ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (2004)
Starring Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen Bremner, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan, Joseph Rye, Agatha de la Boulaye, Carsten Norgaard, Sam Troughton, Petr Jakl, Pavel Bezdek, Kieran Bew, Carsten Voigt and Jan Pavel Filipensky.
Screenplay by Paul W.S. Anderson.
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. 101 minutes. Rated PG-13.
You’ve got to be kidding. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!
Did the creators of the vile, cynical money grab of a movie Alien vs. Predator really think the world was stupid enough to buy this uncomfortable pairing of two long-dead film franchises?
Even the movie’s catch phrase is strangely and scornfully prophetic, “Whoever wins… we lose.”
No one wins, except for maybe the accountants tallying up the first weekend’s grosses. Undoubtedly, bad word of mouth will kill the box office soon after then.
After all, the only truly great film that came out of either series was the Ridley Scott’s first Alien film from 1979. (If you saw the limited release 25th Anniversary version that played cinemas briefly earlier this year, you will be strongly reminded how much scarier that film was than this new one had any shot at.) I’ve always thought the 1986 James Cameron sequel was a little over-rated, but at least it was an entertaining film. David Fincher’s 1992 Alien3 was an interesting failure, but by the time of Alien Resurrection in 1997, the series was already on fumes.
The original Predator, strangely, was just a kind of low-rent Alien rip-off which became a bit of a favorite because it came right in the middle of Arnold Schwartzenegger’s odd string of hit movies in the late 80s. No one cared when they released a sequel.
The story for the new film, as if it really matters, has a dying millionare (played by Lance Henriksen, who was in the second and third Alien movies… playing a different character, a robot at that) in current day earth taking a group of archeologists and adventurers into an ice chamber deep below the Antarctic Circle. The group stumbles upon an uppity turf war between the aliens and the predators. Now, this overlooks the fact that Alien took place far in the future, and that in the earlier films the idea that the aliens would ever make it to Earth were the whole reason the good guys fought them off. The film makes a lame attempt to explain away this basic story problem.
They don’t even make good on the inherent interest that they are trying to sell. Supposedly, this film is a battle royale between two perfect killing machines. But, the film is so desperate to hold on to its PG-13 rating that in the rare occasions that the aliens and the predators take each other on, you see little and understand less. If you really cared who was winning the war… and I can’t imagine that many people would… you could barely tell from this murky, quick-cut footage.
It is repugnant that they made this PG-13, and thus be able to fool little kids who may not know better than avoid this crap, after all, it does have two neat monsters, how bad can it be? All four previous Alien films, and both previous Predator ones were rated R for violence. So even on the low level that the film set it’s sights, they wimped out.
The people responsible for this travesty should be locked on a spaceship with both Alien and Predator. Better yet, lock them in a small room and make them watch this piece of garbage over and over again forever. (8/04)
Copyright ©2004 popentertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 24, 2004.