I’d like to say that the first AVP film I have no love for. There were some interesting sequences but the film overall was very flat. Although I had high expectations for the film the end result did not live up to those expectations even though it is a decent enough first stab at bringing two iconic cinema icons to the big screen in the same film.
With the sequel AVP: REQUIEM I wasn’t expecting much else. The new film begins directly after the previous film with the hatching of the Alien/Predator Hybrid which then grows to adulthood (in like three hours!) and then causes the Predator ship to crash land back on Earth (although logically there is no reason for the Predator ship to have remained in orbit for so long following the events from the previous film). The ship crashes in some Pacific Northwest town liberating all the alien facehuggers (where they came from is anyone’s guess considering the pyramid from the previous film was completely destroyed) that they attack a hunter and his son, thus becoming the first of many victims in the film. Of course, the Hybrid escapes but not before the last dying Predator can send off a distress signal to the Predator home planet that sends a “Cleaner” Predator to clean up the mess.
As is common in all the Alien films the aliens quickly begin descending upon the town impregnating or killing everyone they encounter but the Hybrid has a different agenda and due to its different physiology it can procreate in a different way thus birthing more aliens for the small town to contend with. In the small town, we have a plethora of potential victims from the do-good sheriff, to a recently released felon, to a mother who has been fighting the war in Iraq that’s distanced her from her daughter for too long. There are more people that make up this potentially interesting ensemble cast but very little time is put on these people like the action between the “Cleaner” Predator and his hunt for the Hybrid and its brethren become more interesting.
There’s also a subplot that has to do with the military trying to contain the outbreak/infestation of Aliens but this also is just a paltry plot point without much punch. Although this film lacks the interesting characters of the first two ALIEN films and the first PREDATOR film it does make up for in the truly breathtaking action sequences between the “Cleaner” Predator and his prey. Unlike the Newborn Alien of ALIEN: RESURRECTION, the Hybrid of this film is a well-designed edition to either series and some of the additions to its physiology give us an outlook on features of the Predators never before glimpsed in any of the previous films. In this film, the Predator takes center stage as the Warrior Aliens become nothing more than cannon fodder.
Directors Greg and Colin Strause bring back the visual flare directors John McTiernan (PREDATOR) and James Cameron (ALIENS) brought to their respective films but Shane Salerno’s script lacks the pathos of those films. Instead of trying to create a great film on all levels they choose to allow the action sequences to be the sum of the whole. Director of photography Daniel Pearl brings a great look to the film from the wide-open forests of the Pacific Northwest to the dingy alien-infested sewers to the small-town Main Streets that become a war zone. Unlike the previous film which looked like one big special visual effect this film gets down and dirty like an Alien or Predator film should and at least that’s one thing better than what the first film accomplished.