Saturday, June 26, 2010

this plan is stupid

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem is the second child of the marriage of the Alien and Predator franchises and continues to mine the field of prequels trying to set things up for the Weyland-Yutani corporation while exploring Darwinian evolution for the predatory species on display. This child works slightly better than the first one, which was a boring mindless disaster. But its success is not because of the people behind it managed something interesting like Freddy vs Jason. It's because of dialogue that's mostly uninspiring and sometimes funny (Eddie, people are dying; we need guns; I'm not getting killed for no $6.25 an hour); it's because of the tendency to introduce characters, generate some interest in them and get them bumped off (we sometimes find out the person's name after he/she has been reduced to carnage). The film also seems to offer lessons in morality and comeuppance in a rather bizarre way: A woman on TDY (an interesting gender twist offering a sop of empowerment) returns to her husband and daughter (who loves her father) and the mother/daughter relationship is too cold to mean anything; the mother is disappointed at the state of affairs; enter an attacking alien at night, who consumes the father, while the mother and daughter escape; Now mother and daughter will get a chance to bond and revive their relationship. If you are a fan of either franchise, you can spend your time nodding at the references. You can also sit and wonder if Dunnison, CO was chosen because of the beer cans labelled for Aspen, CO in Alien.

You may also notice that the Predator's entry once the aliens are loose on Earth owes a debt to the classic entry of the Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger played the Terminator and also played Alan "Dutch" Schaeffer, who survived the encounter with the Predator in Guatemala. Since this encounter technically occurs in the future, the makers of this film are probably suggesting that the Terminator also had something in common with the Predator. Perhaps the Predator transferred its katra to Schaeffer and he went on to sell his secrets to Cyberdyne, except he did it after he went through the witness protection programme and became Sergeant Candy. You see, it explains everything.

If you are not a fan (why the hell are you watching this then?), you can learn what a 10-66 is (radio code for a suspicious person), spot Nokia cellphones and posters for ICOM 756 PRO II. Aside from showcasing the Predalien as it evolves in life, this film really offers naught in the departments of engaging story, satisfying thrills and sartorial gore. It's all splatter and no guts. [January 31, 2009]

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