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Alien vs. Predator

When a satellite of the Weyland Yutani Corporation sees a structure deep under the ice layers of Antarctica, Charles Bishop Weyland (Henriksen) puts together a team of expert scientists that will go on-site to examine it. When they arrive, they find a clean-made tunnel that wasn’t there 24 hours before and which leads directly to the building under the ice. Despite warnings from guide Alexa Woods, the team decends in the tunnel and starts looking around in the building which appears to be a piramid with properties of different ancient Earth cultures. Further investigation leads to a chamber where human sacrifices were done but it’s clear that something weird happened as the corpses look like something came out of them instead of that they had been killed by an external cause. While the team splits up and continues to investigate, they unknowingly start up an ancient machine that wakes up an Alien Queen who immediately starts laying eggs.

Meanwhile on the surface, three predators arrive and kill the remaining humans before entering the tunnel to the piramid. A fight between the Aliens and the Predators is about to begin and the humans are right in the middle of the action…

Sound and Vision:
The image quality is pretty good. There’s some minor grain present but this doesn’t really spoil the fun. The amount of detail, contrast, sharpness, shadow detail and level of black are all very good while the colors look natural despite the fact that the movie is filled with dark scenes. Compression errors and edge enhancement are absent.

We get a nice DTS track that sounds very atmospheric with lots of use of the subwoofer and surround channels. Dialogues are always clear and coming from the center speaker as they should. Good stuff!

Extras:
– Trailer of Robots, Flight of the Phoenix, Man on Fire and The Girl Next Door are awaiting you when you start up the disc. Fortunately, you can skip them.
– You can choose to watch the standard theatrical version but the extended version is also available although this only adds a short intro sequence.
– Audio commentary by director Paul W.S. Anderson, Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan
– Audio commentary by special effects guys Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. and John Bruno
– Promotional Inside Looks of “Hide and Seek”, “Elektra” and “Robots”.

Conclusion:
While both the Predator and the Alien movies have had their fair share of top directors (Ridley Scott, James Cameron, John McTiernan), the sequels tend to go downwarth in quality and the same can be said about the directors. Predator 2 had to suffice with Stephen Hopkins, Alien 3 got David Fincher and Alien Resurrection was done by Jean-Pierre Jeunet who hasn’t done anything decent since. Paul W. S. Anderson has in total directed 8 movies with Event Horizon and Resident Evil as the most well-known (and best). This guy has got little experience but did manage to create some interesting sci-fi/action movies and that must be why he was contacted for Alien vs. Predator as I wouldn’t know any other reason. However, Anderson’s movies don’t really tend to be top quality when it comes to script and this is not something we want to forgive when two major series like Alien and Predator come together.

While we get to see tons of references to previous Alien and Predator movies aswell as to other movies/series (Piper Maru from The X-Files), the true spirit of the Alien series is completely demolished by Anderson. Lance Henriksen is brought in to give some familiarity to the movie but this completely disrupts the Alien series’ timeline, the Aliens suddenly manage to reproduce at a rate that’s faster than rabbits, while in the Alien movies everything is done to prevent the aliens to arrive on Earth they appear to be here already, etc etc etc. When not thinking of either series while watching this movie, and seeing it as a completely seperate film, we get a pretty standard action movie with rather cardboard characters that appear only to be used as bait for the aliens and predators. Decent but nothing special.

The fact that it isn’t R-rated (unlike any of the Alien or Predator movies) actually says enough already. Standard Hollywood-stuff without much depth which needs to appeal to an audience as big as possible

Our Score:
6.0

posted in: DVD, Fox, Reviews
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