Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some... interesting reviews of Paul W.S. Anderson's latest masterpiece, ALIEN VS PREDATOR. I know we give Anderson a lot of shit on this site, but believe it or not we're all pulling for him to prove us wrong. I can't speak for Knowles or the good Dr. Moriarty, but I know one of the reasons why Anderson pisses me off is because I've seen EVENT HORIZON and know he can make a solid, scary gutsy-gory flick. I realize that the great look and pacing of EVENT HORIZON is essentially HELLRAISER, but it still succeeded as a film and it's the only film he has done that I would call a success. So, for me, I wouldn't knock on him so much if he lived up to the potential he showed with EVENT HORIZON.
I'm about to bombard you with tons of completely negative reviews, but never say we're not fair... Of all the reviews we got in, this is the only one that's positive and I present that one first.
Hi Harry, didn't see any reviews on your site yet...
Here I am in Thailand and just saw at 10am the new film AVP. I am familiar with the originals of both series, had the original Dark Horse comics, and also played all the AVP pc games. So one could say that I'm really a fan of this idea. How did it translate on film? Well, since reading AICN I was expecting total trash from Paul W.S. Anderson, and what we get in AVP is a healthy action flick, good use of the monsters for most of the running time, and only a small dose of trash.
Yes there are elements that should not be there, there are predictable elements that a fan can see a mile away, and the ending was a bit too lame for my tastes. It was obviously setting up a sequel, and if you played AVP 2 then you already know where that one is going.
The good: The monsters were top notch, again from reading AICN I was expecting puffy rubber-suited unrealistic predators and silly cheap plastic looking aliens, but both are true to the source material and the special effects are NICELY done. Two thumbs up for a good balance of CGI, man in suit, and animatronics.
The story was good, but honestly, it could have used about 30 more minutes to develop, it felt rushed.
The fights between the Alien and Predator were nice, well done, except for that little incident early in the film that sets up the conclusion. I felt it made the Predators look a bit weak in the face of the bugs ( no pun intended).
The improvised weapons, wow, you get the feeling the Predators have really been doing this a while, and showing the humans how it's done. Nice touch.
The bad: Not long enough, ending sucked for me, and not enough of the fights between the two. The back story was a bit silly as well, having the Predators as demi-gods, founders of alot of human tech, etc... Actually, some of the flashbacks were cool, they could be a film unto themselves, set it in ancient Azteca.
It's hard to write this review without spoilers but all I can say is GO Fanboys, you will enjoy AVP. It delivers fun, entertainment, and Paul W. S. Anderson certainly seems to have great respect for the material he has inherited. I'll be seeing it a few times for sure.
I sure I hope I agree with the above reviewer. If somehow Anderson makes AvP a fun, action spectacular I will be the first to give him his props. But I just can't shake the wrongness of watering down the film to PG-13. Both franchises are R-rated and when they meet they have to have PG-13 fights? I don't know. I'm seeing this one tomorrow night and I hope it's not as craptacular as these below reviews lead me to believe... But Predators not being good fighters without their guns? What the hell? Maybe it's the fucking propeller blades they have on their arms now... Those claws are ridiculously big... God, I hope this doesn't suck as much as it looks like it does...
Hi Harry. You may call me Red Death and I’m here to confirm everyone’s expectations about “Alien Vs. Predator.” Paul W.S. Anderson makes films that bring two adjectives to mind, cheap and stupid. In that regard “AVP” didn’t let me down one little bit. In fact, he exceeded them. I figured that blessed with the presence of two movie monster icons such as this, Anderson could maybe accidentally craft a film that was merely unoriginal, but maintained the minute possibility of being as fun as say “Predator 2.” I shouldn’t have aimed so high. “AVP” is a vacuum of celluloid that has no reason to exist. It’s without any merit and its existence is a blight on two franchises that deserved better. It’s everything we sci-fi fans have come to expect from this hack and slash director whose obvious deficiencies make one long for the days of early Stephen Hopkins. I can’t believe I just typed that.
The plot? God, why bother regurgitating it. There’s a pyramid that’s influenced by Columbian, Aztec and Egyptian architecture, and it’s found in the Antarctic. If you can wrap your brain around that one then you deserve a medal. Lance Henrickson assembles a bunch of disposable extras to traverse the ice to this long lost temple of doom. No one does more than blurt out expository action film dialogue. Including Spud from “Trainspotting.” P.W.S. immediately starts to assemble the footage in a way that reminds the audience of other, AKA better, films. The first ten minutes are "Jurassic Park Redux." We’re to sit there and dwell on the memory of films one might actually like. Anyway, Predators arrive, aliens hatch, carnage ensues, and that is it.
As much as Anderson claims to love the Alien franchise, he has no qualms about shitting all over the mythology of the series for the sake of subduing his own impatience. In the old “Alien” flicks, getting straddled by a facehugger, which leads to a chestburster, which leads to a full blown adult alien, used to take days. No longer patient enough to deal with such screen time consumption, Anderson speeds up the process to a matter of minutes. His blatant disregard for anything that’s come before shows that his love of “Alien” films past is only skin deep. And the Predators?
The Predators are reduced incompetent warriors who can’t fight for shit without their guns. I’d love to see how Anderson and his screenwriters justified this maneuver. It seems the Predators don’t bring their shoulder cannons with them to the temple, the guns are already in the temple waiting for them to be picked up, but the humans find them and walk off with them. Oye! I don’t want to continue regurgitating this crap.
“AVP” is everything we didn’t want and more. The lousy writing, Anderson’s incoherent directing, the impatient and senseless editing, the completely predictable ending. It’s all here in spades. Anyone who really values these franchises will avoid this film like the plague. Spending money on it only encourages the suits at Fox to further sully the already tarnished reputations of both film franchises. I think “AVP” will in the end kill off both entities for better or for worse. If Fox has no more respect for it’s properties than to put them in the hands of this seemingly unstoppable shithead, then they’re better off dead
Ouch. This one below is especially harsh... This is from a guy who states he actually likes both ALIEN 3 and ALIEN: RESURRECTION... I can understand ALIEN 3... if only to see what a David Fincher trainwreck looks like, but this guy liked RESURRECTION and says AvP is terrible!!!
I'm an employee for a large Eastern theater chain (which will not be named)...and tonight, I got to watch 'AVP' which was sent in a day early from Fox.
Now before I say anything, let me state this: I've been a life-long fan of both franchises. The first two 'Alien' installments remain two of my all-time favorite films. They're what turned me onto the horror genre. Hell, I even dug 'Alien 3' and 'Resurrection'...warts n' all. And I worship and adore BOTH 'Predator' movies. I know these six films inside and out. I know the name of every single character. I can quote every line of dialogue.
I've been waiting impatiently for over a decade for this film. I bought all the comic books. I played all the video games. This was a match made in fanboy heaven...and I wanted to see a big-screen adaptation more than anything. Too bad Paul Anderson: Dream Rapist had to come in and single-handidly destroy everything I love in a quick 100 minutes.
Why does the movie suck? Where do I begin?!?!
First off, this does not feel like an 'Alien' or 'Predator' film. It feels like 'Jurassic Park IV' with Aliens and Predators in place of dinosaurs.
The characters? Not a memorable one in the whole lot. You won't find another Ripley, Hudson...or even a Danny-Boy. Lex is one of the most generic and dull heroines to stumble through a feature film...and surprisingly, the supporting cast displays even less energy. Even Lance Henriksen - our one ray of sunshine - isn't in the film long...and does very little.
There isn't a single good or fresh idea in the script. Hell, I thought the whole pyramid/training-ground concept was pretty sweet...until Anderson started crafting his own mythology around it. I won't spoil anything, but let's just say that it's stupid beyond words.
Now...about the PG-13 rating, which I tried so hard to ignore: IT SHOWS!!! God, does it show! Most of the violence in this film is not directed towards Aliens or Predators...but HUMANS. When it's time for a chestbursting or a tongue-death, all we get is a typical cut away. Gone is the colorful profanity that was so much fun to listen to. Even the token "ugly mutherfucker" line gets cut off half-way through. This is exactly what we all feared: A franchise film that looks and feels as if it were made for little kids. I'm not saying an R-rating would've automatically made this good (far from it)...but it would've at least given us some fun carnage.
The fights between the beasts are so badly shot and edited, I didn't care for one solitary second. It didn't stir up one bit of emotion in my inner-fanboy. And the creatures look HORRIBLE. The Aliens seemed okay...but the Predators are absolutely wretched. They look like goofy WWF wrestlers and in no way resemble or act like what we saw in the other films. It's really hard not to chuckle whenever they appear onscreen.
I won't even get into the continuity errors, and just plain bad ideas, that saturate this film. Let's just say, that it lived up to all my fears...and created some new ones.
Paul Anderson has not made a movie for the fans. He's taken a beloved franchise, stripped it of it's soul, and marketed it to 10-year-old boys. I've liked many of his films and I've been defending him for years. I was even excited when he was announced as director, while most people groaned. But all the naysayers were right.
Out of all my brutal movie disappointments, this ranks a staunch #1.
Fuck you, Paul Anderson. I hope you rot in Hell.
Damn, that's harsh... The above reviewer might have gone a little too far as I've heard that Anderson is actually a really top-notch guy in person and might not deserve such venomous attacks despite his painfully mediocre-crappy movies. Uwe Boll on the other hand... I've seen the dude in person and he have seen his ego up close. That dude deserves everything he gets. Anyway, this is the last review and it's VERY SPOILER HEAVY, so beware.
Long time reader, first time reviewer. So here goes:
I work at a movie theater, and we usually 'check' the prints we get a few days before they open. Tonight, we all sat down and watched Alien vs. Predator.
Now let me say this first: I'm a big fan of the "so bad it's good" concept. I count among my favorite movies such classics as "Citizen Toxie" and "Troll 2." It's the ability of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" creators to not take themselves seriously that made the series such a success. "Freddy vs. Jason" - which is, I'm sure, part of the reason that AvP was made - was great entertainment, because almost every scene elicited a laugh (Kelly Rowland's nose, anyone?). This is what I was hoping for with AvP, because I knew there was no way Paul WS Anderson was going to pull of a legitimately good movie. All I wanted was to laugh out loud a few times.
Alas, it was not to be. AvP is, simply, hands-down terrible. It was, I can say, even worse than it looked to be when that first script started rolling around. To refresh your memory, the original script had the movie beginning with young Predators hunting Aliens in ancient South America. Something goes wrong, and there end up being a ridiculous number of aliens, and the predators blow themselves up. We cut to the present. I don't know about any of you, but I thought that'd have been relatively cool. Unfortunately, all of this does happen, but it's a little sidenote halfway through the movie and knowing about it beforehand actually made it quite terrible.
I'm going to go relatively deply into the plot, so there are some spoilers ahead. It begins with Lance Hendriksen's company discovering the temple in Antarctica. This is very exciting. We quickly are introduced to the main characters as a representative of Hendriksen's (that black guy who was rumored to be the next James Bond...I forget his name. I actually wouldn't mind seeing him as Bond) travels the globe recruiting people for an expedition. We get terrible little introductions that tell us nothing about anyone other than the fact that they're textbook b-movie characters. We start to get the feeling that Anderson really just wanted to get to the fighting as quickly as possible. The only ones of note are the courageous, strong female mountain climber and the sexy Italian archaeologist man.
We get to Antarctica, and that competing Bellocq-esque character from the original script isn't there. Nuts. Some forgettable stuff happens, and the team ends up going down a shaft to the temple that the Predator ship lasered through the ice. The predators land and kill some people. Despite sexy archaeologist's warnings, black James Bond takes some Predator guns out of a sarcophagus, and the team gets locked down in the temple. An alien queen gets unfrozen, and face-grabbers eventually surface to kill some more characters that I'm pretty sure we were supposed to know and love.
At this point, the fighting begins, and it's fantastically stupid. We see the aliens jumping around like ninjas, in full view, which completely eliminates the mystique that made "Alien" so good. And guess what, two of the three Predators get killed within 5 minutes. Then after another 10 or so, the only human left is Sanaa Lathan, the courageous climber lady. So, logically, she teams up with the last Predator to defeat the aliens. I finally laugh.
Here, there's a silly little scene in which the Predator rewards Sanaa Lathan's courage by making her an "honorary Predator." This, to me, was taking the incredibly cool ending of "Predator 2" and pissing all over it. I laughed here, and so did half of the other people in the theater.
Good Predator and Sanaa blow up the temple, and then have to fight the Alien Queen, who runs around like the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. They defeat her, but it costs the life of poor Good Predator. The Predator mothership shows up (or was it there all along?). Some Predators take away Good Predator's body, and their leader approaches Sanaa Lathan. When he sees that she's an Honorary Predator, he gives her his spear and leaves. After this moment, I don't think I'll ever be able to look at "Predator 2" the same way again.
We see Sanaa walking away triumphantly in plainclothes, not seeming to mind that it's frigging Antarctica, and we all feel very proud of her. But wait...we cut to the Predator ship, where Good Predator is lying on a table, dead. It's now that we remember that a face-grabber had gotten him earlier in the movie. Sure enough, out pops...well I'll let you see this one for yourself. It's absolutely ridiculous, and I don't want to ruin it. If you guess what it is, and then say to yourself "no, that can't be it, that's just stupid"...you have too much faith in Mr. Anderson. At this point, I get up and leave.
Yes, I've glossed over a whole lot, but honestly nothing else is worth mentioning. The movie is completely rushed, and it just plain sucks. It literally could have been 45 minutes long and been just as good. There isn't a memorable character, scene, quote, or death. The effects are reasonably good, but they're nothing new.
The Queen Alien is moderately cool...but she's not supposed to be a T-Rex, she's supposed to be a giant, disturbing, sedentary monster that does nothing but pop out eggs and drive Brad Dourif insane. The camaraderie between Good Predator and Sanaa Lathan is just insulting. Sanaa Lathan is not Danny Glover. Paul WS (what the hell does that stand for, anyway?) has taken one great series (well, except for the fourth one) and one pretty good series and combined them to create completely forgettable crap. It's a real shame, given that we've all been waiting so long for it. Will someone please, PLEASE make "Jaws vs. Chucky" now?
If you use this, call me Cappy Capulet.