Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Genres - Action, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Alien Film, Creature Film, Sci-Fi Action  |   Release Date - Aug 13, 2004 (USA)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - Canada, Czechia, Germany, United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Jeremy Wheeler

Long in the production pipeline, Alien vs. Predator finally pitted the two sci-fi horror franchises against each other in an exercise in brainless popcorn entertainment at its most over-buttered and burnt. Besides a few interesting and novel ideas, this slice of thrill trash is completely inept on almost every level. There's zero mystery involved for the key players, while the scares and kill scenes are played completely flat, with little thought going into the action before the editing room. As far as the two bad beasties go, while it's hard to mess up the Alien creature, the Predators come off as the bigger idiots of the bunch, with two of the three intergalactic hunters getting axed as soon as they show up. And speaking of idiots, the characters (mostly played by international actors trying to hide their accents) are so lousy that who would care if any of them got killed? That equals zero suspense for a movie that should hinge on the who-will-die-next plot.

The blame can be thrown all over the place, starting with director Paul W.S. Anderson, whose most inspired idea comes in the form of casting series veteran Lance Henriksen. Unfortunately for audiences, that tricky maneuver only proves that this bland and sickly character is only interesting in death, when his charming robot self lives on in much better productions than this. The effects are the expired frosting on this junky cake, with Stan Winston getting sidelined by Amalgamated Dynamics (Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection) as they pull off another okay Alien gig, but fail miserably with the goofy Predator makeup and ridiculous bulky costuming!

For many, Alien vs. Predator is pure comic-book fluff, and they would be completely right -- but just like most ongoing comic series, there will always be the stinky issues that are drawn far too extreme and way too adolescent in their writing. That is what this team-up smells like. AVP is recommended for 12-year-olds, cheese-lovers, and others who haven't had the chance to relish what makes these movies great to begin with.