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"Don't feel compelled to stay through all the credits. ... the production was done in Prague.  If you sit through all the credits, you should feel free to yell out "Czech please!" every four minutes."










Alien versus Predator
The Masked Reviewer

First, there was Freddy vs. Jason.  Okay, the Masked Reviewer knows that wasn't first.  There were others before it.  But in the last two years, Freddy vs. Jason was the first to do a major crossover between two successful 80's film series.

Alien vs. Predator (or AvP for people who like their movies no longer than three letters) was first hinted at in Predator 2, when we get to see what looks like an Alien's bones in the Predator's ship.  After that, Darkhorse Comics produced a series of comicbooks where the two creatures battled it out.  A computer game version followed years later, though it was embroiled in licensing controversy.  Now, at last, Aliens and Predators get to duke it out on the big screen.

By the way, Freddy vs. Jason was so popular that they're talking about doing a crossover crossover called Freddy vs. Alien vs. Jason vs. Predator.  Ha ha!  Hmmm.  Come to think of it, that would ROCK!  Then they could combine that with other successful films and get the ultimate matchup: Alien vs. Predator vs. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ecks vs. Sever vs. Kramer vs. Kramer vs. The People vs. Larry Flynt.  Awesome.

So, you may be wondering...who's the good guy in this flick?  Alien?  Predator?  Or..human?  That's right!  There are humans in this movie.  Lots of them, in fact.  Someone's gotta be the bait.  Someone's got to get killed instantly to show how tough their opponents are.  Why not people?  The film stars Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner, Tommy Flanagan, Sanaa Lathan, and Lance Henriksen, among many others.  What?  Lance Henriksen?  But...isn't he...didn't he play...but...hey?  The Masked Reviewer won't tell you anything that'll spoil the movie, so don't even ask.

But really, what's to spoil?  The title says it all.  That's why you're going.  You aren't there to see a bunch of actors you've never heard of before.  You'll recognize a few of them; Ewen Bremner was in Around the World in 80 Days and Trainspotting.  Tommy Flanagan was in Gladiator.  Sanaa Lathan was in Love & Basketball, Blade, and Out of Time.  She gives the best performance of the humans, in a role that could easily have fallen into that of a Ripley wannabe (Sigourney Weaver), but she carved her own niche.

The movie takes place in Sector 14.  I bet you'll be surprised when you learn where Sector 14 is.  Who knew that's what it was called?  It's educational and kick-ass. 

There are a lot of nice references to the other movies in the series.  If you never saw any of the Alien or Predator movies (there were four and two respectively), you won't get as much out of this as you possibly could.  You certainly won't be lost, but it helps to know the basics about each of the creature races.  They do a fairly good job of staying consistent with the other movies, although the Aliens seem to gestate and grow much faster than they did in any of the other movies. 

The direction (by director Paul W. S. Anderson) is directed directly.  He helmed Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, and Soldier, so he knows his way around creepy action sci-fi/horror.  The pacing is good and the action well presented, other than the first encounter between Alien and Predator, which gets lost in the darkness.  A big gray blob rolls around with a big somewhat darker gray blob; but don't get discouraged, things get a bit easier to see as the movie goes on. 

The effects are solid; not the best you'll ever see (there are moments when you may be painfully aware of something being a pretty computer graphic) but they're better than average, on the whole.  They wisely decided to blend puppets and CG, rather than having computers do all the work.

In terms of story, the Masked Reviewer will tell you this: it's less predictable than most movies of this type.  You won't see what's coming from a mile away.  That's rare and makes for a wild ride.

The big surprise about this film is that it's rated PG-13.  Many fans were worried that this would spell doom, because the Predator and Alien series are both filled with gory, bloody violence, and PG-13 could have meant a kinder, gentler, more boring (but kid friendly) experience.  Good news!  The MPAA, who hands out the ratings, apparently has decided that blood and gore and violence isn't worth an R rating if it involves non-humans!  There are several humans that get killed (not to give any spoilers, of course) but there isn't much of their blood at all, and you hardly miss it.  That's thanks to the good direction. 

Don't feel compelled to stay through all the credits.  There's no kicker at the end, and it's one of the longest credit sequences ever.  They have three columns of credits going at once, and it still takes forever.  Most of the names are Czech, because a lot of the production was done in Prague.  If you sit through all the credits, you should feel free to yell out "Czech please!" every four minutes. 

All in all, it's a lot of fun.  If you like movies in either series, you'll like this one.  They capture the flavor of the Predators and of the Aliens tastes good.  Mighty good.  You'll want more, to be sure.  It's better than Alien Resurrection, though that's not saying much.  If you need to know which movies it's closest to, the Masked Reviewer would say a combination of Predator 2 and Alien 3.


Expectation from the Title: When Jose loses his green card, he has to take on Vince, a sexual deviant, in a checkers competition to win his citizenship.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  The movie teaches the importance of wearing a sweater when it's cold outside.

The Pros: There are Aliens and there are Predators and they fight! 

The Cons: Effects could be a bit better, there could be more Alien on Predator action, but there could always be more of that.  The credits are too long.

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