Movie Review

Film Review: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (AvP:R) is an 80’s action movie thrust into 2008. Unfortunately for AvP:R, most people in 2008 have grown out of mindless action films. When I watched AvP:R, I could clearly see the welcome reception it would have had and the revenue it would have generated in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Fortunately for AvP:R, it is better than its predecessor though it couldn’t possibly be worse. The only direction it could have gone was up.

The action in AvP:R is very good and intense but the human element and the setup are weak. The biggest mistake AvP:R made was introducing “waiting to dies” with zero development no one cares about or is made to care about. Screenwriter Shane Salerno should have taken a lesson from Greg McLean and Wolf Creek on that point.

The second mistake AvP:R made was throwing the aliens and predator into the classic horror scenario of: a small town community (Gunnison, Colorado) under siege from a monster (the aliens). Why just have a two minute snippet on the Predator’s home world? After three films evolving Predators, you finally go to their world and you show no aspects of it. Brilliant. Yes, please show us a small town community, its coffee shop, et cetera. We’ve never seen those before. Their much more interesting than an alien planet and its warrior civilization. Why not show the Predators talking to each other on their planet, holding a meeting about the situation, selecting their best hunter from a roster? I would have loved to hear what their language sounds like. The brothers Strause could have showed that selected Predator at home wearing something other than his battle armor when the word comes down and he (or it) received his selection notice.

Then there is the Marine. Why use Reiko Alyesworth, former co-star of television’s 24, give her the pedigree of a military soldier and then not use any of it? Salerno should have just made her a pastry chef. And one point that I found strange: Your wife comes home from a tour of duty, you both haven’t had sex with anyone since she left, you’re alone with her in your room after you put your daughter to bed and you don’t make-out or have sex? When Alyesworth’s daughter in AvP:R, Molly O’Brien (Ariel Gade), screams she saw something outside of her window and both parents, Kelly O’Brien (Reiko Alyesworth) and Mr. O’Brien (whose name I couldn’t locate on IMDb), come rushing into her room moments later, they are both fully clothed, not a hair out of place. I thought that it was very strange that the hormones of the “teen” characters were made omnipresent in an unusually relationship triangle and yet here is a normal couple that has been totally de-sexualized. Why? Their not 65 years old. It didn’t really make sense to me though there are many non-sensical scenes littered throughout AvP:R (the Predator ship is flying away from Earth in the first scene then earth is suddenly in front of it towards the right after a hole is blown in it. How is that possible when the earth was behind it? I have an explanation. Sloppy editing. Good job Mr. Zimmerman. Everything horrible that happens to people in the film is rushed. The horror is never given time to marinate in the audiences’ mind e.g. the hospital scene with the pregnant women. Don’t get me wrong, the tension is kept high because of it. You move from one action sequence to the next but the story and the horror aspects of the film suffer because of the pace. Another issue, Kelly never identifies herself as a soldier to Col. Stevens (Robert Joy) or the other soldiers at the end of the film. The Colonel and the other soldiers might want to know that they are dealing with a brother-in-arms and not a civilian. This type of military logic deficiency also occurred in 28 Weeks Later. Further, why don’t the survivors drive out of Gunnison in the Stryker? Its former occupants drove into town in it.). Anyway, back to the Marine. When Kelly runs out of the house with her daughter, I thought: And your husband whom you love? Hello? Kelly should have been given a soldier’s or better yet, a warrior’s mentality. Kelly could have brought her daughter to her neighbor’s house then ran back to her house to try and save her husband’s life. She could have grabbed a shotgun from the top of the closet near the door. Kelly could have then gone upstairs with the shotgun, checking the angles overhead to make sure she didn’t get ambushed by the alien. A shotgun battle would ensue with the alien once she was upstairs, she would see her dead husband on the floor of her daughter’s room and check his neck to make sure. She would then go back downstairs with the shotgun, out the door and retrieve her daughter from the neighbor. I realize that was long a tangent but that hypothetical scene and its subsequents would have made Alyesworth’s character a part of AvP:R and not just a “waiting to die” that is along for the ride.

There are many alterations and changes, like above, that could have made AvP:R better. You may or may not have noticed that I didn’t talk about any of the characters or their noteworthy personalities (besides my proposed one for Kelly). There are no characters, in the figurative sense, in AvP:R and they were given no personalities besides the generic. It was like watching ten or twelve Eddie Brock Juniors running around. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem is a film that is what it is. Easily digestible, brainless, action popcorn. Yum.

Rating: 6/10

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

  • Harosa

    Man, talk about a trailer giving away EVERY cool scene in a movie, trust me people, if you havent seen this turd yet, hunt down the red band trailer and see everything even remotely cool in the movie. If you’re a nerd for the Predator and Alien films you’ll see tons of little homages to those films but with no style or soul, just blatant mimicry. And what was up with the Predator’s power glove?

  • Harosa

    Man, talk about a trailer giving away EVERY cool scene in a movie, trust me people, if you havent seen this turd yet, hunt down the red band trailer and see everything even remotely cool in the movie. If you’re a nerd for the Predator and Alien films you’ll see tons of little homages to those films but with no style or soul, just blatant mimicry. And what was up with the Predator’s power glove?

  • That power glove shit was crap. I thought I was watching The Wizard or something. Salerno needed a way to get the Predator onto the street so he had a brainstorm: Power Glove.

    That red band trailer did give away a ton of cool sequences but it also made me want to see the film. It ruined most of the great kills though. The homages were cool but the Strauss brothers should have been innovative with them. You’ve seen them better in the original films they are paying tribute to.

  • That power glove shit was crap. I thought I was watching The Wizard or something. Salerno needed a way to get the Predator onto the street so he had a brainstorm: Power Glove.

    That red band trailer did give away a ton of cool sequences but it also made me want to see the film. It ruined most of the great kills though. The homages were cool but the Strauss brothers should have been innovative with them. You’ve seen them better in the original films they are paying tribute to.

  • Harosa

    Thats what Im saying, all this movie did was make me want to dig out my DVDs of the older films, I just hope they keep them away from the third film that they say is supposedly under way, but let’s be honest, do we really think they’re going to get it right after 2 films?

  • Harosa

    Thats what Im saying, all this movie did was make me want to dig out my DVDs of the older films, I just hope they keep them away from the third film that they say is supposedly under way, but let’s be honest, do we really think they’re going to get it right after 2 films?

  • Well, the second one was better than the first one so the third one might actually be decent. I’ll be honest, I saw AvP:R twice in the theater. The film did have good action and CGI.

  • Well, the second one was better than the first one so the third one might actually be decent. I’ll be honest, I saw AvP:R twice in the theater. The film did have good action and CGI.

  • Reginald… you are far too nice 🙂

    The plot of this movie was what exactly? I have a feeling that the masterminds behind this thought the Alien Vs Predator fight scene would save this movie. They must think the average movie goer is incredibly stupid.

    And the characters? I haven’t seen more stale characters since the introduction of Worf in Star Trek TNG (Who turned out to be one of the greatest characters ever btw). They could just have put up cardboard boxes of the characters, and we wouldn’t know the difference.

    I gave it 0.5/5 on Flixster. Ooh, by the way. I hear that Fox is going ahead with AvP 3. This one is actually going to be in space though, which is what they should have done with the first movie. Well, it can’t be worse than this… it just can’t.

    soundtrackgeek’s last blog post..Soundtrack Review: Point Break by Mark Isham (2008)

  • Reginald… you are far too nice 🙂

    The plot of this movie was what exactly? I have a feeling that the masterminds behind this thought the Alien Vs Predator fight scene would save this movie. They must think the average movie goer is incredibly stupid.

    And the characters? I haven’t seen more stale characters since the introduction of Worf in Star Trek TNG (Who turned out to be one of the greatest characters ever btw). They could just have put up cardboard boxes of the characters, and we wouldn’t know the difference.

    I gave it 0.5/5 on Flixster. Ooh, by the way. I hear that Fox is going ahead with AvP 3. This one is actually going to be in space though, which is what they should have done with the first movie. Well, it can’t be worse than this… it just can’t.

    soundtrackgeek’s last blog post..Soundtrack Review: Point Break by Mark Isham (2008)

  • Harosa

    Have to agree with soundtrackgeek’s negative thinking, at first it looks like the Predator is covering up the bodies so no trace of the Aliens or Predators will be found, ok, sounds interesting but then you kill a cop and leave his skinned body to be found? And is it me and did they show the Pred/alien hybrid ripping a skull-spine out in the diner, what was the reason for that, since when is that a genetic trait of a Predator? Damn you Reginald for making me think of this horrible movie again. One more thing, as bad as many think the first one was (not that bad to me) it was way better than this one.

  • Harosa

    Have to agree with soundtrackgeek’s negative thinking, at first it looks like the Predator is covering up the bodies so no trace of the Aliens or Predators will be found, ok, sounds interesting but then you kill a cop and leave his skinned body to be found? And is it me and did they show the Pred/alien hybrid ripping a skull-spine out in the diner, what was the reason for that, since when is that a genetic trait of a Predator? Damn you Reginald for making me think of this horrible movie again. One more thing, as bad as many think the first one was (not that bad to me) it was way better than this one.

  • You’re cracked if you think the first one…well…at least the story was original in the first one. I’ll give it that. The action was weak though, the predators looked goofy and were too diesel. Predators are supposed to be tall and skinny. Most of the PG-13 violence was boring.

    The skinned cop was another logic error the Strause Brothers made. They tried to do a homage and messed up the logic of their own story at the same time. The spine ripping is another example of that, though I liked how it was shown and the camera placement.

    Harosa, just think about that hot chick (Kristen Hager): Now, tell me, are you looking at me or the clock? 🙂

  • You’re cracked if you think the first one…well…at least the story was original in the first one. I’ll give it that. The action was weak though, the predators looked goofy and were too diesel. Predators are supposed to be tall and skinny. Most of the PG-13 violence was boring.

    The skinned cop was another logic error the Strause Brothers made. They tried to do a homage and messed up the logic of their own story at the same time. The spine ripping is another example of that, though I liked how it was shown and the camera placement.

    Harosa, just think about that hot chick (Kristen Hager): Now, tell me, are you looking at me or the clock? 🙂

  • I think the only legitimate tack to take when reviewing a film like this is to make fun of it. There are so many holes and simple errors of logic, not to mention pathetic writing and storytelling, that you can simply sum it up with the words, “The whole thing sucks.” These reviews can be the most entertaining to write sometimes, though. 🙂

  • I think the only legitimate tack to take when reviewing a film like this is to make fun of it. There are so many holes and simple errors of logic, not to mention pathetic writing and storytelling, that you can simply sum it up with the words, “The whole thing sucks.” These reviews can be the most entertaining to write sometimes, though. 🙂

  • This reviews can be the most entertaining to write. That’s why its so long. You should see my review for X-Men 3. Its the longest I have ever written.

    The whole movie didn’t suck, parts of it did, story elements made no sense or were contradictory and there was some sloppy editing. It still had good action, hot chicks and some good gore.

  • This reviews can be the most entertaining to write. That’s why its so long. You should see my review for X-Men 3. Its the longest I have ever written.

    The whole movie didn’t suck, parts of it did, story elements made no sense or were contradictory and there was some sloppy editing. It still had good action, hot chicks and some good gore.

  • Satisfactory killing aside, my problem was why bother establishing human xters when you could have shows Aliens annihilating an entire army unit not to mention an entire township! Instead, the population is dropped to 5 and we only see a couple deaths.

    And yes, why was there no knockin’ boots?!

    Also, who was the chick in the end!? Was she an I Come in Peace alien? Will the next film be AvPvOA (Other Alien)?

    The bladed frisbee murder was wicked.

    Reel Whores last blog post..Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 5

  • Satisfactory killing aside, my problem was why bother establishing human xters when you could have shows Aliens annihilating an entire army unit not to mention an entire township! Instead, the population is dropped to 5 and we only see a couple deaths.

    And yes, why was there no knockin’ boots?!

    Also, who was the chick in the end!? Was she an I Come in Peace alien? Will the next film be AvPvOA (Other Alien)?

    The bladed frisbee murder was wicked.

    Reel Whores last blog post..Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 5

  • I didn’t think about the Aliens taking out the community. The Hybrid was trying to multiple the Aliens so it would have eventually taken out the community in that way I guess.

    And the sent Hunter is trying to cover up things yet leaves a dead body hanging from a tree. It made no sense.

    The chick at the end was a harbinger of a future installment. I saw I Come in Peace in theater. Haven’t seen that flick in a long time.

  • I didn’t think about the Aliens taking out the community. The Hybrid was trying to multiple the Aliens so it would have eventually taken out the community in that way I guess.

    And the sent Hunter is trying to cover up things yet leaves a dead body hanging from a tree. It made no sense.

    The chick at the end was a harbinger of a future installment. I saw I Come in Peace in theater. Haven’t seen that flick in a long time.

  • Yeah, the Hunter’s logic was mind-boggling. It’s one of those cases when the director is trying to show he’s seen the other films. Don’t even bother.

    I rented ICIP way back in the day. For some reason, that was the first film that popped in my head when I saw the chick in AVPR. Monsters vs Hunters vs Dopefiends, why not?

    Reel Whores last blog post..MMM: Music…Mood Music

  • Yeah, the Hunter’s logic was mind-boggling. It’s one of those cases when the director is trying to show he’s seen the other films. Don’t even bother.

    I rented ICIP way back in the day. For some reason, that was the first film that popped in my head when I saw the chick in AVPR. Monsters vs Hunters vs Dopefiends, why not?

    Reel Whores last blog post..MMM: Music…Mood Music

  • The Strauss brothers should have concentrated on making their own singular, great AvP film instead of a homage.

    ICIP had its moments.

  • The Strauss brothers should have concentrated on making their own singular, great AvP film instead of a homage.

    ICIP had its moments.

  • This discussion makes me wanna rent ICIP. Must resist the notion.

  • This discussion makes me wanna rent ICIP. Must resist the notion.

  • Most of the special effects in that movie are sh*t. Rent Event Horizon instead.

  • Most of the special effects in that movie are sh*t. Rent Event Horizon instead.

  • Event Horizon. That’s another one I haven’t seen in ages. Don’t know if I’d want to.

    Reel Whores last blog post..MMM: License to Ill

  • Event Horizon. That’s another one I haven’t seen in ages. Don’t know if I’d want to.

    Reel Whores last blog post..MMM: License to Ill

  • Event Horizon did a lot of things right, including setting a scary mood.

  • Event Horizon did a lot of things right, including setting a scary mood.

  • I should re-watch Event Horizon now that I have a greater appreciation for films than I did a decade ago.

    Reel Whores last blog post..A Quickie: WALL-E

  • I should re-watch Event Horizon now that I have a greater appreciation for films than I did a decade ago.

    Reel Whores last blog post..A Quickie: WALL-E

  • Especially considering all of the crap movies that have come out after it that either involve ghosts, isolation or space.

  • Especially considering all of the crap movies that have come out after it that either involve ghosts, isolation or space.

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