Alien Vs. Predator
by Paul W.S. Anderson
Woods brings everyone (also along for the ride are a scientist played by Ewen Bremner and some of Bishop's armed men, one played by the once again woefully misused Colin Salmon, who thankfully stopped slumming in Paul W.S. Anderson movies after this) to the sight only to realize that they don't need Verheiden's drill after all, something bore a hole right through the ice to the pyramid for them about a day ago. They set up a rig and start their descent to the structure. Improbably the structure is surrounded by a large cavern and not just frozen solid into the ice like, you know, common sense would dictate. So they climb the giant staircase and start poking around inside, accidentally setting off a switch that brings a queen alien out of deep freeze. As she starts laying eggs, reinforcements in the form of three predators land, kill everyone back on top of the sight and then run into the pyramid to contain the impending alien onslaught. Soon the eggs have hatched, the faces have been hugged, the chests have been burst and the supremely lame battle has come sashaying to a start.
Beyond the problems with the script is that this is a Paul W.S. Anderson film. Like Resident Evil, we're treated to chunks of endless exposition that has nothing to do with the immediate threat, a stupid-ass 3D map of the area, loads of characters with two much baggage all there to be killed, and lots of flashing of weapons and slow-mo action. A tip to action directors: the opposite of action is immobility, so why slow everything down in the middle of an action sequence? Seriously. Answer me that. Please. Anyone? Why would you put so much slow-motion in an action movie? Forgive me if I've misinterpreted something but in an action movie there's supposed to be some MOTHERFUCKING ACTION, not a recap of how cool the shot was! Anderson's fanboy direction renders the sequences of the aliens and predators fighting into a cutscene from one of the video games he loves so much. And when the alien has the top of its tale cut off and it uses it like a hose to spray the predator in blood, it's game over. Because the single greatest problem with Alien Vs. Predator is that Anderson had no respect for fans of either series. The behavior of both creatures is neglected entirely and a whole new, much stupider set of rules. The predators have shiny new gear with pointless functions and there's too much CGI and nice people are killed horribly by them. It also makes no sense given what we know about the predator that they've been doing this training thing here on earth. If that were the case, they'd be much better equipped to deal with them than they are on their trips to Earth in Predator and Predator 2. Anderson also negates the heat vision established in the first two films right out of the gate. The aliens are also not smart enough creatures to understand the harm their blood causes, let alone to use it as a weapon. If Predators have the intelligence of people, aliens are no smarter than wild dogs or crocodiles. They know what they have to but they don't contemplate their own mortality. I don't think Anderson saw the movies he was following so much as he studied their promotional material and delivered a mishmash of supposedly popular elements that just sit there. I knew it was a bad idea for aliens and predators to meet but who knew it would be so fucking boring.
Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem
by The Brothers Strausse
There's also some stuff in there about Kelly, a veteran coming home to her daughter for the first time, but it doesn't really matter. In point of fact we meet a lot of Crested Butte's citizens but aside from Dallas, Ricky, Ortiz, Kelly and her daughter, this movie could be about the clowns at a traveling circus or a bus full of cheerleading nuns; they're just there to get murdered by spacebeasts. That's nothing new; plot-wise this movie is Eight Legged Freaks, almost to a note and if I were Ellory Elkayem I'd consider suing (but then I'd have considered not making Eight Legged Freaks). The difference between this and that more pleasant giant spider movie was that Eight Legged Freaks had a sense of humour. AVPR has no such thing, even if it knows it's just a trashy action film. It has a kind of heinous disdain for all people which means that whether you're a slutty high school girl, a cute waitress, an expectant mother or a pleasant cop, your chances of not being horribly mutilated are slim. My dad was so repulsed by the way they kill everyone from kids to mothers that he couldn't stop thinking about it, then bought it used at a convenience store. He hadn't seen a major studio release so dark before and couldn't get it out of his head. The Saw movies might be exclusively about cleverly cutting people up but this was an Alien movie, wasn't it? Somewhere in this film's DNA was Ellen Ripley going back to rescue Newt from the queen alien. But here no one's life is sacred. This is a film in which the first victims of the face-hugger are a little boy who has to watch his dad go first and the last are the women in a packed maternity ward. I guess if fucking up two franchises dear to the hearts of thousands didn't bother them, why should killing innocent people who aren't around long enough to deserve it?