Saturday, December 29, 2007

Aliens vs Predator: When's the Sequel?

You don't go to a movie called Aliens vs Predator: Requiem and expect Oscar worthy fare. Well, we never look for Oscar worthy fare here in The Midside. What we do look for are movies that are what they say they are and don't seek to be more that definition. Aliens vs Predator is one of those movies. You get everything you expect (and maybe a tiny bit more).

It would be impossible to claim someone made a mistake with the title. There are Aliens. There's a Predator. Heck, there's even a Predalien. And, most of all, it is most certainly a requiem. When I first heard the title, the tail end of the title seemed a bit tacked on. It sounded oddly inappropriate to me. Now I understand why it was put there. The bodies start piling up immediately and there is never a shortage of people to kill. There is most certainly not an attempt to parallel the horrific imagery of the mass death in 28 Weeks Later, but that same sense of dread and tragedy sticks with you.

This story picks up where its predecessor left off. The Predalien that popped out of the Predator's chest overruns the ship, crashing it back into Earth. Minutes later, the all out attack on a small Colorado town begins when a hunter and his eight year old son (yes, you read that correctly) are facehugged. You think somehow (or perhaps hope) that the eight year old will escape. When he doesn't, you know this movie isn't going to hold a lot back.

The strength of the movie seems to be its fidelity to the conventions of the original, excuse me, the originals There is the small group of characters you know just enough to care about yet not enough to demand that big name actors play them. The Aliens lurk in the shadows ala a horror movie. The Predator kicks butt ala an action movie. There is a strong female mother character. While stalked by the murderous extraterrestrials, a guy even yells, "Get to the chopper." How happy do you think he was when he read the script and discovered he would get to say that line?

I'm not foolish enough to proclaim this film as perfect. There was plenty more I wanted to see. Maybe instead of beginning with the father and son hunting, the story could have opened with the morning routine of the town so we could get better acquainted with the characters. I would have liked to see more of the Predator homeworld. I most definitely would have liked a larger presence for Reiko Aylesworth (perhaps best known for her role as Michelle Dessler on 24), but maybe that's just because I think she's incredibly hot. The runtime isn't that long, so more definitely could have been added.

Most importantly, this movie is a million times better than the disappointing Alien vs Predator and leaves a door wide open for a sequel I would actually like to see. It is what Transformer wishes it was: an entertaining and self aware adaption of an appealing fantastical mythology. It is what it is and no one can be blamed for enjoying a movie that doesn't insult its audience or source material.

3/5 Stars

1 comment:

Brett Gallman said...

When's the sequel? Hopefully no time soon unless it's Alien 5 with Ridley Scott or James Cameron directing, which isn't likely to happen.

Oh, and the Patriots need to send a thank you card to the Raiders for allowing them to steal Randy Moss.