Aliens vs Predator

"They're not hunting us. We're in the middle of a war. It's time to pick a side."   - Alexa

release year: 2004
genre: sci-fi/horror/action
viewing setting: home Bluray 10/6/18 and 6/5/16 and home DVD 12/23/13 and 10/20/12 and 8/10/09 and 1/15/07 and theater, 8/13/04

synopsis: Every hundred years, a small band of Predators hunts aliens within a buried pyramid as a rite of passage. This year, some humans get in the way.

impressions: Pretty good combination of two great franchises. The action and horror elements are solid, the plot is sensible, and there are plenty of characters. When the full nature (and historical scope) of the Predators' plan is revealed, it's pretty amazing. Problem #1: wimpy PG-13 rating; to quote a Fox studio head, "I don't think it's a cop-out at all...this is based on a video game that did have a bit of a younger audience. There's a lot of action and violence, but most of it is creature to creature rather than creature to people." Whatever. The bottom line is that the lesser rating means less blood and gore and scariness, which of course they did in the name of bringing in more younger viewers. Not to mention that this wasn't based on a video game, but rather a comic book. This is just more proof that in Hollywood, as in real life, stupidity often gets promoted and there are no punishments for failure. Problem #2: Inconsistency with previous Alien movies with regard to the creature's life cycle. I don't want to spoil too much, but suffice it to say that Aliens were born and matured a little too quickly. Problem #3: Most of the action scenes were moving way too fast to follow, and it was hard to understand what was going on. Problem #4: Just because you accidentally kill an Alien doesn't mean you get to be the Predator's little sidekick, running alongside it and acting all cool.

things to watch for: The first time an Alien and a Predator actually go toe-to-toe...good stuff!

something this movie has that no other movie has: Naturally, fights between these two species.

special mention: (from the theater 8/13/2004) The three idiotic teenage girls who snuck into the movie at halftime, went to the front row, and proceeded to laugh and giggle for the entire movie...the band of five 12-year-olds to our right, who I had to practically threaten to shut up...and the AMC theater manager who didn't think it was a big deal that all these kids ruined our movie.

acting: Sanaa Lathan was the main heroine - smart, brave, competent. Raoul Bova and Ewen Brenner were good as likable allies in a situation where you know some of them have to die. Lance Henriksen is the dying billionaire Weyland, whose desire to make his mark ends up getting everyone in deep trouble. All the rest are disposable, victims almost from the beginning.

final word: Well worth seeing, though a few minor tweaks would have made it a perfect movie.

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