Yesterday was pretty busy but not too bad altogether. I’d stayed up all of Sunday night and Ryan and I took a nap together in the late morning/early afternoon. We awoke and did some much needed shopping – pants for me and groceries for us.
We’d planned to buy my plane tickets and tickets to DisneySea in April, but ITT must’ve been closed because of the holiday. President’s Day, was it? I hate gov’t holidays!
Ryan liked this one a lot better than the original AVP and, for that, all I can say is I’m sorry. I’m sorry aliens, on behalf of the human race, for the horrendous atrocity that is this flick. I’m sorry humans, on behalf of Hollywood (of which I am not even a part!) for this atrocious waste of time we dare call a ‘movie.’ I’m sorry to the actors who are in such dire straights that they were forced to be in such a wreck! I’m sorry I wanted to see this more than Cloverfield. I was wrong. Deadly wrong.
Let me preface this review by saying I’ve only seen the original Alien, during which I fell asleep (sorry Ryan!) and I haven’t seen any of the Predators movie or AVP. It’s not that I don’t want to – I like a good flick like that sometimes; it’s just that all those movies are notoriously bad or known for being or an era of notoriously bad “horror” flicks.
Unsurprisingly, AVP bombed. I thought that it had a nice premise, as did many, many others but everyone was universally unimpressed, even appalled. Surprisingly, the previews for AVPR made it seem as though it were the redemption of the first. Although it wouldn’t make it any better, it might pave the way for a decent series. The previews lied but should be really be so surprised? Face offs like Freddy vs Jason were also notoriously bad!
For starters, the premise is pretty simple. Aliens, a viral like alien species whose strength lies in its numbers, have infected a predator, an advanced, humanoid alien species with computer technology, creating the “predalien” (though I think aliendor sounds better, whatever). The ship on which this happens crash lands on Earth. The predator hates aliens and now the spawn of both horrific species and is on the hunt for all aliens and the predalien.
But wait! Both forces kill humans. I bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?!
So this movie is about aliens creating more aliens by killing human hosts, aliens fighting the predator and subsequently dying, and the predator killing humans on his quest for supreme dominance (I guess? I mean, I get why he’s dead set against the aliens but maybe I should have watched the original Predator to understand just why he wants to kill us, too?) which ultimately involves his desire to kill the predalien. There’s some humans who want to live but that doesn’t seem likely.
This isn’t the kind of movie you expect to win an Oscar; it’s the type of movie you expect to have some nice fights, some blood (human and alien!), some explosions and lots of “shoot ’em up” scenes. Generally, the movie provides the viewer with all of that; however, it’s only the bare minimum. There could be more fighting, more shooting, more blood and bigger, better explosions!
Most of the fighting is one obviously superior side, usually the predator, against a foe that has no chance, frequently aliens and humans. The fighting is only exciting during the last 10 or so minutes of the movie where the predator faces off against the predalien.
The shooting and explosions are small uneventful, or as uneventful as explosions can actually be. I think our movie theatre did this no justice because the explosions were literally quieter than other sounds effects of the movie.
The humans, which start out a group of small townspeople, eventually dwindle away as aliens, the predator and predalien and other humans pluck them mercilessly from the land of the dead. This movie isn’t about them, I know, but I didn’t feel particularly attached to any of the humans, even the survivors (of course there are some), save for the little girl, some babies and the dog, who isn’t quite a person, as Ryan let me know.
In that note, I was slightly offended by how easily Hollywood writes off a whole nursery of babies (preadtor got ’em) and a wing of pregnant woman (aliens killed ’em and use ’em to spawn babies). I generally consider everyone an equal target but this made me uneasy, especially with how graphic it was when it came to the pregnant women. I guess this is to be expected but I would have preferred it otherwise. Ryan feels the pregnant women part, at least, shows how so many aliens spawned but I don’t think it was necessary to explain the number of aliens; there are so many because they spawn like a virus. It’s just what they do.
The script, as little as there was (I guess the predator doesn’t speak English and the aliens are just dumb) was forced and would have been better written by my 5 year old sister. I could say the script was “to the point” and “minimal” but I feel that would be giving it too much credit.
For instance, during a scene where the sheriff and his deputy our scouring the local forest after a human hand has been found the a dog, via radio. (Roughly, from memory)
Deputy: Anyone up at the point?
Sheriff: Yea, Buddy Benson’s car.
Deputy: Crap. He usually goes hunting with his kid.
It sets it up so the whole town can become worried about a dad and his kid but the viewer doesn’t care. In fact, we want them to die. That’s the point of this movie, isn’t it? My bone to pick is with the writing of the story. Finding the car is a bit cliche but I’ll let it pass. I cannot stand aside when the psychic deputy remembers that Buddy always goes hunting with his son. No creativity given to the lines, they’re just enough to get by and force a laugh out of you with the “strategically” placed jokes – like when they poke fun at the gov’t (the gov’t would never lie to us!).
It’s these same types of exchange which paint the town as a small American place with its local sheriff yet, when Buddy and his son go missing, the mother/wife has to post up signs and show people her family. If it’s a town as small as they try to portray, would this be necessary?
But it must be small considering how fast they move from one place to another. It’s quite disorienting how the scenes jump from setting to setting and it’s clear this town is about as well thought out as the rest of the movie. It might help show that the predator is a skilled and sentient hunter, or it might just make you busy.
The special effects? Not so special. Period. Explosions too small.
As a final thought, I found that all the monsters blended in. The predator was easiest to recognize with his hardware but all the aliens and the predalien looked alike. I was never quite sure whether the predator was fighting just another alien or the super creature.
My final thoughts? Skip it. You won’t be scared or on the edge of your seat. You won’t see any great fights, and there’s only 1 decent one. The script is poor and matches the acting resulting in characters with whom the audience feels no connection. The effects are boring, nothing spectacular. Nothing in this movie stands out, it is all around mediocrity and will soon be forgotten like most movies.