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Review: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Premise: A team of explorers and archeologists find a frozen pyramid in Antarctica with the creatures from the Alien and Predator franchises inside. The two alien species do battle with the humans trapped between them.

What Works: This movie is a lot of fun, especially for fans of the two franchises. The action sequences hold up with anything in the other films and there is actually a lot of humor in Alien vs. Predator. Care was taken to make it match with the established Alien and Predator mythology.

What Doesn’t: The film is rated PG-13 where the other films in the series got R-ratings. The lack of gore might disappoint some fans but there may be an R-rated cut released on DVD. The characters are mostly flat; many of them are little more than fodder for the Aliens and Predators.  The film also lacks the deeper levels that made the original franchises so special.

Bottom Line: Anderson is a director who has had dramatic highs (Event Horizon, Soldier) and lows (Mortal Kombat) in his career. Alien vs. Predator is somewhere in the middle. Anderson clearly has directorial talent but his writing abilities are still weak. While not an exercise in brilliant filmmaking, Alien Vs Predator, like last summer’s Freddy vs. Jason, is a fun action and horror picture that gives its fans what they were hoping for.

Note: Look at the television in the satellite station early in the picture playing Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.  

Episode: #15 (August 22, 2004)