Alien Vs. Predator Movie Review

The film studios weren't happy enough dragging the honorable slasher movie genre through the mud with schlock like last year's Freddy vs. Jason; now they have to try to cash in by dragging two awesome monster movie icons through the mud, as well. The difference between the slasher smackdown and Alien vs. Predator (or as the marketing team would love you to call it, AVP) is that I - and I'm sure others - are actually kind of excited to see these two killing machines go at it.

And if all you really want is to see these built-to-kill bad asses fight to the death, then you're in for a treat. It's like watching a very non-scary, screeching, interstellar cockfight. There's a heaping helping of acidic bloodbaths, infrared-vision shootouts, gleaming Predator weaponry, and oozy Alien slime. Yes, folks, it's all here; and if you're a fan of both of the old movie series, writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson (of Resident Evil - not Magnolia - fame) plies you with fun hints at the originals.

But if you're looking for any sort of intelligent explanation for why these two battlers from outer space are duking it out under the Antarctic ice, then you're going home with a lot of nonsense. It's funny nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless.

The zaniness begins with a rather dull start: Billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen, taking the partial namesake of his Alien android character) has put together a team of experts to explore a pyramid that his satellite spotted buried under Antarctica. What his team - which consists of strong-willed adventurer Lex (Sanaa Lathan), archaeologist Sebastian (Raoul Bova), and other assorted disposables - discover is it's actually a hunting arena where the Predator race train their young warriors by pitting them in a battle against the ultimate prey, our very own lovable Alien queen and all her offspring.

But in exploring the pyramid, they also uncover the truth behind how these two species ended up on this humble planet. For those who don't want me to ruin the sanctity of this movie by giving away this minor spoiler, turn away now. For the rest of us who want a good laugh, read on. This movie implies that we humans were civilized by Predators; they taught us to build, we worshipped them as gods, and they used us as the breeding containers for their Alien prey. And then whenever the hunt didn't go their way, they detonated one of those wrist-top nuclear devices, thus beginning the Ice Age or something. Really. That may even top the Freddy vs. Jason premise that involves freeing folks from Hell, etc. We won't, however, tell you who wins the duel.

Obviously, you're not likely to be looking to AVP for intellectualism. Admit it; you just wanted to see the rock-'em, sock-'em creature violence (which is pretty darned gory and graphic despite the PG-13 rating). And if you're a fan of either or both of these iconic space invaders, you'll love seeing them kicking each others' butts even more. Just remember to leave the thinking cap at home.

Bonus DVD features include an extended cut you can play that includes an alternate beginning, two commentary tracks, and a handful of deleted scenes.

Looks roughly like an even match.


Comments

Alien Vs. Predator Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG-13, 2004

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