September 2, 2004

Alien Vs. Predator

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Believe it or not, you don”t need to be high or drunk to get a kick out of this movie. There”s decent action, pretty nice graphics, and cool animatronic/robotic monstrosities. I expected more gore and fighting between the Predators and Aliens, but there”s enough going on to keep you entertained. The story basically goes as follows: rich, glory-seeking industrial mogul discovers something he shouldn”t have; rich guy immediately takes untrained ‘experts’ to explore newly discovered pyramid; crew gets trapped inside, simultaneously and unknowingly awaking Big-Mama Alien; Big-Mama Alien sends baby badass Aliens to hunt down stupid human crew; Predators fly in from outer-space and proceed to kick everyone”s ass; Aliens get ticked and wreck shop.

The script isn”t great, but the pace moves along fast enough to make you forget about whatever crappy line has just been delivered. Alien vs. Predator wastes no time getting into the round-up of the excursion crew; via your typical, conceited British liaison, three key experts are recruited. Saana Laythan stars as the mountain climbing, confident guide. You”ve got the supergeek scientist who pisses his pants every so often. Then there”s your obligatory square-jawed stud — an Italian archeologist looking for his big break. Add a few techies, engineers, and gunslingers, and you”ve got yourself a very disposable group of the world”s smartest idiots. Eventually, through a system of tricks and traps in an ancient Arctic pyramid, which is anything but dilapidated (and very well lit for some reason) these people find themselves in the middle of a pissing contest between two mix-breeds of warriors.

So here”s the matchup. Coming in at about 10 feet, 500 pounds, hailing from Jamaica apparently (what”s up with the dreads?), it”s the Humanoid Harasser — Predator. In the past, these street fighting aliens have duked it out with Jessie ‘the Body’ Ventura, Arnold the Governator, and Danny Glover. Their advantages are bulletproof body armor, sophisticated weaponry, and the capability to turn nearly invisible. Their blood is green, their right hook is mean, and they”re clearly smarter than the average bear.

The challenger, coming in at about 350 pounds (they don”t have much meat on them bones), 7 feet at adulthood (maybe 10 when not crouched in their usual bad posture), it”s the Serpent Assailant –Alien. In the past, they battled it out with Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, and Bill Paxton. Advantages for this posse include acidic bodies inside and out, complete with spitting capabilities; they can slice and dice with their tails, rip into you with either of their two mouths, or, as newborns, just suffocate you to death. Ok, so maybe the movie is a little more gruesome than I originally implied, but compared to their several prequels, this one is modest on the blood shed. Maybe I”m a little sicker than the rest, but I wanted to see more heads roll. But I guess that”s what you get for PG-13. It”ll be interesting to see what other old-school villain matchups they come up with next.

Three Stars

Archived article by Jonathon Hampton
Red Letter DAZE Staff Writer