Friday, June 9, 2017

Movies That Suck: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

...but it will be a silent night at the theater.
The first time I ever heard of this movie was on Christmas Day of 2007... the very day it opened. I was watching something, possibly the Walt Disney World Christmas Day parade, when I saw an advertisement for it. I had two initial reactions: first, "Holy crap, they made another AVP movie?!", and second, "Oh, this one's rated R. Maybe this'll be better." And I literally thought nothing else of it, mainly because I never saw or heard anything aside from that one TV spot and, of all things, a "making of" book in like Books-A-Million or somewhere. It wasn't until I really got into the internet in the following couple of years that I learned what became of this movie in the realm of public opinion. Naturally, I didn't think there was any chance that it would've been heralded as a masterpiece but I did think, if nothing else, some would call it a fun creature feature. While some did say it was enjoyable in that regard, the general consensus was that this was another wretched piece of trash that wasn't worth your time and that it was even worse than AVP: Alien vs. Predator. That statement was what floored me. If you've read my review of that movie, you'd know that I've never, ever liked it, and thought it was a major disappointment for what it was promising, but I found it hard to comprehend that the second time around, they not only didn't improve upon it but actually took even more steps backwards, especially since they set it in what felt like a promising location. While I was initially unhappy that another one of these movies took place on Earth, the idea of the Aliens and Predators in the middle of a town, despite the continuity issues with the futuristic Alien movies it would create, had potential for a lot of entertaining, gory monster carnage, which they had seemed to go for with the R-rating. But, apparently, that wasn't the case, given the reviews. As a result, not counting Covenant, this was the last of the Alien and Predator movies I ended up seeing, as I didn't get around to it until 2015, at which point I had already seen Predators and Prometheus. I bought it on a double feature Blu-Ray along with the first AVP, mainly so I could finally see it since I knew I'd been reviewing these movies some days, as well as to have the first film at hand in order to effectively revamp my old review of it. Shortly after I first saw Requiem, I did a list of what I considered to be the top 30 worst or most disappointing sequels in my opinion and I had to put it on there, as this movie is pretty abysmal. For a while, I felt that it was at least had more entertainment value than the first one but, after watching it again for this review, I've decided that they're both horrible movies but in different ways. This one is particularly bad, though, because, in spite of the harder edge, it really does take everything that sucked about the first one (bland, uninteresting characters, poor direction, an abundance of horror movie clich├ęs, and an uninspired story that doesn't deliver on what it promises) and does it worse.

On its way back from Earth, the Predator ship that took away Scar's body falls under attack from the deadly PredAlien that bursts out of his body. During the Predators' attempt to kill the monster, they accidentally damage their ship with their weapons and send it out of control towards Earth, crashing in the wilderness outside of the town of Gunnison, Colorado. The PredAlien and a batch of facehuggers that was being transported escape the damaged ship and the latter immediately begin impregnating people with Alien embryos, including a father and son who are out hunting. Before the last surviving Predator is killed by the PredAlien, he manages to send a distress signal to his home-world and upon receiving it, a lone Predator takes it upon himself to travel to Earth and wipe out the Alien infestation. Meanwhile, in the town of Gunnison, Dallas Howard has returned home after having served time in prison, reuniting with his younger brother, Ricky, whose dilemma is his attraction to fellow classmate, which puts him at odds with her boyfriend, Dale; also, Kelly O'Brien has also returned home after a stint in the military but, while her husband welcomes her back, her daughter, Molly, is distant towards her. By the time the Predator arrives, the Aliens have infested the sewers beneath Gunnison, with facehuggers impregnating some of the homeless people down there and the PredAlien, which is also partially a Queen, orally impregnating any women she comes across. Attempting to kill the Aliens and erase any trace of their remains, the Predator tracks them down and pursues them out into the streets, eventually battling them at the town's power plant. The battle causes a citywide power outage and the Aliens then overrun the town, killing many people, including National Guard troops who arrive to investigate, while the PredAlien creates a nest at the local hospital, creating more Aliens by impregnating the female patients there. As the situation escalates, Dallas, Ricky, Kelly, Molly, and Sheriff Eddie Morales attempt to escape town, the latter opting to head to the town square where they're told by Colonel Stevens, who they make radio contact with, that an air evac is heading there... but, is the approaching aircraft actually coming for some other, more insidious purpose?

After what they got from Paul W.S. Anderson when he directed the first AVP, you'd think 20th Century Fox would've learned their lesson and handed the sequel over to someone with a lot more talent. Nope, they gave it to Colin and Greg Strause (credited together as the Brothers Strause), two special effects artists who'd worked on movies like The X-Files movie, Volcano, The Nutty Professor, and Titanic before heading into the music video and commercial business, as special effects men and then graduating to directing. This was their very first feature film as directors, with Fox supposedly hiring them because of their effects background, which they felt would be ideal with what they intended to achieve on the budget they gave the film ($40 million, $20 million less than the first one). So, yet again we have Fox, for whatever reason, shortchanging the Aliens vs. Predator brand, which is kind of understandable, given the backlash against the first film, but instead of taking the opportunity to make up for it with a second one, they give it less of a budget and the directing job to a couple of guys who'd never made a movie before. I know everybody needs that first shot but with a movie like this, you need someone who knows what they're doing! That's why I can understand why they went for Anderson the first time: regardless of what you may think of them, he'd made hit movies in the past. But, seriously, the Brothers Strause? While a lot of this movie's failings have to be blamed on the lackluster script and characters, they were still the ones behind the camera and didn't have the talent or experience to make it rise above that, so it was a disaster waiting to happen all-around. I'm not surprised to learn that the only other movie they've directed so far was 2010's Skyline, which I've never seen and I don't have any interest in seeing either.

The cast of the first AVP may have sucked big time but, at the very least, you had the presence of the always awesome Lance Henriksen, even if he didn't have much of anything to do in the long run and died about halfway into the movie. Now, imagine what it would've been like if he hadn't been there and you have the cast of AVP-R. There is not one single character I give a flying crap about in this movie. Not one! They're the most bland, uninteresting, typical horror movie characters possible and looking at them makes me depressed about how far the Alien and Predator franchises, which, between them, have featured Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Danny Glover, and Gary Busey, just to name a few, have fallen. Here, there's no one lead, as several characters take turns in that role as the film goes on (not that it matters), but the one who's top-billed is Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale), who returns to Gunnison after serving time in prison. We're never told exactly what he did but, in an additional bit of dialogue in the unrated version, he says he's not sorry for it, and even in the theatrical version, he seems to still have a chip on his shoulder and not that interested in going straight. He gets better when things start going south and does look out for his younger brother, at one point stopping from doing something stupid and going after the big guys who've beaten him up with a bat, but, in the end, there's nothing about him that makes me really like him or care about his making it to the helicopter in time at the end, even when he's shown to be proficient at taking down Aliens, including figuring out how to use a Predator weapon. (He also has a horrible line that he delivers in a really bad, stilted manner: "Eddie, people are dying. We need guns.") The same also goes for his younger brother, Ricky (Johnny Lewis), who you hear is also a troubled young man, having been given a job at the local pizza parlor by his guidance counselor and who has a crush on his hot classmate, Jesse, which makes him run afoul of her dickhead boyfriend, Dale, and his buddies. He almost gets lucky with her one night at the school swimming pool but Dale and his posse, as well as the Aliens, ruin things and he spends the rest of the movie trying to keep Jesse safe, which he fails at as she's later inadvertently killed by the Predator. He goes berserk and tries to shoot the Predator in retaliation, which almost gets him killed by the PredAlien when she ambushes him, and at the end of the movie, he's reluctant to leave without Dallas, telling Kelly O'Brien that he'll make it, which he does. Again, don't care about him one way or the other. I do have some sympathy for Sheriff Eddie Morales (John Ortiz), as he quickly realizes that he's in way over his head when the situation gets out of control, but in the end, he ends up getting a lot of people, including himself, killed when he refuses to listen to Kelly, who's had experience in the military, and her suspicion about an air evac taking place in the center of town, which she's ultimately right about as it turns out to be a nuke. Like everyone else, he's so bland and underdeveloped (the only backstory we get on him is that he and Dallas have been friends since they were kids and that they were once both in trouble with the law) that I don't care if he lives or dies.

The other character who becomes one of the film's de facto leads when things start going bad is Kelly O'Brien (Reiko Aylesworth), who uses her military experience to lead those who'll listen to her to safety and fights off hoards of Aliens when the need arises. They try to make her something of a Ripley substitute as her life as she knows it is shattered by the Aliens when one kills her husband, forcing her and her daughter to abandon their house and join the main group, but she has nowhere near the coolness factor or richness to make her even close to a match for Sigourney Weaver's iconic character. They do try to give her something of a dilemma when she comes home from her time in the military only to find that her daughter has now become very distant towards her but, even in the unrated version, it's not developed enough to become significant and they become close again so quickly after the death of her husband that it doesn't matter anyway (speaking of which, Kelly doesn't just instantly get over that loss, which I appreciate). The daughter, Molly (Ariel Gade), is kind of the Newt here, as the Aliens, while not killing both of her parents, do kill the one she's become the closest to and she has to bond with the mother she hasn't seen in years, akin to Newt bonding with Ripley, only in this case, it's her real mother. She also refers to the Aliens as "monsters," which is how Newt referred to them. Other than that, though, Molly is little more than a load for the other characters to carry around and protect from the Aliens. Kelly's husband, Tim (Sam Trammell), doesn't much screentime as he's killed early on when an Alien bursts through Molly's window and rips him apart, but in the short time he is there, he comes across as a nice guy who tries to help bridge the gap between Kelly and Molly, telling Molly at one point when she'd rather he read her a bedtime story than Kelly, "Remember all the times you told me how much you missed Mommy? It's okay to tell Mommy that."

Other than her being really hot, I don't get what Ricky sees in Jesse (Kristen Hager). She does appear to have some affection for him, feeling bad when Dale and his friends beat him up, and acknowledges that Dale's an asshole before that happens, which is why she breaks up with him (she says, "he's been fired,"; huh?), but she just feels very shallow to me, acknowledging that she's noticed Ricky's interest in her in class and flaunts it when they meet up at the school swimming pool that night. While she lasts longer than some of the others around her, it's not that surprising when she ultimately does get killed, panicking in the hospital and running for it, only to get impaled by the Predator's throwing weapon. Dale (David Paetkau) is your stereotypical jock bully, who makes fun of Ricky when he delivers pizza to Jesse's house, beats the hell out of him, along with his punk friends, as payback for an insult Ricky threw back at him, and throws the keys to his truck into the sewer. Unable to take that Jesse breaks up with, he and his friends show up at the school pool that night to beat Ricky up again and they, in fact, almost drown him when they fall into the pool during their fight, but when the Aliens show up and kill his friends, Dale proves himself to be a complete whiny coward. It's really satisfying to hear Dallas give him a verbal lashing while they're breaking into a sporting goods store to get some guns and, of course, when the Aliens and Predator appear in the store, Dale tries to run for it, only to get jumped by an Alien and die when the Predator blasts it, covering his face in its acid blood. Speaking of pricks, another unlikable character is Drew (David Hornsby), the supervisor at the pizza parlor Ricky works at. He's an ass to Ricky from the start, forcing him to wear a dopey-looking delivery boy hat, reminding him that he only has the job because of his guidance counselor, and threatens to fire him when he pleads with him not to make him deliver to Jesse's house, knowing Dale will probably be there. Later on, after he's been picked up by the police and decides to go with Kelly, Molly, Dallas, Ricky, and Jesse to the hospital, he laments about how he did nothing to help those with him when they were attack, as if the movie's trying to redeem him... and then, when they get to the hospital, Dallas tells everyone that they have to protect Kelly, since she's the only one who can fly the helicopter, and Drew chimes in with, "What is this, the Titanic? Screw the women and children first shit, man." With that, you're just waiting for this asshole to get his comeuppance, which he promptly does.

Among the other characters in the film is Darcy (Chelah Horsdal), the wife and mother of the father and son who fall prey to the facehuggers at the beginning of the movie and who is desperate to find them, imploring Sheriff Morales to continue searching after they've already been looking for a long night. When she comes across a scene of horrific slaughter at the local diner, she becomes one of those who joins the main group of characters in their flight to get out of town and makes the fatal mistake of going with Morales to the middle of town to wait for the "air evac." And when Kelly first mentions that she thinks Colonel Stevens plans to contain the threat rather than help them, Darcy's line, "That's crazy. The government doesn't lie to people," is so on the nose that if I rolled my eyes any harder, they'd fall out of my head! Another one is Carrie (Gina Holden), who's unaware that she's also lost her husband, Deputy Ray, to the monsters (in this case, the Predator) and also becomes one of the unwilling hosts for more Aliens by the PredAlien when she ambushes her at the diner she works at that night. Col. Stevens (Robert Joy) is somebody who you know is not to be trusted the moment you first see him, as he informs Morales and the others what to do in a very shady manner, further punctuated even before she flat out says it when Kelly mentions aloud that he, for some reason, is going to evacuate everyone from the middle of town. He does seem to have some reluctance in doing what he does, often hesitating before giving Morales any instructions, and when the fighter jet with the nuke has almost reached the town, he says to himself, "God help us all," but the cold, emotionless way in which he talks and reacts is enough to make you wonder if it is sincere. (Yeah, like I mentioned earlier, instead of untrustworthy corporations like in all of the original Alien movies, they're trying to do the "you can't trust the government" motif, which this movie doesn't earn the right to in the slightest.) He also turns out to be an important figure in the future events of the Alien series, as he's the first living higher-up who gets a look at the Aliens thanks to the cam footage of them attacking the National Guard troops and the movie ends with him delivering the Predator weapon taken from Dallas to a mysterious woman who's revealed to be Ms. Yutani (Francoise Yip), the other half of the Weyland-Yutani corporation. Too bad I was far past caring at that point.

Besides their blandness and lack of development, did you notice something about a lot of the characters here that was never the case in any of the past Alien or Predator movies? If not, allow me to elaborate: they're teenagers or very young adults, whereas all the other movies featured actors who were definitely adults. Even Paul W.S. Anderson, to his credit, cast all adults in the first AVP, probably to avoid falling into that trap of having it become a teenage slasher movie. Granted, that movie did still fall victim to the tropes of that subgenre but at least there were no teenyboppers around, which can't be said of Requiem. While I don't have anything against slasher movies, as I like a good majority of them, it's downright depressing to see scenes like the one at the school swimming pool, where Ricky and Jesse are about to get busy, the camera giving us plenty of angles of the latter as she undresses, especially her butt, Dale and his gang interrupting them, and then the Aliens show up and pick them off in the dark, in one of these movies because both of these franchises were never about that. What's more, the lackluster characters, some of which, as we've discussed, are downright unlikable, turn it into the worst kind of slasher movie, as I can name a good number of characters and actors from the Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street series who I like a lot more than anybody here. Ironically, near the end of the documentary, One Step Beyond: The Making of Alien: Resurrection, when they're talking about the possible future of the Alien franchise at that point, cinematographer Darius Khondji mentions that he thinks it'd be nice to do a very trashy, B-movie level Alien movie. I wonder what he thought about this film, then?

A common complaint I often heard about the movie before I saw it was that the cinematography was so dark that you often couldn't tell what was going on and they were right on the money there. I had seen a number of clips from it before I saw it for the first time but even then, I was really taken aback at just how bad it did look and had to turn the brightness up on my TV the next time I decided to watch it so I could get a better sense of what was going on. The lighting is so dark and murky, with a color palette of ugly greens and yellows, and when you add to that the power outage that occurs during the latter half and that it's raining outside, there are moments where it feels as if you're staring at a completely black screen that has some movement here and there. Seriously, look at these images. How long do you have to stare at them to finally realize what it is you're looking at? Even in the scenes shot during the day, it doesn't look much better, as it's all in that oversaturated, color correction look that I hate looking at and there's still a lot of murk and darkness, particularly in the scenes shot indoors. It's a shame, too, because the cinematographer was Daniel C. Pearl, who shot both the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the 2003 remake, both of which look really good (some may disagree with the latter but I think it looks good), so I don't know why he dropped the ball the way he did here, making me think it has to do with the Brothers Strause. Indeed, in interviews, the two of them said that they wanted the creatures to be shot in as little light as possible in order to keep them scary, to which I say, "Guys, people know what the Aliens and Predators look like, as this is the sixth film to feature the former and the fourth for the latter. What's more, this is Aliens vs. Predator, not the original Alien or any movie that's actually trying to be scary, so just give us the monsters duking it out!" I've also heard rumors that, for whatever reason, Fox purposefully darkened the movie for the home media releases, as it wasn't nearly this bad in theaters, which, if true, makes them look like bigger shitheads than they already did. Regardless, let this section be a warning for the rest of the review. I'll try my hardest to find the best quality images from the film but don't be surprised if you find yourself squinting at a lot of them.

While I still don't like the idea of this again taking place on Earth, for the reasons I stated in my review of the first AVP, I still think that this setting had a lot of promise. I like the idea of being able to see the Aliens roaming around the woods and through the streets of a big, rural neighborhood like this, invading the homes, buildings, and sewers, killing and impregnating everyone that they come across. Not only is it because we've never seen them in an environment like this (I like that we're finally seeing them out in the open air rather than yet again being restricted to claustrophobic corridors and rooms for the entire film) but also because it's the most relatable setting of any of these movies. Just imagine being in your hometown, where you know everybody, and in your home with your family, when these monsters suddenly show up and begin tearing the place apart, forcing you to evacuate before you become their next victim. It's a potentially frightening concept for a movie, akin to The Blob in that regard, and I do also like the idea of the Aliens invading the sewers, preying on homeless people living down there, appearing in swimming pools to attack unsuspecting civilians, and the half-Queen PredAlien making a hive at the hospital and using the female patients there as hosts for more Aliens. The idea of a Predator coming to this sort of place has an equal amount of potential, as a rural environment like this can be seen as a combination of the jungle setting in the first film and the city setting of the second. Finally, there's the potential for such great monster carnage, with people getting slaughtered left and right, both civilians who've evacuated to the streets and those who get jumped in their homes, which is to say nothing of the ill-equipped National Guard troops who show up. Unfortunately, between the lame characters, bad cinematography, and a budget that probably couldn't allow for such big scenes of death and destruction, it doesn't live up to that potential, which is a shame.

For the first time in a movie featuring the Aliens, we don't get any eggs but rather go straight into the facehuggers, which the Predator ship that picked up Scar at the end of the first AVP happened to be transporting and escape and immediately begin impregnating people after the ship crashes. Notably, we also get more chestbursters than we ever have before, from the new shot of the PredAlien when she first tears out of Scar's corpse and the two that come out of the father and son near the beginning of the movie to a whole mass of them that a doctor in the hospital finds has exploded out of one of the pregnant women there. The look of the adult Aliens themselves is based primarily on the way they looked in Aliens, right down to their overall body structure, the ridged heads, and even a scream that they often made in that movie. Behavior-wise, they're also similar to how they were in Aliens, as well as the first AVP, in that their primary goal is simply to survive and maintain their species, infesting the town and using the inhabitants as both prey (you actually see them feeding on bodies, which doesn't happen that often) and potential hosts as they did the colony on LV-426. And like the Alien Queen, they're fiercely loyal to and protective of the PredAlien, who acts as the Queen substitute and leader of the pack, defending her from the Predator and the people and informing her when they've found a woman whom she can impregnate with more Aliens. As before, all of these creatures are mostly achieved through practical puppets, animatronics, and suits created by Amalgamated Dynamics rather than CGI and, when you can actually get a good look at them, they look great, save for the Alien suits, which look a little dodgy here and not as finessed as they were in the previous film, undoubtedly due to the lower budget. However, Colin Strause's claim that the only pure digital shot in the film was the exterior of the Predator ship was hardly accurate, as there are a number of CGI effects thrown in along with the practical effects, like the Aliens' tongues and tails in many shots and full-body, moving shots of the facehuggers and chestbursters (the latter of which, seen in the sewers early on, is the first time one of them has been seen scurrying around since the original Alien, not counting the deleted shots of the "Bambi Burster" in Alien 3). The quality of the CGI varies from effect to effect. The tails, tongues, the facehuggers skittering out of the crashed ship, and the chestburster, which is helped by being obscured in darkness, look passable but there are shots of the facehuggers in stasis tubes aboard the Predator ship at the very beginning that look really bad.

There was a tradition among the Alien movies of introducing a new type of creature with every movie that the first AVP broke, focusing simply on the notion of seeing Aliens and Predators onscreen together for the first time; Requiem, however, goes back to the tradition by introducing the PredAlien (Tom Woodruff Jr., who's also, once again, the lead Alien suit actor here), which had been featured before in the comics and games and had been teased at the very end of the last movie. Unfortunately, I see her as a big missed opportunity, as I don't think she's portrayed as well as she could've been. Chief among my complaints is that you never, ever get a clear look at her, as she is always in the dark and shadow, and instead of being creepy, it's just frustrating, as you can tell that she's a well-designed creature and you want to really see her. (Case in point: the first image here is a production still and the second is how she appears in the actual movie.) By extension, because we never get the clearest look of her, I come out of the movie feeling that I didn't get my money's worth with her, in terms of both visuals and performance, which sucks because I think she's a cool monster. She's a cool amalgamation of the properties of both the Alien and Predator, as she's much bulkier than a typical Alien but has their traditional skeletal pattern on her torso, an Alien-like head but with Predator mandibles around the mouth and dreadlocks in the back, and a tail that seems much longer and more powerful than the usual Alien. What's more, the PredAlien is, somehow, partly Alien Queen (there was no indication at all that the facehugger that attacked Scar in the first movie was a Queen-type), able to produce more Aliens without the use of facehuggers by vomiting embryos straight down the throats and into the wombs of women. Apparently, the women hosts already need to be pregnant, with the only reason I can think of being that the Alien embryos feed on the fetuses? (There's a pleasant thought.) And the nest that she and the other Aliens make at the hospital is, like the nest in the previous movie, based directly on the look of the nest in Aliens. Above everything else, though, the PredAlien is not a creature to be trifled with, as she's very strong, able to go toe-to-toe with the Predator easily, is absolutely ferocious when attacking and looking for hosts, and, unlike the Queen, isn't very patient with her brood, as seen when she pushes one Alien aside to have a go at a homeless woman in the sewers herself. Her vocalizations are deeper, very threatening growls and snarls stemming from her Predator inheritance, as well as Queen-like hissing and seething sounds. Again, cool creature but not done as well as she could've been.

Actually, I was wrong when I said there were no likable characters in this movie, as there actually is one: the Predator himself (Ian Whyte), named "Wolf" in the credits. Unlike the Predators in the previous film, who either got killed easily by the Aliens or teamed up with the lead female character, this guy is a real badass who's got business to take care of and isn't going to let anybody or anything stand in his way. He appears to be a Predator of some importance, as he personally receives the distress signal from the last surviving Predator on the ship before the PredAlien kills him and, pinpointing the location, decides to deal with it himself, loading up and flying off to Earth. Upon arriving, he investigates the wreckage of the crashed Predator ship, uses the recording within one of the dead Predators' helmets to see exactly what it is he's looking for (the sequence of this depends on which version you watch, though, as we'll go into later), as well as takes some more weapons from him, and destroys the ship before beginning a "clean-up" operation, removing all traces of the Aliens by destroying any dead ones and the bodies of their victims. He also tracks down the Aliens to the sewers, where he first encounters the PredAlien and her progeny, and his job then really begins, as he has to chase them down throughout the town, which is now in the grip of chaos and suffering from a massive blackout he causes. I really like seeing Wolf running around the town, trying to avoid the humans as best as he can, while also attempting to get the Alien infestation under control, and as badly photographed as it often is, it's still entertaining to see him in action. He's both smart and tough, setting traps for the Aliens, using Dallas as bait for them in one instance, and when he has to take them out, he proves himself to be a really proficient fighter in how he takes them on (that visual of him holding up two at once by the neck in the sewer is really cool) and often easily exterminates them. And as strong and deadly as the PredAlien is, Wolf has the guts to fight her hand-to-hand, getting the crud beaten out of him in the process but never giving up and ultimately managing to fatally wound her... too bad the nuclear bomb wiped him and everyone else out immediately afterward. The only thing Wolf does that I don't like is that he skins and hangs Deputy Ray's body up from a tree branch for all to see after catching him spying on him, which may be something that the Predators tend to do but when they're on a hunt, which Wolf isn't; he's supposed to be cleaning up all traces of him and the other monsters being there (they either didn't think about that or saw it as an excuse to get some more gore in). Other than that, though, Wolf is by far the best part of the movie and I wish the whole thing had just been following him around, watching dealing with the situation and ultimately coming out on top.

Look-wise, I think Wolf is much more successful than the Predators in the previous film, with a tall and thin body-style more akin to those in the original two films as opposed to the shorter, stockier look from the first AVP and his helmet, combined with the similar type of lighting, makes me think of what the Predator in Predator 2 wore. His actual face, which you don't see much of, also looks a bit better (save for an additional scene in the unrated version), looking more like that of the original Predator, albeit with some modifications (he's missing his upper left mandible, indicating that he's seen a lot of action in his time). Speaking of which, while his roars and growls are his own, the clicking sounds he makes are more akin to the first Predator than those in the previous film. Effects-wise, the graphics for his different vision modes look better to me as well, as it does when he fires his laser weapons and when he cloaks himself, which is not as showy an effect as Paul W.S. Anderson made it. And like all of the previous movies involving the Predators, Wolf comes equipped with the traditional weapons, like the wrist-blades (which I'm happy to say aren't as overlong as they were previously), the spear, the shoulder cannon, and the self-destruct device, as well as some new toys, some of which he takes off of his dead comrade. In addition to the Frisbee-like shuriken weapon from the previous movie, he makes use of "laser mines" that he attaches to the walls of the sewers to create grid-like barriers of powerful lasers, a powerful type of glove he can activate from the gauntlet on his hand that he uses to smash through concrete walls and ceiling, a lethal whip made from an Alien's tail that he uses during his final showdown with the PredAlien, and when his shoulder cannon is damaged, he's able to modify it to be used as a handgun type of weapon, although, as Dallas finds out when he ends up with it later on, it takes a long time for it to charge up enough to fire. Like the Predators in the first two films, he's seen using an advanced medical kit to heal himself after being seriously injured by the Aliens, as well as a special syringe that he uses to collect samples of facehugger DNA inside the crashed ship so he can calibrate his helmet's vision to track them (I only know that was its function because I read it up on a wiki) and a blue liquid that dissolves anything it touches in order to cover up all traces which, again is what he should've done to Ray rather than skin him.

It's a shame that the movie is shot as poorly as it is because we get to see a bit of the interior of the Predator scout ship that's sent back to Earth by the main one that appeared at the end of the first AVP (in the R-rated version, it looks as if it's that very ship). In addition to the room in front of a big window where Scar's body is kept, we also see a room of stasis tubes containing facehuggers, a room full of Alien trophies where one Predator is seen dissecting an Alien head when he's attacked by the PredAlien, and a navigation room full of readouts and planets. Again, too bad you can't really see it, because the impression that it gives off is really cool. Moreover, this film, so far, gives us our only glimpse of the Predator homeworld, which is a brightly lit, hot-looking planet, and we're shown that Wolf lives in some sort of palace-like building overlooking what appears to be a city, again suggesting that he's a Predator of some important standing. Plus, the buildings look a bit primitive on the outside but, as we see when Wolf's introduced, sitting on what looks like a type of throne when he's automatically shown the one Predator's distress signal and beacon through a monitor-like machine that descends down from the ceiling and curls around to his front, the interiors are just advanced as the Predators' ships and weapons technology. Again, because of the poor lighting, some of this stuff is difficult to describe and that's too bad because, like Wolf himself, it's one of the film's more interesting elements.

Knowing how unhappy people were with the PG-13 rating of the previous movie, the Brothers Strause, intent on appealing to hardcore Alien and Predator fans, decided to give them their money's worth in terms of the violence this time around and while some of it is bad CGI blood, there's also plenty of practical splatter for your cash here as well. Among some of the lovelier sights are the chestbursters ripping their way out of the father and son hunting pair (the son is a young kid, too), said father's arm getting melted off by acid blood and his severed hand found by a homeless man's dog, the sight of Deputy Ray's skinned corpse, a couple of guys getting stabbed in the head by Alien tongues, Dale getting his face melted off by an Alien's blood (unfortunately, that's one of the bad digital effects), two guys getting their heads blasted off by Wolf at the same time (more bad CGI), Jesse getting stuck to the wall by Wolf's shuriken, and, most horrifically, the PredAlien forcing her eggs down the throats of pregnant women and the resulting baby Aliens ripping out of their stomachs. While it's nice to see both of these series get their balls back, like the unrated version of the first AVP, gore doesn't change the fact that this is still a shitty movie. They also threw in tons of fanservice, like the aforementioned Aliens-inspired designs and the use of the creature sounds from that movie, the sound of the computers from the original Alien in certain scenes, the original sound of the Predator's thermal vision, the motion tracker beeps from Aliens during the opening titles, and bits of Alan Silvestri's Predator scores, one of the leads being named Dallas and, during the climax, him yelling, "Get to the chopper!", among others that I'm sure I'm forgetting right now. While I can commend them for having their heart in the right place, some of these references are plain old corny and don't distract from the fact that this is not a good movie at all.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem begins right where the first AVP left off, with the Predator ship leaving the Earth, carrying Scar's body, when the PredAlien chestburster erupts out of him. Time passes, with the ship now passing by Saturn and deploying a smaller craft that heads back to Earth, the Predators onboard transporting stasis tubes containing facehuggers, unaware of the quickly growing threat that's on the ship with them. In the room housing the creatures, a Predator is busy dissecting an Alien head with a laser, when the PredAlien grabs him from behind and kills him instantly, splattering his blood all over the head. Another Predator in the navigation room hears the commotion and runs down the hall, rounding the corner in time to see one of his comrades get taken out by the monster, which he needs to switch vision modes in order to see. He locks on with his shoulder cannon and fires but she runs back down the hall and the blast hits the wall. In his haste, he fires again, damaging the ship and sending it hurtling towards Earth. There, in the woods outside of Gunnison, Colorado, Buddy Benson and his young son, Sam, are hunting, their sights set on bagging a doe, when a loud bang in the sky catches their attention and they turn around in time to see the burning ship come down, hitting the top of a ridge before crashing into the trees on the slope beyond. The two of them rush to the crash site and come across the nearly destroyed ship resting amidst the brush. Buddy taps on the hull with the butt of his rifle, while inside, the facehuggers who survived the crash quickly skitter out of their smashes stasis tubes. The seriously wounded loan surviving Predator sees them crawl out of a large crack, while outside, Buddy decides they need to have the sheriff take a look at the ship and he and Sam begin heading back to town. The Predator quickly sends out a distress signal using his gauntlet, when the PredAlien closes in on him and instantly finishes him off. Buddy and Sam rush through the woods, unaware that the facehuggers are right on their tail, when the latter trips over a stump. Buddy goes to help his son, when he hears the creatures skittering through the bushes. Scanning the surrounding area, and motioning for Sam to stay down, he sees the foliage moving and readies his gun, looking every which way he can, when Sam, peaking over the log, sees a facehugger crawl into position nearby. He yells for his dad to watch out and Buddy quickly shoots it when it jumps at him but his arm gets coated in its acid blood and is burned off below the elbow, his severed hand falling to the ground. Stunned by this, Buddy proves easy prey for another facehugger, which jumps and latches onto him from his right. Sam ducks down in horror, then cautiously peeks back over the log to see the parasite attached to his father's face, when another suddenly lunges at him.

Lightyears away, on the Predators' homeworld, the Predator known as Wolf receives the distress signal and when his special monitor shows him its location, he pushes some buttons for an enhancement. Seeing then that it crashed on Earth, he swivels around in his chair, walks over to a wall full of helmets, grabs one and puts it on, along with some armor and weapons, and takes off in his ship to take care of business. Later on, back on Earth, a deputy investigates a small canal leading into the sewers and finds an old man named Harry living back in there, who he's apparently dealt with before, and says that he has no choice but to take him in. Harry (who looks and sounds like John Carradine did in his later years) calls for his dog, Butch, who comes in from outside, only to horrify both men when he drops Buddy Benson's severed hand out of his mouth; the deputy promptly calls for Sheriff Eddie Morales who, in a later scene, finds his abandoned truck near the edge of the woods. Back near the crash site, Sam awakens with a dead facehugger lying next to him, as does Buddy, who struggles to his feet with only one arm. Sam walks up to his dad, who then drops to his knees and begins to recoil and contort his body in pain. With a big explosion of blood, a writhing chestburster erupts from his ribcage, and Sam himself begins to convulse in pain, a chestburster ripping out of him as well. In a later scene, the remaining facehuggers are shown crawling their way down into the sewers beneath Gunnison, while down in the sewers, Harry (who the deputy apparently forgot to take in) is sitting around, having a drink, with another homeless man sleeping across from him, when Butch gets up and starts barking fiercely at the tunnel that runs perpendicular to theirs. Butch then runs down the tunnel the other way, while Harry's friend gets up and looks out into the tunnel to see what the dog was barking at. Not seeing anything in either direction, he then looks down into the water, when a facehugger shoots out at him and he falls to the floor, struggling with it. Before Harry can react, another one quickly crawls across the floor and jumps at him, but he manages to grab it before it can completely attach. Struggling with it, he sees a full-grown Alien come around the corner in front of him and his shock at its looking at him and hissing distracts him enough to where the facehugger is able to overpower and latch onto his face. A homeless woman then walks into the place, calling for Harry and saying that he'd better have left some booze for her, when she finds them with the facehuggers attached. Freaked out at this sight, she's then doubly frightened when the adult Alien from before reappears, stomping towards her in a menacing manner and backing her against the wall. Just as it's about to kill her, the PredAlien appears and smacks the Alien aside so she can have the woman for herself, grabbing her and attacking her in some as yet unexplained method.

That night, Wolf arrives, his pod landing in a bog in the woods. Walking to shore, with his cloak deactivating as a result of the water, he uses his helmet to pinpoint the location of the crashed ship and, once he does, he rushes to it, switching vision modes in order to find a way in. He jumps inside, inspecting the damage, and finds the dead Predator's body on the floor. Removing his mask, he uses the playback within the visor to see what happened, seeing the image of the PredAlien and scanning it. Putting his own helmet back on, he takes out a kit and uses a syringe to suck up some fluid inside one of the damaged stasis tubes. Injecting it into his gauntlet, he's then able to see the trail left behind by the facehuggers, which leads outside of the ship. Taking his dead comrade's weapons and a vial of blue liquid, he then removes his self-destruct device, arms it, and sets it inside the ship, quickly running outside and away from the craft before it explodes. Elsewhere, Dallas and Ricky Howard go down into the sewers in order to find the keys to his truck, which got thrown down a storm drain by Dale and his thugs earlier. While walking down there, searching, they notice some rats running past them, but what they don't notice are the cocooned bodies of the homeless people who become the Aliens' victims earlier. When they come to the right spot, Ricky sticks his hand down into the water, feeling around for his keys, when he hears something in the dark across from him. Shining his flashlight, he gets a brief glimpse of a chestburster, which causes him to bolt up and drop his light down into the water. Dallas, who didn't see it, tries to assure him it was just a rat, catching a glimpse of the creature's tail as it slips away. Ricky then checks the drain, while Dallas fishes out a massive section of molted Alien skin in the water. Rick finds his keys, when the two of them hear snarling back the way they came. Not wanting to go back that way, they climb out through the drain. Back in the woods, Wolf watches a search party for Buddy and Sam being led by Sheriff Morales and Darcy Benson, and once they've passed, he drops down from a tree and uncloaks himself. He's found Buddy and Sam's bodies, as well as the remains of the facehuggers, and after a quick cut back to the search party as they wrap up for the night, with Morales telling Deputy Ray to keep in touch as he continues searching, we see Wolf inspecting the holes in the bodies. He takes out the vial of blue liquid and uses it to completely disintegrate the corpses. Unbeknownst to him, Ray has come across him at work from behind, ducking behind a tree while he watches him dissolve a facehugger. Suddenly, Ray's radio goes off, catching Wolf's attention. Spotting him, Wolf engages his wrist-blades and his cloak, as Ray runs off into the woods. But, he doesn't get very far before Wolf cuts him off and stabs completely through him, before dropping his body to the ground.

The next morning, upon learning from his wife that Ray never came home, Morales and another deputy go out into the woods looking for him and they find his entrails and uniform on the ground, beneath the spot where his skinned body is hanging from a tree. The next scene at the coroner's, he's dumbfounded by the grisly discovery and tells Morales that he's in over his head. Later that afternoon, the facehuggers' trail leads Wolf down into the sewers, which he enters and, after uncloaking himself, he cautiously follows the trail along the walkway while wading through the water. The trail eventually leads him to the intersection with the cocooned bodies of the homeless people and he uses the liquid to completely dissolve everything. By the time night falls, Wolf begins setting traps using the laser mines, planting them at strategic points using the diagram of the sewers he's now created within his helmet, all the while being watched from the darkness by the Aliens. Once he's planted three mines, he hunkers down to check that he's hit all of the key points and then jumps down into a shallow pool, letting out a howl to attract the Aliens. Instantly, several come at him from other side and he activates the mines, which deploy their laser grids, trapping them. One Alien jumps at him from his left and Wolf locks onto it and blasts it, sending it flying through the lasers, which slice it to bits. Turning to face two on his right, he tries to blast them but misses, as one quickly runs across the ceiling and, stopping above him, tries to get him with its tail, but he pulls it down into the water. Pinning it with his foot and blasting at it as it struggles, Wolf is also able to catch the other in mid-air as it jumps at him, throwing it over his shoulder and into the wall, after which it drops into the water. Another Alien runs across the wall behind him and as he turns around, the one at his feet rises up and they both tackle him down into the water. Wolf, however, effortlessly rises up out of the water, grabbing both Aliens by the neck and holding them up. He prepares to blow their heads off with his shoulder cannon, when the PredAlien suddenly appears behind him and whips him with her tail, sending him flying and crashing through the wall across from him. The Aliens quickly crawl through some torn grating and escape up into the streets through a manhole while, as Wolf watches, the PredAlien easily smashes up through the ceiling. Wolf quickly activates a special glove built into his gauntlet and smashes his way through as well. Looking back and forth, he gets a glimpse of the escaping Aliens to his right and quickly cloaks himself in order to give chase.

At the diner where she works, Carrie, Deputy Ray's concerned wife, is about to leave for home, saying goodnight to the chef in the kitchen, when she suddenly hears him grunt, along with the sound of utensils hitting the floor. Walking back to see what happened, she sees the PredAlien feasting on his body, when an Alien comes through the swinging doors behind her. Backing her up and forcing her down to the floor, it comes in close and appears to sniff her. It then alerts the PredAlien, which walks up to her menacingly and looks down at her stomach before striking, as the film quickly cuts to black. Wolf, meanwhile, tracks the other Alien to the town's power station, firing at one of them from a nearby ridge but missing. Growling in frustration, he heads down to the site, while at the same time, a loan worker there tries to figure out what happened. He walks down a walkway, checking the sides with a small flashlight, unaware that he's being stalked by the Alien until it jumps down behind him. He turns around and it rises up with a horrific howl, grabbing his head, lifting him up, and putting its tongue right through his hardhat and into his head. Seconds later, Wolf jumps up the side of the structure and finds the worker's body before continuing to follow the trail. Another technician tries to get in touch with his co-worker, walking up the stairs to find his body, and when he sees Wolf's silhouette on the walkway above him, he panics and runs for it. All the while, Ricky meets up with Jesse at the school swimming pool and begin to make out, when her ex-boyfriend Dale and his two friends show up to ruin everything. Dale insults Jesse, telling Ricky, "I taught this little slut everything she knows," and he quickly charges him, with all four of them ending up in the pool. As Dale comes close to drowning Ricky, back at the power plant, Wolf scans the area and walks along the walkway, unaware that the Alien is crawling along its underside with him. When he tries to scan for it to lock on with his cannon, it crawls up the side of the walkway and swings its tail at him, causing Wolf to fall over the edge when he dodges it. He lands on a piece of sparking machinery, his right leg getting impaled straight through, but he ignores the injury and sits up, scanning for the Alien. When he finds it, he fires repeatedly, missing his target but damaging the plant to the point where it completely shorts out, as he roars in frustration.

At the pool, the fighting slowly stops when the dimmed lights go out completely, as all of Gunnison is plunged into darkness. The guys sit in the water, wondering what happened, when a shadow moves along the ceiling, accompanied by a low hiss, and they see a figure drop down into the pool at the other end. Jesse, able to just make out the Alien's silhouette as it swims right beneath the surface towards them, yells for them to get out of the water, and the four guys quickly swim for the edge. One of Dale's friends is grabbed from behind and pulled beneath the water as the Alien rips into him, filling it with blood. The four remaining teenagers then frantically run down a hallway, only to come to a door that's locked by a chain. They then run through a locker room to their right and find a window in the back. Dale, Jesse, and Ricky manage to climb through, falling on top of a closed dumpster right outside, but when Dale's other friend tries to do the same, he gets grabbed halfway. Ricky tries to help him but is unable to fight the Alien's strength as it pulls him back through the window, slamming it shut and coating the inside of it with blood as it finishes him off. The remaining three then run for it. At the O'Brien household, little Molly is playing around with the night-vision goggles Kelly brought for her from her stint in the military, looking out her bedroom window with them, when she sees an Alien rise up from the brushes and snarl. She screams in terror at this and runs to the side of her bed, yelling for her dad. Tim and Kelly come rushing in with a flashlight and Molly tells them that she saw a monster outside of her window. Tim, unsurprisingly, writes it off as her imagination and places her on the bed, while Kelly tells her of bad dreams she had when she was a little kid. Molly, however, insists that what she saw was real and Tim, to prove a point, walks up to the window and looks out with his flashlight, saying, "See? No monster." But he's proven wrong in the worst way possible when the Alien rises up right outside and, with a hiss, smashes through the glass and jumps on him. Before they can do anything to help, the Alien begins ripping him up on the floor and he yells at them to run, which they do. Kelly grabs Molly and they rush out of the room and out the front door, into the streets. Back at the school, the other Alien drags the body of Dale's friend to the pool and begins feeding on it, when Wolf suddenly uncloaks himself and spears it right through the back of the head and out its mouth. Pulling his spear back out, he shoves the Alien into the pool, throws the human corpse in there with it, and fills the water with the dissolving liquid, causing it to steam up.

At the power plant, firefighters are trying to get the blaze caused by the explosion under control, with Sheriff Morales ordering them to shut down the reactor and also orders an evacuation of Gunnison, as well as asks for the National Guard to be called. Ricky, Dale, and Jesse then show up, with Ricky frantically trying to explain to Morales and Dallas, who's also there, about what happened to them, as well as the deaths of Dale's two friends. In the next scene, Morales and Dallas enter the pool area to investigate, finding that the water has completely evaporated and some blood over at the other end. Investigating the locker room, they find the trail of blood left behind from the body being dragged by the Alien and that the lockers themselves are splattered, some with bloody claw marks. Dallas tells Morales to call in help and when they get back out to his van, he tries to call in backup but gets no response from dispatch, prompting them to decide to just drive away. At the diner, Darcy Benson arrives to check on Carrie, only to walk into the kitchen in the back and see the grisly sight of several chestbursters clawing out of her body, sending her running in horror out the door. As emergency sirens begin echoing through the nearby town, Wolf sits up in a tree, having bled all over its trunk from the injury he received at the power station, and heals himself with medical kit, howling in pain from the less than pleasant procedure. A rainstorm begins to pour down over the town, as Morales and Dallas drives the others to the police station for safety, the sheriff desperately trying to get in touch with someone on his cellphone, when he almost hits Darcy crossing the street. Morales, Dallas, and Ricky get out of the van to see if she's okay, as she hysterically babbles about what happened to Carrie. Morales has Ricky put her in the van, when Dallas tells him that they need to arm themselves and that the National Guard isn't going to be there soon enough for his satisfaction. In the next scene, Morales is reluctantly allowing to Dallas to break into a sporting goods store for guns and after he breaks the lock, and Morales checks to make sure it's safe, they all head inside. Jesse, whose family apparently owns the store, leads them into the back where the guns are and they start grabbing what they can and loading them. Morales also finds a portable radio and begins trying to get it running.

Troops from the National Guard roll into the edge of town, finding a number of cars parked in the street, one of which is flipped over and burning on its underside. Parking their vehicles, they move out, equipped with night-vision head-cams and goggles, along with their rifles. At the sporting goods store, Morales gets the radio working and is able to contact Lt. Woods, the commanding officer of the troops, who tells him that they've arrived at Main Street. Just as Morales warns the lieutenant of the ever-worsening situation, one of the soldiers walking down the street is grabbed from behind and the men in front only realize what happened when his rifle clatters on the road and they hear him yell. They try to get in touch with the soldier, Woods telling Morales to hold on for a minute, as the Aliens continue stalking the unwary troops. One soldier walks over to one of the cars and looks through one of the back windows to see blood splattered on the inside, when an Alien rises up behind him and puts its tongue right through his head and the glass when he turns around to face it. Over the radio at the store, Morales and the others hear the soldiers yelling and firing their weapons, as well as the Aliens screeching, with one of the men yelling, "It's a fucking ambush!" As Lt. Woods tries to find out what's going on, his men managed to gun down some Aliens but that doesn't stop others from getting grabbed, pulled down, and slaughtered. The troops attempt to fall back, while Woods looks up through the hatch in the roof of his command vehicle, only for an Alien to appear behind him and kill him the minute he sees it. The radio signal goes dead in the sporting goods store and everyone realizes that the troops have all been killed. Suddenly, there's a noise behind them and they swing around, pointing and cocking their rifles, but they then see that it's just two employees who've been hiding in the store the whole time. When Morales tells them that they're under attack, they mistakenly think he means a terrorist attack, prompting him to ask if they're stoned, which they don't confirm or deny; Kelly and Molly then make it to the store and Dallas allows them in.

The local hospital is overflowing with wounded people and pregnant women, with the doctors being forced to treat them outside, under the roofs to shield them from the rain... unbeknownst to them, the PredAlien is watching from some nearby bushes. Inside the dimly lit hospital, a nurse checks on the newborns and then continues on down the hall, when the PredAlien walks up and looks through the window into the room, her growls causing the babies to cry (fortunately, she doesn't do anything, which really got me scared when I first saw it). The nurse then checks on a pregnant woman in her room, telling her that they're going to stay on emergency generator until the power's restored. The woman then says that she thinks her water broke and the nurse leaves the room to find a doctor, only for the PredAlien to grab her by the neck and snap it easily. She enters the pregnant woman's room and approaches her, knocking aside the curtain in front of the bed and leaning her head in right at her. Snarling, she lunges at the woman, shoving a small ovipositor into her mouth and pumping eggs down her throat, as two other female patients watch in horror. Back at the sporting goods store, Dallas checks on Kelly and Molly, telling them they'll be leaving in five minutes, and walks away, only to get grabbed by the cloaked Wolf, dropping his rifle on the floor. Hearing the clatter, Kelly cautiously walks over to the spot, finding the rifle, and then sees Dallas hanging upside from the ceiling by his feet, dazed but otherwise unharmed. He looks up at the nylon rope his feet are tied with and he then sees an Alien crawling down the wall towards him. He yells for Kelly to throw him the gun, which she quickly does, and he shoots himself loose, hitting the floor with a hard thud. The others hear this and run to the back, while the Alien drops down from the ceiling and closes in on Dallas, who lost his gun when he fell. However, as they watch, Wolf slices its head off from behind before uncloaking himself and brandishing his whip. Kelly warns the others when they come running that it's a trap but Wolf sees all of them, while the dumbfounded Sheriff Morales goes, "What the fuck?!" Dallas tells everyone to run and they do, except for the two employees, who come at Wolf from the left and point their guns at him, but are unable to get a shot off before he locks on and blasts their heads into bloody pulps with his shoulder cannon. Everyone heads for the back door, while Dale panics, grabs a set of keys for the van, and runs for the front door, only to stop when he sees Wolf and get grabbed from behind by another Alien. It shoves him down to the floor and prepares to kill him, when Wolf locks onto it and blasts it, splattering its acid blood all over him and dissolving his face in the process. Outside, the group runs off into the rain, while back inside, a third Alien jumps Wolf from the ceiling and he sends it smashing through a glass display case in retaliation. He quickly blasts it but turns to see one standing nearby and another rise up from it. They both charge him at the same time and send him through the window, out into the street.

At the hospital, a doctor is at his station, working, when the monitors behind him flatline on the pregnant women. Telling someone else in the hall to check the other rooms, he runs to the pregnant women's room, to find them webbed up, with one dead from a ripped open stomach and two others with their stomachs bubbling from within. One of the women, wincing and moaning in pain, tries to say something but she's cut off when a mass of baby Aliens rips out of her stomach. A large shadow passes over the curtain to the doctor's right, accompanied by some growling, and he turns to come face-to-face with the PredAlien, which stabs him in the face with her tongue. Out in the streets, the group comes across the sight of the National Guard's battle with the Aliens, with no sign of the bodies; regardless, Kelly says that there might be some equipment in the command vehicle that they can use and head inside to begin loading up. Morales asks for the radio and when Kelly hands it to him, he uses it to try to contact any National Guard unit he can. He gets in touch with Col. Stevens of the U.S. Army and tells him of the situation and that they need immediate evac. Stevens, seeing how bad the situation is on a digital map on a monitor, hesitates before finally telling him that there will be an airlift in Gilliam's Circle within the next thirty minutes. Despite Kelly mentioning that Gilliam's Circle is right in the center of town, Morales insists that they'll head that way, while in his control room, Stevens looks at an image of an Alien from the command vehicle's camera and asks aloud, "What the fuck are you?" Kelly tells everyone to get in and that she'll drive, while Dallas volunteers to man the mounted gun on its roof. After loading up, they head off down the street, with Kelly plowing some wrecked cars out of her way as she goes. Atop the sporting goods store back in town, Wolf climbs up top and sees that his shoulder cannon has been damaged. Thinking on his feet, he uses some equipment in his backpack to modify it into a pistol-like hand weapon, which he then tests out. Once he sees it works, he sees Aliens overrunning the hospital and heads that way.

On their way to Gilliam's Circle, Kelly suddenly stops the vehicle in the middle of the street and tells the others that she thinks that Stevens was lying to them about the incoming air evac. She explains that the army thinks about containment above everything else and they can't risk the situation getting any worse, but Morales doesn't believe it, insisting that he'll drive if she won't; Dallas, however, is willing to consider it. Darcy mentions that there are two helicopters in town that they could use, one at the airport, which is too far, and the other at the hospital, which Morales feels the people there probably used to get out. This starts an argument between him and Kelly, who says they have to take that chance and when he says, "If you're wrong and the helicopter's gone, we're all dead," she responds, "If I'm right, they're dead if they follow you." As they sit, trying to decide what to do, a truck carrying some townspeople pulls up beside them. Morales gets out and when the driver tells them they're heading for the airlift, he tells him to follow them; Dallas then tells the others that they have to choose which group they're going to go with. He tells Morales that they're going to the hospital in the tank, while the sheriff insists they all need to go to the center of town. Ricky decides to go with Dallas and Kelly, as does Jesse, and Drew, Ricky's jerky supervisor at the pizza parlor who's in the back of the truck, gets out to go in the tank. Morales insists that Kelly's wrong and they'll die if they go to the hospital but, as Darcy climbs out to get in the truck, it's clear his mind is made up and Morales tells the truck-driver that they're coming with him. Dallas gives him a walky-talky so they can keep in touch and, after saying, "I hope we're both wrong," he hops in the back of the truck, while Dallas joins the others in the tank and both groups go their separate ways. On the way to the hospital, Drew laments about how he did nothing to help the people he was with, and as they come up on it, Dallas gives them body armor to wear. The tank stops and everyone disembarks, seeing that something bad has happened from all of the abandoned vehicles and the overturned wheelchairs. Dallas tells them that they have to protect Kelly, telling Drew to shut up when he protests, saying that only she can fly the helicopter. They all then head inside.

In the hospital, they break into a room and cautiously move through it, Dallas using the night-vision scope on his rifle to see in the dark. Turning on the lights, the room is revealed to be a morgue full of dead bodies; they head through the double-doors, into the hallway. On the roof, Wolf arrives, and after scanning the area, he smashes through the automatic doors, ready for action. Back down in the hospital, they make their way up the dark stairwell leading to the roof, coming across the material of an Alien hive further up, and it doesn't take them long to realize what it means. At the same time, Wolf walks through a hallway up near the roof and enters a room, finding the bodies of the women who were used as hosts for the Aliens. The group continues up the stairs, ready with their weapons to fire on anything they see, when Drew, who's bringing up the rear, is jumped from behind by an Alien, which throws him to the floor and rips into him. Kelly and the others take aim at the monster and shoot it, forcing it back into the wall of the hive. Jesse panics and runs through a door, with Ricky chasing after her. Everyone else follows suit. Meanwhile, the PredAlien drops behind Wolf and whacks him with her tail, sending him crashing into the wall of the hive. Sitting up, Wolf switches vision modes so he can see her, as she stomps toward him. He activates his wrist-blades and swipes at her mid-section, sending her moving cautiously backwards after dodging the attack. Wolf gets to his feet as an Alien walks into the room to protect its mother. He easily stabs it right through the torso and slams it up against the wall behind him. Another Alien comes at him from behind and Wolf whips out his makeshift handgun and blasts it, sending it back into the room. He then swings the impaled Alien around and finishes it off with a blast as well. Suddenly, a third Alien jumps him from behind, causing him to drop his weapon and send it sliding across the floor. Wolf, in a moment I love, flips it over his shoulder to the floor, punches it in the gut, and sticks the vial of dissolving liquid right in its mouth as it futilely swings its tail at him before disintegrating. He swings around to see two more Aliens coming at him along the walls and he quickly whips out twin shurikens and throws them, slicing both of their heads off at the same time. However, the weapons fly through the air and accidentally impale Jesse up against the wall as she runs by in a panic. Ricky is shocked at this horrific sight and he then sees Wolf grab an Alien that charges him from the side and throw it into the hallway behind him. Enraged, Ricky charges at Wolf, firing his assault rifle at him, but all it does is make him turn around to face him. Before he can retaliate, the Alien he tossed gets back and charges again, shoving him through the elevator doors behind and sending them both tumbling down the shaft. Ricky runs after them and fires more down into the shaft, finally stopping when he runs out of bullets and throws his rifle to the floor. Dallas catches up to him as he turns around and, noticing it on the floor, picks up Wolf's weapon. Then, without warning, the PredAlien impales him straight the shoulder with her tail, but Dallas and Kelly fire on her, forcing her to drop Ricky and retreat. Dallas and shoots at her some more as she runs off down a nearby hallway, while Kelly rushes to Ricky's aid. Dallas comes back and they both help him, Kelly looking at his wound, when they hear the PredAlien's roar echo through the building. They get Ricky to his feet and run for it down the hallway, Kelly firing at more Aliens that appear back the way they came.

The truck full of townspeople arrives at Gilliam's Circle, now a blockade of cars and trucks as the townspeople and remaining police officers use their guns to ward off the unrelenting Aliens. Jumping out of the truck, Morales meets up with one of his deputies, Joe, who tells him that everybody there are the only ones left. Morales assures him that the airlift is on its way and he joins them in helping to fight the monsters off. Meanwhile, the other team, with Kelly leading the way, Dallas helping the injured Ricky in the back, and Molly between them, makes it to the hospital roof. They climb over various obstacles to get to the helicopter, which is in sight, but as they run through an open tunnel walkway, an Alien climbs down just up ahead and they see that there are more around them. Kelly fires on the one ahead of them and another behind them, while Dallas tries to figure out how to use the Predator weapon. After some frustration, it loads enough to where he's able to blast a hole through the mesh on the walkway's right and they quickly climb through, Dallas helping Molly, while her mother continues covering them with her assault rifle. A jet, monitored by Col. Stevens, is shown to be approaching, while back at Gilliam's Circle, as the standoff continues, Morales calls him again to ask about the current status of the evac. Seeing that the jet will be there shortly, Stevens tells him that it's only ten miles away and that they should hold their position; Morales says that they will, while Stevens grimly says to himself, "God helps us all." On the hospital roof, Dallas tells the others to get to the helicopter, that he'll buy them some time. The others reluctantly leave him, as he yells at the Aliens, blasting them with the Predator weapon. Kelly leads Molly and Ricky to the helicopter, Dallas at one point having to blast an Alien that threatens them before he turns around and fires at another one, which he just barely misses. Another rises up nearby and he manages to score a hit, sending it tumbling backwards. Making it to the small stairwell leading to the chopper, Kelly shoots down another Alien and then covers Molly and Ricky as they head for the craft, while Dallas takes aim at another, only to realize the weapon hasn't recharged enough yet. Hunkering down up against the wall, he yells to get the Aliens' attention as he waits for the weapon to recharge, while the others make it to and get inside the chopper. Kelly gets in the pilot's seat and powers the chopper up, while Dallas, still waiting for the weapon to finish charging, looks up to see a snarling Alien looking down at him from above. Yelling, "Fuck you!" once the weapon's recharged, he blows its head off, sending the front of it flying up into the air. He then sees another running straight toward him, but just when it's almost on top of him, the ground explodes between them, sending them flying in opposite directions. With a roar, Wolf climbs out of the hole and watches as Dallas runs for it, then turns around to see the Alien crawling for cover. Getting out his whip, he prepares for the fight, and when another Alien attempts to jump him from behind, he swings around, lassoes it, and pulls, slicing it completely in half. He then walks over to the still living top half and crushes its head with his foot. Hearing a familiar growl, he just barely manages to duck to avoid the PredAlien's tail and he attempts to get her with his whip, managing to lasso her tail only for her to rip it back and jerk the whip out of his hand.

At the chopper, they're sitting there, waiting for Dallas, who Ricky insists will make it, when an Alien jumps up on the windshield. Kelly shoots right through the glass, sending the Alien tumbling back, but when it's still not dead and crawls towards the open door, Ricky fires at it with his handgun. This does nothing to slow it down, until a blast from the Predator weapon from offscreen knocks it aside and Dallas comes running in, Ricky finishing the Alien off with more shots from his handgun. Dallas closes the door and tells Kelly to lift off, which she does. Wolf, meanwhile, deploys his spear to battle the PredAlien, lunging at her and managing to get her in the torso but she smacks him away, causing him to pull it out. She knocks it out of his hand when he tries again and then rams him into the wall behind him. She comes in to attack but he manages to defend her off with some punches and roll away, only for him to lose sight of her when he gets back up. Searching for her, she suddenly blindsides him, smacking him to the ground with her tail. His gauntlet is now damaged but Wolf, refusing to give up, rips off loose pieces of his armor and, removing his helmet, dropping it to the ground, roars an angry challenge at the PredAlien. She growls back as he charges her, which she returns and they both grab each other in the middle, the PredAlien forcing him back into some pipes and knocking him to the side. Before he can get up, she grabs him and slams him against some exhaust tubing before stabbing him in the shoulder with her tongue. Wolf grabs her head from behind and bashes it into the tubing but she turns back around and slams his back against it and holds him there. While the chopper flies off to safety, with the fighter jet whizzing by it at top speed, the PredAlien stabs at Wolf with her tongue, trying to finish him off, when he grabs it and rips it out of her mouth. Screaming and gushing acid blood out, she turns to face Wolf as he snarls and then activates his wrist-blades and shoves them straight up through her head; immediately after, though, she manages to swing her tail around and impale him completely through the back. The two mortally wounded monsters roar at each other, as the sound of the jet is heard by everyone at Gilliam's Circle. Everyone watches as the jet drops a bomb that hurtles through the air, straight towards them, Morales and Darcy both realizing what's happening before it hits, sending out a shockwave that completely engulfs the town, including Wolf and the PredAlien. The blast is bright enough to nearly blind Kelly and everyone in the chopper, as she attempts to outrun the shockwave that travels through the countryside.

After a sudden fade to black, Dallas awakens on the ground outside of the crashed chopper, seeing that everyone's okay, with Ricky lying on the ground too but still alive. Suddenly, they hear some rustling in the nearby brush and Dallas and Kelly get to their feet and pull out their weapons, hearing the sounds all around them. But, it turns out to be a bunch of heavily armed commandoes who tell them to drop their weapons. As they move in, Dallas says that they killed the entire town, with the one saying they were just following orders and again tells them to put down their weapons. Kelly does so and Dallas, after a bit, does the same, handing the Predator over to the commando and telling him that they need a medic for Ricky. He's told that a medivac is on its way and the commandoes begin securing a perimeter, while Dallas sits down beside Ricky and Kelly comforts Molly, assuring her that the monsters are gone. The film ends with Col. Stevens bringing a briefcase to the woman who's revealed as Ms. Yutani, opening it up to reveal the Predator weapon taken from Dallas. Ms. Yutani says, "The world isn't ready for this technology," to which Stevens replies, "But this isn't for our world, is it, Ms. Yutani?", before closing the case, ending the movie.

I have very little to say about Brian Tyler's score for the movie which, as is often the case with him, is very generic and unmemorable. Harald Kloser's score for the first AVP was hardly great either but I could pick out bits and pieces from it that I remembered; here, the only parts of it I remember are the reuse and re-orchestration of pieces from the first two Predator movies, such as when they find Deputy Ray's skinned body and the use of the ominous jungle drums here and there, as well as what sounds like a really crappy cover of the famous "Bishop's Countdown" piece from Aliens when Kelly is trying to outrun the shockwave of the blast. (I read that Bates also referenced John Frizzel's score from Alien: Resurrection in a few spots; all I can say to that is I either must be deaf or it was so unrecognizable I didn't catch it.) Otherwise, nothing about this score sticks out, as it's nothing more than generic horror and action music, with the theme that plays over the ending credits, called "Requiem," being a cacophonic mess of unmemorable material. It's easily the worst score for either series, in my opinion.

Since the R-rated version is already pretty violent and gory, the unrated version doesn't offer much else in terms of splatter, save for some new, brief shots here and there; rather, as in the alternate version of the previous film, there are scenes and moments that flesh out the characters and the story better (not being that familiar with both versions of this film, and because certain parts of the movie are rearranged in both, I know I talked about scenes that are only in the unrated version before now, especially in that action scene breakdown, so I apologize for that). Monster and violence-wise, we have a scene of the PredAlien shedding her skin early on after she's ripped out of Scar's body; Wolf only seeing that the ship crashed on Earth when he receives the distress signal on the Predator planet and getting his first glimpse of the PredAlien when he watches the playback in the dead Predator's helmet when he arrives, which I touched on earlier; Wolf removing his helmet while onboard the crashed ship (this is where the look of his face becomes a bit dodgy in certain shots); the moment where one of the power plant workers goes looking for his colleague and gets a glimpse of the cloaked Wolf; the swimming pool filling with blood when the Alien kills one of the teens in it; Darcy finding Carrie's stomach bursting with chestbursters while it's simply ripped open in the R-rated version; a scene where Kelly and Molly hide in the cemetery with a dickhead of a man who constantly tells Kelly to shut Molly up, going so far as to threaten them, only to attract Wolf's attention and get his head blown off; Wolf watching Kelly and Molly run off after that; the shot of the soldier's head hitting the car window when the Alien attacks him; the shots of the PredAlien strangling the nurse; Jesse's lower body detaches after she's pinned against the wall by Wolf's shuriken; and additional Alien and gunfire shots during the climax on the hospital roof. On the side of story and character development, as I said earlier, there's a shot at the beginning that clarifies that it was a smaller Predator ship that detached from the main one and headed back to Earth; the moment between Sheriff Morales and Dallas where he's asked if he regrets what he did to get put in prison and he says he isn't; a moment between Kelly and Tim in their living room where they talk about Molly's attitude towards her; Darcy Benson showing up to join the search for her husband and son, making it clear to Morales that she's not going to go home and just wait; an additional bit in the restaurant with a news report about Buddy and Sam Benson's disappearance on the TV and showing that the O'Brien family is there as well; a small moment at the bar where Morales mentions that he hasn't yet told Carrie about finding her husband's skinned corpse; Dallas riding with Morales when he gets the call about the situation at the power plant; and during the moment in the cemetery, Molly asks Kelly why she left Tim behind. Interesting stuff but, in the end, it doesn't change the fact that this is not a good movie in the slightest.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was, indeed, a chance to redeem this concept in the movie-world after the disappointing first attempt but in the end, all it did was drag it down further. While it does have the added benefit of a hard R-rating, good creature effects, for the most part, and more badass portrayal of the Predator as opposed to the lackluster ones in the previous movie, it makes many of the same mistakes as its predecessor, such as bland, uninteresting characters, an uninspired story, and a setting that's not used to its full potential, as well as some new ones all its own. The cinematography is so damn dark and the editing so chaotic that it's often hard to tell what's going on unless you turn up the brightness on your TV, the inexperience of the directors is very evident, the CGI, as little as there is, tends to look really bad, the music score is forgettable, save for the uses of past material, and the movie, ultimately, isn't as entertaining as it should be, even on a low-rent, B-move level. But I think what really sucks about both it and the first AVP is that these movies are what the Aliens vs. Predator idea is to the general public who aren't into comic books or video games, which is a shame because it is and could've been so much more. In the end, all I can say is that if you want to see this, you'd best lower your expectations and be prepared to often strain to figure out what you're looking at.

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