It's easy to immediately try to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, as far as Aliens vs. Predator is concerned. That first film by the untalented douchebag Paul W.S. Anderson is an abomination, featuring an illogical and silly plot involving rubbery, short-armed Predators bodyslamming Aliens through stone columns like a bad episode of "WWE Raw". It was a buddy cop film, but, instead of hard-boiled detectives, the heroes were a lone Predator and a black girl, who he helped to learn the ways of Alien-fighting. It's the type of weird, bad idea that people joke about but no one has the bad sense to make.
Well, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem picks up where the last film left off, but, smartly, ditches every vestage of its plot contrivances after the first 3 to 4 minutes.
This film's hero, despite whatever you may gather, is a lone Predator, come from their homeworld to clean up the mess left behind by the first movie, bent on killing the Predalien and cleaning up the mess as quickly as possible. Caught in between the two sides are a Colorado town full of humans that discover that they're in the horror film segment of this movie. What commences is a purging of many characters as Aliens run wild.
Most of the Alien movies have been based around the premise of isolation, leaving the humans vulnerable and unable to escape from the creatures. This movie moves the idea forward, giving humans the freedom to escape but providing fodder for vast legions of Aliens to overrun the area in a short period of time. As such, it forgoes the forboding and dread of earlier films and focuses on the humans' vain attempts to escape and the Predator's hunt to destroy them, much better than the previous film's half-hearted attempt at hunting. This film's Predator is a murderous dynamo, destroying everything with aplomb.
Many of those I saw the movie with either didn't get it or didn't like what they saw. They thought the humans were somewhat wooden and two-dimensional, but they didn't seem to understand that the humans were not the main characters. Theirs was just a secondary plot, a red herring, that intersected with the Predator's main plot and made the viewer believe that this movie would fit in with the common tropes and plot turns of other films they'd seen. Wrong. This was a much more terminal affair, mistreating the humans at every turn, taking relish in turning them into victims, bathing them in gore.
The plot plays out well and gives nods back to its preceding films before explosively ending in a fashion that puts the weak climaxes of AvP to shame.
The low budget nature and the fact that most of the effects are practical, as opposed to computer-generated, may give it a somewhat cheaper look and feel to viewers, but the movie provides an excellent time and accomplishes everything that Alien and Predator films have both been missing since the early 90's.
AvP:R will not bring you the dark atmosphere, visuals, and silent dread that the early films might have given, but it completely captures the concepts in a way that is both logical and coherent. And what more do you really want out of a good monster movie?