Alien vs Predator
aka, AvP. 2004
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

aka, AvPR; or, AvP2. 2007
Director: Colin & Greg Strause

aka, AVH. 2007
Director: Scott Harper

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Alien vs Predator I'd read some killer reviews & was expecting Alien vs Predator (2004) to be pretty bad, but thought I'd like it anyway because no matter how dumb it got, I was gonna love seeing Aliens & Predators going all Wrestlemania.

But by gum, I think it was actually a pretty darned good film with as much credibility & character as the premise could possibly achieve. The human characters are mostly so stupid that it didn't bother me they all got wasted, but other than the stupid-human factor, it struck me as an exciting well done film.

The designs for the interiors of the pyramid beneath Antartica were just so beautifully gothic. The temporary presence of Lance Henriksen didn't hurt. And the narrow morality of the predators is still a type of morality, which gave the film something more than the expected mindless action.

The alliance against the aliens that develops between one of the predators & a human female (Sanaa Lathan) was just the right touch. When the Predator gave Alexa the victor's scarification mark with Alien blood, this moment of human & predator mutual respect really got to me.

I really expected there to be a sequel that built on this possibility of Predators thinking of at least the occasional Human as an equal rather than as prey, maybe even a reunion of Alexa & the Predator she fought beside, or another Predator recognizing the scarification mark. It'd be a couple years before a sequel appeared, disappointing the expectatioin.

Alien vs Predator: RequiemThe hyper-aggressive & acid-blooded Aliens have gotten the uppherhand on board a Preditor ship!

It appears to be a science station passing through our solar system, with dubious hybridization experiments going on, perhaps with the idea of creating increasingly clever & dangerous prey, though perhaps they're trying to develop a super-warrior with Alien traits in some ongoing interplanetary war between the species.

We don't need to know the reasons why; we witness only the results of these actions in Alien vs Predator: Requium (2007).

The primary result of losing control of their experiments is that several of the face-breeding lobsters & one "Predalien" (Tom Woodruff, Jr.) escape to the Earth before the science station's destruction. And that's not good for humans.

These few preluding scenes for AvPR are like a truly splendid & well-drawn pictorial novel sprung to life. It's a beautifully constructed & mimed without language, conveying Predator research activity, concluding with one hero Predator (Ian Whyte) on the way from his homeworld presumedly to rectify an error though motivations are pretty vague.

On Earth, a woman soldier, Kelly O'Brien (Reiko Aylesworth) is home from the war in Iraq, reunited with her daughter Molly (Ariel Gade) & husband Tim (Sam Trammell). From what we observed in the initial AvP film, we might be expecting a story that brings Kelly & a hero-predator into a united combat against the unleashed Aliens & the Predalien. But this predator reverts to the regular sort who thinks of humans as game animals, & there is less interaction between humans & the Predator than in any previous film about Predator hunting patterns.

Alien vs Predator: RequiemBy the time the Colorado National Guard shows up, all hell has broken out with rapidly reproducing aliens.

The Guard gets wasted in no time & it's up to a little ragtag band of local yocals to fight for survival on their own. And since the Predator who came to stop the Predalien thinks of the locals as nothing but additional prey, there's no good vs bad extraterrestrials in the tale, there's only monstrous killers for the yocals to encounter.

To an extent this Predator is a bit of a dork, destroying stuff without necessity, & proving to be rather a bad shot with his hunter weapons. He really should have worked out an alience with Kelly; he definitely needed help. But his being a bad shot & badly focused on the main objective seems more the result of bad writing than part of any character traits.

Human characters without exception fail to register with much depth. Because the possibility of alliance with the Predator species is not further developed, the film does much less than it should've even in the context of non-stop sci-fi action. Most of the cast exists to be killed, with no emotion registered at their deaths. Just no human character manages to earn Predator respect, they don't much inspire viewer respect either.

Alien vs Predator: RequiemMost of the survivors of the boundless horrors, while waiting for a promised airlift to safety, will instead get the army's nuclear strike. The script gives a shit about none of its characters, meaning we don't much care either.

The film has to be appreciated exclusively for the carnage & the creature costumes/make-up/FX.

It does largely work on that visceral level, even though the carnage tends to be shown after the event rather than as part of the hunt/battle; & the creatures remain far too hidden in night & shadow, though what we glimpse is fine.

I felt that the slight touch of "humanity" shown in the Predator from AvP making his alliance with a human female against a common foe gave it an extra "oomph" of real science fiction, though many viewers griped about the GP 13 rating restraining the possibility of harsh events. I found AvPR nowhere near the equal of AvP, though the R rating allowed for more grotesque human death to be depicted.

Another comparison would have the minimal cast of the original working better than the big cast of mediocre actors for the sequel. And lastly, the lack of an intelligent story is no plus, but hardly a surprise with an overpriced B picture, so didn't bother me much.

For all that it is flawed, it's not fatally so, & AvPR remains a great comic book of the screen. The final Predator vs Predalien encounter ain't that bad, even if a little too World Wrestling Federation.

Alien vs Hunter: Requiem Something has crash landed on the rural landscome, & it's not of this earth. From the crash site an alien arises & immediately starts killing.

Though the direct-to-video Alien vs. Hunter (2007) is given a dvd package designed to mislead potential viewers into thinking they're renting another sequel to Alien vs. Predator, what's inside the package is closer to a feature-length version of a youtube production.

A cheesy spider-alien in a fencer's helmet is given minimal screen time so that we won't have time to laugh at it too hard. A second alien turns up, this one with a diver's mask & Chinese coolie's hat. That's the hunter. So two dumb-looking aliens do battle -- off-screen as much as possible.

Padded out with a harrassed town full of talking heads, even for ridiculous lame action it's not much because it hasn't got a lot of lame action to be seen. The stupidness does beat all. A joke ending indicates the filmmakers knew they were ripping off the public, & were just giving all of us the finger.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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