Saturday, March 31, 2012

Alien Vs Predator (2004)

The prospect of an ALIEN VS PREDATOR movie pitting two of Science Fiction's greatest foes against one another is a dream come true for Horror fans. With decades of video games and comic books from which to draw upon, coming up with a thrilling new concept to bring these two franchises together should have been easy. The project had one fatal flaw, however: Paul W.S. Anderson. A talentless hack that had already single-handedly destroyed the RESIDENT EVIL franchise. Perhaps he was chosen to direct specifically for his hatred of plot and character development, with producers hoping he could recreate the same mindless action of his previous films in a blockbuster battle between the two species. Well, he accomplished half of that...

An ancient temple is found buried deep beneath icy Antarctica, bringing Charles Bishop Weyland and a group of experts in to explore the architectural anomaly. In a brilliant feat of contrived storytelling, the group discovers that the temple is used as a proving ground for a race of advanced hunters from another galaxy, who use human hosts to breed a deadly form of prey. The complexity ends here, as the plot is only used as an excuse to get the humans into the temple. From there, it must be non-stop action and suspense, right? Wrong. For all of the tedious exploring and pseudo-scientific jargon that the audience is subjected to, there is only one five-minute melee between the Predators and aliens. Despite a flashback depicting three Predators fending off thousands of the aliens atop a pyramid, it only takes a single alien to kill two of the Predators in this small amount of time. By staging the battle on Earth, the threat of the aliens reaching the planet that served as the overriding theme in the ALIEN series is completely diminished. Even more shameful is the lack of dignity given to the Predators. Rather than reserving his self-destruct mechanism as a final act of Sepuku, the Predator removes the device and casually tosses it in the chamber to destroy the temple, an act that goes against the creature's very nature of honor and nobility. Anderson couldn't have found a more unconvincing cast, either. Sanaa Lathan can never be taken seriously, especially not in her transitions from scientist to she-warrior in just a few simple steps. She is only given the worst throwaway lines, like "We're in the middle of a war. It's time to pick a side." Only Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. allow the film any credibility at all by bringing along more of their incredible costume designs for both species.

What could have been the greatest Science Fiction spectacle of all-time was revealed to be a complete flop, garnishing nothing but negative feedback from fans and the filmmakers who helped establish both series to begin with. You are honestly better off watching fan films like BATMAN: DEAD END or AVP: REDEMPTION any day.  

Rating: 6/10.

3 comments:

  1. so did we like it or not... kidding.
    the problem i have is there was too many aliens to a gestating human host.

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  2. I love 5 minutes of it, at least? =D

    ...and the gestation took what, maybe 5 minutes itself?

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  3. For all its flaws I actually liked AVP. As soon as I heard Paul W S Anderson was attached (having only seen his Event "alien/hellraiser mash up/rip off" Horizon and Mortal Kombat) I was expecting a PG-13 film that would fall between the two.
    And that's exactly what we got in the same year as the low brow releases of 2004.
    Surprisingly I found the movie to be sleek, the effects crisp, good set design production values, awesome Xenomorph suit-mation work.
    To this day people discuss the film almost 10 years later (late 2014) and the Hot Toys collectables still command high prices on E-bay.
    Not bad for a crap film.

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