Thursday, December 27, 2007
An alien and Predator walk into a bar...
Dear Jerks who greenlit Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem,
Good day. How are you? I am not so fine. I have recently returned from viewing of your motion picture Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem. I have a few, shall we say, concerns about the motion picture that I was hoping you'd address. Primarily, how the hell can you screw up this movie, two times now?
It's seriously not a hard concept to falter on. The script is essentially right there in the title for you. (For those not keen on paying attention, as is evidenced by your products, the movie is about Aliens fighting a Predator, which is another kind of alien, but now we're just splitting hairs). I realize there is a writer's strike going, but this is seriously the sole movie that doesn't NEED a script.
We do not need pointless characters with obnoxious back stories. Like the main guy, Dallas. He's an ex-con, or something, returning to his small town after a stint in prison. I know this because he practically states it in every scene he's in. But his back story contributes in no way whatsoever to his alien/predator versing skills. Or the chick from 24, who returned from Iraq and has to repair the bond with her young daughter. Although it may seem that military training would come in handy in this epic battle, there are far too many scenes of things nobody cares about.
There are, seriously, about fifteen plots going on in this movie. There's the pizza delivery boy trying to get the hot blonde, and the sheriff discovering the bodies that lie in the path of the few moments where an alien will attack. The pregnant waitress, the mother of the missing husband. All these elements have one thing in common: THEY ARE NEITHER ALIENS NOR PREDATORS!!!! And even though I'm sure these actors are good people, and have been good in previous work, here they are awful. The main guy has the worst delivered line I've witnessed in quite some time. ("People are dying"). Oh, then he has a horrible callback line to the first film, that might be the second ranked. (Although "fans" of the series will probably be happy that it's not the "One ugly mother..." line.)
To be fair, whenever the Alien verses the Predator, it's actually kind of cool. That is, when you can see what the hell is going on. See, at least Paul W.S. Anderson knows how to light a scene, which is the sole advantage of the previous film over this one. I realize it's supposed to be blackout conditions, but when you can't even tell which parts belong to which creature. A fact made more difficult by the Predalien, a hybrid creature that takes the alien and puts dreadlocks on it. I have a still of that creature, and it's pretty cool, I can see what it's about. In the movie, you never get a clear view of anything. Murk does not lead to creepy, merely confusion. And if you believe that you're "hiding the monster", I'm gonna clue you in: We already know what these creatures look like. You put them on the poster.
Oh, and not for nothing, but this movie actually crossed some lines of taste issues. I am not offended easily, but when you have aforementioned Predalien killing babies and pregnant mothers, I tend to scoff a bit. I understand you want to appease fans and fanboys alike by making the film R-rated, and for that we are sort of grateful. But you don't need to go EX-TREME, just to make us happy. All you have to do is have Aliens fighting a Predator. It can be done. Audiences could handle it. Hell, they just spent millions of dollars to see Will Smith by himself for an hour. We can handle a dialog free 70 minutes of a Predator hunting and fighting Aliens. We don't need dead babies and aliens bursting forth from pregnant wombs, and uber-bleak endings that vaguely (and pathetically) try to tie the movie more into the "universe" of the chronology. Just deliver on your title.
In conclusion, good sirs, your movie sucks. I wanted to have fun with the movie, but I had more fun making fun of it instead. (Much to the delight of the family behind me, that had good sense to shut off their cell phones, but still bring their 3 year old daughter in with them). You blew it. Twice, now. And this will probably make more money that will get us a third movie. At which point, you should just let them fight. Get a guy in a Predator suit, a guy in an alien suit, do one long tracking shot (that will appeal to internet "fanboys", because it's like that Cloverfield looking thing that's coming, right?) and have them fight for an hour and a half. You don't even need a script, just a fight choreographer and a light. There, you've avoided WGA trouble, and you haven't offended anybody. Especially your audience.
That being said, thank you for not making the Predator team up with another human.