They say men populated about 70% of the audience – which means life-size cutouts of Princess Leia populated the rest. How these guys managed to break away from their action figures long enough to borrow mom’s car and get to the theater is a mystery. “Live long and prosper” is easy when you’re doing it in your parents’ house.
Alien vs. Predator is brought to you by 20th Century Fox, where the motto is “There’s no problem that a couple million idiot moviegoers can’t solve.”
What’s the best way to despoil the memory of the first two classic Alien pictures? That was the challenge given to writer Dan O’Bannon, who allegedly penned the first Alien
and is credited here with a story so laughable you’ll need a cover charge and a two-drink minimum to fully appreciate it.
It’s the last gasp of Summer and Alien vs. Predator is designed to snuff any remaining entertainment oxygen from the room, and snuff it does. The story couldn’t be more preposterous if Alien and Predator were in tutus doing the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.
You remember the Predator, right? He’s that Rasta-warrior from another Galaxy where Ganja grows on trees and the breeze blows to a Reggae beat. Ire, fighting mon!
Predators are hunters, and in this vast revision of cinematic history, Aliens are living under the Earth and are their prey. In other words: Predators come here to hunt!
To hunt!? Now listen, any civilization advanced enough to master interstellar travel can stalk the grocery aisles like the rest of us. I don’t know about you, but if my species has spaceships I’m not likely to use one for a hunting trip. Look, up in the sky, it’s a flying saucer with a gun-rack and Predators dressed in plaid! As the bumper sticker on their spaceship reads, “You can have my boomerang axe when you pry it out of my cold, dead claws.”
So Predator and the Wailers zoom back to our solar system and discover to their surprise that one-time foe Arnold Schwarzenegger is now leader of a people called Californians, and – worse – Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro are on the loose and must be recovered and returned to their home planet immediately.
But the joke’s on us, because Predators have been visiting our planet for thousands of years. In fact, they taught humans how to build and were the primary architects of the Fox News Channel! No wonder they were worshipped as Gods!
Predators used Aliens as the ultimate prey, the ridiculous story goes, and humans were used like cattle to breed them for sport.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Wait up, Mark, my eyes have rolled out of my head. They’ve got to be over here somewhere under my scale model of the Millennium Falcon.”
We learn that Ancient Earth people have defied the laws of physics and built a pyramid thousands of feet beneath the Arctic Circle. Why would they put a pyramid there? Suffice it to say that in space no one can hear you scream, and deep below the Arctic no one cares whether you do or not.
But wait, this isn’t just any underground pyramid. Every room has walls that reconfigure. If only this theater could reconfigure into the one still playing Spider-Man 2.
“Whoever built this pyramid believed in ritual sacrifice,” said one character, beginning with the ritual sacrifice of artistic integrity.
Remember when it took a while for an Alien to pop out off a character’s chest? No longer! With these new paper-thin characters, baby Aliens bust out in five seconds flat. And who can blame them?
Just when your fingers can restlessly tap no more, an Earth woman actually teams up with a Predator to kill the Aliens like some kind of mixed-species Cagney and Lacey.
And don’t get me started on Lance Henriksen, the only name brand actor in an otherwise value-priced cast. Lance, who hails from Jim Cameron’s Aliens, evidently thought a trip to the career crack-house might feed his soul or whatever substitutes for one in Hollywood nowadays.
Early on, we see a scientist watching Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, which I take as an acknowledgement by the filmmakers that they know very well the putrid stench they’re unspooling into the ether, but frankly my dear they don’t give a damn.
And, when it comes to Alien vs. Predator, neither should you.
Photos Copyright ©2004 20th Century Fox
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