AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem

Thursday, September 04, 2008

As a teenager I always thought it would be a great idea for the Aliens to wreak havoc on Earth. How cool would that be? But then I grew up and realised it was a stupid idea. Unfortunately, though, the creative geniuses at 20th Century Fox thought otherwise and greenlit this clagfest.

I guess if I had to make a decision between the first Aliens vs. Predator film and this one, I’d say this one was better. But it’s only better in the same way that it’s better to have knob rot than cancer. Neither are very good.

‘There’s an Alien in my kitchen!’

There are many scenes that highlight the ridiculousness of having the Aliens invade Earth, but it’s perhaps best illustrated by the scene where a woman walks into a restaurant kitchen. In there she’s horrified to find a mutilated body. But then as she turns to walk out, an Alien comes crashing through the swing doors. He does it with such vigour it’s like he’s an extraterrestrial gastronome complaining about a shitty meal. ‘Excuse me, but I travelled thousands of miles for that risotto…and it sucked! I’d like my money back, please.’

‘There’s an Alien in my garden!’

Another good one is when a little girl uses her night goggles (her favourite toy) to look into her garden. In there she spots an acid drooling beastie. Of course her parents think she’s just being precious when she says that she saw a monster. Aww, poor baby is imagining things. How cute. And then to illustrate a point, the wonderful father who dearly loves his daughter shines a light at the window. ‘See, no monst-’ Cue an Alien bursting through a window that punctures a massive hole in his head. Yeah, you should have installed a light in your garden, you cheap bastard. One of those ones that turns on when something moves. That way Aliens wont get the drop on you when you catch them sniffing your geraniums.

‘There’s an Alien in my swimming pool!’

One particularly odious decision in this film is to have lots of teenagers. So we’ve gone from the deadly serious horror of the first three Alien films, and the macho homoeroticism of the first Predator film, and exchanged it all for sexy teens running about in the dark? This might as well just be any standard slasher film. And not a very good one at that.

But yes, the teens in this film are most decidedly sexy. Just take the token blonde. She has legs up the wazoo and shows them off at all times. She’s also something of a cockhound – her boyfriend is some obnoxious jock but she also flirts like crazy with one of the film’s heroes (his name, and the name of all the other characters, escapes me). So she flirts with the hero and then the jock gets jealous and beats the crap out of him. Dear Lord, is this the O.C.? But then after this, the girl dumps the jock and pursues the other guy. And before you can say STD, they’re at a swimming pool at night. Needless to say the girl is cock hungry and strips down to her smalls. But before they can give each other herpes and verrucas, they’re confronted by the ex-boyfriend and his friends, who tackle the hero. Of course they all fall into the pool, which would be bad enough, but then an Alien arrives. This is a turn of events more serious than finding a large floater.

What makes this scene, and every other one, so disappointing isn’t so much the inherent silliness (although that’s a pretty serious nail in the coffin), it’s the fact that you can’t see what’s happening. The whole film is filmed in complete darkness. Therefore every fight and every action sequence is rendered almost unwatchable.

‘There’s an Alien in my maternity unit!’

If there’s one thing to be learned from the disaster that is Alien: Resurrection, it’s that Alien hybrids are fucking stupid. But no, AVPR decides to follow the lead of Anderson’s film and gives us the Predialien, a ridiculous creation that walks upright like a Predator and that has dreadlocks, but has an Alien tail, acid for blood and the Alien double jaw. Obviously the people who made the first Aliens vs. Predator film thought that a creature with attributes of both would be doubly cool, but instead the result is like in-breeding – yeah your sister may be really hot, but when you fuck her she’s going to give birth to a drooling, three-eyed retard.

One of the Predialien’s standout scenes is when it visits a maternity unit. First of all it slaughters a nurse and then it wraps its face over a pregnant woman and inserts lots of embryos inside her. Then a little while later her belly erupts and about five aliens burst out of her. ‘Mr Smith, you’re the proud father of a bouncing baby…xenomorph?’

But like the first Alien vs. Predator film, it seems that people give ‘birth’ in about ten seconds. In one of the opening scenes we see a couple of facehuggers attack a father and son who are hunting in the woods. The father shoots one and gets acid on his arm (his arm falls off) and then the little boy gets attacked, too. And no sooner have they woken up and the boy has seen that his dad now looks like the drummer out of Def Leppard, than the baby Alien bursts through the father’s chest. But don’t worry, the kid is spared any lasting trauma or the social awkwardness of getting to know his new scaly brother because he gives birth 5 seconds later. The film is always in a rush – it’s all about instant gratification.

‘There’s an Alien in my sewer!’

One of the most bizarre moments in the film is when a couple of facehuggers attack some homeless people in a sewer. They leap onto their faces and then we see an Alien peeking around the corner. Aliens like to watch? Is this their intergalactic form of dogging?

And by the way, while I’m tackling the big issues, what the hell do Predators do for a living? Is their entire civilisation based around flying to places and killing shit? Doesn’t that get a little dull?

But what little story there is in the film centres around a Predator that has to clean up the mess that is taking place on Earth. It’s his job to kill all the Aliens and dispose of the evidence. To do this he has a special liquid that he pours over dead bodies that makes them dissolve super quick. ‘Predator uses Corpse-Erase: getting rid of spots, spills and dead bodies in a jiffy.’ But even with this nifty cleaner, he still sucks. At one point he cleans a couple of corpses up but misses tons of blood. Kim and Aggie would be furious. And in another scene he’s getting rid of a body but a man sees him because he turns his invisibility device off. Why not just keep it on all the time when you’re on a strange planet? Or is it like an ipod and you don’t want to use too much charge because you don’t have a USB port to hook into?

‘There’s an Alien on my helipad!’

The Predator’s silliest moment is when it finds a dead comrade. You almost hear it weep. Oh, boo-hoo, one of your bloodthirsty pals got murderised; get over it, you big jessie! And then later, in the final sequence on a helipad, the Predator whips an Alien and then stamps on its head – with only sandals on its feet. Damn, Predator skin and Predator sandals are made of good stuff. Totally acid proof. Much better than a pair of Birkenstocks.

The film ends with the town getting nuked by the evil corporation from the Alien films and with the corporation getting its hands on some Predator technology. So that’s how Ripley and company were able to explore space? It all makes sense now. We stole a gun from an alien with dreadlocks!

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