During the winter break many of us were counting down the days to Dec. 25 and waiting to share that special moment with friends and loved ones. I’m speaking of course about attending the premiere of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, the sequel to Alien vs. Predator (2004) and the best gift Old Saint Nick delivered to us this Christmas.
AVP-R, directed by brothers Colin and Greg Strause, takes place directly after AVP leaves off with the birth of a Predator-Alien hybrid known as Predburster. This name is an amalgam of the Predators and the Chestburster stage of the Alien life cycle. While on board the Predator spacecraft, Predburster causes it to come crashing back to earth. The hybrid – evolved now into Pred-Alien – and the Alien Facehuggers are the only survivors of the hazardous landing.
Pointless teen drama ensues near Gunnison, Colo., which leads to the humans and Aliens eventually crossing paths. This interaction allows the Alien Facehuggers to implant eggs into human hosts around the town, creating a new Alien colony commanded by Pred-Alien.
Meanwhile, a veteran hunter from the Predator home world answers the distress beacon from the crashed spaceship and sets off to extinguish the Alien presence on earth. The Predator finds the wreckage of the spaceship and learns of the unholy matrimony of the rival species. He then decides he must eradicate all evidence of this incident and stop the Aliens from spreading.
What follows can be described as an epic acid-blood soaked, multi-species battle. Fans will enjoy the inclusion of some new Predator weapons and armor improvements. For example, the Predator now uses a whip made from Alien teeth and the Predator spear.
The Aliens vs. Predator crossover franchise by Dark Horse Comics has come a long way. It has transcended comic book pages by exploding into the video game arena and the silver screen over a span of almost 20 years. Many fans believe that Predator 2 spawned the crossover series when protagonist Lieutenant Mike Harrigan, played by Danny Glover, stepped on board the Predator spacecraft and saw an Alien skull displayed on the wall of Predator hunting trophies. This is a misconception. Dark Horse Comics published the first Aliens vs. Predator comic in 1989, just a year before Predator 2 released in 1990.
Like the first installment of the Alien vs. Predator movies, AVP-R maintains a sense of artistic charm like that of the original Star Wars films. In an age of computer-generated images where anything can be created on screen with a click of a mouse, there is something to be said for actors dressed in Alien and Predator suits, animatronics, and good old fashion puppeteering. It gives both AVP movies a heightened sense of realism.
AVP-R equals good times all around. Predators and Aliens are both getting harder to eliminate while the humans seem to be getting easier to kill. With the success the series has seen so far, don’t be surprised if a third installment of the AVP series makes its way into theaters in the not-so-distant future.
Grade: A+ (in the category of B movies)Rating: RRunning Time: 86 min.