Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: Directed by Colin Strause, Greg Strause. With Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis. Warring Alien and Predator races descend on a rural Colorado town, where unsuspecting residents must band together for any chance of survival.
Residents (Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz) of Gunnison, Colorado, are caught up in the crossfire when two deadly extraterrestrial species bring their longstanding conflict to Earth. On the one side, nearly indestructible Aliens; on the other, a lone Predator whose mission is to wipe out all traces of the Alien infestation from Earth, no matter who gets in the way.
Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
Crossovers with franchises are a risky business. The Marvel Universe seems to have the knack for getting this right, having the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor in their own movies and then bringing them together in an ensemble piece like the Avengers films. The same can’t be said for the Alien and Predator franchises sadly. While video games combining these two juggernauts of sci-fi have been okay, the first foray in the form of Alien vs Predator (2004) just didn’t work. It wasn’t a terrible movie, there were some decent fights in there between the Predators and the xenomorphs, but in the end it felt like a missed opportunity. Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Predator (1987) and, most recently, Prey (2022), remain the standouts from those respective franchises. In 2007, The Brothers Strause decided to have another stab at combining the two once more in the form of Alien vs Predator: Requiem.
If you haven’t seen Alien vs Predator (2004), you might want to stop reading. You have been warned.
Alien vs Predator: Requiem begins immediately after the events of the first film. In the previous movie, the last standing Predator defeated the Queen of the xenomorphs but was mortally wounded in doing so. Earlier in the film he had fallen foul of a face hugger and as the late great John Hurt would tell you, that ain’t good. Upon breathing his last, our heroic Predator’s body is conveyed back to a mothership and he is laid to rest in honour only for a new xenomorph to burst from his chest. This end scene forms the opening of this latest movie. The hybrid between a Predator and a xenomorph runs amok on the ship which soon crashes in a forest outside Gunnison, Colorado. How it got from flying away from Antarctica to crash landing in Colorado I’m not sure, but best to just go with it. With all Predators on board dead and the new xenomorph on the loose, it looks like trouble for the locals of Gunnison. However, a distress signal has been sent and a lone Predator known as Wolf responds. He boards a ship, heads for Earth and is on a mission to kill any xenomorphs he finds and to eliminate any trace of them. Sounds like a fun holiday, if you ask me. Of course, we have the problem of the unsuspecting locals who will inevitably get in the way. Will they all perish or will the Predator save the day?
There are no ways around saying this: Alien vs Predator: Requiem is a mess. Its predecessor got things wrong but this sequel seems to have looked at the flaws in the previous film and decided to exacerbate them further. One of the issues with the film is the lighting. Now, I am familiar with the concept of day and night, light and dark, and all that but it felt like whenever we had darkness in this film, the lighting technician was elsewhere having a coffee. Even with the brightness up to the max, there were some scenes where I struggled to see what was going on. One of the problems you may fall foul of with Alien and Predator films is too many characters. We know what the audience wants to see but we need some decent characters to get us there and not too many of them. Requiem has multiple storylines in Gunnison such as two brothers, one an ex-convict, the other a hormonal teenager having no luck with the girl he fancies at school. Been there, bro. With the film moving between different characters, to the xenomorph and then to the Predator, you end up with a group of characters who are just there as potential kills and there is no time or inclination to become invested in any of them. Alien, Aliens, Predator and Prey all had interesting characters, ones I rooted for, characters that could keep the film interesting while waiting for the next Predator/Alien encounter. Requiem simply didn’t have any interesting protagonists. I was so lacking in concern for them that when one character was inevitably killed in what should have been a tragic moment, I just burst out laughing. Even the Predator’s inevitable battle with the xenomorph was pretty flat, whereas AVP had managed to have some entertaining exchanges. The film’s conclusion was a bit surprising, to be honest, but it wasn’t enough to elevate the film beyond any kind of mediocrity.
Verdict: A second attempt at combining two great sci-fi creations results in, arguably, the worst entry in both the Alien and Predator franchises.