Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
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In 1979, Sigourney Weaver's iconic character Ripley ventured into cold, dark space, "where no one can hear you scream," and faced off against H.R. Giger's horrific, bulbous-headed, telescoping-mouthed alien. Eight years later, Arnold Schwarzenegger wounded a determined, intergalactic gladiator (who, for the record, is also an alien), and uttered words that will live forever in B-movie infamy: "If it bleeds, we can kill it." Combined, these two franchises went on to spawn—and I use that word advisedly—a total of six films.
In the interest of preserving these two big-screen baddies (the alien and the predator, not Sigourney and Arnold), as well as presumably making some more money, the suits at 20th Century Fox decided it was time for them to meet. Which they did in 2004's Antarctic clash, Alien vs. Predator.
And since every moderately lucrative mash-up of sequels deserves its own sequel, they've now unleashed Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Cue yawns—even from the fanboys.
Here's what happens this time. (As if it matters.) While orbiting Earth in his spaceship, a predator who's captured an alien and harvested several little aliens finds out that these creatures have a nasty habit of escaping. The ensuing battle sends the craft plummeting into the forest outside Gunnison, Colo. The aliens predictably escape and promptly ram their eggs down the throats of every unfortunate human they encounter—which of course results in more aliens. They kill the predator, too, but not before he manages to summon another predator from Predator Homeworld to wreak intergalactic vengeance.
Most of the town's citizenry quickly become alien appetizers or unfortunate hosts for more alien babies (including a group of extraordinarily unfortunate women delivering children of their own at the local hospital). But a few Gunnisonites decide to fight back. Among them are Sheriff Eddie Morales, rebel-without-a-cause brothers Dallas and Ricky, a recently returned soldier (and Sigourney look-alike) named Kelly and her daughter Molly, as well as Ricky's girlfriend, Jesse.
Raiding the local sporting goods store for any guns they can get their hands on, the doughty survivors do their best to stay alive and stave off the aliens (and the predator!) until the National Guard arrives to clean up the mess.
Dallas volunteers to stay behind to fend off a group of advancing aliens, giving Kelly, Molly and Ricky time to escape in a helicopter. It's clear that Kelly and her husband were good parents and love Molly deeply.
At most, a half-exclamatory "God help us all." At least onscreen. Sneak peak screenings, on Christmas Eve, were called "Midnight Mass-Acres."
Jesse invites Ricky to join her at a local school swimming pool after hours. She peels off her clothes, and the camera zooms in for a lingering, panning close-up of her skimpy bra and panties. Jesse's other outfits highlight cleavage. An ex-boyfriend calls her a "slut." Kelly wears tight tank tops for most of the film. Ricky makes a suggestive joke about sausage pizza that implies some guys he doesn't like are gay. Jessie and Ricky share a long kiss.
How many ways can a bunch of aliens and a predator kill humans who get caught in the crossfire? Let me count them:
Audiences are put on notice that no one's going to be spared when a father and his young son become the aliens' first victims. An alien's acid blood eats Dad's arm off, and the two become incubators for alien eggs. We watch as scrawny, bloody, dinosaur-like babies erupt from their torsos—a scene that's repeated several more times before the closing credits mercifully put an end to the pointless butchery.
Arguably the most disturbing scene in the film is one in which an alien latches onto the face of a woman in labor. We see the outlines of its eggs as they slide down her throat. And minutes later, four tiny aliens burst from her pregnant belly—truly a hideous image. Another garishly grotesque moment involves a father getting killed in front of his young daughter.
The aliens' extendo mouths make bloody work of many humans, and they're also fond of skewering victims with their long, spiny tails. The predator, meanwhile, isn't to be trifled with either. It skins a police officer and hangs him in a tree (we briefly glimpse the blood-smeared corpse), and elsewhere blows off the heads of two men who get in its way. The predator kills aliens in just about every imaginable way: ripping limbs off, stomping on heads and shooting projectiles—both guns and throwing star-like missiles. A woman in the wrong place at the wrong time gets pierced by one of the latter projectiles and pinned (mortally) to a wall.
This is a bloody, high-body count movie in which humans exist as much for the sake of becoming alien fodder as anything else. [Spoiler Warning] Then, to add injury to insult, the government decides the best way to solve the problem is to nuke Gunnison. We see the explosion level the town and its few surviving residents.
Crude or Profane Language
Characters use the f-word more than a dozen times, the s-word about half that. God's or Jesus' names are taken in vain about 10 times. Other vulgarities and profanities include "d--k."
Drug and Alcohol Content
Dallas is shown having a drink at a bar. An empty alcohol bottle can be seen in Ricky's apartment. A homeless man drinks from a bottle. Someone asks if two clueless characters are stoned, and the goofy look they exchange indicates they probably are.
Other Negative Elements
A guy balks at the suggestion that Kelly must be kept alive at all costs because she's the only one who can fly a helicopter. He quips, "What is this, the Titanic? Screw women and children first." It's no surprise when he's the next alien hors d'oeuvre.
I think most of us have probably seen movies so sloppily made that they're somehow more fun to watch than the Oscar-winners. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is not one of these. It's not so bad it's good. It's just plain bad. Stunningly haphazard dialogue peppers the script, including such morsels as Sheriff Morales' observation about the alien vs. predator scrimmage: "This kind of thing doesn't happen here." Right. Or this nugget of helpfulness: "This plan is stupid." These lines make Jessie Ventura's "I ain't got time to bleed!" in the first Predator film look downright inspired.
Here's another way to think about it: This is a sequel to a movie that was based on a video game that was itself based on two movie franchises that had pretty much run their course.
Add to that the utter predictability of the movie's bleed-by-numbers plot. Virtually every set piece, combat scene, obscene outburst and bucketful of gore seems—sadly—yawningly familiar.
So let's hope that the last word in this film's title, Requiem, which means "a solemn chant for the repose of the dead," is exactly that—the last word.
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Readability Age Range
Steven Pasquale as Dallas, John Ortiz as Sheriff Eddie Morales, Johnny Lewis as Ricky, Reiko Aylesworth as Kelly, Ariel Gade as Molly, Kristen Hager as Jesse
Greg Strause ( ), Colin Strause ( )
20th Century Fox