In Defense Of: “Alien Vs. Predator” (2004)

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Alien Vs. Predator Is A Masterpiece Compared To Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem

With the benefit of hindsight, Anderson’s Alien Vs. Predator is a legit masterpiece when compared to The Brothers Strause’s cinematic abomination Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem. Unbeknownst to the Alien/Predator fans of 2004, the sci-fi horror franchise would be dragged kicking and screaming across some truly awful coals a mere three years later.

Yep, Requiem was a stinker. Like a real stinker. It completely missed the point of what an Alien Vs. Predator film should be (clue: fun), and somehow managed to contort a really cool premise, into a disgusting rom-com-style teen drama with a couple of aliens and predators running around in the backdrop. Yay?

Add to this some unbelievably needless scenes of gore (that hospital scene is utterly ridiculous, but in a deplorable “I need to wash my soul after watching this” kinda way), action sequences that are so damn dark that you can’t see a bloody thing, and a cast that would be too wooden in a furniture radio ad, and you’re left with a movie that’s pretty damn terrible on nearly every level.

Not only did Requiem retroactively contextualise how truly awful an Alien Vs. Predator movie could be, but it also helped shine a more positive light on Anderson’s critically maligned pic.

Alien Vs. Predator Is Arguably A Better Movie Than Alien: Resurrection

Okay, I’m bringing out the big guns now. For the record, I think Alien: Resurrection is an alright movie. I remember watching it at the cinema when I was a wee whippersnapper and I loved it at the time. But, re-watching it now reveals its myriad of pronounced, hard to ignore flaws. Principally, it simply feels tonally off. Like a dodgy cover band trying to play your favourite songs.

Don’t get me wrong, Resurrection has its high points. That underwater scene is possibly one of the most visually impressive moments in the whole franchise, and it’s cool seeing Sigourney Weaver’s metamorphosis as she transforms into a badass mofo, taking names and kicking alien butt. Across the board, the cast are fantastic, too, with Winona Ryder’s undercover android Call and Ron Perlman’s short-tempered Johner stealing the show.

However, there are moments in the film that just feel plain weird and at odds with the rest of the series. Like when Ripley gets it on with the alien queen, writhing around in a sea of tentacles. Did that happen – or did I merely dream that? I’m pretty sure that happened… where’d you think that Newborn alien thing came from?

As a franchise, I adore the Alien movies (sans Requiem), but Alien: Resurrection is arguably a weaker entry into the Alien mythos in comparison to Alien Vs. Predator‘s unpretentious entertainment.

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