Movie Reviewsno image

Published on June 20th, 2008 | by simeon


Alien VS Predator

For over a decade fans of the “Alien” and “Predator” films series have been tempted by various rumors regarding a proposed film that would match the two titans in an epic onscreen clash to determine who is the ultimate Sci-Fi bad guy.

Sadly none of the rumors panned out as one script after another was rejected ranging from issues over proposed budgets in excess of $200 million to lack of a human character dynamic. Fans continued to follow the series in the only ways that they could, comics, books, and games all the while hoping that someday a film would come.

Thankfully the wait is over as “Alien VS Predator” has come to fruition under the guidance of writer/director Paul Anderson who has an impressive science fiction track record with “Event Horizon” and “Resident Evil” amongst his credits. While some fans debated if Anderson was the right person for the project, few can dispute his passion for the series.

The film stars Lance Henriksen as Billionaire Charles Weyland, who discovers a large pyramid beneath the ice in Antarctica thanks to one of his satellites. Knowing that this could be the find of a lifetime, Weyland assembles a team of drillers, archeologists, climbers, and support personal and rushes to the harsh location to investigate the location before any other interested parties can discover his find and claim it for themselves.

Upon arriving at the location, the team discovers a massive pyramid that shows connections to all of the other pyramids on earth causing the team to believe that they have proof that the pyramids of earth were influenced by an outside culture whom the natives worshipped.

The presence of human remains in a sacrificial chamber only helps to strengthen this belief and the team continues to explore the pyramid to see what other grand treasures lay within. Upon arrival, the team has unknowingly awakened a captive alien queen from stasis and long dormant machines awaken and begin harvesting the eggs from the captive queen, Each egg is filled with a deadly face hugger that will not only kill the host it attaches itself to, but will produce an alien who is as deadly as it is relentless.

As if this was not bad enough for the team, a ship enters earth orbit and a landing craft of young predator males hurries to the pyramid. The predators are aware of the human’s presence and arrive ready for battle. It is learned that the predators use the aliens as a coming of age ritual as they are very deadly and seen as a worthy test of a young males worth.

Before long, the humans are caught in nightmare come to life as Weyland, his guide Lex (Sanaa Lathan), and the rest of the team are caught in the middle of a deadly battle between the aliens and predators with death and destruction all around them. The team has no idea what the creatures are, but they know that they are very deadly and their dwindling numbers only underscores this fact and their need to escape from the pyramid, which has become like a gigantic puzzle as it is constantly reconfiguring itself causing passages that were once wide open to become blocked.

To compound the peril of the situation, the team is 2000 ft below the ice and a storm is raging on the surface making the escape and elements as deadly as the bizarre creatures.

“AVP” combines the old-fashioned monster and haunted house movies of old to create a thrilling blend of action and Science fiction that is sure to delight fans. My biggest fault with the film was that it was not long enough as the 100 minute running time passed quickly and I was left wanting even more as good as the action sequences were I had hoped that there would be more of them. The film is also light on scares and tension as Anderson seems to have decided that the audience for this film would know about the title creatures already so time did not need to be spent on reintroductions.

The action sequences in the film are solid and they had the audience in my press screener cheering loudly and often as the two cinematic titans waged war. The pacing of the film is brisk and the lighting and visuals of the film are used well to create the atmosphere, I found the sequences were flashlights and laser sites probed the dark areas of the pyramid to be fascinating to watch as the eerie glow was appropriate to the mood of the film.

True the film does not have much in the way of complex plot, character development, or much for the cast to do other than be middlemen to the title creatures, but Anderson stays true to the source material and delivers a solid tale the largely protects the continuity of the “Alien” series and paves the way for future installments.

While some may find issue with the toned down nature of the films violence compared to others in the series, I found that I was still able to enjoy the film and I am sure a rematch between the title characters is something fans everywhere will be waiting for.

4 stars out of 5

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