Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Commentary by Paul WS
Anderson, Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Latham. Commentary by Alec
Gillis, Tom Woodruff & John Bruno (special effects team).
Inside Look Feature: Hide and Seek. Inside Look Feature: Elektra.
Inside Look Feature: Robots.
Disc Two: Conception featurette. Visual effects featurette. Alien
vs Predator: The Comic Book. Monsters in Miniature. HBO Special
The Making of Alien vs Predator. ADI (Special Effects) Workshop.
Miniature Whaling Station. Facehuggers and Eggs. Trouble at the
Mouth of the Tunnel. Deleted scenes with optional commentary.
Storyboard gallery. Concept art. Tom the Alien Actor. The Biggest
Match-Up of All Time Clips.
FANS of the classic sci-fi franchises, Alien and Predator, are
in for a nasty surprise if they venture into this merger of the
two, which removes all the chills and ingenuity of those great
As directed by Paul WS Anderson, Alien vs Predator is a visually
striking yet completely shallow affair, that places computer game
shoot-em-up scenarios above any sustained tension.
As such, it's an empty, pointless affair that does little to
enhance Anderson's reputation as a director of pointless movies,
given the equally lacklustre likes of Resident Evil and Mortal
Set in the present day, the movie finds a team of expert scientists
travelling to the Antarctic to investigate some curious heat radiations
from beneath the surface.
Financed by Lance Henriksen's powerful billionaire, Charles Bishop
Weyland, and led by Sanaa Lathan's no-nonsense environmentalist,
Alexa Woods, the team ventures 2,000 feet below the ice layer
into a mechanized, Aztec-style pyramid, which contains a series
of chambers and mazes.
What they don't realise, however, is that they have been lured
there as bait and thrust into the middle of a war between the
predators and aliens, the latter of which have been forced to
lay eggs to provide training programmes for young predator warriors.
Hence, no sooner has the team - including
Ewan Bremner's chemical engineer and Raoul Bova's Italian archaeologist
- arrived, then all hell breaks loose, and the humans find themselves
easy prey for their extra-terrestrial tormentors.
The poster for the film boasts the tagline, 'whoever wins, we
lose', and it's impossible not to agree with the sentiment while
For, despite a promising opening spell, which actually takes
time to introduce the characters, the film then proceeds to dispense
with most of them in a matter of seconds, rendering the whole
Thereafter, it's just a matter of time before the Alien Queen
and the chief predator go head-to-head for the movie's overblown
finale, which then adds insult to injury by attempting to set
things up for another film in the series.
In terms of actually scaring audiences, however, or providing
them with anything to think about, the film falls consistently
There are some nice nods to past films in both franchises, such
as some of the cool predator toys used to dispense with the aliens,
and a nice gag involving Henriksen's Bishop character and the
knife between the fingers sequence from Aliens, but they are few
and far between, serving only to show just how far Anderson has
strayed from the source material.
In terms of special effects, the film does impress, with several
of the skirmishes between the super-monsters worthy of praise,
even if they eventually become repetitive amid Anderson's continuing
need to blow stuff up.
But the film eventually takes such an absurd direction that even
the most die-hard Alien or Predator fan might find themselves
struggling to stifle the groans.
Given the computer game format of the second half of the movie,
it seems pertinent to remind viewers of one of the better lines
from Aliens, in which Bill Paxton's space commando is seen to
shout 'game over, man, game over!' as the hopelesness of his predicament
Viewers of Alien vs Predator will probably echo the same sentiment
- only they won't b able to switch off this particular console.