AVP2: Requiem (2007)
By: J.R. McNamara on April 26, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Fox (Australia). Region 2 & 4, PAL. 2.40:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. English, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish Subtitles. 96 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Directors: The Brothers Strause
Starring: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Kristen Hager, Ariel Gade
Screenplay: Shane Salerno
Country: USA
Take one of H.R. Geiger's most exquisite designs, the Alien, and put it on film next to the fabulous intelligent hunter, The Predator and what should you have? Millions of fanboys from around the world spontaneously ejaculating. Then take those two awe-inspiring creatures and add to them a story by Shane Salerno, the writer of Samuel L. Jackson craporama Shaft, and what do you have? Millions of fanboys disappointed, but still hoping for a bit of the old blood and guts.

Now add to that mixture the direction by the special effects wizards, the Brothers Strause, Colin and Greg, guys who should know what fans want but decided that doing a monster slugfest would best take place in near darkness with little lighting which obscures most of the gore... now what do you have?

All those fanboys showing their index finger and walking away in droves!!

Taking place immediately after the first AvP film, AVP2: Requiem tells of the alien that burst from the 'infected' Predator, dubbed the 'Predalien', which kills the Predator pilot and causes the ship it was on to crash-land in a small town in Colorado. Upon crashing, the many vats on board containing face huggers are smashed open, letting them escape.

I could go on to tell you about the characters that live in this town, but it would be better if you go and watch the 1988 remake of The Blob, and just remember all those stereotypes: the misguided but kind-hearted cop, the ne'er do well young man, the hot girl, etc, but also add to that, for some current affairs savvy, add a recently returned from war female soldier. It doesn't really matter, as you won't remember any of them or care about them.

Anyway, so the Predalien (I hate that word) becomes like a new queen alien, but is more mobile, and lays its eggs differently than your usual alien, why... I don't know, maybe they decided the Predalien's face looks like a facehugger, so it should act like one! A Predator back on its home planet becomes aware of the crashed ship, and flies to Earth to solve the small town's infestation.

The infestation grows, and the sole predator doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the volume of aliens, and after most of the forgettable characters are picked off, both by alien and predator, the US government decides to solve the problem in a way stolen directly from Return of the Living Dead (if that was supposed to be an homage to Dan O'Bannon, writer of the original Alien and of RotLD, it was a pretty poor one).

I have always been a defender of the first Alien vs. Predator film: not because it is a perfect film, but instead because it introduced some interesting ideas that could have easily been built upon with the Predator training grounds. It took the ideas from the original Dark Horse comics and stupidly moved it to Earth, which was annoying, especially seeing as how in the Aliens canon, nothing like Ripley's description of the creature had ever been seen before... but it kept them hidden and remote, so the facade of them being a part of the same universe could be maintained, but when they attack middle America, and the army and the marines are called in, well, it becomes a secret that is hard to keep

In addition, the completely-stolen-from-Terminator 2, high-tech weaponry that man isn't ready for epilogue/new sequel prologue just plain out sucked, and hopefully the next one, which no doubt there will be, will ignore this idea completely.

There are a few decent gore set pieces though: I will say that most women will find the scene of the Predalien and his cohorts in the Maternity ward of a hospital QUITE distasteful, but unfortunately for this film, a few good gore ideas do not a movie make.

The cover of this DVD boldly claims "UNCUT"... well I am glad I didn't waste my time seeing the theatrical release, as any less than what there is of this film must have sucked even more.

Basically this is just a not very well written movie and you, as the viewer, will wonder two things: what all the character's motivation was for doing inexplicable things and what your motivation was when you decided to waste your time seeing it.
Video
This is a beautiful crisp transfer that suffers from the previous criticism: a lot of the scenes are just too damn dark!! AVP2: Requiem is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement, so you can watch all those pitch black scenes that make you not sure if your TV is even on in 16x9... great!
Audio
The audio is top shelf, and presented in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1.
Extra Features
Considering how good the extras have been on not just the previous AvP movie, but also on the other Aliens and Predator releases, the quality of extras on this film stink. There are only two commentaries on this release, which leads me to believe the greed-meisters at 20th Century Fox will do a second release featuring the wealth of extras found on the Region 1 release, forcing collectors to double dip on a movie of below average quality just for the supplementary material, which is criminal!

One of the two commentaries on this disc is done by the directors, The Brother Strause and the producer, John Davis, and the other is done by SPFX guys Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis.
The Verdict
How could anyone screw up this franchise? Its Aliens... fighting against Predators, it should be easy to not stuff up, but somehow writer Salerno and directors The Brothers Strause achieved the unachievable.... congratulations on a job badly done, fellows.
Movie Score
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