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AVP: Alien vs Predator
Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson
Starring: Sanaa Lathan as Alexa Woods, Raoul Bova as Sebastian de Rosa, Lance Henriksen as Charles Bishop Weyland, Ewen Bremner as Graeme Miller, Colin Salmon as Maxwell Stafford, and Tommy Flanagan as Mark Verheiden
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes

There are several kinds of movies that get movie fans into a tizzy with anticipation. One is sequels, such as the much-desired Indiana Jones 4 fans are desperately awaiting. The second kind of movie that fans greatly anticipate are so-called "match-up movies." These films have two popular yet separate franchise characters go at it head-to-head. Last year featured Freddie vs. Jason, with a first-time match-up of the two horror franchise stars. One of the other most anticipated encounters of recent history has finally made it to the big screen with Alien vs. Predator. While these two have opposed each other in video games and comic books, this is the first time that the two have met face-to-face in a movie.

There isn't much of a plot, but that's because those who want to catch this movie aren't looking for a plot. Audiences just want to see the two characters in battle. Billionaire Charles Weyland funds a polar expedition to a temple that his satellites have found deep beneath the ice of Antarctica. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Weyland and his team, the temple is also monitored by a group of Predators in outer space. Weyland's team begins to wonder what is going on when a huge tunnel down to the temple appears one day--but wasn't there the day before and was too big for any drilling team to create in one day. Once they arrive at the temple, they unknowingly trigger the release of the Alien queen who is being kept captive deep within the temple. This chain of events brings the Predators down to eliminate the Alien threat, leading to a war between the Aliens and Predators with the humans caught in the middle. The end result becomes obvious a little too early for the taste of some movie-goers.

One excellent aspect about this movie is the fact that the CGI was used sparingly and was only obvious in one flashback scene that showed a huge battle between the Aliens and Predators.

The original Alien and Predator movies were all rated R, so it may come as a surprise that this movie is rated PG-13. This seems to have been done in an attempt to make extra money from those who are too young for R-rated movies. It can be debated that the MPAA was generous in giving this fairly violent movie a PG-13 rating when it arguably deserves an R-rating. There is a vast amount of violence, but the cameras usually turn away during the most violent moment, such as someone shooting a gun but not showing the bullet hit the victim. There are still gruesome moments, including when a man gets stabbed through the stomach by a set of Predator claws. The Predators do have some other lethal weapons. The Aliens are also murderous, as newly hatched face-huggers attach themselves to the faces of their victims and send an Alien embryo into the person's esophagus. The embryos grow until they burst from the stomachs of their human hosts. Parents should think twice before allowing any younger children to see this movie, as it is suitable only for teens 17 or older. The language in this movie is more tame than in many other PG-13 movies but still may concern some parents.

Fans who have anticipated this movie match-up are going to leave disappointed because this is not a movie where the audience goes away amazed. Most people will go away thinking it was an okay movie which ultimately did not live up to expectations. _AVP: Alien vs. Predator_ is an entry audiences can easily catch at a matinee or simply wait for it to come out on DVD.

Burton Wray    August 22, 2004



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