Monday, February 18, 2019

Aliens Vs. Predator Requiem Post

In 2007 (three years later) with new directors and the same Amalgamated Dynamics effects team, the story kicks off moments after the previous one with a chestburster coming out of a Predator.

This is a dark film.

I don’t mean philosophically, although the mayhem is ratcheted up to return to an R rating and beyond in the unrated cut.  The first chestburster in a child will do that.

I mean from a lighting standpoint. It’s almost impossible to see anything in this movie, which is a shame.

My advice: crank the brightness to maximum and enjoy the carnage!

This movie suffered through a bunch of dumping on, and I don’t understand why.  None of the previous films are cinematic masterpieces of symbolism and deep worth.  They’re monster movies.  And this outing finally got a few things right.

First, as a Predator fan I feel the need to point out the title Aliens (Plural) Vs. Predator (Singular).  The Xenomorphs are massing, and a single Yautja, with all his awesome high tech gear and super strength has been called in to face them.  Some of that gear, introduced in the last film -such as the new, multi bladed, Krull like disk, gets impressive new uses. Others, like the laser mines, are unique to this outing.

The plasma shotgun was wicked cool too!

Yes, we finally get one of these bad boys at the peak of his skills. Not a teenager, not on his first hunt;  he’s an experienced Xenomorph clean up expert. Bonus points for a peek at the Predator homeworld! Humans are little more than a nuisance to him, as demonstrated quite awesomely when he casually pops off the two jerks' heads with a double shoulder plasma cannon blast in the sporting goods store.  
Wolf (as the film makers dubbed him) is there to remove Alien evidence no matter what’s in the way.  They did make sure to illustrate the species’ sense of honor in the graveyard scene when he nonchalantly wastes the guy waving a gun at a child.

Ian Whyte is back as Wolf, and his Predatorness has improved with practice.

And he is back to being truly one uuugly mother…

Even for an Alien flick, this is a gory and horrific one.
But it’s a horror movie.
The goal of horror movies is worst case situations.

Every previous Alien film has been in some isolated, remote location. (Space Truck, Far Flung Colony, Prison Planet, Research Space Station, and Antarctic Base)  The BIG CONCERN in each of those films has been how terrible it would be if the Xenomorph infestation made it back to civilization.

Well…this time, they do!  It brings the carnage right back home, to a small suburban town in the Rockies.  The forest setting works for the jungle aspects of the Predator as well.

This second outing is a much better blend of the two franchises, including the cast facing them. Soldier Kelly O’Brien and her daughter Molly fit into the Ripley and Newt mold nicely.  But the rest of the gang led by the Howard brothers are more typical of the tough, but out of their element squads that usually face the Predator.

Nice, “Get to the chopper” reference as well, even without the accent.

Finally, the other true blending of the franchises: the on screen introduction of the Predalien hybrid only seen in comics and games before this.  It’s also an insight into how a queen develops a nest.

It is quite the nasty and gross insight, but -once more- it is a horror movie, and bringing the Xenomorphs into civilization was always supposed to be a worst case.

Another fun fact from the effect team’s commentary. Although they acknowledge it is a queen, Tom and Alex dubbed the Predalien “Chet.”  The name is an homage to the completely unlikeable character from Weird Science played by fan favorite actor of both franchises: Bill Paxton.

Like the first of the cross over movies, the unrated cut is a necessity.  Unlike that film, it has nothing to do with a small bit of extra dialogue. 

As long as the brightness is way up, the effects of these creatures are completely on display this time out.

One example of a difference between the two versions, the glaive related disk goes from sticking someone to the wall, partially off camera, to completely bisecting them.  Woo!

So turn up that brightness, and cheer on your favorite space monster, because the battle is truly between them, while the humans mostly fight to survive.

Click here for the return to Predator only movies

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