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ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (PG-13) (2004)

20th Century Fox

Official Site

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Producers: Gordon Carroll, John Davis, David Giler

Written by: Paul W.S. Anderson

Cast: Lance Henriksen, Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner

 Rating:


Alien Vs. Predator fits nicely into the grand tradition of such whorishly improbable movie monster match-ups as Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man and Godzilla Vs. King Kong. The concept was recently dusted off for the surprisingly lucrative (though predictably lame) Freddy Vs. Jason. And now we have Alien Vs. Predator, a crossover that’s already found success with a line of Darkhorse comic books and a popular video game.

The set up, and you’ll love this, is that a giant pyramid has been discovered in Antarctica. An expert team (which includes “Spud”—Bremner—from Trainspotting) is assembled by Lance Henriksen (for whom age has brought only added creepiness) to investigate and eventually learn that, yes, it was in fact the Predator who provided our civilization its kick start, just so they could use us as incubators for the Aliens that they hunt. I enjoyed this wacky anthropological explanation, even if it does offer a very dismal view of man’s ultimate place in the universe. Still you need this kind of stuff to make up for the dire lack of characterization.

Anyways our intrepid, if rather dull, cast of characters has stumbled onto the pyramid just in time for the centennial hunt and are picked off one by one while the Aliens and Predators play out their ancient grudge match. Eventually this leaves only our heroine (Lathan) and a single Predator to fight off the hordes of Aliens who threaten to escape the pyramid and overrun the earth. And here’s where the movie takes off for me, when the human and Predator bond as warriors fighting the Aliens. It’s both hilarious and perfectly appropriate for the material. The climatic battle is just what you would hope for from such a film.

The film’s production values are a bit sub par. Director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) has given the film a murky look, which leaves some of the action scenes rather muddled, and I’m sure some will be disappointed by the film’s PG-13–rated violence, but I found the film strikes just the right tone for such an absurdly appealing enterprise, and for that I salute them.

—Edward Rholes

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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