Sunday, August 15, 2004

Hey, what's this slime doing here?

Andrew Stuttaford reviews Alien Vs. Predator:
Paper-thin characterization, laughable dialog, wooden acting, lotsa slime, Spud from Trainspotting, hoky mythologizing, sub-Tomb Raider sets, a weird X-Files reference (oh yes), interesting details for Alien completists, Frank Black, and great, great creature punch-ups, this movie has it all, except, disappointingly, gratuitous nudity (that pesky PG-13, I suppose).
I just saw it today, and I have to agree 100%. The lack of gratituitous nudity was especially disappointing given how hot the female star, Sanaa Lathan is. She did a good job in the female-action-hero role, too. I'm not a big fan of the female-action-hero genre, but Lathan at least looks athletic and they kept the action believable.

And although there were some great creature punch-ups, there was a little too much of the fast camera motion, poor lighting and tight close-ups, all intended to give the impression of action without showing the shoddy details. I hate that. Show me the shoddy details!

Some features: a genius archeologist who can read ancient hieroglyphics with such subtlety as to know that they are talking about aliens from other planets (rather than, say, gods) and to figure out the entire plot from almost no information, a bunch of well-armed guys and automatic weapons on an archeological dig, a wise hero who tries to warn them of their foolish recklessness from the very beginning but ends up going anyway, just to try to save who she can, an ancient pyramid with traps and secrets, a great warrior teaming up with a plucky girl. It was basically Alien/Aliens/Predator/Stargate/Raiders of the Lost Ark/True Grit. One big happy family in one movie. Thankfully there was no hint of Tomb Raider.

I'll echo Stuttaford and give it two severed thumbs up.

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