Movies

AVP: Alien vs. PredatorTo ingest Alien vs. Predator on its own slimy, divertingly synthetic terms, it helps to forget everything previously known -- and loved -- about...AVP: Alien vs. PredatorAction/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy, HorrorPT87MPG-13To ingest Alien vs. Predator on its own slimy, divertingly synthetic terms, it helps to forget everything previously known -- and loved -- about...2004-08-11Raoul BovaEwen BremnerRaoul Bova, Ewen Bremner20th Century Fox Film Corporation
AVP: Alien vs. Predator
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AVP: Alien vs. Predator

Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy, Horror; Starring: Lance Henriksen, Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner; Director: Paul Anderson (Director), Bharat Nalluri; Author: Paul Anderson (Director), Shane Salerno; Producer (person): John Davis, David Giler, Lawrence Gordon, Walter Hill, Joel Silver; Release Date Wide: 08/13/2004; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

To ingest Alien vs. Predator on its own slimy, divertingly synthetic terms, it helps to forget everything previously known – and loved – about the franchise monster aliens who get star billing. The original, terrifying, maxi-toothed 1979 Alien, with her unsightly drool, has little in common with the oh-here-they-come-again mother and hatchlings who stir up trouble in this perfunctory showdown, and the Predator fought by Arnold Schwarzenegger so pre-gubernatorially back in 1987 has been replaced by what appears to be a very middle-aged head-chopper in rubber-tube dreadlocks.

Still, there’s pass-the-time fun to be had, of a special FX kind, in the video game-style sequel served up by Paul W. S. Anderson, set 2,000 feet beneath an Antarctic ice cap in a hidden pyramid where Predators have, it turns out, hunted Aliens since time began. It’s just the dubious luck of a group of human explorers and treasure hunters that their expedition coincides with the next big A vs. P amazing race.

The face-offs – and I do mean face-offs – between megamonsters is pretty standard, goo-on-goo computer-enhanced combat. But the humans are interesting, while they last, if only because Anderson has assembled a strangely cool cast willing to get slimed and say stuff like ”It seems that we are rats in a maze!” ”Aliens”’ Lance Henriksen plays the billionaire adventurer intent on uncovering the pyramid (before he dies of a mysterious billionaire’s respiratory disease). His specimen team includes Sanaa Lathan (only recently sparkling in ”Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway) as ecologist and group leader, ”Trainspotting”’s Ewen Bremner as a geologist (and Scottish comic relief), and ”Under the Tuscan Sun”’s Raoul Bova as the handsome Italian archeologist a girl would most like to get sticky with deep underground.

Originally posted August 11 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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