ReelViews:1/2 New York Post: TV Guide:
minor plot points revealed!
Alien Vs. Predator is Awesome Vs. Perfect. I loved each and every second of this movie. It is super-terrific late summer movie action.
Apparently my fellow critics were expecting some sort of Oscar caliber cinematic tour-de force. How else to explain their terrible reviews and sarcastic stupid opinions? Lighten up guys. The is just supposed to be fun.
"Alien Vs. Predator is a gimmick" - James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
"for those who consider themselves to be true fans of the Alien movies (and, to a lesser extent, the Predator ones), this will be a depressing experience."
False. I love the Alien movies. ALL of THEM. And this is a great addition to the series.
"It's disposable entertainment of the worst kind, and its first-weekend popularity will be a testimony to how low our standards of suitable movie-making have fallen."
Disposable entertainment of the worst kind is usually the most entertaining. It is pure entertainment, all show, and nothing more. Fun for the sake of fun.
Alien Vs. Predator has no characters and no story.
If you read my reviews you know how much this statement irks me. (See Catwoman review) ALL movies have characters and stories. If Alien and Predator just stood in front of a blank white screen for 90 minutes doing nothing then the movie would be about the "Alien character" and the "Predator character" and the story of how they stood next to each other in front of a blank white screen for 90 minutes!
Incidentally, the super cool story of Alien Vs. Predator is as follows: The setting is present day. Charles Bishop Weyland, The real life guy who the Bishop android from Aliens and Alien3 was imaged from, is a rich industrialist. He has discovered a pyramid under the ice in Antarctica. Weyland assembles a team to investigate. It turns out the pyramid is a temple/arena where every 100 years the Predators come to perform a rite of passage by fighting Aliens that are bred for the battle sport from a Alien Queen that the Predators keep in cold storage. In the past humans have assisted the Predators, who they worshiped as Gods, and who in turn taught the races of the ancient world how to build pyramids. But this time the humans just get caught in the middle of the fight rituals. That's pretty much the whole story. The humans die one by one as the Aliens and Predators kill each other. What more do you need?
The special effects of the film are top notch. The Aliens and Predators have never looked cooler. Also you have never seen them get so much screen time and in such well lit fight sequences. The Predator spaceship is cool. The weapons are cool. The Alien drones are like fast and viscious Jurassic Park raptors. And the Alien Queen is enormous!
I really like the director of AVP. Paul W.S. Anderson's previous films include the awesome zombie video game flick Resident Evil and the underrated deep space horror movie Event Horizon. Here he sort of combines elements from both of those films and a little bit of the Indy Sci-Fi film Cube. Plus a generous dose of mythology from the Alien and Predator series.
Besides Lance Henriksen, who I pretty much love in everything, there are no other actors of name in the film. You may recognize Spud from Trainspotting but I wouldn't call him famous. They all do a great job in the short amount of time they are alive on screen. The humans are really secondary to the whole thing anyway so who cares?
For those of you who are Alien and Predator fans, remember that scene in Predator 2 when Danny Glover is on the Predator space ship and he's in that "trophy room" with all the skulls? Remember how cool it was when you noticed the "Alien" skull in one of the displays? Well AVP - Alien Vs. Predator has brought what you were probably imagining to the screen and it is just as cool as you may have hoped.
If I was disappointed about anything in the film it was that it only has a PG-13 rating. All the Alien and Predator films have been rated R. The human gore in the film is obscured in the editing but aparently the fantasy gore of Predator and Alien fights does not merit an R. The film could have been gorier but there is enough to satisfy.
AVP was just as sweet as the previews promised. Nothing more and nothing less than what everyone should have expected. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to buy it on DVD and watch it again and again. Just like I do with the other Alien films each year.
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!