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Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem (AVP-R)

4/10

Stars: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade, Kristen Hager, Sam Trammell, Robert Joy, David Paetkau, Tom Woodruff Jr, Ian Whyte, Chelah Hosdal, Mesach Peters

Director: The Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg)

Pitting movie favourites against each other is nothing new. Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Godzilla went up against just about every Toho monster there was and took on King Kong for good measure. Even Freddy eventually tackled Jason.

Now itís the turn of more iconic movie monsters to clash. Alien (first on screen in Ridley Scottís 1979 unacknowledged update of It! The Terror from Beyond Space) and the star of several sequels, and Predator, first kicked into touch by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987. Fox first set Alien and Predator against each other in 2004ís AVP: Alien vs Predator and, presumably on the basis that nothing succeeds like a sequel, here they are again boldly creating havoc, this time in a small town in Colorado whose luckless inhabitants are variously sliced, diced, maimed and otherwise disposed of as the monsters set about each other.

Like too many movies, the title basically sums up the plot. If gore galore, minus much in the way of a holding narrative or interesting characterisation, is to your taste, A V P-R delivers on a visceral level. Special effects are everything and acting is not really a consideration under the circumstances. The cast, headed by Aylesworth (once of TVís 24) and Pasquale is competent enough, CSI New Yorkís Joy treats things seriously with impressive results, but the real star of the show, understandably, are the impressive special effects, as befits a movie directed by visual effects experts The Brothers Strause whose work is even grimmer than the Brothers Grimm.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Jan 2008