AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Alien Bitch Battles Alien Beast
You want a piece of me? You ugly son of a bitch! - Mark Verheiden
As someone who's not into comic books "Alien" and "Predator" have always been two separate entities although there was that moment of cross over at the end of "Predator 2" and I am aware that there was also the crossover in the a comic book. But as I said they were separate entities for me and whilst both franchises suffered from less than memorable sequels a crossover movie was not something I had an interest in. And now having finally got around to watching "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" my feelings haven't changed because what was good about both original movies is missing and replacing it is some very ordinary action and a contrived storyline to explain how Aliens & Predators are connected. I am sure those who are into the comic books may have enjoyed it but for me it just didn't work.
When a satellite belonging to the Charles Bishop Weyland Corporation picks up unusual activity beneath the ice of Antarctica a group of experts from across the globe is put together to go an investigate. What they discover deep beneath the ice is a pyramid of mixed origins and that is not all as they also discover they are not alone. Deep within the walls of the pyramid is an Alien laying eggs and that is not all as they are suddenly joined by 3 Predators there to prove themselves as hunters. Caught in the middle the experts must try to survive whilst also discovering what is going on.
"AVP: Alien vs. Predator" starts like one of the more recent disaster movies as some unusual activity is discovered at Antarctica and a team of experts are put together by Charles Bishop Weyland to go an investigate. Yes I did say Bishop and that is one of the many annoyances because we have Lance Henriksen playing the role but no explanation is given to the Bishop connection. Anyway so back to the storyline well this team discover a pyramid under the ice of Antarctica and in some scenes with Indiana Jones style traps they end up stuck in this ancient tomb.
At the same time we also discover that 3 Predators are being sent down from above for some reason and in this tomb is an Alien, frozen in time which suddenly re-awakens and starts laying eggs. Why Predators? Why an Alien? Well in one of the most utterly painful and contrived explanations we discover why, we discover that this is a proving ground for Predators who come down to battle Alien sprogs in a deal struck with mankind many thousands of years ago. Ridiculous is a very soft way to describe this wildly contrived story to allow the two to crossover and it's difficult not to laugh as we get the explanation with dream like flashbacks.
Anyway what does this really mean? Well those experts stuck in the pyramid find themselves having to battle both Aliens and Predators whilst the beasts battle each other. And as such "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" is a movie built on action, scene after scene of action as these experts struggle to survive and get picked off one by one till only one is left. Now I am not prone to some good action but this is not good and gets so repetitive as it becomes one blast of action after another with not a single scene being that memorable.
As for all the stuff we have learned about Aliens and Predators in the previous movies, well "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" recreates some of those elements. There are scenes of Aliens bursting out of chests and Predators using bombs attached to their arms but none of it is that good and certainly does little to build on what we already know other than these two ugly beasts are linked.
And as for the acting well as the central character Sanaa Lathan as Alexa Woods is likeable but she is no Sigourney Weaver and her character is just not strong enough, which actually maybe as a good thing as the way she survives is as painful as the explanation as to how Aliens and Predators are linked. As for the rest of the cast which to be honest are there as fodder for either Aliens or Predators well Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner and Tommy Flanagan are wasted and could have added so much more to the story if there characters weren't destined for death. The only one who does make an impact is Colin Salmon as Maxwell Stafford, an assistant to Bishop who has a wonderful evil side.
What this all boils down to is that "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" is a disappointment, a poor crossover which does little to build on what we already knew and becomes a rather mundane action movie. It doesn't help that the explanation as to how these ugly beasts are linked is so bleeding awful that it becomes hard not to laugh and that is in many ways nowhere as near as bad as the ending.
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