Length: 86 minutes
Directors: Colin Strause and Greg Strause
Writer: Shane Salerno (Armageddon; Shaft (2000))
Starring: Steven Pasquale, Kristen Hager, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Robert Joy, Ariel Gade, Sam Trammell, Tom Woodruff, Jr., David Hornsby, Francoise Yip
Watching “Aliens vs. Predator- Requiem”- the sequel to 2004’s majorly disappointing “Alien vs. Predator”- is like watching someone else play a video game. It is a slight improvement over it’s predecessor, but that’s not saying much. This is a film with serious A.D.D. issues. It’s camera can’t seem to stay on a single shot for longer than ten seconds (think “Rambo: First Blood, Part 2”). It is also so dark and murky that it’s almost impossible at times to make out who is what or whom is doing what. I had to rewind more than a few times to figure out what character just got offed and if it was by an alien or a predator. A real shame as this sequel was being touted as the big apology for the mistake the first picture was. The directors, brothers Colin and Greg Strause, have long worked on visual effects for such blockbusters as “300”, “Terminator 3”, and “Titanic” (to name a few), so I was expecting, I don’t know, something better (though I suppose a warning flag should have been raised given that most of their prior directing projects have been Nickelback videos). Fans who were disappointed by the PG-13 rating of the prior film will be happy to know that at least the R rating here is earned. The carnage is upped, but it too occurs so quickly that gore fans won’t get much of a chance to appreciate it. The funny thing is that the “Alien vs. Predator” idea did make for a good video game back in the day- it just hasn’t been able to make the transition over to the big screen. Both the “Alien” and “Predator” series weren’t brainless action sci-fi pictures. “Alien” and “Aliens” are widely regarded as two of the best films ever in their genre and “Predator” isn’t anything to scoff at either. Even the lesser sequels, “Alien 3”, “Alien: Resurrection”, and “Predator 2” weren’t run of the mill, cookie cutter productions. For some reason, the brains behind the “Alien vs. Predator” franchise just can’t seem to get it right (this includes Walter Hill- who has been involved with all of the prior “Alien” pictures). The fans don’t want mindless action. They want action, but they want it done with respect to the earlier movies. Those films had true suspense, spectacular action sequences and visual effects, and better acting (Kristen Hager and “Rescue Me”’s Steven Pasquale are the film’s sole bright spots in that area). “Alien vs. Predator” and “Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem” just want to watch everything go boom- and they want it to go boom fast.