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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Violence, gore and language
Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Reiko Aylesworth, Steven Pasquale, John Ortiz, Shareeka Epps, Johnny Lewis, Sam Trammell, David Paetkau
Greg Strause, Colin Strause
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Special Edition Blu-ray
Widescreen Special Edition DVD
In the follow-up to the worldwide hit Alien vs. Predator, the iconic monsters from two of the scariest film franchises ever, wage war in an American Midwestern town – with the residents caught in the middle.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) | Review
When Superpowers Battle
In many ways I was destined to enjoy AVP:R at some level, due to how horrible its predecessor truly was in my mind. So I'd like to run through some glaring missteps that occurred in AVP and look at how this second installment improved on the original.
First off, there is that crucial word that is found in both titles: "versus." This word implies a major conflict or bout between opponents. And yet we've consistently seen human characters thrust into the forefront in almost every "versus" film ever made. AVP tried to create a mythology that just didn't work for me, and they forced human characters on us and really underplayed the simple, base desire to see aliens and predators fight. AVP:R continued to shove paper-thin characters at us, but at least provided some major throw-down between the titular species.
Another major pet peeve with the first film was the total destruction of the predators at the hands of the aliens. It just felt like the predators got totally owned by the aliens and the fights between them seemed really off in this way. Here in AVP:R we are introduced to an almost "super-predator" to match blows with the new creation of mixed alien and predator, the "Predalien." It i a major improvement over the first film to see a real, built up, genuine fight.
There are a number of other horrors that AVP wreaked upon its viewers which I won't go into in as much detail, but I find myself surprised to say that if AVP had never existed, and AVP:R had been the first in this series, I might have been okay with the overall concept.
So what about the film in its own right? AVP:R is helmed by relative new-comers "The Brothers Strause." It stars a no-name cast of Canadians in order to save money for the special effects. The story involves a predator/alien mixture spawning an army of aliens in a small town on earth. A super-predator from the predators' home world comes down to earth for some good-old-fashioned hunting, and the small Colorado town pays the price. I found the story to be a serviceable venue for major alien carnage, which is what anyone seeing this film is really looking for. The Brothers Strause seem to have a lot of love for the original films and bring a number of classic alien and predator minutia. Essentially, ninety percent of anyone reading this review or choosing to watch this film will know right up front if they are going to like this film or not.
The one interesting spiritual theme carried over from the original AVP film is its tagline: "Whoever wins... We lose." In watching both of these AVP films we get to see two superpowers duke it out to claim victory, and we see the underdogs, the downtrodden, the humans, caught and helpless in the midst of it all. Is this not the reality throughout the history of war? No matter what, as superpowers duke it out, individuals are the ones who take the brunt of the punishment. Whoever wins a war, the people who lived in the rubble of the war zone lose. And although wars rage on, God remembers the downtrodden. Deuteronomy 10: 17-18 tells us, "For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing."
In films like Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem, the human characters are fodder. The downtrodden are afterthoughts to the action. And if one looks at the ways of this world, the oppressed are often forgotten amongst the conspiring of the nations. But when "the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One&ellips; the One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them" (Psalms 2: 2 & 4). There is hope when the God of the universe can scoff at the dominant super powers but remember the downcast in the midst of conflict.
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