Aliens vs. Predator Movie Review

Posted by Arlo on Aug 18, 2004 under Movie Reviews

Aliens vs. Predator Movie PosterThere’s a special little corner of Hell reserved for directors like Joel Schumacher and Paul W. S. Anderson. In it they will be forced to watch their own movies for all eternity.

There’s a clip up on Apple’s trailer site that shows part of a featurette (no doubt destined to be included on the DVD) on the making of the Aliens vs. Predator film. In it, one of the SFX guys tells us that the director of AVP wanted to extend the Predator’s wrist blades “…so now they shoot out about four times as long as we’ve ever seen them before.”

Yeah, and Joel Schumacher thought it would be a great idea to add Bat-nipples.

The idea that everything must be changed for it to be cooler is what ruined AVP. It also ruined not just a Batman movie, but a whole franchise. Look, if you’re building a sequel, you’re probably doing that because there’s an established fan base. And the fans are there solely because the first movie was a success! Why on Earth would you want to deviate so far from the path of success?

AVP, from top to bottom, is filled with so many changes to the Aliens and Predator canon, that it completely distracted me from the story. For instance, I found myself thinking:

Weyland Robotics was founded way back in 2004?
Aliens gestate in the human body within minutes instead of hours?
Aliens grow to full size in barely more time than that?
Aliens no longer use stealth to their advantage?
Predators no longer use stealth, either? Why do they bother cloaking?
Predators can see INTO things with their visors?

Those points distracted me because I’ve seen all the movies upon which this one was built. If only that was it… There was far more to contribute to the ruining of my evening: The back-story was laughably chronologically inaccurate, the Predators were completely without individual personality, practically all of the humans were throwaway characters, lines were recycled for the sake of recycling them, and I’ll bet, if pressed, I could come up with fully a dozen plot holes you could fly a spaceship through.

I mean, hell, even the special effect technology was misused! Computer graphics have definitely come far enough to fully animate the Aliens, but I have to admit that I liked them better in Aliens (circa 1986!) Especially the Queen – in Aliens, with her ponderous movements, she lurches about almost as though she sacrificed the mobility inherent in her race to gain the ability to breed. In AVP she’s charges around like a T-Rex.

Everything is given too little time in this movie. The humans characters are not developed nearly enough. The stages of the Aliens are glossed over. The Predators barely interact with anything at all. Even the history is glossed over quickly… it’s like the director tries to keep things moving so fast just so you won’t have a chance to second guess anything.

Well, guess what, Mr. Anderson, it wasn’t fast enough. This movie sucks.

Trivial Thought: Why can’t Hollywood adapt an Aliens story from Dark Horse Comics? They wrote a far better Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens 3.
What did I find worthwhile about the movie? Not a whole lot, really. I guess the computer-generated Aliens (excepting the Queen) looked pretty good.
Would I recommend the movie? No.

Will I buy it on DVD? No. (Well, maybe if it came in a boxed set… that was being sold on eBay… for less than 20 bucks.)

Overall Summer Movie Ranking
Spider-man 2
Shrek 2
The Village
I, Robot
The Day After Tomorrow
The Terminal
The Chronicles of Riddick
Fahrenheit 9/11
Van Helsing
Aliens vs. Predator
The Stepford Wives