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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Movie Watch: Aliens Versus Predator 2: Requiem

The thing about this movie isn't just that it is bad ... but that it can be so sloppy about it at the same time.

For instance, the predator in the film was nicknamed "Wolf" by the filmmakers because it plays a role like Winston "Wolf" in Pulp Fiction. Apparently this predator does nothing but sit around in his big chair and wait for other predators to mess up so horribly that he has to go clean up their mess. Generally by spilling so much acid on everything that nobody knows what happened.

First - this is such an idiotic concept ... that this bloodthirsty race of aliens actually gives a damn what some backwater planet thinks about their crashed ship ... and second the film is shot so that it simply moves so quickly you don't realize how stupid it actually is - which is pretty much indicative of how everything else in the movie goes as well.

Nothing is scary in this movie because special effects artists turned directors Brothers Strause didn't bother to pay attention to either Alien,Aliens, or Predator to note what makes them scary. Instead you get a patchwork of quickly edited shots pieced together from other, better movies. The inside of the tank will remind you the inside of the landing ship in Alien, mysteriously organic walls will pop into existence out of thin air and sppoooooky night vision scenes will occur even if no character involved is actually using night vision. Any moment which might have actually been milked for tension is blown to little pieces before it can get there.

Two of my favorite lines:

"He was .... skinned alive" (actually, no, that guy was way dead before getting skinned, but you can't really say "skinned" in a movie without following it with "alive" - right?)

"I hope we're both wrong" (when actually since they were discussing escaping the town, one would hope they were both *right*)

And finally, I can't emphasize this enough, and really it should be horror movie 101 - but apparently not for the citizens of Gunnison, Colorado ... when beset by baddies ... don't leave the tank unless you absolutely have to leave the tank. You see, there's a writing frame called a cabin story. Many horror movies use it - the premise is that the characters are stuck with their conflict because they are in fact trapped in their cabin/artic shelter/spaceship/whatever. The Thing is a classic example, as was both Alien and Aliens. Writer Shane Salerno, who brought us such masterful works like Ghost Rider, wants to frame the story like a cabin story .... except he forgot to build the cabin.

Don't bother with this one, even for schtick value. Even if you're a fan of either franchise.


Winkyboy said...

From an uber-fanboy perspective, I ... tolerated it at the time but HATE it, now. I always love to see the Aliens and Predators in action, but I knew going in that the film was really, really bad. So, it met my expectations while watching it, but...

What upsets me most is that they really BROKE the rules of both Aliens and the Predators.

Spoiler alert (although with this movie you shouldn't care):

When the Predators send in a rescue team, they don't freakin' send ONE Predator by himself. Especially when they know they're going up against something that took out another TEAM of Predators.

Aliens do NOT hatch live babies; there has to be a queen to lay the eggs and there has to a facehugger stage. I *MIGHT* buy a concept where a drone could change to become a queen, but that was not what happened there.

Josh said...

Agreed, it didn't seem to actually pay much attention to the mythos as much as just snapshot parts of it. It even cranks up other movies' flaws like the acid being inconsistent, a wildly shortened gestation, etc. to a new level.

jvm said...

Wait. This post isn't about LOST. What's going on here? Are you getting lazy in your old age?