Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 87 minutes
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After a decade of throwing the idea of merging two of Fox’s precious franchises, they finally settled on an idea tossed at them by director Paul W.S. Anderson. According to the production notes on the official website, over 40 ideas were hurled around the offices of Fox. Out of 40 other ideas, this is the one they chose? It’s hard to imagine what those other 39 must have been like.
On present day Earth (yes, present day Earth), a thermal imaging satellite picks up on some activity off an island in the Antarctic region. Charles Weyland (Lance Henricksen), creator of that blasted company from the “Alien” franchise, decides to make an expedition full of mountain climbing experts and science officers, to see what all the commotion is about. An ancient pyramid is discovered and upon arrival, the team soon learns that this place is a breeding ground for those hideously drooling and double-mouthed Aliens. This sacred temple was built by Predators, and there they have a queen Alien harnessed in a “Frankenstein” like device, where they revive her every time humans are present.
As the expedition crew begins to get separated, Alexa (Sanaa Lathan) finds herself alone in the presence of a Predator. Instead of killing her, the Predator befriends Alexa and they collaborate “Lethal Weapon” style to fight some hideous Aliens. Riggs and Murtaugh, err Predator and Alexa, make a fine team as they progress through the pyramid in search of evil Alien scum. That Paul W.S. Anderson is a genius.
For you fan boys of both franchises, you may have a lot of questions on your mind as to the connection this film will make with both the “Alien” and “Predator” franchises. Relax, because none of them will get answered. Not only do they not get answered, “Alien Vs. Predator” also raises some more questions that seem to yield nothing but preposterous results.
For instance, “Predator 2” supposedly takes place around 1997. “Alien Vs. Predator” takes place in 2004. The Predators in this film have completely new faces (notice how the word better wasn’t used?). Did they simply evolve in that short time? And if they did indeed grow and change, how come they look worse now? If you believe in any theory involving the evolution of man, each step shows man looking better and better as time progresses. Sadly, these Predator creatures obviously do not have this luxury. Where is Stan Winston when you need him? His Predators, although ugly, looked a lot better than these new ones.
Perhaps these questions are not supposed to be asked or answered. This is just a science fiction film geared to a specific audience that probably wants to see some fighting between two different species of alien. Yet, even that doesn’t happen all that often.
The visual effects of this film are uninspiring and offer nothing new either. How many times can an audience see “bullet-time” effects before their heads explode? If for some reason you are reading this Paul Anderson, those “Matrix” like effects are like so 1999, dude. Can’t you come up with something different, or perhaps better? Judging by your current resume (Resident Evil, “Soldier”, “Event Horizon”), probably not.
Posted on August 15, 2004 in Reviews by Michael Ferraro
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