WARNING: Spoilers Ahoy!
Today I was fortunate enough to take in a viewing of the latest sci-fi geek flick, Aliens vs. Predator. I’ve been aching to see this movie match-up for years. I remember as a child, how much the second installment Aliens freaked the living bejeezus out of me (I cried myself to sleep, that’s how damn scared I was!). And to this day it still takes an emotional (albeit different) toll. Meanwhile, Predator remains one of my favorite movies with Governor Ah-nuld and is probably one of the sweetest movie monsters I’ve seen. But enough with the reminscing, lets go to the videotape.
First of all, this movie featured no real human hero. You can call Sanaa Lathan a protagonist all you want, and sure she’s not exactly hard on the eyes. But lets get real here though: No one came to see a Sigourney Weaver, an Arnold or a Danny Glover clone. We came to see some Alien on Predator deathmatch action. On this point though I have a mixed opinion. I counted less than FIVE encounters between the xenomorphs and the ugly mother f**kers. In that respect I felt absolutely robbed. Don’t get me wrong, the one scene where the Hero Alien and the Hero Predator were tossing each other into walls was pretty sweet. But shoddy camera work managed to lessen its impact and left me salivating for more.
I have always been more of an Alien fan as opposed to a Predator disciple. And even though the Aliens opened several kegs of whoopass on the Predator trio, I was amazed at how easy it was for the Aliens to overwhelm their Predator counterparts. Come on, we’re talking about a master race of hunters here! I counted SEVEN human hosts for the first wave of Aliens, with about 5 more additional hosts over the course of the movie. That means the Predators were outnumbered 4 to 1. But these are the Predators we’re talking about! PREDATORS! One of them managed to eliminate an entire special forces team, the LAPD’s best cops, and several street gangs over the course of two movies. And all of these humans had projectile weapons on their home turf! The Aliens, as deadly as they are with their super strength and slicing tails (an ability I thought only Alien queens possessed), should have been easily dispatched! But no, we end up having only one real Predator survivor after the first half of the movie. Another robbery! Curse you Paul WS Anderson!
Did anything work? Of course it did. I liked the whole concept of a rite of passage/training ground for the Predators in the multicultural pyramid (This probably explains why two Predators were easily mauled in the early parts). We unfortunately didn’t see any new Predator technology, just a return of some of our old faves. I still get a kick out of seeing the Aliens in action: Efficient hunter-gatherers, with acid for blood and a vicious violent streak. It doesn’t get any better than seeing the chest-busters spring out of new living hosts. Honestly, the entire idea of a Alien vs. Predator movie is great in its own right. Paul WS Anderson had to screw this movie up beyond recognition for it not to be cool in some way, shape or form.
The Verdict: While many fanboys disagree with my assessment, AvP was definitely better than Predator 2 and Alien Resurrection. I’d say it’s either tied or slightly better than Alien 3. I may have to watch AvP again, just to acquire a better perspective on the flick. But until then fanboys, keep fighting the good fight and summon your inner strengh. Hopefully, there will be an AvP sequel. It’s just a matter of time until we get to see what Anderson has wrought.