I finally got to see AVP-R. Now clearly representing myself online wherever possible as epredator and with predator avatars I feel I have some sort of vested interest in the mainstream use of what has become part of me.
I should add I used the predator handle way before the original predator movie. It was a coding thing, killing bugs etc. When the film came along whilst an Arnie vehicle it was the predator and the hint at a hunting race that seemed to resonate.
In both predator and predator 2 the Yautja (as us geeks refer to them) are honourble hunters. Seeking to challenge themselves against worth opponents and not praying on the weak. e.g unarmed or pregnant women. It is about the challenge of the hunt and done with some degree of meaning. Strength and compassion. A few of the traits that I took to.
The comics tend to have this too, the hunter race and their respect for others with courage.
When we get to Aliens Vs Predator the back story has always been that the Aliens (effectively a vicious virus that seeks to take over and replicate) were used as a right of passage by the Predator race. A great tie in to the franchises.
So in the first AVP we had a Yautja dealing with a nest of Aliens and an Alien Queen. During the fight he comes to see a hunter's attitude and honour in the one remaining human caught in the alien frenzy. It was not a great film, but had something of interest and extra insights into the tech and lifes of the Yautja.
The new AVP-R sees a predator alien cross occur. A mini queen alien with the strength and power of both a predator and alien, born of the hero from the previous AVP impregnated by a face hugger and exploding into life on the ship.
This part was interesting, the predator ship crashing and landing on earth with its face huggers farmed and in a jar.
The crash landing leds to Aliens on earth, and descends quickly into a massive destruction of all human life in a small town. The vicious and unforgiving nature of the aliens is actully quite shocking.
This is where I actually felt a bit challenged and saying to myself there was not need for that. A youg kid at the start getting facehugged and chest burst was really not what I wanted to see. Let alone the scenes later in the maternit ward of the hospital. Yuk!
Some of this may be being a parent now and having a different set of sensitivities, but I am usually open to movies causing some shock.
Now we get to the Yautja. In this film he/she is a clean up predator. The aim is to both remove the infection and also remove all trace. They are like Harvey Kietel in Pulp Fiction, a fine upstanding member of society, but will do anything to get things sorted. *** Update having just looked at the wikipedia entries it seems the predator in the movie is called "Wolf" the same as Winston Wolf in pulp fiction :-)
I found lots of the predator tracking and new weapons pretty good, some nice cool ideas and just like James Bond, gadgets. He was fully aware of the PredAlien. He also seemed to be pretty flawed in targetting some of the Aliens. This seemed odd, so maybe he was not a cleanup agent but an opportunist who was sitting on his sofa and decided to give the hunt a go, but that did not really seem the case.
I was not too happy he killed the first human to see him, he was not a threat as such and it seemed to lack honour. However after that he used the humans a bit as bait, needs must. An generally fought a massive battle against the spawning aliens.
In general though, if this was the only predator film we woudl not have any inkling of this strong honour bond.
The film ends with some sort of here comes some more questions though and also shows that humans can be as calculating as Aliens and can work without individual honour but following orders for the greater good.
So all in all, aside from the permanent darkness in the movie which means many of the effects are lost or cheap and hidden, it was not too bad.
I hope my inspirational Yautja do not descend into hack and slashers, though clearly it takes all sorts.
This epred will continue to work out there with honour and strength, but with a hint of malice and the ability to just cut to the fight when needed :-)