Alien vs. Predator
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Fox's release features two of the studio's largest box-office sci-fi franchises and is primarily targeted towards the slew of fans that the two films have established over the past 20 years. The premise was firmly entrenched in Aliens / Predator lore ever since the first "teaser" shot of the Alien trophy head in a previous Predator film. You would think then, that the film would offer a powerhouse of full-on special effects, a plethora of shoot to kill and chase sequences and ample opportunity to support a well-crafted script.
Aliens vs. Predator lacked the suspense and plot twist / intrigue inherent with previous Aliens films and fall short on good action and combat sequences indicative of the Predator films. In fact, given the potential that the studio has for pitting these two species against one another, audiences would expect no less then to see an encounter of monumental proportion. When considering past action sequences of both franchises, I can't seem to buy the way some of the battles were executed in this film (only one good fight sequence between the two species?).
Much of the qualities that were appealing to the original franchises are lost. For example, the integration of a subplot that defines the motives behind some of the main characters (a signature of the some of the Aliens films) and the interaction between the human characters (all of whom face a common danger). Despite the title billing of this film, the "main event" wraps up in a relatively brief hour and 40 minutes, and leaves little time for any plot or group chemistry to develop between any humans (the script didn't help either). As a result, audiences cannot develop an affinity for the human protagonists. Are we to equate the predicament of Alexa "Lex" Woods (played by Sanaa Lathan) and her cohorts to that of Ellen Ripley? On a bad day, Ripley would have them all for lunch….The film also heralds the return of actor Lance Henriksen (in the role of Charles Bishop Weyland), however, without any attached subplot and a weak motive for his character, his presence in the film is trivial and a footnote for the sake of continuity; too bad, since the character of Bishop Weyland could have been a driving force for a great subplot.
Even though the story and performances are weak, the special effects are top rate and fans of the franchises will appreciate the CG renditions of the Aliens, the costumes and make-up for the Predators, and the set design. No doubt avid fans of both franchises will initially spill to the theatres to see this film. But if you are indeed a fan of both Aliens and Predator lore – movies, comic book or otherwise – don't expect much. Whoever wins, we lose…looks like they were right.
Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem
Directors: Colin and Greg Strause
The hills near a small town in Colorado become the latest battleground for two powerful warring alien species – the Aliens and the Predators. The battle erupts on Earth when a Predator scout crashes into the hills. As a result of the crash a dangerous Alien/Predator hybrid is released as well as the Aliens. The Predators have received data about the crash and they head to Earth as well.
A father and son hunting in the hills are killed by the Aliens. One by one members of the town are mowed down as innocent bystanders in the war between the Aliens and the Predators. The National Guard is called in but they are not having any luck stopping the two extraterrestrial creatures, so the idea of using a nuclear device is considered. Meanwhile a small group of survivors, lead by Sheriff Eddie Morales (John Ortiz – American Gangster, Miami Vice – 2006) and Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale – from television's Rescue Me), are trying to escape.