Alien Vs. Predator

Directed By: Paul W. S. Anderson

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner, and Colin Salmon

Crossover films are always hit or miss.  Bringing the main attractions from different franchises together is a very tricky matter.  They can't all be like Freddy Vs. Jason where Jason just comes to Freddy's killing grounds on Elm Street.  When confronting the concept of Alien Vs. Predator, writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson had a lot of work to do.  Given the fact that AVP is a prequel to the Alien films and a sequel to the Predator ones, this is abundantly clear.  For a movie centered on aliens and predators beating the holy hell out of each other, Anderson has a decent amount of storytelling to do before the fighting begins.

It's 2004, and a satellite has identified a major heat source on the island of Bouvetoya north of Antarctica.  Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen) of the Weyland Corporation has a team analyze the signal.  They determine that the heat source is an unidentified pyramid that lies deep beneath the cold surface of the island.  The pyramid has an architectural design that resembles ancient cultures from all over the globe including Egypt and Cambodia.

Weyland assembles a team to drill down and explore the pyramid before anyone else.  The team includes arctic guide Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan), archaeologist Sebastian De Rosa (Raoul Bova), mercenary Maxwell Stafford (Colin Salmon), and a host of other experts.  Against Alexa's advice, the team goes down into the pyramid untrained and unprepared for what's about to take place.  They land in the middle of a hunting ritual that takes place every century between Predators and Aliens.  When drillers on the surface are sliced and diced by predators and the team underground meets face-hugging aliens, they realize they're in the middle of a bloodbath.  It's too late though.

Lance Henriksen should have done the same as Sigourney Weaver and had nothing to do with Alien Vs. PredatorAVP is a crossover flick that's a complete miss.  Somewhere down the road, Paul W. S. Anderson forgets that he's making a horror movie.  There's no way in hell that anyone would find AVP to be remotely terrifying.  With Sanaa Lathan playing second fiddle to a predator, there's no reason anyone should.  The concept of a predator needing a human's help is just pathetic.  To top things off, the aliens are nothing more than tough game for the predators.  There's absolutely no fear in that.

My biggest issue with Alien Vs. Predator is the time it takes to get to the bloodbath.  The movie had been in production hell for years.  To exacerbate things, Anderson takes forever in bringing the aliens and predators on camera.  He takes his sweet time in introducing the main attractions.  I understand that there's a story that needs to be told explaining how aliens ended up on earth in 2004, but we don't care about the puny humans.  Get to the damn battle between aliens and predators.  We've waited years.  Don't make us wait any longer for this B-movie crap.

Alien Vs. Predator was a bad idea from the start.  The film is entertainingly awful and a terrible career move for Brown Sugar star Sanaa Lathan.  She highlighted a film that is anything but scary and is entirely predictable.  To make things worse, her character even talks to the predator as if he understands English.  AVP gets a wasted rating.  Ask your bartender for some mystery shots before this one.