Nothing says, "Oh-my-God-there-is-something-behind-you-about-to-kill-you-with-a-second-mouth!" like Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.
Before we dig into the good/bad stuff, let me just assure you that it is much better than the original.
Is that saying much? Keep reading...
Run like the wind...
Like there is not a better reason to live near wooded areas. A small town in the northeast gets an unwelcomed set of guests. A ship of Predators, no doubt hunting for their next trophies, is invaded by Aliens who apparently have been camping out in the chest of a Predator. When all hell breaks loose on the ship, it seems to unfortuntately crash land in the backyard of these small town folks. Unaware of what is going on, they get caught in the middle of a intergalactic war that ravages the town, and especially the people, without prejudice.
Again, this is much better than the horrible first film of this type. AvP:Requiem gives a bit more depth into the two species and how much they truly hate each other. We actually get to see a glimpse of the Predator's home planet. In the first film the story was shallow, it had the chance to bring a bit more to the characters, but it failed miserably. Paul W.S. Anderson has a beautiful knack for destroying what could be great franchises (see Resident Evil for details). Colin and Greg Strause at least knew exactly what they wanted and what the series was truly made of before they even started filming. Give kudos to writer Shane Salemo as well. In this movie they took out anyone human worth a damn and they made the main focus the Aliens and Predators. That is what the original comic was about and it should be that way in the movies. These are two beasts with eternal hate for each other. They need to hunt and kill one another and the Strause brothers make this evident.
Now, the reason why this movie fails so much is that the human element gets in the way. Why do filmmakers really need to make the humans matter at all? It's an improvement over the original film, without a doubt, but it still fails because of this stupid element. Now, I'm not sure why the production needed to go this route, but it hurts the film. If the story had been about the Aliens and Predators, solely about them, this series would have life breathed back into it. You could have had an entire backstory about these two species. You could have given some sort of history that previous films didn't, but alas, it was not to be. Again, take the human element out of the story, stop trying to build relationships inside of story where they don't belong and just freaking let these two species duke it out! Give them a purpose though.
So, while certainly an improvement, it still is not the movie you have been waiting for. I commend what they wanted to do with this film, how they certainly wanted to revive a failed first movie, but it just didn't happen. I hope that 20th Century Fox gives this franchise one more go, get some heavy money into it, hire someone close to Ridley Scott and give so more focus on what really should matter... Aliens vs. Predator (no one else need apply for a major role, unless you want to be a victim in the story).
Not really seeing where they were taking it...
First, the good part about the special features. The commentary was okay, you'll get some entertainment out of these things if nothing else. What is really neat about this special feature package is that they have got an 'added footage marker' which allows you to access added footage you couldn't normally see in the theatrical version of the movie. It is a neat feature that I have seen only one other time on DVD, the From Hell DVD set (great film if you have never seen it). Since there has been some bit of time between the theatrical release and the DVD release, it is understandable that folks need a marker to identify new footage, and it is quite neat.
Now, I always fall back on the special features with not-so-great movies to find a bit more of direction to the production. This is probably the first set of special features that actually make the movie worst. The immaturity of the filmmakers and the lack of deep vision into the story really hurt this film. Hearing the directors talk about how much gore they wanted in this film and how gnarly it was going to be, well that is just a bit disheartening. The hindsight of their vision towards how this movie was going to be made is certainly very shallow. The set of featurettes in the special features breaks down the production into stages and has a few interviews with actors/actresses. I think it is nice to see how it is all put together, but again it really hurts the movie more with the 'actual' vision of the production.
I certainly do not mean to be cruel, but this series needed some serious work and less of 'gnarly' vision. Much like the Batman franchise, AvP needs some major re-work and it needs someone with experience and a deep vision about what needs to be done to make this franchise great.
Outside of the featurettes, the rest of the features certainly seemed really good. I think the markers and the commentary push this set of features from okay to good.
Depends on what you have your sights set on
I think that Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem certainly sets a new bar for how good this franchise could be, but in comparison to Alien and Aliens, the focus still is not right. If I were Fox, and I am clearly not that powerful, I would still give this franchise one last shot before shelving it. I think it has potential, but you need a strong script, you need experienced directors to make this movie good. Keep the unknown actors/actresses though, I like that. The movie is only okay and the special features are good, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem is worth a rent at least.