The definition of a Requiem is ‘a prayer for the salvation of the soul(s) of the departed, used both at services immediately preceding a burial, and on occasions of more general remembrance.’.
The definition of Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem is ‘An unimaginative attempt to reinvent the franchise by borrowing all the cool scenes from every other Aliens/Predator movie, throwing them into a blender, attaching a very loose plot, make everything really, really dark and then hoping for the best, all of this done without any salvation, but hopefully the burial’.’
There was hope for this movie, hope that it would work, hope that the characters would be treated respectfully, hope that this was the movie that all the fan boys and girls where waiting for. But it all went badly wrong.
After director Paul W S Anderson’s toothless, gutless movie, which somehow made enough money to warrant a sequel, a lot of promises were made. We were told that this would go back to the roots of the characters, and that there would be blood and violence. So with fingers crossed we saw the posters, watched the trailers, saw the first five minutes that were posted on the Internet. Then the picture of the Predator/Alien hybrid was revealed, and a collective wimple was let out which could be heard from the Ain’t It Cool message boards though to James Cameron’s P.A., as they tried to hide any trace of this movie from him.
Why and what was the point of that? These were the main questions. Not only did it look crap, it was an unnecessary narrative device. The directors of this movie, the brothers Strause, were so busy stealing bits and pieces from the other movies in the series that they accidentally pitched the rubbish human/alien thing from Alien 4, forgot it didn’t work, changed it a little and with their backs turned and their eyes closed, they threw it into the movie.
In the nature of fairness and being unbiased, and if you really want to see the film, here is the plot, in a brief and spoiler free manner. Predator ship from the first AvP movie crashes into Earth after the Pred/Alien thing is born (if you have to, watch that film for all the details) and goes on the attack. Then facehuggers appear, having survived the explosion, and jump on two stereotypes. Predator chilling at home, finds out the ship has crashed, goes to Earth to cover any traces of said ship, gets there, finds out some aliens are on the rampage. Well it turns out, usefully enough, that Pred/Alien, let’s call him Bob, can implant three eggs into people. Oh no! Bob’s on the rampage! Stereotypes die, some fighting, a few moments where you think ‘That looks like it’s been stolen from Aliens, oh I might watch that now’, stereotypes live, the end.
I didn’t like this film. In fact I found it faintly offensive due to the fact that I have grown up with these characters, I will always have a special place in my heart for the first two Alien films and both the Predator movies, as well as Ridley Scott, James Cameron and John McTiernan who created these amazing characters and forged a world around them. Of course these worlds were full of stereotypes – the skilled special forces soldiers, the angry sergeant and a huge number of personality-less cannon fodder – but you didn’t mind because the narrative was brilliantly constructed, the set pieces drew you in and left you sweating. These movies were events. This movie is a shambles.
Requiem, a word normally associated with the masterpieces that Mozart, Verdi, Brahms and Ligeti wrote, is here dragged though the gutter. A faintly ironic title, maybe, a funeral, hopefully. But at least the film is just about better than the first AvP. That is no complement, though.