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Alien vs. Predator

Alien vs. Predator Movie Poster

20th Century Fox, 2004, Rated PG-13, 1 hr. 40 min.

As I watched Alien vs. Predator (AVP), I sighed with relief as it looked like I'd be able to give a good review to a movie that brings together two of my favorite characters. But alas, as so many "scary" movies do with bad results, they had to throw in a "human" aspect that just ruined the last half of the movie for me.

  But let me start out with the basic storyline and what I really liked. In AVP, a group of scientists and explorers are hired by dying billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen) to go to Antarctica when Weyland's satellites discover a mysterious ancient pyramid 2,000 feet below a whaling station. Henriksen played the "synthetic person" Bishop in Aliens. The connections to that character are obvious in AVP: he runs a robotics company, he does the knife around the fingers trick from Aliens, Bishop is Weyland's middle name, etc. But Henriksen is obviously playing a human in AVP. I'm not sure if the writers thought they were being clever with the similarities, or if there was some definitive connection between Bishop and Weyland that was never explained.

Anyway, once the crew is inside the pyramid, they discover a bit more than they had planned on - Aliens and Predators! All too quickly they piece together what is going on: Thousands of years ago Predators (hunters, as they are called) found Earth and brought all the humans together to teach them how to build (hence the Aztec, Cambodian, Egyptian mix of architecture that makes up the pyramid). They were worshiped by the humans as Gods and every 100 years the Predators return and the humans sacrifice themselves so prey (Aliens) can be hatched for the Predators to hunt and "prove themselves worthy to carry the mark" of Gods. If the hunters lose, no one survives. This is all a little convoluted at best.

Predator meets Alien!
Predator meets Alien! 

Lex meets Alien
Lex meets Alien

Alien meets crew member
 Alien meets crew member

Making an entrance
Making an entrance

Crew being chased through Pyramid
Crew being chased through Pyramid

The explorers are soon under attack by Predators but then ignored as the Predator's favorite prey, the Aliens, enter the room. I have to admit, the first face-to-face moment between a Predator and an Alien gave me shivers and made me smile. It was very well done (if a bit dark and choppily filmed), scary, and intense. I had high hopes that this is what we'd be seeing more of - conflict and hunting between the Aliens and Predators. But nope, they had to ruin a good thing.

The humans decide they must choose a side, and they determine that "the enemy of the enemy is my friend" and choose Predators. Why they chose Predators when Predators were killing them too, I have no idea - maybe because Predators look more human with their dreadlocks?

Lex (Sanaa Lathan), the ice-climbing expert and this movie's poor answer to Sigourney Weaver, is soon one of the only humans left. A Predator sees her killing an Alien and here's where it all goes wrong. She starts talking to him about how he can't leave her alone in the Pyramid. He "marks" her with the acid of her prey, as the Predators do to themselves after a kill, he makes her a weapon from the Alien's tail, and they run off happily together to kill the Aliens. There was almost sexual tension as the Predator marked her! And was it just me, or could we hear the plastic of the Predator's mask during this scene? This whole sequence just messed up the movie. Predators have contributed to the high body count of Lex's crew, there is no reason to think Predators understand English, there is no evidence in prior movies that Predators actually give a rat's ass about humans other than as prey, but yet they are suddenly Lex's friends?

If the movie would have shown more fight scenes between the Aliens and Predators, would have ditched the human angle, and would have taken more time to explore the Alien and Predator relationship, we may have had a good movie here. As it is, we don't.


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QUICK FACTS

Studio

20th Century Fox

Genre

Horror

Rating

PG-13

Length

100 Minutes

Color

Yes

Sound

Yes

 

CAST

Actor / Actress

Character

Sanaa Lathan

Alexa "Lex" Woods

Raoul Bova

Sebastian De Rosa

Lance Henriksen

Charles Bishop Weyland

Ewen Bremner

Graham Miller

Colin Salmon

Max Stafford 

Tommy Flanagan

Verheiden

Joseph Rye

Connors

Agathe de la Boulaye

Adele Rousseau

 

CREW

Paul W.S. Anderson

Director, Writer

John Davis

Producer

Gordon Carroll

Producer

David Giler

Producer

Walter Hill

Producer

http://www.avp-movie.com/

Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 8/29/2004

 
   

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