Alien vs Predator
USA / Canada / Germany / Czech Republic / UK 2004
Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill, John Davis, Wyck Godfrey (executive), Thomas M.Hammel (executive), Mike Richardson (executive) for Brandywine, 20th Century Fox, Impact Pictures, Charenton Producitons, Inside Track, Zweite Babelsberg Film GmbH
directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
starring Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen Bremnder, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan, Joseph Rye, Agathe De La Boulaye, Carsten Norgaard, Sam Troughton, Petr Jákl, Pavel Bezdek, Kieran Bew, Carsten Voigt, Jan Pavel Filipensky, Adrian Bouchet, Andy Lucas, Liz May Brice, Glenn Conroy, Eoin McCarthy, Karima Adebibe, Tom Woodruff jr, Ian Whyte
story by Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Paul W.S. Anderson, screenplay by Paul W.S. Anderson, Alien created by Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Predator created by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, music by Harald Kloser, original Alien-design by H.R.Giger, special effects by Amalgamated Dynamics, Animated Extras, Ghost ApS, Snow Business, digital visual effects by Universal Production Partners, MPC (= Moving Picture Company), Double Negative, Cinesite, Framestore CFC
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Antarctica 2004: Deep deep down below the ice, a satellite has detected
a giant pyramid that resembles the pyramids of Egypt just as well as those
of South America and Cambodia. So Weyland (Lance Henriksen), a terminally
ill businessman who wants to achieve something of real importance before
he dies, mans an expedition to go there, made up of Alexa (Sanaa Lathan),
who is easily recognizable as the final girl, and the usual cannon
fodder a film like this seems to need.
Once down at the pyramid, our little expedition soon enough triggers a
mechanism that leads to the awakening the aliens (yup, those pesky buggers
from the Alien-series) from hibernation, and they waste
little time before attacking. Meanwhile, above the ground, a spaceship
full of Predators (mhm, the ones from the Predator-series)
land, and they immediately slaughter all the humans they can find there
before going down. At the same time, the pyramid begins to move
internally, meaning hallways becoming sealed off rooms, stairs becoming
ramps, and trapdoors opening and closing rather at will. Amidst all this,
Alexa and archeologist Sebastian (Raoul Bova) are locked into a room where
they learn about the history of the pyramid. It seems thousands of years
ago, the Predators came to earth, taught the humans how to build and had
themselves worshipped as gods - but this did not come without a price,
because the Predators chose earth as their hunting ground and the aliens
as their favourite prey - until one day the aliens took over the pyramid
and all the Predators could do was to freeze it solid for all eternity.
But as a rite of passage, young Predators come back to earth every 100
years to hunt aliens in Antarctica.
Soon after Alexa and Sebastian have found this out, they are separated
and Sebastian is taken away by the aliens, while Alexa figures it's her
best bet to team up with the Predators - or rather the last of the
Predators still alive as it turns out -, fight the aliens and prevent them
from coming to the surface. After quite a bit of battling and after Alexa
had to shoot Sebastian, who was already carrrying an alien inside him,
Alexa and the Predator blow up the pyramid and reach the surface only to
have to face the big alien mother, their final adversary - and saving
Alexa, the alien loses his life.
Of course, the alien mother is killed in the end, and the Predators,
who come to pick up their hunting party, accept Alexa as their equal.
When Alien vs Predator came out in 2004, it had been in planning
for more than 10 years, plus Dark Horse Comics had been releasing a
comic series based on the concept for more than a decade as well, and
quite successfully too - and some of the comics were even quite good
(while other, of course, were mere trash).
As a film, Alien vs Predator hardly justifies the wait, it's
badly written trash science fiction based on the narrative structure of a
video game more than anything else, it's simply one (boringly executed)
action setpiece after teh next, there is no atmosphere whatsoever in this
film, there is no suspense, no tension. It seems that Paul W.S.Anderson
could not even be bothered with that, instead of making this one a piece
of horror it should/could have been, it's just another action spectacle,
trying to make up in (admittedly quite good) special effects what it lacks
on any other level ... need I even mention that the film contains merely
one-dimensional characters and no character development at all ? Need I
mention that the whole scientific background is merely esoteric mumbo
jumbo ? I think not, but I did it anyway, just for the record.
Complete waste of time.