Hey, Fox marketing people? If you have a cinematic franchise that you wish to keep vibrant, calling the latest installment Requiem is a bad idea. As is stealing the ending from Resident Evil: Apocalypse, of all things. But aside from that, we who love the inherent notion of pitting slimy, Giger-inspired extraterrestrial bugs against giant ass-whupping reptile Rastafarians can give credit where credit is due in regard to Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem -- we've long suggested that a movie of such a battle be filmed sans dialogue or talky humans, and for about half this new movie, you've actually obliged. The main storyline, which follows an oddly Schwarzenegger-esque Predator to Earth where he has to dispose of Alien evidence and defeat a deadly new hybrid critter, is nicely done. As the Predator, Ian Whyte is leaner, meaner and more physically expressive than previous incarnations. He also managesdespite being under a helmet, with no intelligible dialogueto out act all the puny people (no-name actors playing no-name characters getting way more screen time than they deserve). Chopped down to 40 minutes, this could be a wickedly cool short; as is, it's a passable slasher that's still nowhere near the space smackdown we geeks have long imagined.
Dec. 26-Jan. 15, 2007