THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!
Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
Directed by Colin Strause and Greg Strause
“I’ve found Aliens vs Predator: Requiem the most interesting because, well…shit…at least the flick did something different.”
The Predator franchise has gotten a bad rap of late. After the definitive action/sci-fi badassness of Schwarzenegger, all sequels and spin-offs have been received…less than enthusiastically. It seems like each time something new pops up, it just sorta of disappears into streaming/DVD bin obscurity. Fans seem to expect the same high quality, high octane action that made us all care about a seven-foot lizard with a cannon on his shoulder, but that hasn’t been the case. None really has resonated with the masses, which is a shame.
While the two Alien vs Predator movies are (obviously) a combination of the franchises, they are mainly Predator vehicles. You can’t really follow around a creature who can’t think or use devises or give us that winning smile. Anyway, I’ve found Aliens vs Predator: Requiem the most interesting because, well…shit…at least the flick did something different. The idea of unleashing hell in a small Colorado town with average, forgettable characters is quite the departure from what we’ve seen before. I’m sure many have bitched that AvP: Requiem tries maybe too hard to develop all these small town characters. We have the high school kids in love. We have the jerky high school jocks. We have desperate mom in search of her alien food husband and son. We have the ex-con. We have his buddy, the sheriff. Then there are even more characters that no one gives a damn about.
Why? Well, if someone is watching AvP then all they want to see is blood and carnage. It's a simple formula really. And if you get tired of all these regular folks at least most of them end up dead during some damn good graphic sequences. The pool attack on the high school bullies looks great as does the sewer chases. My personal two favorites come from the industrial plant, though that one should have went on a little longer as it felt like they used an awesome setting but only had four and a half hours to film there. Then there’s the hospital where first time director brothers Strause kill a pregnant lady in a bed, and then kill a whole lot more. At least they have balls.
I remember watching this in theaters and being disappointed, but time heals all wounds. This flick is far from fantastic, but what the f*ck. Its entertaining and it delivers on the things that fans want to see (mostly). We get to see the Predator home world. We get to see Aliens get all mouthy with lots and lots of people. We get space ships, explosions, death, and a lot of ET combat. What’s not to like?
Ok, there's plenty still plenty to bitch about. I think the biggest fault of the film is not having a manly man doing battle with the creatures. When I started rewatching the movie I dug that it lacked a central character, but as the movie moved on I quickly realized the movie needed it. We need one dude saving the day, a dude to root for and show that man can kick ass like no other species. And since Alien had Ripley, Predator had Dutch, and AvP had…some chick…then they could have given us someone who it at least plausible going head to vagina-looking head. Of course, more issues exist like how freakin’ dark the thing is (some scenes it’s nearly impossible to see any action) or then there’s the whole Pred-lien (the Predator/Alien hybrid) thing. It’s a little much, but again, at least they're trying.
Aliens vs Predator: Requiem is a (rumored) $40 million movie trying to be as big as it can be. I checked out the unrated version, which has about seven extra minutes of footage. Some of it worthless, some it gory goodness. No will confuse this with the works of John McTiernan or Ridley Scott, but if we want to see more, then accept what we have in front of us. Make a drink. Watch some carnage. And try to imitate the Predator noises.