DVD of the Day: Aliens vs. Predator
I didn't hate it. I actually kind of enjoyed it.
Let me start by saying I went into this film with the lowest of expectations. Most people I know flat out detested it. They warned me from going when it was in theaters. Then they laughed their asses off when I bought the DVD. But as a huge Aliens fan and Predator buff, I had to see it. So I popped it in last night and was pleasantly surprised.
Yes, the overall story was paper thin and even though they say they had the strictest respect for both properties, I do question some of the continuity. I remember McKee saying something about how so many directors end up sacrificing story just so they can include some cool visuals. I felt that this movie did have a lot of that and suffered some for it. Things could have made a little more sense if the director hadn't been there going "Yeah, that makes sense but wouldn't it look so much cooler if we just did this instead?"
The Aliens looked cool and the Predators were just bad ass, and that's pretty much what this movie was supposed to be about, right? I thougth they did a great job with all the costumes and creature effects, especially with the Predators. The one thing that irked me a little was that I felt that first big main fight between the Alien and Predator was hard to follow. They could have shot or cut it better to make it more clear. The negative influence of the MTV school of quick cuts strikes again. But all and all I was like a kid again whenever they were on screen.
One thing that really impressed me was the production design. The way they built and designed the alien temple was pretty damn hot. All the markings and statues and hieroglyphics with the Alien and Predator designs them carved in... they did their homework there. It was a great film to look at! I felt the pacing really worked too. They built it up and then pulled you into that maze and kept you interested as you followed the twists and turns.
I've heard all kinds of complaints about the acting. I didn't find it all that bad. The lead, Sanaa Lathan, did a pretty good job for her first role in a major motion picture, I thought. No complaints from me. Yes, some of the minor roles could have been better cast, but the humans really weren't the stars of the flick anyway.
All in all, I would recommend this to any Aliens or Predator or sci-fi fan. However, I'd also recommend watching it with the mind that it's a standalone adventure set outside of continuity, like an alternate reality story. It's worth the rental for the designs and visuals alone.