Friday, August 13, 2004
Review: Alien vs. Predator
Just got home from watching the preview to Alien vs. Predator. I have to say that I expected less than what I got.
There are aliens aplenty and enough predators to get the job done. And then there's the humans. Those pesky humans. They just get in the way, don't they?
Well, I'm going to ruin the film for you now, unless you look away. So beware: spoilers follow.
It turns out that the predators have a kind of Ultimate Hunt Tournament every so-many-years (100 years from what I gather) in the middle of the Antarctic, and they send three contestants down to compete. The quarry is a controlled bred batch of aliens that are spawned just for the game. Meanwhile, in a cool Doom or Unreal fashion, the enclosed environment restructures itself every ten minutes, blocking passages and making new ones.
A perfect pasttime for the predators.
But then come the humans. Told you they were pesky.
Anyway, the humans not only hit the "on" switch prematurely, they also take the tournament weapons as archaeological finds. What were they thinking?
I mean... the writing's on the wall!
So what happens is that the aliens cease the moment and spring a breakout, killing whoever the predators left alive when they came to restore order to their contest.
From there on out it's another alien or predator movie... but with both. And people, too.
It's not hard to see who will be the survivor and Sanaa Lathan does a remarkable job showing strength and backbone while not over-doing it. She really went into this movie with the right attitude. While not exactly being as stern or butch as Sigourney Weaver was with Ripley, she doesn't play the role for laughs either. Definitely an actress worth watching. And the end of the movie had me wanting to see a match between her and Uma Thurman's character from Kill Bill.
And that last comment should clue you in to that there is a lot of action in this film. A lot. Sometimes the camera is too close to make out what's happening, but then when the camera pulls back it starts to weigh on the believablility. And not because of the graphics. The graphics in this movie are awesome. Matrix 2 and 3 could only wish to have been this seamless. No, the believability gets questioned when you see both an alien and a predator on the screen at the same time. It's something fanboys have been clamoring for for years. And there they are. Pinch me.
The cinematography was excellent, as well. It definitely felt like an Alien movie. And the location (pyramid in the Antarctic) served as a great means for isolating the cast and giving it the tension it needs.
I'm surprised there hasn't been anymore Predator movies but I'm glad we have this one. A great addition to both franchises.