When our long-time forum contributor NotSoSecretAgent decided to go see Fahrenheit 9/11 little did he suspect that "an annoying man in an ugly shirt" would approach him and offer him tickets to a blind test screening of "a massive summer blockbuster. A fantasy/action thriller…"
Naturally intrigued and like the trooper movie fan that he is, NotSo took his freebie tickets without hesitation. Well here we are the morning after, so to speak, and as it turns out his screening sadly wasn't for the highly anticipated Catwoman as we all might have liked(!) It was in fact for Paul W.S. Anderson's upcoming face-off flick Alien vs Predator.
So how was it? Only last week a pretty exciting trailer was released to get everyone's juices flowing - after all this is the long-awaited clashing of sci-fi's two biggest badasses. However, it's also being directed by the man responsible for inflicting Mortal Kombat and Soldier on the world. Hardly a stunning resume, but who knows...?
One man certainly does, so with that, the floor is yours NotSoSecretAgent:
Most people who know me know that I'm not a big action movie fan. The way I like to think of it is that I love action movies so much that they rarely ever please me. So, I guess you could say I'm "hard to please." While movies like The Punisher are awful, I don't hate them with passion because they are tailored be dumb. Alien vs. Predator on the other hand is a movie that could benefit from smart, methodical scares as well as big action setpieces. It is because of that fact that Alien vs. Predator goes beyond being an average action movie that I would normally scoff at and becomes an impossibly dumb, horrendous viewing experience.
It probably should have been obvious that Alien vs. Predator would be terrible. After all, it is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who’s made a career out of churning out masturbatory, child-like fantasies stretched beyond their limits. This is worse than anything his filmography could have prepared you for.
Just like every other Paul W.S. Anderson film, there’s a ridiculous plot at the beginning, but it really is just an excuse to get to the horribly staged action. In what I guess is some sort of ode to Aliens, Lance Henriksen plays Charles Bishop Weyland, a billionaire of some sort, who gathers a crack team of scientists and archaeologists, which includes but is not limited to Spud from Trainspotting (Ewen Bremner) and that evil Iceland coach Wolf Stansson from cinematic epic D2: The Mighty Ducks (Carsten Norgaard). What does he gather them for, you ask? To investigate some sort of ancient pyramid frozen under Antarctica. The Predators then show up and the Aliens who are hidden in the temple get angry about that. After a painfully lame explanation of why they’re there (which one of the archaeologists figures out by looking at the floor...seriously), the action starts. And that would be all she wrote for any sort of plot. Alien vs. Predator wants to be a combination of Alien, Predator, and The Thing, but instead it’s more like they put Alien Resurrection, Predator 2, and a piece of crap in a blender, then stuck them in Antarctica. The acting is amateurish at best. They read the lines like they are Shakespeare which makes them look only more goofy.
Surprisingly enough, the second to worst thing about this movie is the action. When an Alien starts using its tale as a whip (complete with the “wah-chhhhhh” sound effect) and a Predator does professional wrestling moves on the alien, this movie lost all hope.
The following paragraph contains spoilers about my least favorite aspect of the movie. Trust me, it’s hilarious.
Okay, so, the acting is bad. Big deal? The action is not as good as it could be. So what? Okay, get this. When Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan), the sole survivor, discovers that Predators are only there to hunt the Aliens, she decides to befriend a Predator. Since the Predator that she was trying befriend had killed about 10 humans without thinking about it earlier in the movie, I figured that he would reject her outreaching and continue to kill anything that moves. Nope. With little hesitation, they each get weapons then run off together in slow motion. Later, when they are escaping from explosion, they ride on this cart thing together. When they get back to the surface, Predator takes off his helmet and opens his mouth as if he wants to kiss. But before Alexa has the chance to decide whether or not she’ll kiss him, they get attacked by a gigantic Alien. After they defeat the Alien, the Predator is laying on the ground dying. Alexa kneels over him and Predator lifts his head, says something in his language, and his head falls back. Right before Alexa can begin to cry, more Predators show up and ceremoniously give her his bowstaff. That’s when I knew that I was watching the worst movie of the year.
If I can stop just one person from seeing Alien vs. Predator, I’ll be satisfied. Of course, if I were looking forward to this movie, I probably would still see it, regardless of what “some guy” thinks. But I beg you: don’t see this movie. Don’t support Paul W.S. Anderson. Because if you do, he’s only going to continue to make more movies like this.
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