Taking Out the Trash: Alien vs. Predator

This week we are reviewing Alien vs. Predator, aka AVP. The AVP story was born from the combination of the scariest and strongest creatures in the Sci-Fi Universe (Aliens and Predators if you couldn’t figure it out). These films weren’t necessarily meant to be combined, but due to this crossover film, the 12 films (including Prometheus 2) are now linked. Although the Houston Chronicle claimed that this movie was sensational, I would prefer to classify it as, well, trash.

This movie is set in 2004, which places it between Predator 2 and Predators. Since a majority of the films in this series were all written and directed by new people, the story lines don’t match up. For example, Dr. Weyland (who is needlessly sick for the purpose of the story) dies after being stabbed by a Predator. Dr. Weyland (Lance Henriksen) also appears in the later Alien films, although we are never told that he is not an android.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen the Predator films (although I want too). I have however, seen the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection. So when I tell you that this movie is the worst of the series and possibly one of the worst movies that I have seen in the past 10 years, it is no exaggeration.

In 2004, I understand that CGI wasn’t at its best. Unfortunately for this movie, the directors and the visual effects supervisors wanted to use CGI for a majority of the scenes. Even with the CGI, the fight scenes still look like two plastic toys fighting. Uneasy, sudden and broken movements (along with a lot of slow motion and dramatization) make these scenes drag on and the action fall flat.

Often, in the fight scenes, the Predators play dirty. The Aliens must rely on instinct and skill (not to mention their acidic blood, tail and second mouth), but the Predators get to use their invisibility cloaks, bombs, guns, knives and spears.

I started this movie with a blank slate. I enjoyed the Alien films, although Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection were disappointing, but I though this movie might be worth a watch. As it turned out, I was wrong. The plot is weak and the script is inconsistent which leads this movie down a sad path. At the beginning of this movie, the Predators kill several humans before going down to the temple. This seems like it will be the start to a good movie, but after reaching the temple, only one Predator comes on screen and kills only Aliens. (I understand that Predators are the deadliest hunters in existence, but I don’t think one Predator could kill dozens of aliens and hunt the humans).

35bAlong with this doubt of the story, I also found several points where the writers would establish a sub-plot, only to not continue it later, and to ignore this world’s facts. For example:

1. Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) is shown pictures of Graeme Miller (Ewen Bremner)‘s children. We are told at least 3 times that he has kids as well as a mercenary that has a son. We learn about this right before Aliens take both to the breeding chamber where they are then killed (No one told these writers about Chekov’s Gun).

2. The Predator cuts off the Alien’s head and tail and gives it to Woods for protection. The Predator shows how the blood does not disintegrate the Alien’s body, yet his knife does not disintegrate as he cuts the head from the Alien.

3. Woods puts the Predator’s spear through the Alien as it tries to attack her, yet the spear (which is seen in several cuts while still in the Alien) never disintegrates.

4. The pyramid reconfigures itself. As Sebastian de Rosa (Raoul Bova) tries to figure it out, he explains that since the Aztecs and Mayans were metric, the pyramid moves every 10 minutes. For those who may not realize it, minutes are not a metric measurement but it would take about 16 minutes to equal 10 metric minutes.

There are other issues with this movie (mostly the poor attempts to move the story forward with suspense), but they began to grow to a countless number as I watched. Eventually I stopped counting and tried to find something positive.

The high points of this movie consisted of the history lesson and… the end. When the screen went black and those glorious credits started rolling, I was quite relieved. The other high point began early when the writers tried to create the origin of the pyramids. Having the Predators teach humans to build these temples and breed Aliens simply for the purpose of hunting was an interesting development.

Other than these two points, the movie was a tremendous waste of time. The only things I really learned from this movie is that Predators are about as ugly as anything can be, never to trust Weyland Industries, and that Predators don’t help each other when in trouble.

Alien-vs-Predator-Final-SceneIn the end, the movie set itself up for a sequel with an Alien bursting out of the Predator’s chest. This creature, which I have named the Pralien, is hopefully the major focus of AVP 2 (I will have to review that movie at another time).

I don’t have high hopes for the sequel, especially after the enormous letdown that is Alien vs Predator and I hope that they will not try to remake these movies during my lifetime.

Rating: 2.3/10

Images from AlphaCoders, I-Mockery and Jarviscity



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