Here we are with the second installment in the Alien vs Predator series and already there is the definite smell of something rank in the air,and it is not a dead alien.It is unfortunately the beginning of the decay of this franchise and if something is not done to correct the situation it will be permanently terminated;and I for one will be glad of it,for its' sake and ours.That is something I thought I would never find myself saying about this series because the first one while not that good either,had much more going for it plot and acting wise,even though I rated that only three stars.As with that movie,the special effects/aliens in Requiem are the whole movie;the best things/"actors" in it.
The story starts off with the crash of the ship from the first AVP movie into a forest near a town in Colorado.A man and his young boy are in the woods and find the crashed ship.Both are lept upon by facehuggers.We are then introduced to a guy just out of prison who arrives in town by bus and is greeted by the sheriff who he obviously is friends with.We are then introduced to a young man(who is the brother of the ex con)who of course is disenfranchised with his job and ends up with a delivery to the house of a girl he knows.He makes with his delivery,and with the eyes,but as he departs he is set upon by her boyfriend and two others.We next meet a female soldier on leave(?)from active duty who is returning home to her husband and their young daughter who she hasn't seen in some time and the daughter is not in a particularly huggy-smoochy mood.This is the first 20 minutes of the film! Do the words "information overload" come to mind? Also "plot contrivances"? This is pretty run of the mill,hokey material the writer is dishing up here which is the worst way to begin a movie.You try and grab your audience from the start not alienate them(sorry for the pun).
The film moves on with civilian search parties out in force to look for the man and boy who went missing.Of course the upset mother is there and the stero-typical guns-are-us friend who informs the sheriff when he suggests they go home:"We look after our own".
As the film winds its' way along the townspeople of course are totally ignorant of the larger picture being played out by the aliens until they're practically shaking tails with them,and of course by then death reigns supreme.But there is a predator here too folks who has come from the homeworld to save the day and throughout he stalks,fights and shoots his way through hoards of these creatures,never giving an inch.Some nice scenes there.
Finally the National Guard is called in but they're no match for the aliens swarming the town and are dispatched by the blood thristy creatures in a timely manner.At this point the picture is concerned with the survival of a now tiny band of survivors which includes the sheriff,the ex con and his brother and the servicewoman and her daughter.When the troupe come upon the dead Guardsmen,who should coincidentally be there,and trained,in how to drive the armoured peronnel carrier? The servicewoman of course.And later when the group reaches the top of the hospital in order to use the helicopter to escape in,who is there again that just so happens is rated in flying it,and does? The servicewoman.What a coincidence!
In the end the whole town is nuked and the escaping helicopter crashes far from town in the woods.Soon after we get a back reference to the original Predator movie as the 'copter survivors are surrounded by a special force unit dressed similarly to Schwarzeneggers' band of men.They confiscate a predator weapon one of the surviving group is carrying.As the movie closes the weapon has been delivered into the hands of Ms.Yutani,as in the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.We have met Mr.Weland(or his likeness) before in the original Alien movies and in the last AVP,but this is the first time we have met the other half of the corporate name.It's too bad such an interesting ending should be couched by such an uninteresting and unappealing movie.
The Aliens here,as I said before,ARE this movie.And there are some interesting things we come to see and learn about both species.For example this is the first time we see the Predators' homeworld and a device which instead of being a nuking/exploding one(in order to destroy evidence) rather implodes it.With the Aliens we see a new predator/alien hybrid which this time seems to be androgynous and is queen-like in its' nature,as it controls the actions of all the aliens.It stands a bit taller than either the predator or alien but can inject through mouth to mouth contact alien eggs into its' victims.When they burst through there are three or four of them at once.
The actors in this movie are,what can I say,lesser known(can you say "cheaper budget"?).However even though lesser actors have made better(even great)movies,such is FAR from the case here.I feel especially sorry for the gentleman who played the sheriff.This should have been a great part and played with much elan and strength,yet a more wussy lawman I've never seen;he's weak and indecisive,the kind that can get you killed and he does.It is not all the actors' fault though.There is also the lethal combo of a bad script and even more bad direction;which is what really what hangs over this entire pictures' shoulders like a heavy yoke.
In conclusion, unless you are a compleatist(like me)you should avoid this newest AVP movie like a field of alien egg sacks.The only reason I didn't give the movie a one star is because of the special effects/aliens in the picture.They are generally first rate and there are at least some tantalizing crumbs of knowledge advancement concerning them here.But this is a car with no engine;it looks good on the surface but there's nothing under the hood.
If 20th Century Fox has ANY desire to see this franchise continue at all it has to get better writing,someone with a good sense of direction and more especially people with a more thorough understanding of the franchises' roots both Predator and Alien.For if this movie is any indication of the direction it is going to continue to go in,they might as well dig the grave,throw it in,cover it over and put the tombstone up right now.