Alien vs. Predator

Paul W.S. Anderson makes his living writing, directing and now producing mid-level genre films. I have to admit that I’ve never seen Resident Evil, Event Horizon, or Mortal Kombat but my impression is that they are not universally loved like the first two Alien movies or the first Predator. So why did Anderson get the job of combining these two franchises? Well, these kinds of team-ups have a long, if not exactly proud tradition in Hollywood. They just can’t resist putting the Wolfman and Dracula together, or Dracula vs. Frankenstein or…you get the idea. These pastiches were hardly ever as good as the originals. So why buck a trend by putting an A list director on this thing?

There was, some time ago, a graphic novel of Alien vs. Predator, which was very popular. For years fanboys hoped it would get made into a movie. Apparently, however, that story didn’t speak to Anderson. He wrote his own.

If you’ve seen the previews, you pretty much know the story. Large multi-national cartel discovers a pyramid buried in the Antarctic ice. The dying CEO of the company, wanting to leave a positive legacy, leads a crack team of soldiers and scientists to investigate. They encounter more than they bargained for.

The script is the main problem. Every major character has a pat little history like the CEO, played by Lance Henriksen, who goes through this on full auto-pilot and I don’t blame him. None of these back stories are particularly moving or convincing. Also there are plot holes you could drive a snow tractor through. The biggest problem is a change in premise. At one point, Alexa Wood, played by Sanaa Lathan, decides that the Aliens are the bad guys and allies herself with a Predator to keep the Aliens below the ice. This after the Predators murder her surface crew, not to mention getting them into the situation in the first place by building the pyramid, chaining an Alien mother in it’s bowels and forcing her to lay eggs so they could have a worthy prey. The Aliens didn’t set up the sacrificial chamber where human victims waited to have the Aliens implanted inside them, nor the conveyor belts that took the eggs up to that chamber. And yet the Predators are better? It doesn’t make sense.

The only good thing about this movie is it’s length. It’s as if Anderson knows that nobody is going to put up with this for longer than an hour and a half. Nothing else stands out. This is a perfect example ofrisk free filmaking. Everything is adequate and safe. That may be why the studios love Anderson. The biggest star here is Henriksen, hardly a topliner, so there’s no payroll, traditionally your largest budget line. The special effects are nothing to get excited about. I haven’t heard what the budget is for AvP but it couldn’t have been much. So even if it’s a relative flop, it’ll make it’s money back. It is, in every sense a B movie, and unless you become incensed at the waste of mishandling such a cool concept, you could do worse.

But you could do a lot better.

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9 Responses to “Alien vs. Predator”


  1. 1 dmndrd August 26, 2004 at 10:33 pm

    I thought the movie was great and I liked it. It was a lot better then Freddy v.s Jason and  I think Alien v.s Predator was a really good movie and I was it 4 times already.

  2. 2 budmantracey August 26, 2004 at 10:45 pm

    To the last guy who said this was a good movie. This movie deserves to be on 11:00  o clock at night on scifi channel . It should have never been made.AVP just slapped alien,aliens ,and predator in the face with this piece of garbage!!!!

  3. 3 dnvnquinn August 27, 2004 at 1:41 pm

    As I respect your views on AVP, I hardly agree with them. What the Director accomplished was accuratley portraying the Array of AVP novels that are out and about. Now about her allying with the predator lets think about this. Your in a temple you know Two things For sure. There are some nasty aliens about and they are more interested in fighting eachother. You guess at a few other things as a member of the “crew”, The predators built the temple as a hunting ground, the aliens are some kinda ultimate prey and the predators are the only ones who have the capability to fight them.

    You know to effectively defeat them the predators need there gun. So you have two choices. Try to escape a confusing constantly changing temple on your own with no offensive or defensive capability or choose a side. As the aliens seem to be mindless animals, the best bet is the predators who may listen and allow you to live and follow in there wake of destruction. I dunno about you but I would take my chanses with the pred.

    Thirdly I hardly thought the special effects in the Matrix were great. I thought at best mediocre. AVP also has Mediocre SFX but there are some scense where I went “NIFTY”. But as I said I respect your views. Keep on reviewing.

  4. 4 rtsp71 August 27, 2004 at 5:57 pm

    I thought the movie was good. It could have been better more involvement with humans instead of killing all but one off.

  5. 5 hypergamer64 August 27, 2004 at 9:11 pm

    As a big Alien and Predator fan, I thought the movie was a worthy addition to the franchise and delivered exactly what people had come to see. MY only complaint is that I didn’t think it was long enough! The movie left me wanting more.

  6. 6 genocide715 August 28, 2004 at 5:49 am

    the movie was totally ridiculous…horrible storyline (sum1 shoot paul anderson)…horrible acting…casting…lighting…sets…effects…EVERYTHING about this movie was just bad…a predator making a shield out of an alien head…then giving it to his new ghetto ass human accomplice??? cmon wtf is that…honestly…it was so bad i felt offended…im a huge fan of the alien franchise…and frankly thought taking a sci-fi rather than new school dumbass horror movie approach would have paid off…but whatever…it was bad…im willing to forget it ever existed

  7. 7 papaschendel August 28, 2004 at 8:42 am

    apperntly your not a huge alien vs predator fan, and unless youve seen all the alien movies and predator movies and played all the games including AVP 1 and AVP 2 and AVP 2 expansion…the move was a lot like the first alien, its just setting AVP up for more seqeuls…i will admit the ending and some parts were cheesy and or pointless, but it made sence, the rest of the movie..i wouldnt see it again however if ur a huge Alien fan or Predator fan u probaly should see this movie..and with the whole whos the good guy and all, well for one neither are good, but technically yea the aliens were the good guys, but u cant bargain for your life with a face hugger, while with the predator all the star had to do was kill a alien and return their weapons and wow she lived…so if you were her and in the situation i dont think you wouldve tried to join the aliens side…they cant trasnlate english and or speak any other laungage..

  8. 8 ccratert August 29, 2004 at 1:46 am

    OK, first time poster, so here we go………………………….
    To the guy above me: Freddy vs. Jason was 100 times better. It had a story, first of all, and much more screen time for it’s namesakes, not to mention a MUCH better fight between the two. Oh yeah, and it was gory! AVP should have been a horror movie, plain and simple. I admit I do like the movie, but only as a concession to the fact it should have been better. Individually, Alien and Predator come from dark, nasty places and do dark, nasty things. They should not be cute or funny, and under NO circumstances should they team up with humans. I am thoroughly convinced that none of you know what you are talking about. None of you can spell, either. Leave the movie reviewing to The Other Ebert and like-minded professionals who know what they are talking about. See ya.

  9. 9 ccratert August 29, 2004 at 1:48 am

    My comment below was intended for the dude at the bottom of the page, not all y’all. Thanks.


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