Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


AVP: ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (2004). Writer/Director: Paul W. S. Anderson.

This is the fifth in the Alien series and the third in the Predator series. But while the predators may emerge triumphant -- or do they? -- most people will buy this DVD because of the Aliens. [Frankly, the two Predator films, while not without their moments, couldn't compare to the Alien movies.] A scientific research team descends into a tunnel somehow burnt into the frigid wasteland to discover a pyramid that is centuries old and shows evidence of several different cultures. They also find themselves smack in the middle of a battle between the Predators and the Aliens, who seem evenly matched. The movie explains the relationship between the two alien species and mankind and features some excellent special effects and well-handled action scenes. It is also a very good-looking, well-photographed movie. It isn't especially scary, however, and at times seems more of an action film than a horror flick. There is an attempt at characterization with some appealing actors but they get killed off before we can really bond with them. Although there are a couple of scenes featuring the acid blood of the Aliens, there are times when the little critters get torn apart without that same blood having much of an effect on the people or Predators standing nearby. Lance Henriksen is the only name in the cast, and he's fine, as usual. The lead actress, Samaa Lathan, isn't bad, but she lacks that Sigourney Weaver-type presence [this is not to say that Weaver is a great actress] and doesn't always nail her scenes convincingly.

Verdict: There's life in those old aliens yet. ***.

1 comment:

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