Alien Versus Predator

4 out of 10


AVP (A Very Poor) Film

On the basis of "We can't make sequels on our own any more", Hollywood studios seem to be returning to their tactic, so popular in the 1930's: combining two worn out series of film themes into one in the hope of creating a new hit, just like the mad scientist who inevitably features in them.

This time around the mad scientist is Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), a character similar to SR Hadden in "Contact", who has built his billionaire fortune for the purpose of making archaeological discoveries, a sort of Indiana Jones without the hat. When his satellites
record energy being given off by a structure well below the Antarctic ice, he quickly assembles his team of cash hungry academics to investigate.

As far back as the film "Stargate", the concept that visitors from Outer Space built the pyramids has been a staple of trashy Hollywood films, and here, once again it is trotted out as the team quickly find the pyramid under the ice was built as a training facility by Predators to fight Aliens. At rapid pace, the film proceeds with the same old script of "7 Little Indians" with the members dying one by one at the hands of either race as it descends from fantasy into stupidity. How come archaeologists
always come to stop right by hyroglyphics they can read that give them the information they need at exactly the right time? And if the place is so trashed during just one training session, how could it have been in constant use for thousands of years, once a century and still have looked
intact when they first arrived?

Sadly, in amongst the gang of cannonfodder is the brilliant British actor, Tommy Flannagan, best known for his role as the deaf soldier in "Black Hawk Down". Get yourself a new agent boy!

With the end credits for the computer generation of the Aliens reading like "War and Peace" (unabridged), it is hardly surprising that they outact the real humans on set. Obviously this defeats the whole purpose: the original "Alien" film was scarey, precisely because the monster was never directly
revealed, only glimsed, until the very end of the movie, leaving us with the worst fear of all, that of the unknown. In AVP, the Aliens almost seem to be more interested in getting their faces on the camera than hunting for prey. In stark contrast, the ordinary effects collapse like a house of cards, with the finger of Predators clearly squidging, the way only latex gloves can.

Just as in the original "Aliens", it's up to the "do-or-die" woman, Saana Lathan (Alexa Woods), "to do a Ripley" and save the world from infestation, this time by teaming up with one of the Predators and earning his respect (more than the movie did!)

With lousy acting, poor costumes and crappy plot, it's not a thoroughbred that the evil geniuses at 20th Century Fox have bred in their lab, but a clumsy Frankenstein of a flick that borrows endlessly from so many other movies. Believe it or not, this crud took 8 writers to create, two for the
Aliens, 2 for the Predators and four for everyone else - I guess it could be described as a sort of "4 + 4 = 1" effect for this movie has nothing new in it. In a sense it makes me quite angry. Audiences don't pay to see something that's accurate to the genre, they expect to be entertained.

Nothing new, just a studio, preying on your wallet

Film Critic: - Robert L Thompsett