Alien vs. Predator (7/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

I do not like movies that rely solely on Special Effects, like Spiderman 2, for example. So I went into this with extremely low expectations. For some unknown reason, Fox didnít have a media screening for this until the morning it opened. And there werenít many of us in attendance, at the Little Theater on the Fox lot.

A bunch of scientists, led by Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan), a mountain climber among other things, are retained by billionaire industrialist Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henrikson) to go to some farflung icy portion of the world to investigate a strange apparition of a pyramid thatís shown up on one of their computers. They get enveloped in the pyramid and smack dab in the middle of a fight between Alien and Predator. Alien is one ugly monster. Itís after Predator and Predator is after it, and it seems as if theyíre both after all our heroes, as is the Pyramid, a huge labyrinth that reconfigures itself every ten minutes, has heavy stone doors that slam shut, entrapping whomever is unlucky enough to be in the room or tunnel.

This is rollicking good entertainment, despite my antipathy to monsters and/or special effects (these created by artists Alec Gilles and Tom Woodruff, Jr.), which is about all this movie is. Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, I was transfixed by masterful moviemaking magic throughout. Thereís not a slow spot in the film, although I never really knew what was going on, even though all our heroes were in a terrible spot with horrible things constantly happening to them. And despite their terrible predicament, none ever seem very fearful. Maybe thatís why the movie isnít very scary.

Because the cast and story are pretty much irrelevant, I just sat back and enjoyed a very good horror film.

August 13, 2004

The End