dir: The Brothers Strause
[img_assist|nid=112|title=Whoever wins, the audience loses|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=270|height=400]
I know, I know, whenever crossovers are attempted, it’s always faintly magnificent. Freddy Versus Jason, Superman versus Batman, Astronaut versus Caveman: It’s an idea so geeky that it sounds like it should stay where it originated from, being the comic book universe.
And what a rich and complicated universe it truly is. Who else gets to ask those questions of universal importance to the human species: who’d win in a fight between She-Hulk or Bat-Girl? What if Dr Octopus gained possession of Mighty Thor’s hammer, or what if Wolverine’s blades came out of his penis instead of his hands?
You know, the important questions. Well, a comic book by Dark Horse, and a computer game first posed the crucial question: how cool would it be to have the Predators from the Predator films, and the aliens from the Alien films, in the same room at the same time?
It would surely bring in fans of either or both franchises, and double the money, attractiveness and general powerfulness of all concerned with the production, yea verily. And no-one with any sense would doubt it.
Since both franchises started off as fairly brutal exercises in extraterrestrial xenophobia, needless to say, having the two species fighting it out on Earth would seem like the natural way to go. And they did so with the first film to arise, which came up with the heart-warming and completely retarded premise of Predator aliens building an Aztec pyramid in Antarctica where they use the evil Alien aliens as a right of passage test for their trainees.
As idiotic as the premise was, and as stupid as the end result ending up being, there were at least a few cool scenes of Predators killing Aliens, Aliens killing humans, and a human (Sanaa Lathan) and a Predator joining forces to kill the Aliens before they could get out and ravish the Earth.
At the end of the first one, it is revealed that one of the Predators had managed to get violently knocked up by a facehugger, which impregnated him/her/it with its demon seed. Just so we weren’t left wondering, one of those cute little chestbursters bursts out of the relevant chest, covered in green goo, with a mouth more in keeping with the Predator’s looks than the Alien’s evil mandibles. That’s when we knew, no matter how much we wished for the contrary, that there’d have to be a sequel.
This flick, nonsensically titled Requiem, picks up immediately from there. The surviving Alien takes out the remaining Predators and results in their spaceship crashlanding into small-town America, where pizza delivery guys lust after and get the prom queen, and homeless people live comfortably underground like the trolls that they are.
This new Predator-Alien hybrid grows super-quick and starts breeding rapaciously, even to the extent where it discovers all sorts of ways to create new versions of itself that make no sense. Not a lick of sense in this or any other universe.
To whit: since it’s that weird mishmash of Predator and Alien, down to the hooked mouth and dreadlocks, why are its children the ‘classic’ Alien model? Sure, so maybe it, as a species, responds to environmental pressures and adapts according to necessity: how does that encompass a creature breeding in four different ways, including the almost comical method of attacking pregnant mothers, consuming their wombs and then vomiting, I don’t know, alien embryos down their gullets so that multiple little creatures can burst out of some poor woman?
There is a fairly gruesome scene set in a maternity ward which was as nasty as the rest of the flick is stupid, but it at least goes some way towards depicting just how evil EVIL these creatures are.
A Predator comes on over from the home planet and starts chasing down the hundreds of Aliens that have been born and grown to lethal adulthood in hours, and occasionally crosses paths with stupid humans, who seem to catch on pretty quick that they’re dealing with two alien species at the same time.
The humans are less believable than the aliens. The aliens, who never communicate in anything more than grunts and hisses, have more interesting dialogue that all of the humans combined.
The scared sheriff, the guy just out of jail, the pizza delivery guy, the hot girl, the hot girl’s obnoxious boyfriend, the recently returned Iraq veteran desperately trying to save her son, all these clichés acted less convincingly that the Aliens and the Predators, whose actions don’t make any sense either.
At one point we see the Predator going around the town surreptitiously destroying evidence of the Alien’s existence by pouring this glowing blue liquid onto organic matter, destroying dead Aliens and humans alike. It’s a wonderfully handy plot device, and it points towards the Predator having some kind of cover-up agenda.
If that’s the case, then why does he kill and skin one of the cops at the very start, leaving his bloody corpse dangling for all the world to see, without even tapping one of his gargantuan hands against the side of that magical blue canister, at least debating whether he’s going to clean up his own mess or not?
There are at least a million scenes of similar stupidity scattered throughout, but honestly, they didn’t bug me that much. The ending of the film completely makes whatever comes before it redundant, but I can’t say that where it went was a direction I didn’t appreciate for what it was: a shit-stupid action / horror flick where Aliens threaten humanity and the Predator (and thermonuclear explosives) are pretty much our only defence against these ravenous beasts.
So what if most of the action is incomprehensible and practically invisible to the human eye? So what if the deaths of many of the human characters actually made me laugh more than lament their passing? I wasn’t expecting anything different from this mindless franchise that has nothing more going for it than the title: Alien Versus Predator.
Because that’s all it’s got, and there’s never going to be anything intelligent arising from such a premise, and anyone lamenting just how dumb these two flicks have been misses the point entirely. They will only ever be dumb action / horror flicks, because you can’t make filet mignon out of Spam.
And on that level, because seeing those evil Aliens still gives me the willies, and seeing the Predator killing anything amuses me, this flick is about as good as it’s ever likely to get.
And I, usually hating the ending of most movies, thought the ending here was pretty strong. Take that, you stupid humans. Serves you right for believing the government was ever going to look out for you. “Just get to the centre of town,” they say, “and everything will be fine.” Oh, how I laughed.
5 times this flick is more of a requiem for humanity’s intelligence out of 10
“You're too stupid to talk Dale, shut up!” – Alien Versus Predator 2: Requiem.