Sunday, July 12, 2015

Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

It's "slam-bang horror action"!



We start right where the previous movie left off, with the Predalien bursting from the chest of an unattended, unscanned predator. With a crew this inept, the predators could staff a Massachusetts hospital.

What follows is an action packed movie where the predators aboard the ship must contend with a loose alien unlike none they have encountered before, one which perfectly merges predator intelligence and cunning with alien ferocity. In space...no one can hear you preda-shriek.

Just kidding, only about thirty seconds of the movie take place on the ship. They're the most interesting thirty seconds, and give us a glimpse into an alternate reality where we got a much better movie. Then the ship crash-lands on Earth and stuff. The predators have been hoarding facehuggers, and these things all get loose once the ship crash-lands.
 
The crash takes place after a quick battle between the predators and the new super-xenomorph that doesn't go well for anybody. As far as I can tell the predators just crashed their own ship by firing lasers inside of it to try and hit the xeno. Yes, they're dumbasses.

Speaking of dumbasses, time to meet the first of many Cliche Regular Folks that this movie introduces us to. Here's a dude hunting in the woods with his son. They're about to gun down some wildlife, because Regular Folks do things like this. Is this American Sniper all of a sudden?

Long story short, they investigate the crashed ship nearby and run into loose facehuggers. The 'huggers (and their Predalien leader) survived the crash intact, while all the predators on board bit the dust.

 On the interesting-looking Predator Homeworld (which appears to be in orbit of a pair of weak binary stars), a particularly competent predator is studying logs detailing the loss of their ship near the Earth. He arms himself to the teeth and takes off to launch an investigation. I think he's an assassin, so I'll call him the Predator Assassin.

The one thing this movie does better than the previous movie is the Predator Assassin. He's the sole 'pred this time around, and he's a pretty cool dude. Seems waaaay badder-ass than the clumsy, lumbering, inflated oafs that were in the first AVP, and since there's just one of him rather than a bunch of indistinguishable goons, it lets the audience actually invest in him a bit.

But first! More Normal Folks! Here's Dallas*, a streetwise young man who just got outta jail. The cop is his friend(?) Eddie.

* - Dallas is a callback to the captain of the Nostromo in Alien. ...yeah. It's also about the only similarity this movie has with the source material.

I can't tell if they're buds or if they hate each other since their conversation is all about how Dallas was usually getting arrested by Eddie before. There's no character development, chemistry, or even eye contact. It's just explaining about how this guy was in jail. Okay.

His little brother works in a pizza place, and we see the little brother acting exasperated with his manager because he doesn't want to wear a hat while he's working. ...so yeah, this guy is a little twit who thinks he's too good to wear a uniform, and his manager is nice for not firing him.

...Not sure what else we're supposed to take from it. OH, actually, I do know. We're supposed to take away that the manager is an asshole for wanting his employees to follow the dress code, and that this lovable protagonist totally deserves better than such a lame job because he's an 8th grader like us! Well, at least we now know who the target demographic for this movie is.

Meanwhile, cops investigate the woods, looking for the crashed object that might be something nefarious. Luckily, this is a town of Regular Folks and everybody has at least four guns.

Pizza Boy makes his delivery, arriving at the house of some rich, hot blonde he has a thing for. I can't wait to see the two of them fleeing from zombies Russian paratroopers giant robots aliens.

She may be hot, but she's friends with a bunch of jocks who are total dicks to Pizza Boy. Because of course they are!

Pizza Boy gets roughed up by Biff Tannen, and the blonde hottie gets all upset and apologetic but stays with her jock boyfriend anyway because this is every 70's teen movie.

Biff, you may have given Pizza Boy a beat-down and shown blondie that you're a real man, but the joke's on you 'cause I guarantee she thinks about Pizza Boy when she masturbates. Which is often, because you sure as hell don't finish the job.

::drops mic::

And on that note...dead children! It's so weird the way facehuggers just sorta curl up with their victims and die after doing their thing.

This leads to very CGI chestbursters...well...bursting out of the chests of the kid and his dad. This would be a good time to mention that this movie is FULL of terrible CGI effects. One of many, many things the previous movie did better than this one is have animatronics and practical effects for a lot of the xenomorph stuff. This movie just CGI's it up and nothing looks real. It's also extremely dark, probably to save on the CGI budget. If we can barely see anything, they don't need to spend money to spruce things up.

Whoa, it's Michelle from 24. In any case, she arrives home from Iraq to complete the Normal Folks Cliche Set for this town. These good, God-fearing folk also fight Terror!

Her husband is Sam from True Blood. Watch out! He's a wolf!

Dallas and Pizza Boy have an argument in their double wide about how the younger brother wants to go get revenge on Biff. That shouldn't be too hard given that everyone in this town owns an AK-47 and two M-16s (in case the first one stops working, I guess). Luckily, Dallas talks his little brother out of doing anything stupid.

Meanwhile, the Predator Assassin enters the atmosphere. Whoa, I forgot what this movie was about for a while.

He's got quite a face. ...if you can see it. Something just occurred to me. Maybe the predators wear those super-tough masks specifically to keep facehuggers out? I mean, they have the vision enhancements, but those could be pulled off by goggles. Having a full mask prevents entry from the dastardly mouth-rapists. I mean, the original designers of the predator certainly didn't have this in mind when they made the mask since they weren't considered to be part of the same universe at that time, but the people behind this movie could have retconned that the mask is an anti-xeno measure.

Unfortunately, the people who made this movie weren't creative, so this idea was never even brought up. As far as I know, it's being thought of for the first time right now.

After their kid goes to bed, Michelle and Sam finally get some adult time after a year of her being overseas. You'd think they'd be shaggin' all over the place, but it seems he's busy watching TV. There's also this weird subplot where their daughter resents mom for "leaving".

Elsewhere, the Brothers Dim look for lost keys in the sewers. The younger brother dropped them into a vent during the brawl with Biff.

Meanwhile in the woods, the predator meticulously covers up any traces of the loose xenomorphs by disintegrating the bodies of their victims with blue acid. This super-competent predator could almost be a Breaking Bad character. This is like the Mike of predators. Next he's going to follow their footprints with a blacklight or something.

Wait a minute, why is this predator so concerned about covering up evidence? The previous movie showed the predators to be a bunch of buffoons who had no problem setting xenomorphs loose on Earth and hunting them. THIS movie, on the other hand, acts like the predators were just trying to move the xenos and they got out of hand, and now they want to avoid having humans be aware of any of this. Whatever, let's move on.

Meanwhile, blondie gives bedroom eyes to Pizza Boy. Apparently they used to be a couple before she left him for Biff, and yet now she's leaving Biff and wants America's most beloved delivery boy again. It must be the cheese smell.

In other news...uh...I'm not sure what the hell is going on in this shot. WHY IS THIS MOVIE SO DARK?

Oh, the predator managed to kill a couple of the xenos, but it seems like there are a bunch now. The Predalien is capable of inseminating people by itself (without needing the little scurrying bastards to do it) and the victims don't even have to be alive. So the Predalien has basically been running around impregnating corpses. Aside from this going against everything we know about the alien morphology, it is a bit scarier. They can spread much more quickly via the Predalien than they could with a traditional Queen. 

Meanwhile, the Predator Assassin is spotted by a cop and has to kill the guy. The cop's wife, seen here, is worried because he's missing. Long story short, the wife (and the slightly-creepy chef, who is definitely MORE than happy to console her on her missing husband) both get mauled by the Predalien like two seconds later.

 Know who I feel bad for? The Sheriff. This guy got an ultraviolent serial killer dropped on his plate (which, unbeknownst to him, is actually an alien invasion) when the worst thing he ever had to deal with up to now was probably poachers. He's definitely the most sympathetic character.

Not so sympathetic are these nitwits, as blondie drags Pizza Boy to the school swimming pool and starts getting naked. You've been single for like ONE DAY, lady.

::peers around::

...I'll admit it, I've done worse. Whatever.

Tonight...Pizza Boy becomes Pizza Man.

"Not if I've got anything to say about it!" says Biff, accompanied by Joaquin Phoenix and R-Truth.

Jumping forward a bit because the camerawork is so bad that I can't get any good screenshots. The Predalien got into the pool and mauled Biff's goons, but he and the two lovers managed to escape. Another xenomorph appeared outside Michelle/Sam's daughter's window, and she was all "there's a monster", and Sam was all "no there isn't", and then he opened the window and DIED.

Michelle and daughter proceeded to run off into the night, seen here.

Back at the pool, the predator appears and stealth-assassinates a leftover xeno before disintegrating the body.

Meanwhile, the dead waitress gives birth to triplets in a barf-worthy scene. My God, the Predalien can impregnate people with multiple xeno-babies?

One thing's for sure. It's a lot worse than the first AVP, but this is WAAAAY more of a "horror movie". The previous movie was more sci-fi. As a result, I could see some people liking this one more depending on what genres they like.

 At this point the town is going into mass panic and the Sheriff has pretty much figured out that something really, really bad is running around.

Completely emotionless Dallas: "People are dying. We need guns."

Man, this actor is the worst

Stuff happens with our heroes (...) robbing some trucks and stuff. I don't know, the movie keeps getting darker and darker.

Meanwhile, in the hospital, the Predalien continues its reign of terror over defenseless women.

Either that or this is a shot from the final fight of The Lion King, can't tell because SOMEBODY TURN ON A FUCKING LIGHT

Michelle's army background is going to be very useful as they try to get out of town, as will Dallas' background with...uh...whatever he did that landed him in... jail? I think? But yeah, they join forces, yada yada.

Not to be forgotten, the Predator Assassin is taking time out of his detective work to hunt various people...but only the ones with guns, as that's how predators roll. Yanno, all we need to stop the shooting epidemic in America is just to unleash a bunch of predators. Get ready, Florida.

The Predator Assassin encounters a xeno. He's Unimpressed.

...so is this guy. I gotta say, this movie made the right call by having one interesting predator versus a bunch of xenos as opposed to a bunch of random boring predators lumbering around.

Meanwhile - AH! JESUS! BEHIND YOU! ...oh, that's just Michelle. In any case, the Sheriff finds a military phone with reception and uses it to call the government and ask what they should do.

This mysterious jaw replies on the other end of the line from some malevolent command room. The jaw tells them to congregate at the center of town and wait for an evac. Don't try to leave the area, because the roads are blocked.

This leads to dissension in the group, as the sheriff wants to follow orders and stay in the center of town. Michelle, on the other hand, thinks the orders were BS, as the center of town is where most of the monsters are. She suggests that maybe the general guy was lying to them about the evac. She thinks they can find their own helicopter on top of the hospital.

After that, this brain surgeon over here goes "No way, the government wouldn't lie to us".

The weird thing is that the movie doesn't even play this for a laugh or show any incredulity on the part of the other characters. They just sorta nod at her and some of them go "we're staying" and the scene continues. This movie was, evidently, made for other brain surgeons.

Michelle and Dallas are pretty much on their own. Also, blondie still exists. Man, she got lots of character development

At last, the predator comes face-to-snout with the Predalien. This is a good shot of the hybrid.

We get some rad Predatorvision. For some reason the Predalien glows yellow in infrared. Weird. Humans and predators glow red, xenos glow green... this guy glows yellow. Actually, this does make some sense. Yellow would be halfway between red and green in terms of being a heat source, and if this thing is a predator/alien hybrid then it makes sense that it'd be halfway between them in body temperature.

The fight spills over into the area where some of the cast are doddering about, and Pizza Boy sees blondie get brutally impaled in front of him by an errant predator-spear. He then shoots at the predator in a fit of impotent rage.

NO! SHE WAS GOING TO MARRY PIZZA BOY, DAMN IT! THEY WERE GOING TO BE A FAMILY!

He gets impaled two seconds later by the Predalien, who is playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the predator.

At least...at least he and blondie can be at rest...together.

Elsewhere, The Jaw watches a monitor. It seems that a nuclear-armed bomber is inbound to the town; the bomb is big enough to incinerate everyone and everything anywhere near it. No chance of any aliens (or unwitting hosts) escaping into the outside world. Well, that'd be a neat way to wrap up this mess, at least.

...do I mean the situation or the movie? Both.

On a nearby rooftop, Dallas finds a predator laser rifle-thing laying around and uses it to blast a few stray xenos. He and Michelle then locate a helicopter, and that'll be their escape vehicle. He gives her a half-hearted "Get to the chopper". Yay.

Nearby, it's main event time as the Predator Assassin corners the Predalien.

What follows is a surprisingly good battle as they have it out in the rain. I say surprisingly good because I'm surprised we can see anything.

The Predalien has a pointy head, like the Deacon at the end of Prometheus. Hmm.

It also has a distinctly Predator-esque face. Meanwhile, the Predator Assassin has a nastier face than your normal predator. Looks like one of the "wolves" from Predators. I'm gonna pretend this is a wolf-predator fighting the Deacon's offspring.

The helicopter lifts off!

The Predator finds his opponent to be worthy, and unmasks.

Yep, definitely looks like one of the wolves. I need to rewatch Predators, it was good.

The brutal fight continues, with the Predator Assassin managing to impale the Predalien. It seems to be hellbent on taking the predator with it though.

Meanwhile, the "government would never kill its own people" brigade hang out in town and...

...get killed by a nuke. No kidding. Everybody gets nuked.

Yeah.

What a terrible ending.

Even the predator and alien get nuked before we can get a definitive winner. What, did neither of them want to do the job? Buncha primadonnas.

Oh, there's one surviving party...the choppa. It crashes in the woods from the shockwave.

Michelle and Dallas stumble out. This would have been a perfect time for a "Game over, man", half-heartedly belted out by Dallas, but ah well. Michelle's little daughter is here too.

...as are a bunch of army rangers. Surprisingly, "Long Tall Sally" isn't playing. Even more surprisingly, they don't immediately incinerate the town-escapees, who are for all they know very likely to be contaminated with whatever was in the town.

Michelle is so hot right here

She assures her daughter that they'll be fine, and her daughter sorta forgives her for going away to war. I guess Dallas can be the new man in the family. Still makes no sense that these three are just allowed to live without even a cursory examination, given that the military just obliterated everyone who had anything to do with that alien-infested town, but hey.

Meanwhile, The Jaw is revealed. He and other frowny-faced military brass have something in their front pocket for you.

It's the laser gun that Dallas found during the final battle. I guess the army personnel retrieved this from him after they found our heroes in the woods, and now it has made its way to the depths of the government.

The generals proceed to offer the gun to "Miss Yutani", finally putting a face to the -Yutani component of Weyland-Yutani, and that's it for this movie. It's also pretty much the only interesting scene in the movie as far as adding to series mythology goes.

Ya know, Weyland-Yutani is mysterious, dark, and cold in Alien and Aliens. Even Alien 3 does right by the sinister corporation. However, it seems like no movie since has given us any kind of backstory on the organization that lives up to the shady glimpses from those early movies. The lack of consistent canon or continuity (heh) is pretty bad too. Either way, these AVP movies can't be considered canon, and they aren't any good, but the first one at least has some good set design. This one was just terrible.

5 comments:

  1. It's like the camerawork is done deliberately to hide R-Truth's face.

    "Yanno, all we need to stop the shooting epidemic in America is just to unleash a bunch of predators. Get ready, Florida." - LOL

    That's a GOOD shot of the hybrid? I can't see anything!

    It's easy to be harsh on the government, but... it's the only way to be sure.

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  2. "Actually, this does make some sense. Yellow would be halfway between red and green in terms of being a heat source, and if this thing is a predator/alien hybrid then it makes sense that it'd be halfway between them in body temperature."
    Are you telling me they did something RIGHT? Impossible! Ludicrous, I say!

    I love how you kept referring to the mysterious guy as a jaw. I imagined a literal disembodied jaw and cracked up a few times reading.

    ...What kind of ending is that?! There's not even buildup to the nuke, it just...happens! Is this how you end a conflict in a movie?!

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    1. That was my thought. The nuke is such a terrible way to end the movie. It's what you do when you have no other idea as to how to resolve a storyline, I guess...

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    2. And yes, Aliens technically ended with everything getting nuked too, but at least that had a point as it was what the characters were collectively working towards.

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  3. Wait what? They didn't just have the fight on the ship with the aliens? They had to insist on bringing humans into it? They had their idea right there of what to do! AAAHHHH NOOOO!

    The predators on the ship all died? LOOL this is just like Aliens 3 killing everybody at the start.

    Love the idea of the utility of the mask that you just made up.

    His wife just got back after a year overseas and he wants to watch TV instead of shag? This is the least realistic movie ever. WTF are all these people doing in this movie??

    OK, got it, I think the reason this movie is in a human town instead of all between the predators and aliens is because they wanted to use CG but didn't have enough money to CG the whole movie. So all these humans are here to fill time cheaply. Classic example of labor being less expensive than capital. From a business perspective it makes sense but from a fun perspective it's not great. It's interesting the human characters are so unsympathetic. Maybe they didn't want us to be too sad when they died?

    Man. The government nuked an American town. At least this movie made a solid political statement for everyone to keep in mind. I'm sorry the Predator didn't make it out alive though; I was rooting for him.

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