July 07, 2012
I've always been a fan of both the Predator and Alien films since very young, but recently I decided to track down Alien/Predator related fan edits with a fresh mind and somehow my inner Predator fanboyism woke up after so many years of slumber for no reason at all. Bear in mind that prior to this review I haven't seen either AvP or AvP Requiem since a pretty long time, but for the sake of comparison I did watch another fan edit called AvP Outbreak, also cataloged on the Fanedit.org database. I haven't made a review on the site prior to this one either or even read much so I'm going to try to be as authentic and fresh as possible.
This fan edit is REALLY good. At first I thought the concept of making AvP and AvP Requiem into short TV episodic style movies was (pardon the pun) alien at first, but when I actually saw that concept in action it's a damn good idea and it's executed tremendously well in this fan edit.
Basically, both AvP and AvP Requiem are trimmed to their bare minimum essentials and cuts the length of both movies into a half. Everything that's not integral to the plot has been cut, so no BS teenage angst and high school drama from Requiem and filler scenes from AvP 1. Both fan edits begin slow but they gradually go faster and faster as it goes on. It doesn't just do that either but it also re-orders some of the scenes so that they *feel* like a TV episode of sorts. Both movies begin with a TV show style intro featuring footage from Predator, Predator 2 and AvP Requiem, and this is a small touch I liked. Credits scenes have also been changed too and those comic book panels are just damn fine too look at. Some of the edits even reflect this fact so that the movie *feels* like a TV episode structure. For example, in the (arguably ironic) battle between the Celtic Predator vs the Xenomorph Drone, after the alien spews acid from it's cut tail on the Predator's armor and he removes it, the movie suddenly cuts back to the fleeing humans and the scene of Weyland facing Scar plays out, leaving Celtic's fate undetermined. Only AFTER that scene the movie cuts back to Celtic fighting the lone alien and his fate is determined.
Small touches are also present, such as the Predator's Heat Vision mode in AvP 1 being changed from red to blue (like in the classic Predator movies and AvP Requiem)). Not only that but some music cues from both Predator movies and Aliens are also here too. I loved those changes.
This is a fan edit that respects the source material for both Predator AND Alien, so not only the vision modes are appropriately colored (seriously, it looks nicer than I thought, I'm sure it took some effort for it), but there's no more ridiculously fast chestburster scenes either. This is pretty much the only "weird" part of the fan edit. In AvP 1, most of the crew that's trapped on the upper floor just suddenly disappear from the movie, like "FLUSH". I thought that was kinda funny but I doubt there was no other way for it to be done without it feeling weird. I always wondered why the Chestbuster in both AvP movies just pop out of their hosts barely minutes later instead of hours like in Alien. For clarification, I think the only reason it takes days for the Chestburster to emerge from Ripley in Alien 3 is because the chestburster in question is a queen chestburster, not a normal one, so I imagine that it might take more time to develop than usual. Convenient? Maybe. Whatever. Oh well I'm getting off-topic, moving on.
Personally my only gripe with this entire fan edit is in the AvP Requiem portion, "Unexpected Visitors", specifically the removal of all early scenes with Kelly O’Brien, in which in this fan edit she only appears at the department store scene. Personally, I thought the early scenes had the purpose of setting her as a veteran soldier and setting up a personal stake for her character arc. Other than that, "Unexpected Visitors" is all around a very nice fan edit for a movie I never could even bare to watch whole. I really loved the version in this fan edit and I actually kinda like AvP Requiem now. Nice job, Uncanny Antman!
Overall, between Predator Chronicles and AvP Outbreak, I'd DEFINITELY pick Predator Chronicles. It has better edits, editing quality and faster pace. Personally, I enjoyed it the most.
Both movies may never be "outstanding" as the original Predator and Alien, but this spectacular fan edit pretty much raises the quality of both movies to a level I wouldn't have expected. I easily recommend this version over the originals. If you absolutely hated the originals and thought they're both horrible shitfests, I doubt this is gonna change things by much. However if you even remotely liked the first AvP movie and sort of disliked AvP Requiem, this is the fan edit for you. This is (so far) the best AvP and AvP Requiem fan edit to date and i can see it had a lot of care and attention put into it. I recommend this edit.