Eschewing the millionaires, scientists and soldiers that have populated previous installments in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator series, Aliens vs. Predator-Requiem crash-lands the extraterrestrial species in small-town America, where the local sheriff, an ex-con, his little brother and an Iraq War veteran find themselves in the middle of an ancient alien feud.
Like in the previous Alien vs. Predator film, the Predator—with its more humanoid form, technology and the fact that it’s more interested in exterminating Aliens than incubating its offspring in human bodies—is the more sympathetic antagonist (even when compared to the U.S. government). Still, in this script, with the population of an entire town at its disposal, homo sapiens are expendable fodder.
With much of the action taking place at night and in the rain, it’s already difficult enough to tell what’s going on without the tight frames and quick cuts of the battle scenes. Rendering it even more confusing is that the Predator, a “cleaner” whose job is to erase any evidence of alien presence from the face of the Earth, is pitted against a Predalien, a Predator/Alien hybrid with the mandible and dreadlock-like tentacles of the host in which it incubated. These similar features make it hard to decipher the action when the two beasts go mano-a-mano in the climactic showdown.
Chronologically, AVP-R takes place after the Predator films and before the Alien movies, with nods to what’s to come for franchise fans—among them, one of the main male characters is named Dallas after the captain in Alien, and Reiko Aylesworth’s military mom is inspired by Sigourney Weaver’s signature performance.
Cast: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade and Kristen Hager
Directors: The Brothers Strause
Screenwriter: Shane Salerno
Producers: John Davis, David Giler and Walter Hill
Genre: Science-fiction horror
Rating: R for violence, gore and language
Running time: 93 min.
Release date: December 25, 2007