Spoilers —– you bet. don’t blame me if you keep reading and it spoils the film.
NOTE: This film is rated “R”. There’s a reason. If you think it is some kind of censorship to say that people under the age of 17 shouldn’t see the chests of 8 year old boys ripped open after being impregnated by an alien, or that it is censorship to see a woman in labor attacked by a predalien, only moments later to give birth to a brood of baby aliens ripping through her abdomen, then I guess you need to udnderstand that there are some things that young impressionable minds shouldn’t see. As a matter of fact, I think that people under 17, pregnant women, parents of young children, and people with weak stomachs shouldn’t see this film.
I rank the original “Alien” as one of the great films of history. It is a perfect example of gothic horror — the protagonists are cut off from any aid that civilization can give. They must rely on their wits, and what little equipment they have.
“AvP:R” takes things in the opposite direction. Rather than the viewer having the comfort of the events taking place “way out there” and “in the distant future”, the horror is now, quite literally, in the streets of middle America (Gunderson County, Colorado, to be more precise). While the aspects of gothic horror are gone, it is replaced with a town under siege.
The fight scenes between the Predator (acting in the capacity similar to “The Wolf” in “Pulp Fiction”) …. sent in to clean up a crashed Predator spacecraft the aliens, and the new “Predalien” (an alien born of a Predator, as seen at the end of the last film) are really quite awesome. While some appearances are indeed done via CGI, there are some good old fashioned “guy in the suit” scenes which I find a lot better.
The previous film took some liberties with both franchises, and that’s to be expected. Every sequel added on. This film in fact pays a great deal of homage to the earlier films, particularly the best two films (Ridley Scott’s “Alien” and James Cameron’s “Aliens”). There is a last minute escapes from a nuclear blast, there is the slaughter of a military unit, a death in the kitchen, death in a hospital; heck, even the female lead in certain situations looks like a young Sigourney Weaver. I almost cried when one of the characters says “Get to the chopper.” Finally, the film finally explains how “The Company” (Weyland-Yutani) knew that the aliens were out there, even before the crew of the Nostromo stumbles across them centuries in the future.
I hope this is the end of the franchise because it goes out on a proud note that follows bold in the tradition of the earlier films. At times, it is slow as the characters are developed. It is a small price to pay to see this great franchise go out strong!
I give it 3.5 eggs out of five.