Alien Vs Predator (15)
Time Out saysBest-known for directing Jude Law’s film debut (1994’s ‘Shopping’) and forever confused with American auteurs and surname-sharers Paul Thomas and Wes, the Newcastle-born Anderson does his career no favours by helming yet another redundant big-screen blow-up of a video game series (a regrettable speciality of his), this one a disinterment of two six-feet-under film franchises. The title alone betrays an entire Hollywood mindset of rehash, reheat, recombine. Re-please.
Anyway, ‘Alien vs. Predator’ lumbers to the starting gate as industrialist benefactor Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen, perhaps reprising the roles he played in ‘Aliens’ and ‘Alien 3’, and certainly recalling John Hurt’s billionaire old-timer in ‘Contact’) assembles an international cast to investigate a pyramid nestled thousands of metres below an abandoned whaling station in Antarctica. Tough-gal ice-wrangler Sanaa Lathan, fragrantly accented hieroglyph expert Raoul Bova, and utility player Ewen Bremner (taking the same mugging-masochist spot he filled in ‘Around the World in 80 Days’) plunge into the deep and discover desecrated mummies, self-reconfiguring chambers, and some preverbal, diplomacy-averse monsters gearing up for the titular battle royale. (Ed Halter of the Village Voice aptly suggested that the film’s ‘Whoever wins…we lose’ tagline could be appropriated by Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign.) It crawls along for an enervating hour or so in the mud of murky exposition, then seizes up in an underlit fit of incoherent fight scenes and gotchas – all endured with a straight face by slumming lead warrior princess Lathan, who surely has better things to do.
Fri Oct 22, 2004