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Review: Alien vs. Predator – the war in the cutting room

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Just got back from the theater viewing of Alien vs. Predator (AVP) with my son and here are my quick thoughts, impressions and review:

- AVP exposes the magic formula for not getting an R rating: keep the f-bombs and other adult language down, don’t show a lot of red blood and/or little to no sin or skin (nudity). Well, AVP shows a lot of green alien blood but it doesn’t spill much red human blood — visibly anyway and there is no nudity (sorry all you horror boobie buffs) or sex. In fact, there’s really no romance at all … save for a bit of hunter respect (I won’t spoil that part). In the end, this rating issue might have actually hurt the film. I have to wonder if some of the heart of this movie remains on the cutting room floor and if the DVD version will fill in the missing gaps in characterization.
- AVP has some very cool fight scenes. Better than Freddy vs. Jason. You really want to see Predator kick some Alien butt because the Predators seem so completely outnumbered.
- the sounds in the movie are great with snarling and screaming bouncing off the walls. Great use of surround sound experience.
- Predator actually has a heart … well, the heart of a warrior. You wouldn’t have expected any compassion in these creatures from seeing the first two Predator movies.
- never get stuck in the middle of a 100 year old war between aliens and predators! Never, never, never.
- Was that Weyland Industries dude constantly smoking pot for his cancer(?) condition or what was he doing? (asthma inhaler?) He is spared by the Predator for his weakness and then he gets killed anyway with the ultra lamest line in the movie: “Don’t you turn your back on me!” Yeah … smart.
- this movie isn’t really a horror movie as it is more of a WWF-style action movie; another good reason it wasn’t rated R, I guess. This is further example of Hollywood fascination from the comic book to movie translations.
- there is little to no humor in this movie which may turn off a lot of viewers. Some spots in the plot, particularly the first 45 minutes start to drag. It’s like: get to the good stuff. Freddy vs. Jason suffered from these same story action continuity issues.
- never steal the bad guys weapons … and be sure to train your team how to use a Rubix cube or navigate a maze.
- of course there is a wide opening for a future AVP sequel at the end of the movie. That’s all part of the Hollywood machine.
- I sure hope they don’t make 10 of these movies because it is doubtful that it could look up from here.
- When I was a kid this movie would have been rated R. Boy, how times have changed.

Overall I actually did like this movie. It wasn’t fantastic and it didn’t suck. Perhaps a tiny bit better than Freddy vs. Jason but I’m going to stick with the same grade. I took away points for the slow plot, lack of humor and the fact that there really wasn’t any likeable characters (save for one of the creatures, perhaps).

Triniman wrote a good review outlining more of the plot issues in detail.

I definitely would like to see some other badass matchups. How about Jason vs. Predator or Freddy vs. Aliens or perhaps a tag team of Jason and Freddy against the Alien and Predator. And then there’s the whole superhero crossovers with: Spider-man vs. Hulk, X-Men vs. Aliens … and so on. It’s kind of like the 2004 version of Godzilla vs. ___ yet without the weird subtitling and not set in Japan. This could spawn a whole new trend of movies. Perhaps with the release of Freddy vs. Jason these new vs. movies have already begun. Grade: B-

A similar version of this review first appeared at Things that … Make You Go Hmm

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About TDavid

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    i dunno man. im getting a little more optimistic about this with every review, but i still can’t help feeling its an example of a seriously wasted oppurtunity. Hmmm

  • Richard

    obviously didn’t see the 2nd predator movie, which showth they do have a heart by saving the pregnant woman and giving danny glover a pistol

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    You are partly correct, Richard, I don’t remember much about the Predator 2 movie (except that it wasn’t as good as the first one), nor those two parts you mentioned, but I did see the movie. Thank you for the correction. I’ll have to go check that movie out again.

  • Richard

    Oh I forgot, the predators whole lifestyle, shown in both movies indicate they only battle humans who posses weapons, shows they have a sense of honor, which fits in having a heart.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    I wonder if they have been consistent with that, Richard. Predators kill all the people above ground in AVP and I’m pretty sure not all of them were armed. What about people running in the first Predator movie that were unarmed?

    It’s a nice concept, but have they really been consistent to that?

  • http://restlessmania.blogspot.com Senor C

    The people running in P1 (if you will) at some point in the film used weapons in plain sight of the Predator (i.e They represented a threat).

    The folks above ground in AvP also had guns on them at all times. Remember the scene where the black James Bond and the guy that played Cicero in Gladiator pulled pulse rifles from their briefcases? I believe everyone from Weyland Corp. followed the security chick’s code: “It’s just like a condom. I’d rather have one and not need to use it, than need to use it and not have one.” Not exactly Shakespeare, but it gets the point across.

  • Richard

    Right, The spanish speaking woman in P1 almost picked up a rifle, but Arnold told her not to, in order to protect her.