Sanaa Lathan as Alexa Woods
Raoul Bova as Sebastian de Rosa
Lance Henriksen as Charles Bishop Weyland
Ewen Bremner as Graeme Miller
Colin Salmon as Maxwell Stafford
Tommy Flanagan as Mark Verheiden
Joseph Rye as Joe Connors
Agathe De La Boulaye as Adele Rousseau
Carsten Norgaard as Rusten Quinn
Sam Troughton as Thomas Parks
Petr Jákl as Stone
Pavel Bezdek as Bass
Kieran Bew as Klaus
Carsten Voigt as Mikkel
Jan Filipensky as Boris
When the team arrives, they discover many strange stone carvings and hieroglyphics depicting sacrifice, hunting, and strange creatures. Little does the team realize that they have stumbled upon an ancient training ground for the Predators. The alien race of hunters placed the pyramid there thousands of years ago as a location for a hunting rite of passage. Inside, they hunt the Alien, one of the fiercest creatures in the galaxy and an integral part of their hunting culture.
As luck would have it, the humans have been lured to the pyramid just in time for the latest Predator hunt. The human team is needed to incubate the Alien young. The human team quickly realizes their dangerous predicament, but will any of them survive the battle between Alien and Predator?
Alien vs. Predator is rated PG-13 for violence, language, horror images, slime and gore. (‘Slime’ earns a PG-13 rating???)
I actually walked away from AVP thinking it was pretty decent. It wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it wasn’t the train wreck that many people were expecting either. It ended up being exactly what I thought it would be a decent popcorn / monster flick. I thought it wasn’t anywhere near the quality of the original films, but it was a bit better than Predator 2 and Alien 3. While I wish they had simply adapted the first Aliens vs. Predator comic (which took place on another planet far in the future), this adventure ended up working out OK. In fact, the movie became more and more like the comic right up until the end. Some of the key moments from the comic are included in this film. The marking of foreheads with the alien finger and blood is here. Some of the classic AVP shots are here. There are other similarities, but I won’t go into them here.
This film also ties heavily into the film franchises that started everything. The Weyland company is the same one seen in the Aliens films. Charles Bishop Weyland is even the guy that the Bishop android from Aliens is modeled after. Lance Henriksen reprises the role, of course. (He even does a brief tip of the hat to the knife between the fingers trick from Aliens.) You see all stages of the Aliens from face huggers to chest bursters all the way up to the Queen. The Predators also have all of their trademarks. They string people up from rafters, use all sorts of nifty gadgets, and keep trophies from their victims. Though the movie doesn’t entirely feel like either an Alien or Predator sequel, these trademarks help give some authenticity to the film.
The effects vary in quality, but they are generally good. I was particularly impressed with the CGI Aliens. They looked great. There are some great shots of the warrior Aliens as well as the Queen. You get to see her in full battle action and it was quite spectacular. Shots of her and thousands upon thousands of swarming Aliens really made me eager to see a purely Alien sequel. I’d really like to see what they could pull off with new technology. The Predators looked best when their masks were on. I didn’t like their faces as much when they removed their masks, but this was a rare occurrence. Their ships were also portrayed in a cool stealth manner.
As for the human actors, they weren’t terribly impressive. But then again, they are there simply to be killed by the monsters. Nothing more. Besides Lance Henriksen as Charles Bishop Weyland, Sanaa Lathan is the only other notable one as Alexa Woods. She and all of the others have all sorts of bad dialogue and cheesy moments, but that’s OK. I didn’t go to see Shakespeare. I went to see Aliens fight Predators and that’s what I got.
Overall, I thought it was a decent action flick. If you’re an Aliens or Predator fan, I think you’ll find moments throughout the film that will impress you. It wasn’t as spectacular as it could have been, but it wasn’t a bomb either.
What Didn’t Work:
I also wish the film was still based on the comic and set on another planet. While this film worked OK, I like the futuristic, frontier setting a lot better. I think it would have given the audience a better, stranger environment. Another minor gripe was that the whole Alien lifecycle was greatly accelerated for the film. Rather than going from facehugger to full alien in a few days, it’s a matter of a few hours in the movie. I didn’t like it, bu maybe you can justify it by saying they were modified by the Predators to grow faster.
As for other problems with the film, I already mentioned the bad dialogue and poor Predator faces. To that I’ll add that I didn’t like the look of some of the action scenes. The camera would pull in extremely close to the action and the lighting would kind of strobe. The end result was a big blur during the fight scenes. I couldn’t tell what the heck was going on. The camera pulled back a bit more as the movie progressed and I got a better sense of the battles, but early on it was frustrating.
The Bottom Line: