content but in it’s lighting as well. don’t mind if you’re going to turn out the lights to make things scary, but at least sit the camera down for more than five seconds so I can focus on what I’m supposed to be looking at. In the film’s third act, it’s starts raining like cats and dogs (of course) and by that point, it’s nearly impossible to see anything.
AVP:R is a film that seems almost designed around cutting a good trailer. There are a ton of little moments that make the film interesting, but nothing that ties everything together. At this point, the franchise would be better served by taking the action off Earth and maybe setting it in the future again.
The other thing the franchise needs is a throw down between its monsters that lasts more than 5 minutes. In the middle of AVP:R, there’s a sequence in a storm drain that shows promise as the Predator is surrounded and fights off a small gang of aliens. But it’s over before it even starts. It leave you thinking, “The last battle must be a real knockout!” and then it comes and it’s basically a slap fest.
Think about great kung-fu movies where two guys would fight for 20 minutes. We need something like that. If your movie uses the word “VERSUS” in it’s title, we demand it.
Complaints aside, am I glad I went? Sure. My curiosity would have gotten the better of me at some point anyway. This is the kind of nerd stuff I *have* to see. But if you’re not a fan of the characters, you’re not going to find anything redemptive about the film at all.
That’s all for now. I hope everyone had a good holiday and I’ll see you back here on Monday!
Have a great weekend!
You know there’s no reason for it except to subliminally communicate the film is rated “R” after the first film cheesed-off fans for being “PG-13”
Look – they even made the “R” red in the abbreviation on the poster!
I don’t think there’s any grand conspiracy going on here, Jared.
Have you seen the follow-up poster?