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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (also known as AVP:R) is a 2007 science fiction film. A sequel to 2004's Alien vs. Predator, it continues the film crossover of the Alien and Predator media franchises. Filming began on September 25, 2006 in Vancouvermarker with the Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg) directing the movie based on a screenplay by Shane Salerno. The film's lead roles are played by actors Steven Pasquale and Reiko Aylesworth.

The film was rated R for violence, gore and language, unlike its predecessor, which was given a PG-13 rating. The BBFC's classification decision for the movie is the same as the original (Rated 15), whilst the Australian OFLC rated the film MA, up on the original's M rating.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was released on December 25, 2007, and received a largely negative response from film critics. The film grossed $9.5 million on its opening day and took in a worldwide gross of almost $130 million in theaters. According to Home Media Magazine, the film debuted at #1 in sales and rentals on Blu-ray and #2 on DVD when it was released on home video on April 15, 2008. Since then, the film has gained $28,550,434 in home video sales, bringing its total film gross to $157,461,400.

Plot

The film begins immediately following the events of Alien vs. Predator, onboard the Predator spaceship leaving Earth which is carrying dead Aliens, living facehugger, and the body of the dead Predator who had defeated the Alien queen. A chestburster erupts from the dead Predator's body; it is a new creature which is a hybrid of Alien and Predator characteristics known as a "Predalien". It quickly grows into an adult and begins killing the Predators onboard the ship. One Predator fires at it, creating a hole in the hull and causing the ship to crash in the forest outside of Gunnison, Coloradomarker. With the Predators dead, the Predalien and several facehuggers escape into the forest and implant embryos into a father and son on a hunting trip as well as several homeless people living in the sewers.

A distress signal from the ship reaches the Predator homeworld and a lone Predator responds, coming to Earth and using his advanced technology to observe the cause of the crash and track the facehuggers. He begins to erase the evidence of the Aliens' presence, first by destroying the crashed ship and then by using a blue liquid to dissolve the bodies of the facehuggers and their victims.

Meanwhile, in Gunnison, ex-convict Dallas Howard has just returned to town after serving time in prison. He is greeted by Sheriff Eddie Morales and reunites with his younger brother Ricky. Ricky has a romantic interest in the more affluent Jesse and is being harassed by her current boyfriend Dale and his cohorts. Dale throws Ricky's keys into the sewer drain, and while Dallas and Ricky search for them they hear noises and see evidence that something strange is in the sewers. Meanwhile, Kelly O'Brien has also just returned to Gunnison from deployment in the army and is reunited with her husband Tim and daughter Molly. Sheriff Morales leads a search party into the forest to search for the father and son who have gone missing on their hunting trip. A deputy encounters and is killed by the Predator.

The Predator makes his way into the sewers and fights several adult Aliens. The battle reaches the surface, where the Aliens disperse into the town. The Predator pursues several of them to the city’s power plant, where the explosions caused by his weapons' fire cause a citywide blackout. Ricky and Jesse meet at the high school swimming pool, but are interrupted by Dale and his friends just as the blackout occurs and an Alien enters the building, killing two of Dale’s friends. An Alien also invades the O’Brien home, killing Tim while Kelly escapes with Molly. They meet up with Ricky, Jesse, Dale, Dallas, and Sheriff Morales at a sporting goods store to gather guns. National Guard troops arrive but are quickly killed by the Aliens. The battle between the Predator and the Aliens enters the sporting goods store, where Dale is killed and the Predator’s shoulder cannons are damaged. He is able to modify one into a hand-held blaster.

As the survivors attempt to escape Gunnison they make radio contact with Colonel Stevens, who indicates that an air evacuation is being staged at the center of town. Kelly, however, is suspicious of the military’s intentions. While Sheriff Morales heads to the evacuation area with the rest of the surviving citizens, the remainder of the group opts to head for the hospital, where they may escape via helicopter. The hospital, however, has been invaded by the Aliens and the Predalien who have set up a hive there. The Predalien demonstrates the ability to implant embryos directly into host humans without the need for eggs or facehuggers. The Predator also arrives at the hospital and in the resulting battle Jesse is killed, Ricky is injured, and Dallas takes possession of the Predator’s blaster cannon.

As the battle reaches the rooftop Dallas, Ricky, Kelly, and Molly escape in the helicopter while the Predator and Predalien battle hand-to-hand. The two creatures mortally wound each other just as the military jet arrives and is revealed not to be a rescue airlift, but rather a tactical nuclear strike. The Predator, Aliens, Predalien, and remaining citizens are eradicated in the blast along with the rest of the city. The blast causes the helicopter to crash in a clearing, where the survivors are rescued by the military and the Predator’s blaster cannon is confiscated.

In the closing scene, Colonel Stevens presents the blaster cannon to a Ms. Yutani (foreshadowing the Weyland-Yutani corporation of the Alien series). She remarks that the world is not ready for this technology, to which he replies: "But this isn’t for our world...is it, Ms. Yutani?"

Cast

  • Steven Pasquale as Dallas Howard. Dallas has just returned to Gunnison after being released from prison. He shares a friendship with Sheriff Morales and reunites with his younger brother Ricky.
  • Reiko Aylesworth as Kelly O'Brien. Having just returned to Gunnisonmarker following a tour of duty in the military, Kelly reunites with her husband Tim and daughter Molly.
  • John Ortiz as Sheriff Eddie Morales. As the sheriff of Gunnison, Eddie leads a search party to look for the missing townsfolk in the forest and attempts to contact the military and evacuate the citizens during the Alien infestation.
  • Johnny Lewis as Ricky Howard, the younger brother of Dallas. Ricky is a high school student with a job as a pizza delivery boy. He is romantically attracted to the more affluent Jesse but is bullied by her current boyfriend Dale and his cohorts.
  • Ariel Gade as Molly O'Brien, the daughter of Kelly and Tim. Having not seen her mother for some time due to her military service, Molly is somewhat estranged from her and does not immediately adjust to her return.
  • Kristen Hager as Jesse, the attractive classmate of Ricky. She is unhappy with her current boyfriend Dale and begins to flirt with Ricky, noting his affections towards her.
  • Sam Trammell as Tim O'Brien, the husband of Kelly and father of Molly.
  • Robert Joy as Colonel Stevens, the commander of the military forces attempting to contain the Alien infestation. He lures the people of Gunnison to the center of town with the promise of an airlift rescue, but his true intention is to destroy the town with a tactical nuclear strike in order to eliminate the Aliens.
  • David Paetkau as Dale Collins, the boyfriend of Jesse. He bullies Ricky and challenges him when Jesse shows an interest in Ricky.
  • Ian Whyte as the Predator, one of the film's titular alien species. The main Predator of the film comes to Earth in order to eliminate the Aliens and all traces of their presence. Whyte had previously portrayed the Predator in Alien vs. Predator. Additional Predators in the film's opening scene were played by Ian Feuer and Bobby "Slim" Jones.
  • Tom Woodruff, Jr. as the Aliens, the other titular species of the film. Having previously portrayed the Aliens in Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, and Alien vs. Predator, Woodruff reprises the role for this film. He also portrayed the Alien/Predator hybrid creature, dubbed the Predalien by the production team.


Production

Inspired by Terminator 2: Judgment Day, brothers Colin and Greg Strause moved to Los Angeles to break into the movie business. After an unsuccessful attempt to find employment at ILM, the brothers worked on the X-Files movie and founded their own special effects company, Hydraulx. The company produced special effects for movies such as Volcano, Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon and 300, and the brothers began a career directing commercials and music videos. Colin believes Hydraulx secured a strong relationship with 20th Century Fox, which owns the Alien and Predator franchises.

The brothers unsuccessfully pitched an idea for the first Alien vs. Predator film, and Fox almost bought a movie titled Wolfenstein suggested by the brothers, "When the script came up for this movie, they thought we'd be perfect for it because it's an ambitious movie for the budget that they had and they knew that having our visual effects background was going to be a huge thing." The brothers were hired to direct the sequel to Alien vs. Predator in late spring 2006, and had limited time to start filming in the fall.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was filmed on a 52-day schedule in Vancouvermarker. During filming breaks, the brothers supervised visual effects work on 300, Shooter and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer by using in-house supervisors and a system called Mavis and Lucy, which let the brothers track, view and approve dailies. Colin estimates Hydraulx produced 460 of the 500 visual effects shots including the nuclear explosion which was created using Maya fluids and BA Volume Shader. The interior of the Predator ship was created using CGI, as the brothers felt it would be more cost effective than building a set. The visual effects team peaked at 110 people for several months and averaged 70, almost all of the entire Hydraulx staff.

Using their knowledge in visual effects and making use of principal photography, the brothers tried to film as much as they could on camera without resorting to CGI, Colin said "Other than the exterior spaceship shots, there are no pure CG shots". CGI was used for the Alien tails and inner-jaws, whereas they required puppeteers and wire removal on previous movies. The main visual effects of the film included set design, a nuclear explosion, the Predator's ship crashing, and the Predator cloak, where Colin stated "We wanted to make sure it didn't look too digital".

Soundtrack

Brian Tyler was hired to compose the score for the film. The end credits track entitled "Requiem" is a clash of two main themes, one consisting of the Predator type theme (bongos and basses) and the second of the Aliens (high pitched violins, violas and flutes). The directors Colin and Greg Strause wanted to take a new direction from Harald Kloser's Alien vs Predator score and wanted Tyler to use some reference to the two films' original score pieces, such as the horrific violas and percussion from James Horner's Aliens and the primitive tribal percussion from Alan Silvestri's Predator and its sequel. Brian Tyler also referenced composer John Frizzel's Alien Resurrection into the score, in the tracks of National Guard pt.1 & 2 and Taking Sides.

Reception

Box office

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was released in North America on December 25, 2007, in 2,563 theatres. The film grossed $9,515,615 on its opening day for an average of $3,707 per theatres, and was number ten at the box office. It grossed $5 million in Australia, $9 million in Japan and the United Kingdom, and $7 million in Russia for an international total of $86,288,761. As of February 24, 2009, the film had taken in a domestic gross of $41,797,066, and an international gross of $87,087,428, bringing it to a total of $128,884,494. The budget of the film was $40,000,000. The film is the lowest grossing Alien film in the domestic box office, and is the second lowest grossing Alien film worldwide, next to the original Alien, excluding the effect of inflation.

Reviews

As with its predecessor, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was not screened for critics, although once able to view the film, the response was largely negative. Based on 66 reviews, the film scored a 13% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and 29 out of 100 at Metacritic, the worst for a film in the franchises. Chief criticisms of the film included acting, dialogue, cardboard characters, over-the-top gore, bad lighting, and "jumpy editing"; however, a few critics praised the film as "a fun B movie".

Chris Hewitt of Empire called it an "early but strong contender for worst movie of 2008", while BBC critic Mark Kermode's scathing review called the film "noisy, badly shot rubbish". Stina Chyn of Film Threat felt the camerawork "is a smidge too shaky and the lighting/color design too dark for me to relish the Predator-on-Alien butt-kicking". Josh Rosenblatt of The Austin Chronicle dismissed the movie stating it was "An orgy of mindless violence, a random collection of bloody bodies, alien misanthropy, and slobbering carnage designed to bore straight into the pleasure centers of 13-year-old boys and leave the rest of us wondering when the movies got so damn loud." The Hollywood Reporter contributor Kirk Honeycutt called it a "dull actioner that looks like a bad video game".

Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly felt it was a "B movie that truly earns its B", though he gave it a grading of "B" on an A to F scale. Variety contributor Joe Leydon said it "Provides enough cheap thrills and modest suspense to shake a few shekels from genre fans before really blasting off as homevid product," and Ryan Stewart of Cinematical said he "can't recommend it as a good movie on its own merits, stocked as it is with cardboard cutout characters and a barely coherent plot, but it's miles more interesting than the last Alien vs. Predator film." Todd Gilchrist of IGN stated the film is "competently executed, occasionally scary and frequently fun to watch, no matter whether you choose to laugh at or with it".

There was the occasional positive review; Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times stated "It may not be classic sci-fi like the original Alien, which it has in its DNA, but it’s a perfectly respectable next step in the series." Daily Variety called it "Slam-Bang-Horror Action!" and MovieWeb.com said "A cool new monster...over-the-top violence...AVP-R is a lot of fun!"

Awards

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was nominated for two Golden Raspberry awards in the fields of Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie and Worst Prequel or Sequel. The awards however, went to I Know Who Killed Me and Daddy Day Camp.

On May 8, 2008, AVP:R was nominated for an MTV film award for Best Fight Sequence.

Home media release

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 15, 2008 in North America and May 12, 2008 in the United Kingdommarker by Fox Home Entertainment. It was released in three versions: a single-disc, R-rated version of the 94-minute theatrical presentation, a single-disc unrated version extended to 101 minutes, and a two-disc unrated version with the 101 minute film and a second disc of special features. Extra features on the single-disc editions include two audio commentary tracks: one by the directors and producer John Davis, and a second by creature effects designers and creators Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis.

Disc one of the two-disc unrated edition includes both commentary tracks as well as both cuts of the film seamlessly branched, and an exclusive "Weyland-Yutani archives" picture-in-picture reference guide to the warring alien races; five behind-the-scenes featurettes: "Prepare for War: The Making of AVP-R," "Fight to the Finish: The Making of AVP-R," "AVP-R: The Nightmare Returns - Creating the Aliens," "Crossbreed: The Predalien," and "Building the Predator Homeworld"; multiple galleries of still photos showing the creature designs and sets; and the film's theatrical trailer. The second disc includes a "digital copy" download feature.

In its week of release, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem debuted at #2 on the DVD charts, making $7.7 million, and #1 on the Blu-Ray charts. The film has made $28,550,434 in DVD sales in the United Statesmarker, bringing its total film gross to $157,461,400.

Video game

A tie-in video game for the movie was released on November 13, 2007 in North America, November 30 in Europe, and December 6 in Australia. The game, developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Sierra Entertainment, was a third-person action-adventure game, allowing players to take the role of the Predator from the film. The game received generally negative reviews from the gaming press.

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