Five minutes after the events of Alien vs Predator, a newly-born PredAlien hybrid causes a Predator ship to crash near a small American town. Aliens run rampant, forcing the towns populace including an ex-con, his pizza boy brother and an army mom to
As anyone who’s suffered through the horror of Police Academy: Mission To Moscow knows, it’s not uncommon for movie franchises to lurch downhill. But the Alien – and to a much lesser extent, the Predator – franchise has really pulled off a trick. From the majesty of Ridley Scott and James Cameron’s episodes, each entry has been almost exponentially worse than the last, to the point where this witless, joyless, pointless mash-up makes its predecessor, Paul W.S.Anderson’s Alien Vs Predator, look Oscar-worthy. And that’s not so much lurching downhill as it is plummeting off a cliff.
Anyone who watched Cameron’s Aliens might feel that there is a terrifying movie to be made about what happens in between the first facehugger attack and the point where aliens overrun the town, but AVP:R sure isn’t it. Instead, what we get is Hollyoaks vs Predator, as a group of annoying, one-dimensional teens spend almost as time moping about love and, ludicrously, lost keys as they do getting their heads punched through by snapping xenomorph jaws.
Directors The Brothers Strause – Colin and Greg – apparently got the gig, their first, because they’re such huge Alien and Predator fanboys. AVP:R would indicate that they’re fanboys of the Ain't It Cool talkback variety, guileless goons crowbarring in lame references (the hero is called Dallas; someone actually says ‘Get to the chopper!’) while emphasising splatter and swearing over the suspenseful slow burn.
Of course, both Alien and Predator were stalk’n’slash pictures disguised as sci-fi movies, but AVP:R comes on like a Friday The 13th sequel, where the emphasis is placed squarely on spectacular kills, including a nasty and distasteful sequence set in a maternity ward that may just be the nadir of both franchises to date.
Apart from a frustratingly brief glimpse of the Predator homeworld and one cool AvP face-off in a sewer, the creatures remain resoundingly undeveloped. In fact, this Predator is so astoundingly stupid – it covers up all traces of Aliens with a bright blue liquid that disintegrates everything, yet never uses it as a weapon; then draws attention to itself by skinning humans – that it seems there might be a purpose after all for the high-falutin’ title, and that this film is a requiem after all, a requiem for two once-great movie monsters, now defanged, neutered and buried by a couple of hacks named Colin and Greg.
An early but strong contender for worst movie of 2008.