ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

Paul W.S. Anderson and a cast of nobodies.
Actually, Spud from Trainspotting is in it.


Jonny’s in a good mood…

I really wasn’t prepared for Alien Vs. Predator. Sure, I had done my homework and knew that it was supposed to be a serious stinker of a turd, completely and totally dishonoring the films AVP is based upon. Not living up to the high-standards of Predator, Alien and Aliens is one thing, but if a movie can dishonor Predator II, Alien III and Alien IV, you just know something is fatally flawed with it. Still, I was simply unprepared for how laugh-out-loud funny Alien Vs Predator is. Honestly, one of the best comedies of the year. I’m sure several people wanted to kick our asses, but Erich and I simply laughed those same asses off for over half the film. Funny? Laughter? Yeah, loads of it. I can assure you that not one of the dozens of chuckles that escaped our lips was intentional, but like Ed Wood, this film maker (Paul W. S. Anderson) has no fucking clue what on earth he is doing.

You can read all about what’s wrong with the plot of the movie on countless other websites, and rest assured it is retarded. I’ll try to encapsulate it for you quickly, cause I like to. Way back when Antarctica was Atlantis, Predators taught humans how to build pyramids. Then the ice age came. In the present day, multi-gazillionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (played by the always fun Lance Henriksen) uses super-duper-uber-satellite imaging to discover a really big pyramid buried two miles below the ice. He quickly assembles a crack team of experts in various fields, all of whom are between the ages of twenty-seven and twenty-eight to go check the pyramid out. Oops! Turns out that the Predators use the buried pyramid for some sort of mettle-testing, rite of passage hunting ritual. They keep a big-bitch egg-laying Alienette down there, and every 100 years they return to “hunt.” Uh, lots of killing takes place and only the best-looking human survives. Fin.

So here’s what was so funny, in no particular order;

  • When we first meet ice specialist Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) she is climbing up an ice waterfall in the middle of Nepal–by herself. Her cell phone rings, and she nearly kills herself answering it. Turns out Weyland–whom she hates because he’s rich and she works for “environmental organizations”–wants her to help check out the pyramid. Oh, I should mention that she is like ten feet from the top of the ice waterfall. She of course balks at the offer and continues the last little bit up to the top. Waiting there is Weyland’s henchman and a fucking Helicopter! Somehow, hanging off the side of a mountain on a clear-blue day Alexa missed the fact that a helicopter had landed just above her pretty head.
  • The pyramid is located directly below an abandoned whaling outpost. So, they dock the boat and drive for a while on these snow-tractor things to get to it. Now, as you may or may not realize, whales live in water. That means that the outpost is on the coast. Why they didn’t just sail the boat up to the whaling outpost is a question for the ages. Anyhow, before they got off the boat, Alexa, who for some reason was made team captain, enumerates three rules that everybody must follow in order to not die. The first and only rule I bothered to remember was “never go off on your own.” I remember it because the first thing everybody does once they get to the outpost is to go off on their own. Alexa then goes off on her own to find the people that went off on their own to yell at them for going off on their own. Really. And then there is this hilarious part involving the word “cacciatore” that you simply have to see to understand.
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  • Oh, so, at whaling outposts, they kill whales. As Alexa and Sebastian (Raul Bova), the world’s quickest Italian archeologist, are walking through the remains of a whale, he asks her, “what’s this?” To which she answers, “whale bones.” And this is a jacket, and this is snow. This is your ass and this is a hole in the ground. What makes his comment even dumber (and funnier) is that within three seconds of entering a pyramid that no human has seen for over 5,000 years he can not only read every single hieroglyphic, but knows the workings of all the religious ceremonies. Like I said, the guy is fast. Actually, another funny bit with him is when Weyland is showing the team the computer images of the pyramid for the first time, archeology boy deduces that the pyramid is Egyptian, Aztec and Cambodian–just by looking at a computer image that resembles the Death Star hologram in Return of the Jedi. I told you the guy is fast.
  • Weyland brings “the world’s best drillers” with him, which for some reason was a team not headed up by Bruce Willis. The head of the drill team says that it is going to take them a week to drill through 2,000 feet of ice. Which I guess means that the team is going to have to bivouac in the whaling outpost. If they could only figure out how to sail the boat around the island to where they all are… But wait! They discover a big giant gaping hole in the ice, bored not only at a “perfect thirty degree angle,” but that leads right to the sunken pyramid! The head driller dude mentions that humans don’t have the technology needed to drill something that big that quickly (they know the hole is fresh because of Weyland’s super-satellites… please don’t ask). No one seems to be bothered by the fact that only extraterrestial technology could have drilled a hole like that in one day. The team just goes ahead and dives in.

  • So, there they all are, looking at a piece of human history that no modern person (besides David Icke) has ever even thought about, let alone seen. And they are all fucking silent! No one says a word. That is until the fast archaeologist and his lackey find some hieroglyphics, written in Egyptian, Aztec and Columbian that they are able to decipher and understand within seconds. It is a dire warning about abandoning hope all yee who enter. The team (of course) then goes inside the pyramid and they quickly learn they are in the sacrificial chamber. Again, the archeologist has not only the room, but the religious ceremony that took place in the room, figured out as fast as he can speak. We also learn about the Alien hunting ritual Predators go through to prove their, uh, Predatorhood and that at one point the Aliens got out of the pyramid and were defeating the Predators, so the Predators used their handy wristwatch nuclear bomb thingy to destroy the entire civilization. How the dead civilization carved that story into stone from the grave is anyone’s guess. Weyland’s henchmen then drops a big green glow-stick into a hole in the floor. It leads to another chamber below. The team then splits up (uh oh) and Alexa leads a crew down to check out the other chamber. When she is basically straddling the glow-stick, she looks at her compass and says, “We’re now directly below the sacrificial chamber.” Erich and I laughed and laughed at this part. The lazy director shows us the fucking glow-stick! But somehow Alexa missed it.
  • So, in the sub-chamber they discover a crypt that has a “combination lock” on it that closely resembles the Aztec calendar. Which is good because the archeologist is able to open it on the first try. The bad part is that it had been set to October 10, 1904, exactly one-hundred years earlier. Coincidently, that is the date when all the whalers mysteriously disappeared! When the crypt pops open, we see three of those cool shoulder mounted plasma cannons that the Predators like to use. Weyland decides to take them. Bad move, because that lets the Aliens loose. Which is totally stupid. Like, why not just have a separate button to let the Aliens loose? I mean, if there are no Aliens until the Predators have their cannons… I hope you see where I am going with this, because the director totally fucking missed it.
  • I guess one of the biggest problems I had with AVP was the simple fact that if the team had just gone to a Blockbuster and rented the first Alien they would have known all about what they were up against. OK, bad joke, but setting the movie on earth is about as lazy as George Lucas telling us that Darth Vader grew up on Tattooine. Back to the comedy. Well, the Predators and Aliens fight like Predators and Aliens for a while and they get bored and start busting WWF style moves on each other. Off the top rope, etc. One Predator even spins an Alien around in a circle before throwing him through the air ala Armor King from Tekken 2. Silly? Yes. Hysterical? Absolutely.
  • As it happens, it is not just a pyramid they discovered, but a super-pyramid. Forget about the Alien-breeding chamber in the basement. Every so often, um, how to explain this… the walls reassemble themselves like a puzzle. So, all the humans–and the beasties trying to kill them–are trapped in an ever changing maze. The fact that this is true, besides being an Indian Jones rip-off, did little if anything for the plot. Well, I guess it separated the humans so that they could get killed off even faster (ninety percent of the humans die in a six-minute time span) But, the shape-shifting pyramid did provide the single biggest laugh of the film. Speedy archeology dude deduces that since the Aztecs used the metric system, the walls will get rearranged every ten minutes. I guess the old metric system was based on sixty-second time intervals. I mean, what a load of crap! It means that Anderson (who also wrote AVP) is either too stupid too realize that the metric system has nothing to do with time, or he is so cynical that he just didn’t give a fuck. I’m torn between those two options. However, Erich and I were very nearly on the floor in hysterics.
    • The final funny part–and by funny I mean so stupid that you belly ache–comes when Alexa and her Predator boyfriend decide to blow up the pyramid and all the Aliens inside. When the team came down the tunnel, they apparently had this sled device that is winched to the surface. So, the nuke goes off, and the sled thing is able to pull the two of them up faster than the thermonuclear bomb explodes. Sure, it is singeing the bottoms of their boots, but man that is one fast winch. When they get to the top they fly out and the atomic blast pauses just long enough to let them get on their feet and start running. Then the fireball resumes. And they out run it. It was like that old video game, Dragon’s Lair where the game would pause to load new sequences. Just silly.

    Again, while being a total stinker and a real letdown (I had heard Anderson on Howard Stern a few months ago guaranteeing Howard that AVP would not suck in anyway–why I chose to believe him I will never know) Alien Vs. Predator was way more fun than I thought it would be. None of what I found fun had anything to do with what the director intended, but so what? If you give me shit, I’m going to make shit-lemonade out of it. Anyhow, if you are really bored and want to see a decent–yet brain-dead–film, you could do a lot worse than Alien Vs. Predator. I mean, Stephen Sommers could have directed it. Just remember AVP is a comedy.

    Special Ruthless Ratings:

    • You kind of gave this movie a pass: I know.
    • Why: Uh, well, it had good set design.
    • Come on: I really can’t say.
    • You’re supposed to be Mr. Ruthless: Dude, I made fun of it for like twelve paragraphs.
    • That’s not enough: It’s never enough with you, is it? Who are you, anyway?
    • You sound drunk: Shut up.
    • Any other “Vs.” movies you’d like to see made: Hell yeah. Colobel Kurtz Vs. General Patton, Bad Lietentant Vs. Henry Oak, Thora Birch Vs. The Dildo.
    • You still have a thing for Thora Birch, huh: Shut up.
    • Anything else: Apparently there is going to be some sort of sequel involving a Predator-Alien hybrid.
    About Jonny Lieberman

    Jonny was the site’s co-founder and helped carry the place in the early years. There was a falling out with Erich and he left the site for good, but a lot of his reviews live on. He has moved on to a successful career writing about cars. Look him up.