AVP: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)
Main cast: Sanaa Lathan (Alexa Woods), Raoul Bova (Sebastian de Rosa), Lance Henriksen (Charles Bishop Weyland), Ewen Bremner (Graeme Miller), Colin Salmon (Maxwell Stafford), Tommy Flanagan (Mark Verheiden), Joseph Rye (Joe Connors), Agathe De La Boulaye (Adele Rousseau), Carsten Norgaard (Rusten Quinn), and Sam Troughton (Thomas Parks)
Director: Paul WS Anderson
Talk about a wasted opportunity. Shouldn't a movie called AVP: Alien Vs. Predator feature lots of blood and gore as the, um, aliens and the Predator bounty hunters duke it out? Unfortunately, what I get instead are long, draggy scenes of monster-fodder humans wandering around in dark tunnels, trying to avoid being crushed by falling doors, and other really silly haunted-house theme-park antics. By the point the action kicks up in the late third of this one and a half hour movie, it is hard to muster any enthusiasm for a movie that has, for a long time, been trying to put me to sleep.
The premise sounds better than the execution. Apparently Earth has been a battleground for our Predator guys to test their mettle. Aspiring Predator guys wanting to prove their courage (and therefore, I suppose, get promoted or something) will come to Earth and fight the Alien creatures that they breed specifically for this purpose. Today, this ziggurat that has been the starting point for this deadly test is buried deep in Antarctica but that doesn't stop the Predator dudes from coming here for their annual tests. This particular year also sees our billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland gathering a group of explorers, scientists, and hotshots to explore this mysterious ziggurat that his men have recently discovered in Antarctica. They are soon caught in the crossfire between the Aliens and the Predators.
The movie starts out promisingly. Sanaa Lathan's Alexa Woods, who is the person in charge of security and the strongest dissenter against the Gold and Glory motivations that fuel this mission, brings up rules - never separate, always use the walkie-talkies to stay in touch, et cetera - that I know will be broken one way or the other. Disappointingly, however, the movie rarely focuses on the Predators fighting the Aliens, and when it does, the Predators come off like wussy little punks who can't fight their way out of a nursery food fight even if they try. It is only much later in the movie when the Queen Alien breaks loose and Alex finds herself fighting side by side with a Predator alien that the movie finally comes to life, and by the time it does, the movie ends some ten minutes later! Bah.
Some weird alien-human sexual tension (heh) aside, this movie is too badly-paced and is unable to fully exploit the Aliens and the Predators fully to create a kickass movie. They should have cut down the human characters by half and increased the number of Predators. I will consider this a movie that fails to deliver the thrills and chills like it should have.
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