Winning review on Alien Vs Preditor

29th April 2005 at 01:00
My mommy always said there were no monsters, no real ones, but there are.

As two of the most iconic monsters in cinematic history clash for the ultimate sci-fi smack-down, may Alien and Predator fans greet it with apprehension; the words "directed by Paul W S Anderson" inspiring more fear than being stuck in a lift with a xenomorph.

Sure enough, the director makes some crucial mistakes, but for every bland, expendable character employed by Charles Weyland Bishop (Alien series veteran Lance Henrikson) there is a moment of spectacular visual flair (although even the initial fight scenes fall victim to the misguided stylings of the "Resident Evil" director). The plot is predictably thin (unwitting explorers uncover a pyramid, explore, get caught in the crossfire) but just enough to see the movie through its admittedly exhilarating action sequences to its clumsy ending. While AVP displays neither the intelligence of Alien nor the adrenaline of Aliens; as part off the Predator franchise works a treat, having the gung-ho action of the original, and making none of the bungled sequel's mistakes.

Where AVP falters is in its lack of respect for its host. Yes, there are gratifying nods to Aliens, but the original blink-and-you miss-it terror, through to the melancholic atmosphere of the third is completely replaced in favour of no-holds-barred action preferred by Dark Horse comics and Sierra videogames. Overall, AVP is a different beast altogether functional rather than fantastic. Alien and Predator are back, and this time, it's war.

Chris Nesbit

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