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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Alien v Predator: Requiem   rating

Review: written 2008

Oddly Uncompelling mish-mash

Alien v Predator: Requiem

It's a salutary lesson in movie making - how it is possible to take all the best bits you liked from all the previous movies, and by linking them together with the wrong glue you end up with this... a series of moments that you admit fit well into the canon, and yet leave you with a growing feeling of unfulfillment, which climaxes in little more than indifference.

The story follows on directly from the first AVP, with a predator / alien hybrid being born - the ship crash lands in an isolated town, freeing its cargo of alien facehuggers into the human community. The resulting distress call from the Predator's craft brings a Predator to clean up the mess, and the scene is set for death and destruction all round. It's not a bad set up, with the situation rife with opportunities for suspense and horror - all of them wasted thanks to insipid casting and a script that a standard teen-slasher movie sequel would be happy to have. What happened to the subtlety of characterization of Alien and Aliens, and even Alien 3?

We have the young girl in need of rescue by mother like figure (remember Aliens?), the scene when the escaping humans flee in an army vehicle (remember Aliens?), humans woefully unequipped against their foe but fighting back nonetheless (remember Alien 3?)... in fact, all through the movie you will look at the scenes and say `Oh yeah, I remember how well that was done in the original..', and while the effort at referencing is appreciated for fans, the effect is to make sure you are never invested in this movie, merely reminiscing on the previous ones.

There are a precious few moments of originality which speak to what the movie might have been - the titular stand off is pretty well done, though by its nature it is devoid of human drama, and the best scene is seeing the shadow of an alien as it moves around a gaggle of baby's in a maternity ward. Also, the score is effective, bringing back a mixture of both music and sound effects from previous movies. The gore element is back, avoiding the shallow insipid feeling we got from the first AVP. Shockingly however, whatever meagre entertainment value the movie has, is reduced substantially by the very dark low contrast lighting, which renders most action scenes fairly incomprehensible. Even the daytime shots setting the scene, appear dark.

At least the film is mercifully fairly brief at only 96 minutes...





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