Written by: Matt Molgaard
There are some films that just command full attention. They’re rare, but they’re out there, and you know exactly the type of pic I’m referring to. The movies that force you to interrupt any other viewing you may have had already in process, simply because you stumbled across it during a brief channel surfing break. Movies that leave you fiddling with the DVR, despite the fact that you’re pretty damn sure you already own that flick on DVD. That’s an awesome picture, regardless of how refined the production is or isn’t. That’s a category that, for me, houses movies like Alien vs. Predator.
There’s very little meat on the bone in regards to story, but we’re not really looking for earth shattering narrative or profound character study. At least, we shouldn’t be. This is after all a hybrid piece featuring two entirely outlandish creations. Both Alien and Predator have been featured in some amazing works, but they’re also a little crazy when you really think about them. The Alien bleeds acid. The fucking Predator has the ability to self-destruct, disappear at will, blow craters in torsos… you catch my drift. Anyhow, the story is little more than outline, with a group of scientists and explorers finding themselves trapped in an ancient pyramid complete with revolving chambers, ultra-intimidating statues a few Xenomorphs and a few Predators. Caught in a battle of alien proportions the humans are forced to fight for survival or be completely run over by these behemoths.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of little details in the story that I find compelling, but they’re not the focus of the pic (and not all work, to say the least). And those details aren’t the magnetic element that immediately seizes viewer attention. That’s something completely different. See, this is a piece that not only taps into the great bank of nostalgia, it’s also loaded with ancillary action and rewarding – even if not overtly graphic – violence. It feels like a classic Universal monster movie crossover, on steroids. And the special effects are fairly impressive. For as bad as it is in moments, it really is one hell of a film.
If Aliens vs. Predators doesn’t entertain you, you may just be looking for and expecting something profound or redefining, and you won’t find it. This movie is meant to do nothing more than please the action/horror fans of the late ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s awfully fucking efficacious in doing so.