Like watching a movie with your eyes closed
Dave. K | Staten Island, Ny | 04/21/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When AVP went into production fans of both the Alien and Predator movies were very excited, but a little hope was lost when it was announced Paul WS Anderson was the writer/director; but what really got fans going crazy was when the rating was PG-13. While one cannot deny there were flaws with AVP it had more to do with the writing than anything else. Anderson's scripts often feel like an early draft rather than final shooting script. All the Alien and Predator movies were R-rated and no doubt AVP should have as well, but when all was said and done the PG-13 rating isn't what hurt AVP. Yes it could have used more gore and action, but the problems again were with the writing.
With AVP-R announced without Paul Anderson being involved and the movie being made with an R-Rating fans were once again excited. And to be totally honest after watching AVP-R I think I'd much rather have Paul Anderson involved. AVP-R was a rather poor movie, while there was potential without Anderson I really think we would have been better off with him.
The biggest problem with AVP-R is the lighting. Daniel Pearl was the DP and from what I have seen from him I have liked. He did the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre so right there he gets my respect, but the lighting here was terrible. There was more gore than AVP, but we can't see it! I don't know if Daniel Pearl was to blame or if it was Colin & Greg Strause who are the directors are too blame. Since Pearl is the DP I have to blame him. Watching this movie at times is sort of like watching a movie with your eyes closed. That was the biggest problem here, but not the only problem.
The screenplay by Shane Salerno was terrible. There were far too many characters to keep track of and all were so poorly written and lack any depth at all. AVP-R is the type of movie that when all is said and done you'll be hard pressed to remember the names of any of the characters. The script was really poor. It's like Shane Salerno didn't even bother to try. We have the fan base for the Alien and Predator movies and well they'll see anything we spit out. Once again Hollywood treats us like idiots.
Directors Colin & Greg Strause fail at brining any suspense and tension and with the terrible lighting not much of a surprise their scenes lack any of that. The action scenes are decent, but again since we can barley see them they fail at brining any excitement. There were a couple of solid scenes, but not nearly enough to salvage this movie. Had I actually been able to see what was happening maybe AVP-R wouldn't have failed as much as it did; by no means would this be a great movie, but slightly better. The final act is the worst offender; the scenes in the hospital for the climax are so dark that if you have any interest left in the movie by this point you'll probably lose it.
AVP-R proved that the rating of AVP had nothing to do with its failure. Would an R-rating have made AVP better? Odds are yes very slightly better, but no way would it have been great. Like I said earlier the PG-13 rating didn't hurt AVP as much as the writing and this movie proved that. AVP-R was R-rated and wasn't as good as AVP, which was average at best. A lot has changed over the years, back in the 70s and 80s many movies were butchered by the MPAA and if released now most of these titles would clear and R-rating with ease and some would feature minor cuts and not be totally butchered. If AVP was released back in the 80s or mid 90s it would possibly get an R-rating.
Times have changed though and AVP pulled off the PG-13, but it is slightly more extreme than most PG-13 flicks. Paul Anderson is hated by legions of Horror/Sci-Fi fans and while I can't say I like the guys work I don't hate it. I can tolerate him, but barley. And honestly I never thought I would say to myself I wish Paul Anderson did this and while watching AVP-R I found myself wishing Anderson would have done it.
These cross over movies almost always seem to fail. Back in the 40s Universal did it with their monster movies and while some were fun none of them were as good as the monsters on their own. So when it came to AVP I wasn't expecting anything like the movies from either series. Besides being a Vs movie it's also a sequel to both Alien and Predator and honestly with some exceptions as a series goes on they don't get better they might stay enjoyable if lucky. With AVP-R I was simply expecting some mindless fun, and while it was very mindless the makers forgot about the fun part.
For the hardcore fans of the Alien and Predator movies are the only ones who should watch this, but I doubt this movie will live up to your expectations. This one doesn't correct the problems found in AVP it just creates its own and far worse problems. With better lighting AVP-R would have been better, but still not very good either."
Brent Duran | Lenexa, KS USA | 03/25/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin this review by explaining to those who may not know, that there are a series of very well written AVP books. The central figure is a woman named Machiko Noguchi, who works for Weyland-Yutani Corporation. The series starts off on a colony world, and long story short, much like the original AVP movie, Machiko is blooded as a Predator warrior. But where the first AVP movie made an uninspiring choice, in the AVP books, Machiko joins the predators on their hunts across the galaxy, which makes for a gripping story with her internal conflicts between her loyalty to the predators, her hatred of the aliens, and her heritage as a human. They're really well done, and I highly recommend them:
1. Prey (Aliens Vs. Predator, Book 1)
2. Hunter's Planet (Aliens Vs. Predator, Book 2)
3. War (Aliens Vs. Predator, Book 3)
So, given this context, I found the first AVP movie to be by far the most closely aligned with this vision of AVP, although disappointing that it stopped short of carrying through with the theme described in the novels. Not surprisingly, I found the second AVP movie (requiem), to not only be an unfaithful extension of that theme and a complete deviation from previously understood Alien canon, but also an utter mess of a movie in general.
I would rank the Alien movies as follows:
1. Aliens (*****)
2. Alien (*****)
3. AVP 1 (***)
4. Alien 3 (**)
5. Alien Resurrection (**)
6. AVP Requiem (*)
To provide additional insight about my view of this movie, I own all previously released Alien movies, but have no intention of wasting my money on this one. Furthermore, after I'd finished viewing this movie at the theatre, I was actually incensed as I told myself that I'd just lost 101 minutes of my life that I could never get back.
Do yourself a favor - spend some quality time with a friend or family member, go out to a nice restaurant, or read a good book (such as those I've listed above), but DO NOT waste some of your precious time on this Earth watching this stinker."
What the ...!
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 05/20/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There's bad cinema, and there's really bad cinema. And then there's AvP Requiem. I do sympathize with the cast and crew, however, having a budget of only $40 million. With today's high-tech blue screens, CGI and special effects computers, $40 million ain't much. But it should still be possible to make a fair film from that meager amount.
Regardless of budgetary constraints (Pitch Black cost only $23 million to make), one would hope for at least some cool camera shots, great action sequences, and good gadgets. Not so. The filming is dark. Too dark. In fact, it was so dark I couldn't tell who was doing what to whom. "Are they having sex? Or is that blood spurting from someone's eye?"
Next problem: main character. Who was it?! I have no idea. If someone out there in FilmLand knows, please advise. At first I thought it might be Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale), a down-on-his-luck excon trying to find his way after his release from jail. But no, we quickly move away from him and on to ...a mother named Kelly (Reiko Aylesworth, Mr. Brooks) who's just returned from military service and is trying to reconnect with her young daughter Molly (Ariel Gade, Dark Water). But no, we then move on to Dallas' brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis, a pizza delivery boy whose crush on a local hottie has him in hotter water with some local bullies. But no, then we move on (fleetingly) to Colonel Stevens (Robert Joy) who somehow, someway, knows that there's a serious threat to national security in this small town and is prepared to do whatever is necessary to eliminate it. Perhaps the main character was the Predator/Alien hybrid? Or the Predator that comes from Predatoria (my made up name for their homeworld) to kick some serious hybrid booty? Or maybe ...I don't know!
When you have two such major weaknesses in a film (poor lighting and no main character to follow), you've pretty much set yourself up for disaster. Fans of the graphic novels might have fun sitting through it, but for regular ol' scifi buffs, this one's a no-go.
(P.S. There's the possibility of a sequel thanks to the impregnating of a pregnant woman with ...OH WHO CARES! Grrr!)"