Alien vs. Predator

The concept seems cool enough. Let's combine two popular movie franchises, Alien and Predator into one action packed movies that rabid fans everywhere can enjoy. It started off as a comic book series, then moved to video games, so a movie was the logical (and inevitable) step. Then, the idea got stuck in development hell, as bringing together the necessary parties and coming up with a decent script proved to be an extremely difficult task. After the "success" of Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator was back on the fast track. Apparently, they still forgot a script. This is a stupid movie. It will annoy fans of both franchises, and non-fans of both franchises. Granted, both franchises were not really going anywhere (especially after Alien: Resurrection), but that's no reason to annoy people further.

Alien vs. Predator is a boring film. That is the first strike against it. Nothing happens for the first half hour, as writer/director Paul W. S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Soldier) sets up his back story. Satellites discover a huge pyramid underneath the Antarctic ice. Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen, Unspeakable, Scream 3) funds a team of the best scientists in the world to go discover what exactly is under the ice. This team includes Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan, Out of Time, Brown Sugar), Sebastian de Rosa (Raoul Bova, Facing Windows, Under the Tuscan Sun), and Graeme Miller (Ewen Bremner, Around the World in 80 Days, The Reckoning). There are a bunch of other people, but like in most other horror movies, they just die. Anderson and co-writers Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett (Alien: Resurrection, Alien: The Director's Cut), two of the people who helped create the Alien franchise, don't even bother to try to get to know the other people. Nobody would know that there is a character named Mark Verheiden, who wrote many of the Alien comic books for Dark Horse comics, and is usually lurking around comic-related movie projects.

It seems that this pyramid is some sort of training ground for the Predators. They go there to fight Aliens. Weyland and his team are just people trapped in between the two groups, serving as fodder for both species. It's fitting that they die; even with their PhDs they are dumber than usual horror movie victims. When they first get to the pyramid, they see a perfect circle cut into the ice that goes 2,000 feet underground. Hey, let's go ahead and go in. Much of the rest of the film makes no sense, if one takes the energy to try to pay attention. Woods initially objects to the expedition, then is okay with it. Alexa is the main character, and she is clearly a rip-off of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, minus the random underwear scene. Lathan is a much better actor than this, and it's baffling why she would take this role in the first place.

For a movie with the title Alien vs. Predator, there is very little fighting between Aliens and Predators. It is usually between humans and Aliens or humans and Predators. This forces audiences to sit through lots of banal dialogue and so-so acting. The special effects are decent, but one would really hope they would be given how far technology has come. Worse is the rating. A PG-13 rating effectively removes much of gore that made both franchises popular. There is a chest-bursting scene, but it is only on screen for a few seconds. Violence in the form of an R rating gave way to the increased profits of the PG-13. Essentially, Anderson sold-out the both franchises.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 27 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, language, horror images, slime, and gore.

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