Space May Days — Respectful Reel Reviews #28: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

MOVIE TITLE:

Alien vs. Predator

IMDB YEAR RELEASED:

2004

GENRE:

Science Fiction / Action / Horror

STARRING:

Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henrickson, Ewen Bremner, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan, Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte, Sam Troughton, Agathe de La Boulaye

DIRECTED BY:

Paul W. S. Anderson

SUMMARY:

A team of archeologists find that while on expedition to Bouvet Island in Antarctica, they have unwittingly become involved in a hunt in which the Extraplanetary Lifeforms periodically engage in with humans as bait.

TAGLINES:

Whoever wins… We lose.

It’s our planet…. It’s their war.

“The enemy of my enemy….is my friend.”

PLOT:

A predator ship surreptitiously circles the earth, and as it hovers over Antarctica, melts a hole through the ice. A satellite takes note of the heat signature beneath Bouvet Island. Meanwhile, Charles Weyland (Lance Henrickson) the affluent industrialist has determined through thermal imaging that there is a pyramid buried deep beneath Bouvet Island.

Weyland has organized an archaeological party to help him determine what is there and how significant a find it may be. Weyland is so anxious to put an imprint on the world because he is terminally ill. His legacy calls to him, and as such he is blinded by the hazards of digging in such an inhospitable environment. Lex Woods, a mountaineering guide (Sanaa Lathan) is there to mitigate his enthusiasm with common sense.

Once the archaeological team arrives at the excavation site, they find the tunnel that has been drilled to an unnaturally smooth finish, tilted at a thirty-degree angle leading directly to the subterranean pyramid. Once arriving at the entrance, exploration ensues.

When they arrive at the burial chamber, the team find evidence of three ancient civilizations and their sacrifices to the Gods. Also, those bodies which were sacrificed reveal evidence of chest eruptions familiar to anyone that has watched an “Alien” movie.

As members of the archaeological team have separated, those that remained on the surface get attacked by three Predators. The Predators make short work of the team, leading the viewer to believe that this is not going to turn out so good for the humans.

As the predators make their way into the pyramid, the archeologists in the burial chamber unwittingly activate the pyramid and initiate a whole lot of hurt. The walls begin to move every ten minutes, altering the shapes and dimensions of rooms; the Alien Queen is awakened, thawed, and immediately begins to produce face hugger eggs.

As the team flees the burial chambers, some grab predator artifacts that look very much like weapons, and in the ensuing chaos are separated. As soon as the face hugger eggs are ready, they begin to fulfill their function of propagating the full-sized Alien fighters.

I’m going to stop the plot synopsis here, because this is where it gets a little more action-oriented and chaotic (in a good way.) I don’t want to spoil anything because if you have never watched it, I believe you should. The movie is newly available on Tubi for free, so you should check it out. Now, for the review.

REVIEW:

Let me get this out of the way, post-haste. If you approached this movie as if you were going to get an academy award worthy movie back in 2004, the first time you watched this movie, then you were probably disappointed. This movie has a 20% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, and I cannot understand “Why?”

I recognize that the movie is a cash grab movie trying to capitalize on the Geek interest, “Who would win?” Superman vs. Batman. King Kong vs Godzilla. Freddy vs Jason. Now, Alien vs. Predator. Dark Horse Comics had been capitalizing on that interest since 1989!

Someone got the right idea to do this, and the idea had been percolating for 15 years. So, I get that you might not like this movie, but the film spent 16 weeks (3 months) in the theater and made $80 million plus in North America, and $177 million worldwide. It is the second top grossing movie from the Predator franchise and third behind Prometheus and Aliens in the other.

Clearly, people went to the theater to see this movie. It is not a great movie, but Sanaa Lathan is great. Raoul Bova is OK. And Lance Hendrickson is Lance Hendrickson. The cinematography is pretty good, the directing is OK, the story is all right. This movie is not a bad movie. It’s a fun movie. I think that the 3 actors I mentioned, save this movie.

I think this movie deserves a second viewing. So, check it out. Like I said, it’s available for free on Tubi. Well, I think that that is all for me. As always, I say thanks for reading our posts. The Mustache and the Beard are exceedingly grateful. I love you, very much. Stay safe. See you, later. Take it easy. Peace.

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