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Friday
May192017

AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Unlike Alien: Resurrection, I never understood the vitriol aimed at Alien vs Predator. Writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson’s script borrows elements from Dark Horse Comics’ 1991 miniseries, while providing a near-perfect distillation of the Alien and Predator film franchises: when several scientists contract with a tech billionaire to explore heat signatures beneath Antarctica, they stumble upon a predator hunting ritual and become host to the toothy, slimy xenomorphs. It’s easy to beat up on Anderson, the new-millennium poster child for disposable, PG-13 actioners, but AVP’s production design and pocket-universe mythos ease the frustration of predictable developments, professional-wrestling-style fight scenes, and dead-meat characters. I don’t usually advocate the middle ground, but I’ll make an exception for this particular mash-up: push the crowd-pleasing gore too far and you get AVP’s unwatchable sequel, Requiem. Impose self-seriousness on these monster movies, and you get the tedious (and, truth be told, equally bone-headed) Alien prequel, Prometheus.

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