So, finally the new Aliens V’s Predator film has hit New Zealand and I have to say that it was better than I expected. After reading several negative reviews and having low expectations I was more than happy with the final result. I will split this review into sections with and without spoilers.
So the film opens at the same point that the first film finishes with a slightly different looking Predator spaceship. All hell breaks lose and the ship crashes in a small town which then gets decimated by the Alien horde. All this stuff was fairly well covered in the trailers and to be honest there is not really much more to it. But that is ok; there were plenty of homage’s to Aliens which was fine because that’s what I wanted to see.
What we got was what the first AVP should have been (even though I liked that film). AVP2 is essentially a Predator film that has Aliens and some people in it. I mean what should have happened is that when the first film was in production is they should have made it as Predator 3 and included the Aliens into that, rather than start a new franchise. Predator 2 set up the series to do just this. AVP2 is a good solid action film with some favourite creatures making an appearance. It is certainly no Alien, Aliens, Predator or even Alien3 but is still worthy of a place in the franchise.
Things that I did like: I liked the return of the Cameron Alien design, this was great when seeing loads of Aliens running around together. I also like the used of the remastered sounds from Aliens, the Aliens screech, the face huggers tail whipping are among some of them. The actors did ok with the characters considering what they had to work with and the locations were ok, it was actually good to see the Aliens running around a normal town. I liked the ending, makes the next instalment interesting. I loved the opening sound effect, great stuff.
Things I could forgive: The refilming of the beginning of the film worked well except that spaceship at the end of the first AVP film was massive with what looked like tens of predators on board, AVP reduces the size of this ship and the amount of predators on it (No biggie really). Bad acting, but this may have been the dialogue and the direction rather than the actors fault. The Predator was not overly clever, he is sent o clean up a mess yet leaves skinned bodies hanging in the forest, not smart.
Things they need to fix because they are annoying: They made the same mistake as AVP in regards to the time frames with the life cycle, the PredAlien was born and within seconds it appears to be full size, we know from the first 4 Aliens films that it takes a lot longer to mature (annoying and needs to be addressed)
Things I didn’t like: The PredAlien impregnating the pregnant women was a bit on the nose. I was able to deal with the young boy getting face huggered at the start of the film and the subsequent chest burstering scene. I don’t think that it would have bothered me a couple of years ago but now that I have my own family I find it hard to watch stuff that involves harming pregnant women or babieschildren (I must be getting soft). The scene with the PredAlien watching the new born babies had my saying ‘Don’t go there, please’ fortunately it did not go there.
The PredAlien has had much said about it and not all of it good. When the first images came out I thought it looked cool, but that’s probably the best look you will ever get as the film is surrounded in darkness and rain and you don’t really get a good view of it. So for the film it kinda works. The addition of the new reproduction method does not really serve any purpose, it’s just a way of showing something new. If they wanted more Aliens running around then they should have had more facehuggers in the crashed spacecraft. It didn’t really make sense, as it was only a small part of the film I think they were able to get away with it because of the predator cross over.
The ending: I have not decided if the ending was a cop out or not, I suppose they had to do what they did to hide any traces of the Alien infestation but I don’t know if it came at the right time… I dunno, I need to think about it some more. I did like the last scene with ‘Miss Yutani’, nice touch. It links the Weyland from the first film to the company from Aliens ‘Weyland Yutani’.
In conclusion: I enjoyed this film quite a lot. I was able to forgive the Alien lifecycle timeline and the differences in the predator spaceships at the beginning but on the whole it was what I was expecting. I don’t think that they will ever be able to make an Alien film with the suspense if the first 3 films for the simple reason that the Alien is not that scary anymore, part of the horror was the creature. The Predator is different because he is not meant to be scary, he is meant to be formidable which he still is. I would give this film 6.5/10.