Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Monster Crap Inductee: Alien vs. Predator
Two Successful Franchises Can Still Equal One Piece of Crap

August 2004

Whoever Wins, We Lose
- Official tagline for Alien vs. Predator

Sadly, the tagline is only half-right. Allow me to introduce to you the new, revised tagline that sums up this movie perfectly.

We Lose

But before we get to this stinker, let’s begin with a few historical notes.

In 1962, the first movie to bring two classic franchises together, King Kong vs. Godzilla was a huge success and is still considered the most successful Godzilla movie of all time.

In 1979, Alien, staring Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, is released into theaters. It is still considered one of the scariest movies ever.

In 1987, Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch, is released into theaters. It also does very well.

In 1989, Dark Horse Comics print their first Alien vs. Predator comic, which in turn creates several video games, more comics, and some novels as well. The idea becomes very successful.

In 2003, Freddy vs. Jason is released into theaters. It is the second most successful movie of that summer, beating out even more anticipated movies such as Terminator 3, The Hulk and Matrix Reloaded. In fact, the only movie that did better than it was Finding Nemo.

With all of that happening, this should have been a guaranteed success. I was in fact one of the first people in line to see the movie. I had a free ticket due to the fact that I bought the Predator Special Edition DVD. I was so excited to see the movie and everyone else that saw it with me was excited. Remember, history says that this should have been a success. What happened?

In the beginning of the movie, we see a satellite which has just located a temple several hundred feet under Antarctica. Now, while there is no way that this could even be possible, this is a monster movie so we can suspend our disbelief. Anyways….Weyland Industries, headed by Charles Bishop Weyland (played by Lance Henriksen), decides that it needs an expedition. Now, for you Alien fans, you might remember that they revealed that Bishop was in the Alien 3 movie as a real person and that movie was supposed to set in the way distant future. I know he was a cyborg in the first and second one. But in the third one, they revealed it was the real person. How was it possible for Bishop to exist 3 or more centuries before Alien 3? Personally, I don’t know and at the time, I didn’t care. But I should have known something wasn’t right.

Anyways….while Bishop is on the expedition team, the expedition team is lead by Alexa Wood, who is played by Sanaa Latham. Now, for those of you who don’t know who she is. She is one of the most successful actresses in African-American films. She was in several black film successes like The Best Man and Love & Basketball. If there was any up-and-coming actress who could hit it big with this movie, it would have been her.
So this team of explorers finds the temple and finds out that it has influence from every ancient civilization around. But trouble comes when several (actually 3) Predators come down and are ready for a hunt. The team of explorers set of a trap that traps several of them in the “sacrificial” chamber.
Oh Yeah, And The Best Character Is Killed Early

Now why a room would be called….oh yeah, here come several eggs from the Alien franchise. You know what happens to those unlucky people who are trapped. So the Aliens are now loose and the Predators are loose so all mayhem is supposed to break loose. Right?

Wrong. Instead one alien quickly dispatches two of the three Predators early in the film. Now, I know they said that these were juvenile Predators and that he were not armed, but still they should have put up a better fight than they did. Anyways, the third Predator is there and quickly kills that annoying Alien that killed his two buddies, but before he gets too far, a face hugger attacks. Now, we are led to believe that the Predator won, but this is very important at the end.
So the humans are being killed off one by one except for Charles Bishop Weyland (who was killed by a Predator earlier) and…. Wait a minute. If Charles Weyland is killed off, how does he live 3 or more centuries later? They never get around to that, but I’m getting off topic. The other survivor is Alexa Wood, who realizes that the Predators are considered gods by the early ancestors of our planet, and use these temples as ways to initiate the young juvenile Predators. The initiation process involves the juveniles hunting and killing Aliens who are put into the temples. This initiation happens every 2000 years. If the juveniles survive, they become full-fledged Predators. If they fail, before dying, they are to activate a bomb on their wrist that vaporizes everything within several miles.
But Alexa ends up saving the only remaining Predator from the Aliens and is therefore initiated as a Predator. Basically, the rest of this movie is just one human saving one Predator’s backside from more Aliens. This is not the movie I came to see. Finally, the Predator decides to set the bomb on his wrist and drops it, choosing to save himself and Alexa while destroying all of the Aliens.

Oh, but don’t go letting the fat lady sing yet. One Alien is still alive. The Queen somehow escaped and our lone Predator is not lucky as he is killed instantly, which leaves us with Alexa. Surely, she couldn’t stand a chance. I mean, she didn’t have the big robot that Sigourney Weaver had.

Wrong again….

Alexa defeats the giant Queen and sends her into the Antarctic Ocean, where most likely she will be frozen forever and ever. Now, after everything is done, the Predator mother ship appears. Surely, Alexa is in trouble now, right?

Wrong for a third time…..

Instead, the Predators take their own dead and leave earth. But while the Predators are up in the air, the dead Predator’s chest busts open and out comes an alien with some Predator genes in him. And the movie ends there.
So what was the problem and why did this film fail. The answer is very simple. Besides the fact that the script sucks, several things that Predator and Alien fans hold dear are broken once again
One, Alexa Wood is made to look better than both the Aliens and Predators combined. Now that would be fine in most movies except this movie is not called Alien vs. Predator vs. Human. It’s called Alien vs. Predator. The humans, while they can survive, are not supposed to be made to look better.

Two, Alexa Wood does not have the physical appearance that both Ripley and Dutch have. Ripley is played by Sigourney Weaver, who is probably one of the tallest actresses in Hollywood at 5’11. In fact, in the 2000 version of the Guinness Book of Records, she was in fact the tallest actress in the business. And Sigourney Weaver is no couch potato either. She is extremely strong. Yet, even with her strong physique, she barely beats the Alien in all four movies. Dutch is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold Freakin Schwarzenegger!!! We all know that Arnold had the appearance to kick almost anyone’s ass. However, in Predator, he barely beats the Predator, only winning because the Predator fell into a trap.

Three, like I said, Bishop is not supposed to be dead 3 or more decades earlier. In fact, he is supposed to be alive in Alien 3. But instead, he is killed early in the film at the hands of one of the juvenile Predators.

With all of those rules broken, it is no wonder why this was a failure and no wonder why it was killed by everyone. However, I have been informed that despite the failures of the first Alien vs. Predator, there was a sequal made, so I watched the sequel.
Better Than The First Movie, But This Is Still Crap

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