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August 2004

By Wilson Morales

Alien vs. Predator

Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Director: Paul W.S Anderson
Producers: Gordon Carroll, John Davis, David Giler, & Walter Hill
Screenwriters: Paul W.S Anderson & Shane Salerno
Cinematographer: David Johnson
Composer: Harald Kloser
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen Bremner, Colin Salmon, Agathe De La Boulaye, Tommy Flanagan, Carsten Norgaard, Joseph Rye, Sam Troughton, Tom Woodruff Jr.



Believe it or not, "Alien Vs. Predator" is not as bad as you would like to think. As the first African American female to lead to a sci-fi genre film, Sanaa Lathan is very courageous and prominent in this battle of the species. When word went out that there would be no critics screenings, it's usually a sign that the film so awful, the studio would rather have critics pay to see the film than help them kill any chance of making a profit. Well, after viewing the film, I have to say that the film certainly has its fault, but there's enough of the usually kill and fight sequences that we crave for to make this film worth seeing if you like the genre. With the recent success of New Line's "Freddy Vs. Jason", 20th Century Fox had to make a similar film knowing it had 2 of its well known franchises in their vault. Considering both franchises had long been dormant due to its lack of profits over the years and the fact that Sigourney Weaver and Arnold Schwartzeneggar were no longer willing to repeat their performances, it's refreshing to see the species that we were once afraid of come back to fight each other. The novelty of being a chilling and thrilling film is gone, but the fun is back. This is basically a video game on the big screen and you have to pay to find out who will win.

Sanaa Lathan plays Alexa "Lex" Woods, an ecological tour guide who leads a team of gifted individuals to Antarctica to look for lost pyramid believed to the be first on the planted. The trip is being paid for by Billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (Henriksen, who fans might remember as "Bishop" in the 2nd Alien film) and he also travels with the group to add more glory to his fame. Once there, it's discovered that someone may have been there as well because there no explanation for the long passage that leads to the pyramids. A passage that is well built and according to one traveler, would have taken eons to create. That someone happens to be the Predators, who, from outer space, have been watching the humans invade their territory. Little do the human realize that once they get to the pyramids, they have now awoken the Queen Aliens, who, while chained up, breeds little soldier Aliens to care of their "guests". Sebastian De Rosa (Bova), an historian who seems to know more about the pyramids that the rest deduces that a war is brewing between the Aliens and the Predators, and they (the human) are the bait. Needless to say, it's matter of who will win the battle of the species, but more importantly, who will survive amongst the humans.

For all the things you will find wrong with this film, there's still an element of intrigue and fun. Sci-fi fans will be the first to point out mistakes A through Z, but let's face it, after the first two Alien films, and the original Predator film, there was nothing left. The subsequent sequels respectively were money driven vehicles. With the exception of the plot, which is pointless, the only gripe one can say is that the fight scenes aren't long enough. Lathan and Henriksen are the only actors more commonly known due to their previous films, so the others are only there to add to the body count. After all, what's a good monster film without a high ratio of kills. African Americans have always been the ones to die first, so have to Lathan be the lead is a stepping stone in the right direction. She's certainly is a "tour-de-force". With its PG-13 rating, the filmmakers are certainly looking to make a boatload of money since all of the films of both franchises were R-rated. Years ago, this film would have never been made, but with spoof films making a profit, "Alien Vs. Predator"is a treat. Who wouldn't want to see those ugly faces one more time.