Friday, January 11, 2008

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem

The first AVP actually worked for me. You could tell that director Paul W.S. Anderson was a fan of the series. It was back to the basics of the first Alien movie: a bunch of humans trapped in confined space with an alien. Only in AVP, you also had the Predators there hunting the aliens down. I think it gets a bad rap for being a soft movie with a Pg-13 rating, but really it was just a well done film for the genre. I expected much less and got something pretty decent. Anderson did much the same with the first Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat films... neither one of those were really good, but they weren't awful either.

So going into AVP2, I thought hey... remember last time... this could end up being kind of fun. Boy was I wrong...not a good time. My gal Reiko Aylesworth from 24 stars as one of the human fodder in the war between the aliens... she is a mom just back from Iraq who's daughter has lost touch with her. Steven Pasquale from Rescue Me is also here as a troublemaker coming home to a small Colorado town to find his way. There are more people, but none of them are worth mentioning.

The aliens have infected the predator from the first film and cause the ship to crash land on Earth. A mercenary predator gets the last transmission broadcast and sets out to hunt down those damn facehuggers. Cue the small town life... bullies ... pregnant women... all are fair game here. Hardly any back story is set up which would be impossible with all the humans here. Pasquale never really gets anything to do except to follow his friend the sheriff around to each new scene.

Reiko, playing a soldier, doen'st get going until the last twenty minutes. One would think being a soldier she would be pretty badass ala Ripley in the first two Alien films... no no not here.

The first time directors, The Strause Brothers, missed out on a big time chance to really establish this franchise here. I know that the budget was slashed from the first film with the effects looking somewhere on par with a SciFi channel film... hell Battlestar Galactica looks better. My friend commented quite accurately that one scene looked like it was from the remnants of a Babylon 5 episode. So the budget isn't there... you can work around that. You've got a badass leading actress who looks as good sweaty as you can find in an action film... you've got a previous film that has gotten a lot of attention and everyone is just waiting for you to do something good... and then you give us this? Action and sci-fi fans deserve better.

+ 5 for Reiko... we'll always have 24.

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