Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, by Albert W. Vogt III

If memory serves correctly, when I saw the first AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), I do not recall hating it.  To be sure, it is not good.  Yet, the most you can say sometimes about a film that does not stand out in any particular way is that it is serviceable.  As such, I do not think I had any hesitation in going to the theater to see Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).  I am guessing a little here because, like its predecessor, there is nothing that sticks out about this one, either.  I am betting I went to the cinema with a resigned sigh, telling myself, “Why not?  What else do you have going on?”  Oh, and I have seen it once more since then, so now you are unnecessarily, and vaguely, up-to-date on that pointless saga.  I feel that is an apt label for this crossover franchise.

Given everything we have seen from the Predator franchise, including the film directly preceding Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, I would have thought the Predators could detect when someone is pregnant.  Yet, we pick up pretty much where the last one left off, the fallen hunter being left to lay in state aboard their spaceship, all of them blissfully unaware that it is about to give birth to an alien-Predator hybrid.  This happens, and everything goes to pot.  Their ship crash lands back on Earth, and our growing alien boy release a bunch of the alien face huggers into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest where the wreck settles.  They, in turn, begin implanting their deadly seed into the first humans they can latch onto, and the familiar cycle has commenced.  Yet, we cannot have monsters as our stars, so the film hurriedly introduces some people for which we are supposed to care.  There are no main characters, of course, but two humans that are also returning to this nondescript town: ex-convict Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale) and a solider returning home from duty, Kelly O’Brien (Reiko Aylesworth).  While they get settled in to mixed receptions, none of which is particularly important to the story, the events unfolding on Earth reach the Predator home planet in the form of a distress signal.  There is only one Predator, seemingly, who gets it, but he immediately heads for our planet.  His goal, at first and for no apparent reason, is to destroy evidence of the downed ship, its contents, or anything else that would suggest what is happening.  I say “no apparent reason” because none of this is revisited later, and the entire situation goes sideways on the Predator anyway.  For the moment, this also includes killing any police officers that go poking around near it.  This brings Sheriff Eddie Morales (John Ortiz) and his friend Dallas to the scene, the two having been close before Dallas had gone to prison.  They find the fallen cop and realize there is something out of the ordinary going on in their town.  This discovery happens in the sewer where the Predator had been tracking the aliens, and its investigation takes it and the hybrid to the town’s power plant.  In the ensuing battle, the monsters manage to take out electricity to the whole town, which prompts Sheriff Morales to call for the national guard.  The hybrid, though, escapes and makes a discovery while it and its alien kin terrorize the town: it can impregnate fertile women on its own without the need of the classic face huggers.  This gives it the horrifying idea of going to the hospital’s maternity ward because, you know, it knows what that is and where it is located.  Meanwhile, the humans are beginning to gather in the center of town, even though that is where the national guard had congregated only to be slaughtered by aliens.  In any case, it gives all of our so-called main characters a place to meet up, including Dallas and Kelly.  They are of the opinion that they need to get out of town on their own.  However, Sheriff Morales, who is in communication with Colonel Stevens (Robert Joy), has been ordered to have everyone stay centrally located.  Kelly points out the obvious nature of this course of action, that the military plans on containing the situation by blowing up the entire town with a nuclear blast.  Sheriff Morales will not believe it, but Kelly is more interested in protecting her daughter, Molly (Ariel Gade), who is with them.  Their quickest escape route is to take the helicopter at the hospital, though they do not know that it is overrun by the hybrid and its spawn.  It is also there that the Predator is doing battle, and it is still unconcerned about any human deaths it incurs in its crusade against the aliens.  Because it is on the movie poster, it comes down to a alien-on-alien match between the hybrid and the Predator, and it gives our brave band enough of a distraction to, ahem, “get to the chopper!” which is actually said in the film.  Sigh.  Anyway, they take off, and the army destroys the town with a nuclear missile.  Our bedraggled heroes stumble from the helicopter that barely made it out of the blast, hand over the Predator weapon they managed to pick up in their scramble, and we last see Colonel Stevens knowingly take it away, implying he knows what it is.

If you have questions about Aliens vs. Predators: Requiem, I assure you I have no answers.  The entire film comes off as something that was made up as it was filmed.  My Catholic ire was stoked when they show the hybrid assaulting pregnant women.  I realize that it is “just a movie,” as they say, but my pro-life stance is such that even fictional harm to mother and child is difficult to watch.  It is also unnecessary, or, dare I say, “unrealistic.”  That is a seemingly silly comment in the face of a science fiction/horror film.  At the same time, a quick search of my mental database of alien and Predator facts tells me that none of the other films shows either of these space monsters being able to perform such an awful feat.  As such, why is this in the movie?  I try not to be so cynical as to believe that nobody during its production raised an objection to this ability because that would be bald-faced ignorance.  Hence, assuming they knew this was something they had never had before, I ask again, why is it in the movie?  I am not suggesting that those responsible for this train wreck had a specifically anti-Catholic agenda.  I am sure there are other faiths and people in general that would be horrified to see this garbage, and not for the reasons those behind the scenes would want you to believe.  It is just that sometimes I truly do wonder at the thought process behind some of the moments I see on the silver screen, and, as you can guess, they are informed by my Faith.

I am getting a little tired movies like Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem having these open-ended, mostly sad or scary endings.  A far better movie (so much so that I feel I must offer an apology for mentioning it here), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), once broke down two film genres based on the fate of the character.  In a comedy, the protagonist falls in love.  In a tragedy, that person dies.  This film is unclassifiable since the main character is the Predator, which does not work, and it dies.  It is also unwatchable.

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