Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Robert Joy, Kristen Hager.
Written by Shane Salerno.
Directed by The Brothers Strause.
Oh, what could have been. The first film in this potentially never-ending series, Alien Vs Predator (2004), was brimming with great concepts, but was unfortunately undone by poor writing and an unqualified cast attempting to vitalise their underdeveloped roles. This sequel is simply a by-the-numbers cash-in, offering nothing more than yet another chance to lay eyes on two of the greatest screen monsters of modern cinema. But why bother? Why don’t we just watch James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) or John McTiernan’s Predator (1987) instead? Requiem follows on from the first film, where an Alien had gestated inside a Predator on board their spacecraft, forming a new species – the ludicrously titled Predalien. Crashing on Earth, the Predalien and its kin begin to devour the inhabitants of a small Colorado town, until a Predator warrior arrives to clean up the mess. Not much better in the writing department, this sequel limps along with the standard clichés and contempt for its audience. Eye candy is one thing, but if you can’t couple the visuals with a decent story then you are just wasting everyone’s time.
Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, & Jon Voight.
Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman.
Directed by Michael Bay.
Anyone going into a Michael Bay film knows what to expect – overblown trash. Crappy dialogue, caricatures instead of characters, explosions, gunfire, soaring Hollywood strings and as many helicopter and crane shots as you can squeeze into two hours. Transformers were toys I never possessed as a child. It all seemed a tad ridiculous, these organic robots that could morph into trucks and cars and who knows what else. The film itself is equally ridiculous with a convoluted story involving these robots and their dying planet, some energy cube called the “All Spark” and the usual fate of the world scenario. Throw in some human characters for the robots to converse with and you’ve got the most inane film experience since Armageddon. The film would be appealing to the sensibilities of small children yet seems too mature in its execution to be suitable for a child. It’s impossible to take this film seriously, and even though the actors all seem to understand this factor, the filmmakers themselves cannot help but demonstrate the opposite at times. Those who had Transformer toys alongside their Star Wars action figures back in the 1980s might find some worth here. Others beware.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Gianni & Judi Dench.
Written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.
Directed by Marc Forster.
Even though I have seen my fair share of James Bond films, I was never really a fan of 007. That all changed with the 2006 release of Casino Royale. The new Bond, played with vigour by Daniel Craig, was still his suave self, but he no longer seemed invincible and was even fallible. The new vision of Bond continues with Quantum of Solace, however the film is a royal mess. Feeling like a ‘bridging’ film to another sequel, Quantum is one action scene after another, held together by a tenuous plot. Beginning almost immediately after Casino finished, Bond is hell-bent on exposing the tentacles of a shadowy organization that has managed to elude the attention of MI6. He then joins forces with a mysterious woman who has her own agenda. This film is as slick as you would expect, but suffers from a supporting cast that have next to nothing to do. Kurylenko is a dull Bond girl and her predecessor Eva Green is sorely missed here. There are many questions that will no doubt be answered by a third film, but Quantum of Solace fails to shake or stir.
(Wadrick Jones is a freelance writer for GritFX and posts weekly film reviews on this blog.)