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Alien vs Predator

Alien vs Predator

What he said:

He

Ever since we were given a glimpse of an alien skull at the end of Predator 2, geeks around the world were giddy with joy over the anticipation of a possible crossover movie involving these two movies monsters. The makers of Predator 2 may have been banking on a longshot, but they probably just put it in there because they – like many others – were fans of both franchises and thought it would be a neat little homage. Regardless, those few seconds got people talking. Not only that, it created a whole plethora of books, comics, and video games that took the idea and really ran with it. People were really into it too. Despite that, a movie never really seemed like a reality. Well it took a while, but in 2004 it actually happened.

AVP begins with a nod to a familiar name. The mysterious “company” from the Alien universe known as Weyland-Yutani plays an important part in the movie’s storyline. Founder Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen) has recently revealed to a team of various experts that one of his company’s satellites picked up something unusual in Antarctica. To be more specific, it was a heat signature that cut a hole in the ice that went down 2000 ft. below the surface. Even stranger was the fact that it seemed to lead to some kind of structure; which is why they are there. Weyland has hired experts from various fields to explore this newfound structure.

Alien vs Predator

There are all kinds of experts in this crew. Archaeologists, engineers, and even mercenaries are all members of Weyland’s team. But leading the way is a guide who specializes in extreme weather conditions. Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) is a hardworking, no-nonsense, and very experienced guide. She takes her work very seriously; and a part of her job is the safety of others. So, when Weyland informs them they’re all about to go explore this building, she’s not happy. Lex believes in being prepared and informs Weyland she can’t take a group of inexperienced people into the most dangerous territory on Earth (for more reasons than she realizes). She eventually changes her mind when others convince her that this is an opportunity to make history. She probably should have stuck with her original idea and just abandoned the whole thing; she’d have saved herself all the trouble, and avoided some nasty aliens to boot.

Little do they know, they aren’t alone. They just walked right into the middle of a very old conflict between two alien species. One is a group of hunters who we know and love from the Predator movies. The other is the invasive, destructive, and nasty creatures from the Alien franchise. They are what the Predators hunt in this ancient building. It is actually something of a tradition. Every so often, the Predators come to our planet to hunt. Sometimes they hunt humans, others it’s the creatures from Alien known as the xenomorphs. As established in other movies, the Predators simply like to kill for a thrill, hey that rhymes. They won't kill just anything though, only things they see as fair game. They’re a bunch of killers with a code.

Alien vs Predator

Before long, the unsuspecting humans are caught in the middle of these warring monsters. And that's what this movie is about when you get right down to it. I heard some complaints about a lack of quality characters in this movie. Seriously, people? You went to see a “vs” movie about two monsters beating the crap out of one another for quality characters? Well, I don't completely disagree with the idea, but I also don't care. The people weren't why I went to see this movie in theaters when it came out; the idea of pitting two famous movie monsters against one another was. I never went into this movie expecting or wanting iconic performances by the human characters. I already got that in each franchise's previous installments. The aliens were the draw. They were the center of attention and that's the way it should have been. Anyone going into it expecting something as deep or intellectual is a fool. Could it have been better? Absolutely. The movie probably would have benefitted from being a little more gritty and serious. As is, it does play out like a comic book. But again, consider the premise of the movie: two famous cinema monsters from different movies going at it in an all-out brawl. That isn’t exactly deep material. The funny thing to me is that Ridley Scott returned to the Alien universe with Prometheus (review here)  and attempt to make something as terrifying, realistic, and thought-provoking as Alien. While I didn’t hate that movie, Scott did fail to deliver on many levels. AVP might be a lighter topic, but I enjoyed it a lot more than Prometheus.

Rating: Thumbs up for fun.

This movie review was updated for your reading pleasure on October 25, 2012.