Okay, let's remind everyone of the playing field here. I am fond of stupid fucking movies. If you give me the option of watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy or watching an all night marathon of shitty Mega-Shark movies from the Asylum... I'm gonna be watching me some shark attacks. I love the Hammer Dracula movies, I think John Carpenter's Pre- 'They Live' are some of the greatest bits of motion picture cinema ever made and you all know what I thought of the Michael Bay Transformers movie. But while I love stupid-awesome films, it doesn't mean I don't like watching high quality movies. I loved Inception, I'm looking so forward to the Hobbit movies and the recent trailer for Prometheus by Ridley Scott really has me excited. But while I love high quality films, I also refuse to coddle to stupid crap that THINKS it's more than what it is. Avatar, that while pretty to look at, had a plot that made Revenge of the Fallen seem like motherfucking Casablanca. At least Michael Bay knew he was making a silly movie about toy robots and explosions. And this is a serious problem with a lot of movies. (Also comics, books, video games and music as well.) They forget that these things are supposed to be fun as well. It's good to have yourself some actual intellectual entertainment once in a while, but enjoying nothing but “high caliber art” turns you into one of those cheese and wine consuming cockbites, who thinks there should be political meaning behind everything.
I'm perfectly capable of enjoying stupid shit for what it is, and considering the dollar return for movies like the Bay-Former films, Clash of the Titans, and the like... I think most people are as well. But in order for that to happen, the movie needs to be honest with what kind of movie it is. That's what it comes down to, BEING HONEST. And far too often, especially in the 'nerd circle' we tend to let our nostalgic memories dictate our entertainment. We tend to get pissed off when a movie isn't what we want it to be... As opposed to what it is. And no movie is this more true for, than our topic of today, 2004's Alien vs Predator.
|This was actually a|
pretty cool book.
Now when this movie came out, a lot of people were really harsh on it, and honestly, I just don't know why. The movie is stupid, but it's right there in the title. Alien VERSUS Predator. That's right up there with Freddy Vs. Jason, Godzilla vs King Kong and Dracula vs. Frankenstein. If the word “versus” is in the title, if you are expecting anything more than stupid monster fighting, then I'm sorry... The wine and cheese dishes are over there next to the complementary sticks... They're for your butt. This was a concept that originated from a 1980's Dark Horse comic book. And if you remember... The 1980s wasn't exactly known for being real deep. Some of the common complaints I hear was that because it was rated PG-13, as opposed to R, it was tamed down. Well, they commonly air the original six movies on TV all the time, and other than language, it's almost entirely uncut. Gore that was 'R-Rated' back in the 80s now is rather tame and you can get away with it during daytime hours. Language? Okay, so they didn't say the word “fuck”. Big whoop. Oh yeah... The complaint mentioned on Wikipedia: “Wooden Acting and Cardboard Characters”
|Because you know... There was NOTHING flawed|
and stupid in Aliens before AvP, amirite?
Wait... Did... Did you SEE last batch of movies made since 1987? Predator 2 was nothing more than an overly gory cop movie with bad acting. (Which was the last Predator movie they made, almost fifteen years prior.) Other than select few, there was almost no one likable in Alien 3 (though I'm still highly fond of the movie, and I'll get to that later), Alien Resurrection was hilarious for when the cast of Firefly shows up and we all know what I think of THAT show. It was also the only two Alien and Predator movie movie I currently do not own and do not wish to own. So 17 years of crap, and suddenly people are concerned for the franchise? Was there EVER a franchise in the first place? Seriously, all the AvP movies since 1987's Predator... Have sucked. They are fucking stupid. (Once again, I would like to defend Alien 3, but that's for another time.) At least Alien vs. Predator pretty much admits it's a hokey monster movie.
I mean, I get it. Some people have a real bad one for director Paul W.S. Anderson. They think he makes nothing but lowest common denominator movies, and that dude from Ain't it Cool News seems to really have it out for him. Really, the guy to date, is the only person to make a few commercially successful video game movie. Mortal Kombat was a big success, as was Resident Evil. I think Event Horizon is an extremely underrated movie. Sure Soldier and Death Race sucked. But name me one director who's never made a bad movie in their life, and I'll show you an egotistical delusionary. (Stanley Kubrick may be the only exception.) Sure, Paul W.S. Anderson doesn't make high art... But where has he ever gone the Uwe Boll route and claimed he did? You listen to the commentary, and there is zero pretentiousness in his voice. But hey, he gets to bone Milla Jovovich on a regular basis... So he must be doing something right.
|I'd say I used to fantasize about her, but|
that would imply that I had stopped.
Look at the plot for a second: A small team of explorers go to investigate a pyramid which has been discovered under the ice of Antarctica. As they're exploring, they discover that there are monsters there, and other monsters have shown up to fight them. This is totally a 1950's monster movie, straight out of 'The Thing from Another World' mold. (By the way, the Thing Prequel will be forthcoming here when it's released to DVD.) Except in this movie's case, the monsters were the Aliens and Predators. The whole set up was similar to a 1950's monster movie, taking it's time to slowly build up the scenario. The characters were a bit corny, but no more than any other Alien film. It's always great to see Lance Henriksen in anything. (I loved the 1990's series Millennium, just because of him.)
All the little touches they added in there, from Weyland's “knife trick” with the pen to how the credits were a merger of the title credits from both Alien and Predator. It was obvious that Anderson was a big ass fan of the movies. There was a lot of creative film work with this one. They actually made it look Antarctica, and they made a scene in Mexico look like Mexico, and they had a rather creative transforming pyramid, which was really utterly cool looking. And it all looked expensive and detailed... When in actuality, all of it was filmed in Prague in summertime, for a fraction of the costs. I really applaud that bit of creative filming. The special effects were decent. They weren't breaking new grounds, because seriously... Making a shiny black armor-like bug monster is pretty standard these days in CGI. The scene of the Alien and the Predator beating the shit out of each other was fun to watch. The story's faithful, and doesn't contradict anything established. It doesn't spit on established lore, like Alien Resurrection did. But we're nerds. If it's not exactly how we wanted it, we get pissed too easily. (Hey, in case you think I'm pointing fingers, I'm just as guilty of that as anyone. Perhaps even more.)
If they had called this movie “Dark Ice” or just some other silly typical title... No one would care. It's just that it was part of the silly franchise, “how dare they ruin Aliens and Predator!” The franchise was already ruined. It's not like this movie cost a whole hell of a lot of money, and it made three times it's money back. For a brief period of time, it renewed interest in the franchises... That was until the horrible sequel came a few years later. No really, the sequel?
|Throat-fucking pregnant women... Jesus. Christ.|
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem? It's on my list of one of the worst movies of all time. It is awful. It's one of the few movies I almost walked out of. (And usually if I pay for a movie, I'll sit through it.) And what's hilarious about it, is that it took great pains to include all the stuff that the “real fans” were complaining was missing from the first film... Excessive violence and gore, vulgarity, darker story, ect. And in their attempt to include all of this, they made a horrible piece of shit, which convinced me that the fans should almost never be listened. How bad was it? It's the OTHER Alien and Predator movie I currently do not own and do not wish to own. (BTW, for the record, I have not yet seen Predators, though I plan to someday.)
Is Alien vs. Predator a perfect movie? Far, far from it. But like I've said before about other movies, it's bluntly honest about the kind of movie it is. Where the first Alien film was a claustrophobic horror movie, the second was an action film and the first Predator movie was an Arnold movie... This is a modern day 1950's monster movie. In short... It's not a bad movie. It's a fun little romp. In fact, out of the entire Alien franchise, I would say it's the 3rd best. It doesn't run too long, it's fun and honestly... Harmless. (Unlike the sequel.)