Ten years ago myself and a videogame development team of dedicated film fans at Atari set out to build a game based on some of our favorite movies, ĎAlien Versus Predatorí. It wasnít a new idea; there had been a Dark Horse comic book series and an older arcade game, and an endless stream of rumors and fake screenplays that floated around the early Internet. But we took our ĎAVPí task to heart and committed our selves to getting it right and handle the legendary characters with the care and respect that they deserved.
And now a decade later, a film crew led by director John Anderson, has also stepped forward to produce ĎAlien Versus Predatorí, a film that lets loose the modern monster juggernauts together on the big screen where theyíve always belonged.
I was nervous at first when I discovered that the ĎAVPí movie was real and started production. Paul Andersonís previous movies have been hit and miss. His first film, ĎShoppingí was fun and edgy while others like ĎResident Evilí didnít quite capture the true flavor of the brand it was built on. But with ĎAlien Versus Predatorí, Anderson carries his influence over and doubles as the screenplay writer and delivers a comic-book story worth watching.
The ĎAVPí plot follows a thread we picked up on for the story of our game, which portrays Predators as a clan of warriors who see themselves as the ultimate hunters who would pit their young in a deadly rite of passage against the nastiest creatures in the universe, the Aliens. The ĎAVPí film brings the battle down to earth a few months from now where a team of human scientists get tangled up in the brawl.
Nice touches include seeing Lance Henriksen appear as the head of the emerging Weyland Corporation, and the moving maze design of the Predators hunting ground. And part of the enjoyment is the timing. Just like last summers 'Freddy Versus Jason', 'AVP' comes in just before September calls off summer for us all. A time when escapism has its place and where the 13-year-old boy inside can kick back and watch some rock-em sock-em fun.
And sure ĎAVPí is flawed, it seemingly takes forever to get going, but once it picks up itís pace the ride doesnít slow down. The fight scenes with the Aliens and Predators and the hapless humans in between are cool enough to overlook the awkward dialog and liberties taken with some of the characters, such as the miracle grow treatment the aliens use to advance from baby alien to adult alien in just one quick scene change.
But all is forgiven because its still summer and its hot out and if you donít want to think any more about the real monsters in our world then the cartoon action of ĎAVPí is for you.
For Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2004 - Purple - Air Date: 8/18/04
Alien Versus Predator
USA - 2004