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AVP: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

  Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Written by: Paul W.S. Anderson, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Starring: Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Sanaa Lathan
Links: AVP: Alien Vs. Predator on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book, Buy Posters
Genre: Sci-Fi

This movie gets: 4.50 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 158th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

""Whoever wins, we lose". We sure do!" - a review by andy-j

AVP: Alien Vs. Predator finally brings together the two popular science-fiction film franchises of the Alien films and the Predator films. It is written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, a man well-known for his generic and lacklustre films. Can he come up trumps and revitalise both franchises in one movie, as well as successfully spin them off into a whole new series of adventures?

Hell no! AVP: Alien Vs. Predator gets a failing grade. It has some ok highlights, but they are pretty much lost within the crap. The thing about Anderson is that he has one or two good ideas, then he stretches them out into an entire movie. His script falls flat and he has absolutely no idea how to create any sense of tension or impact. The end result is a movie that is a total yawn and a total insult, when it should be thrilling, exciting and scary.

This is partly due to the characters - they are boring and of not much interest, except maybe that of Bishop (the man upon whom the robots in the future are based), but that's largely because of his history in the other films. Of course, they mostly die and we mostly don't care. No personality. No warmth. And, might I add, just because one of the scientists keeps mentioning that he has kids doesn't make him particularly three-dimensional. Nice try though. Ooh! And what's this? A female hero! What an original idea! YOU DICKHEAD! AVP: Alien Vs. Predator is really not at all exciting. The aliens have next to no presence. They're not scary. The fights between the aliens and predators are technically well done, but boring. Who cares who wins? Not me!

By far the most interesting parts of AVP: Alien Vs. Predator are the flashbacks to the building of the pyramids, when the Predators ruled over mankind. I wish we had gotten to see more of that - it was great. And the fight between the two predators and the thousands and thousands of aliens... now THAT was great! Why couldn't we have gotten thousands of Aliens to overrun the pyramid like that in the actual main setting? Instead we get a 10 second flash of it and you're made to feel that you're really missing out on the really big cool battle. Bah!

The film ends on an open note, leaving the path wide open for a potential sequel. That part was well done. Still, after watching the whole thing, you can't help but be left with the feeling that this is just some stupid fanboy's wet dream and the whole movie was totally unnecessary and will appeal only to like-minded individuals who don't give a shit about two frachises that have just been ruined. They just want more story. When you compare AVP: Alien Vs. Predator with Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Predator (1987), and even Alien³ (1992), you realise what a complete insult this is and how utterly unnecessary it was in the first place.

Apparently Paul W.S. Anderson came up with the idea for this movie when he was a teenager. Boy does it show.

andy-j gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 21 Jan 2005

"Blah." - a review by timchuma

The Alien & Predator movies are some of my favourites in the science fiction genre for many reasons. What I liked about the original Alien (1979) was that it was a horror movie in space. The sequel to it, taking a line from the director was “the Vietnam War in space”; if you add to this dialogue that is really fun to quote, you have an almost perfect action movie.

While the original Predator (1987) is not as well-known, it did have the genius of Jesse Ventura and a group of characters you cared about.

Such a classic action movie heritage is hard to live up to: even if you did have James Cameron directing it would be doubtful it would be anywhere near as memorable as the previous movies.

This movie tries to take elements from the previous movies with some differences: It is set in 2004, on Earth, where there are no robots and no Colonial Marines.

It all starts when a satellite owner by a global corporation detects a heat signature under the ice in Antarctica. Seeing an opportunity to make money, Charles Bishop Weyland, CEO (Lance Henriksen) gathers a team of experts from the four corners of the globe to lead his exploration team. At the same time in space, we see the Predator ship preparing to arrive at the same site.

When the team arrives at an abandoned whaling station above the site they are surprised to find a perfectly drilled tunnel reaching all the way down to the depth they want to go. Despite the mystery about how it got there, the Bishop decides to go down the tunnel anyway as he wants to be the first there.

Arriving at the bottom after an incident on the way down, they find an ancient ziggurat (it's not a pyramid like they keep saying). They keep mentioning Egyptian, Mayan and Cambodian civilisations, but completely forget about Mesopotamia where the first ziggurat was ever built. It also turns into one of the main features of the movie as it changes around every ten minutes.

Unknowingly when they enter the ziggurat, the team starts up the alien production factory and an alien queen is bought out of cryogenic stasis. Three Predators arrive at the surface at the same time and make short work of the surface team.

As they don't have Sarge around to say “Nobody touch nothin'!” they screw around with some equipment and take some things they shouldn't which starts the ziggurat moving around and seals their fate. Their only hope now is to try and make it out alive while running from both the aliens and the Predators.

You have to wonder why this movie even bothered to have a human cast at all. They don't really add anything to it and I would have preferred to have the whole thing take place on an alien world like they showed in the flashback with the three Predators fighting a literal sea of aliens.

I also didn't like how they screwed around with established things in the series such as the incubation time for the chest-bursters (which changed during the movie.) Also they tried to re-use some of the dialogue, but it was very weak.

The actual fighting scenes between the aliens and Predators were fun, but a bit stupid at times. I would recommend picking this up when it comes out on DVD if you like action movies.

timchuma gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 25 Nov 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 4.50
Lowest rating: 3 (by andy-j)
Highest rating: 6 (by timchuma)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. Apparently there were bits cut from the movie which explained the incubation time inconsistency (they fed the queen steroids) and other bits that didn't make sense. I've chosen to wait for the DVD with the deleted scenes.

    A comment from nofreelist's own andy-j on Tue 30 Nov 2004 19:30 #

  2. Further to my review, I'd also like to point out that one of the character's (completely nonsensical) prediction of the pyramid rearranging every 10 minutes makes absolutely no sense. He claims the pyramid is based on a metric scale, but if we're talking metric, then how is 600 seconds a metric measure? Time isn't metric and days aren't divided into lots of 10 minutes, you idiot!

    A comment from nofreelist's own andy-j on Sat 22 Jan 2005 00:02 #

  3. it was a good movie but predators better win!!!!!!!!

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from Adam Johnson on Mon 16 May 2005 08:39 #

  4. At the end of the movie was that a Queen predalien that came out of it's stomach and predators better win!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from Adam Johnson on Mon 16 May 2005 08:44 #

  5. The movie didn't have enough action but there was some action at least

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from Adam Johnson on Mon 16 May 2005 08:46 #

  6. And now I read that AVP killed both James Cameron AND Ridley Scott's interest in making Alien 5. Nice one! In my opinion this makes Paul W.S Anderson the worst filmmaker in the entire industry. Who the hell keeps giving him the budget to make this shit? Satan?

    A comment from nofreelist's own andy-j on Sat 15 Jul 2006 00:04 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 6.00 (3 ratings)

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