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Paul W. S. Anderson - director - co-writer

John Davis - producer

Harald Kloser - music


main actors

Sanaa Lathan - Alexa "Lex" Woods

Raoul Bova - Sebastian De Rosa

Lance Henriksen - Charles Bishop Weyland









an Anglo-Czech-Canadian-German co-production

© Century Fox. All rights reserved. Illustrative stuff is property of Fox


preview-review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

in theatres in Switzerland and Germany  on 04. 11. 2004 - Italy on 12.11

the real protagonists - Formidable, exquisite  effects. Wonderful effects and claustrophobic fear: this is Alien vs. Predator. A film where the well known  acclaimed and lethal monsters from the all are the absolute number 1. They are the true protagonists of the movie and no one else. 


Director Paul W. S. Anderson even doesn't care to sweeten certain weak images coming from the "human" characters. You can even believe that some incongruity is there just in order to let appear humans even more miserable. Aliens are lively and perfectly animated beyond any most blessing "giger"-ian expectations. Predators, in full and best Stan Winston’s style,  are the mighty hunters, and one of them, Scar, appears even so human meant in the best way of the concept, behind the typical fierce and brutal mask. In a sinister very ancient pyramid located 2000 feet under the Antarctic ice, chambers reconfigure every 10 minutes building an astonishing, claustrophobic scenario: the movements of stone-blocks, walls and floors are wonderfully brought to the screen,  as  implacable as the monsters are. 

That advanced and revolutionary technique started off by Roland Emmerich with Stargate is used here to give a sensational realistic 3 dimensional impression of being there in the middle of the scary scenes. Moreover a sense of Matrix fitness can be traced in the "Aliens", especially concerning the face-huggers.

 In few words,  Aliens and Predators are created in a  refined and enthralling way. The good side of the thing is that the computer support for the realization of these monsters is reduced to a minimum, preferring to let to reality all what was possible. Unforgettable is the way the predators land impacting on the ice with their capsules. AvP  is the classical movie that MUST be seen in theatres. I think that no TV device can equal the sensation that this movie offers from  the big screen. This is obviously true for every movie, nonetheless it's also true that there are some films that really appear gorgeous only if seen where a film should be seen, completely designed for the big screen.

But from the moment that this movie is  addictive, the dvd's will be immediately bought also by all those who will find hundreds of defects in it. The camouflage  of the Predators, their typical invisibility/visibility, also extended to their weapons, is for example one of the details that act simply fascinating through the theater vision. And humans? the relatively little platoon constituted by the members of the expedition shows indeed how undefended humans can be . So naive, but so proud, convinced to be the heirs of Creation , humans can be easily put in a deadly trap, though  it's very good that humans are always animated by the everlasting curiosity towards "knowledge" and "unknown". Alien vs Predator is a pure ( and imo the best so far) Paul Anderson film. I have come to the conclusion that writer- director Paul Anderson doesn't offer perfect movies and even less perfect scientific ones, he simply wants us to face the true horror coming from superior forces. His stories are linear,  not really  inspired by Goethe, focused around only one important starting-point and action. Under this aspect, Avp is certainly not so "deep" as the stories of the mythical Alien -quadrilogy are. But all Anderson films are effective, are  like a punch on our stomach, they make us think, they make us wonder and make us feel how fragile our dreams of achievement can be. How dangerous is the mystery around us. Only the most courageous but humble can find at least a way of escape just to survive. If you think of Event Horizon or Mortal Combat you can fully understand what i mean. So don't expect from Alien vs Predator giant backstages and articulated tales, neither almighty heroes  like the characters of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigourney Weaver were. But expect many details in common with the Alien- Predator previous movies combined together , and expect an outstanding monster iconography. If the final part of the film reminds so much both of Alien 2 and Predator 2, AVP adds something new: it lets us imagine that this time Predators will really have a more serious hunt to do, if compared with their "game" in the pyramid. 

the hunter's moon = synopsis - In AvP, the human expedition is just seen by Predators like a group of victims designated to bring life to aliens , therefore just a means in order to trigger the hunt. 

Once upon a time, at the time of the lost first civilization on earth, they were worshipped by humans like gods, they enhanced the development of human progress just simply requiring back human sacrifices. Very happy and honoured to be sacrificed for their gods, the chosen humans of that lost era, had no heart ripped off from their chest. They were just face -hugged and chest- bursted by the "alien" species in obscure temple-pyramids, where the hunt was celebrated by Predator Lords. Humans as incubators  for Predator's horrible preys. So tells the film. One of those pyramid, a very ancient one, maybe the most ancient one ever on our planet, is discovered today (and it is really today from the moment that the expedition is dated  October 2004) through a satellite alarm due to a sudden and strange heat signature. This undiscovered giant pyramid under and beneath the Antarctic ice delivers features of Egyptian, Aztec and Cambodian cultures. 

Billionaire industrialist Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), father of all future Bishop's of the Alien-sequence, undertakes and dares. As easy and fast as only money can make possible, he gathers a team of experts in which the Italian archeologist Sebastian De Rosa (Raoul Bova) and the resolute environmentalist/ guide on ice-terrain Alexa "Lex" Woods (Sanaa Lathan) are the most important portraits. Weyland is rich, nonetheless he's eager to know more, eager to make history, but is  more noble-hearted than its own huge quantity of money could let presume. He's old and ill but still conscious that he must share the destiny with his squad. Unfortunately his difficult temperament and proud will cause his own death



Absolutely nice is the way Alexa "Lex" Woods is recruited. We could play the role of scientists and detectives wondering whether  is possible to receive a phone call in the place where Lex is engaged when she is contacted. Whatever. Anderson just communicates that when a rich power wants to catch you, it just does it, wherever you are. So Lex will lead this expedition on ice and snow towards Bouvetoya Isle at the level of a ghost whaling station, whose inhabitants mysteriously vanished since 1904, and in whose underworld, the terrible pyramid is hidden.  The picture of "the hunter's moon", called by archeologist Sebastian "la luna del cacciatore" in perfect Italian, is a omen, nevertheless a nice short intermezzo in the atmosphere that becomes gloomier and gloomier. Anyway  no one even imagines that this expedition is awaited by the Hunters, no one can even have a pale idea  that 3 Predators are catapulted in a spectacular way on the same ice and snow from a sinister space-mothership. An already perfect drilled shaft that leads to the pyramid is a source of surprise more than a source of worries. 

No one suspects that a terrifying  majestic Alien Queen, held imprisoned in the Queen's chamber, bound with chains,  practically tortured, awakens forced to lay eggs. 


When the little uncertain group of experts  remains astonished in front of the pyramid and deciphers that only the "chosen" ones can enter the monument, surely no one in this group imagines the massacre begun among the men (mainly drilling professionals)  who remained on the surface . The first symptoms of fear emerge when our squad finds the remains of the old victims in the sacrificial chamber. Something seems really sinister in those corpse forgotten by time. 

But the human race is curious and explorative so it's necessary to open a sarcophagi by setting an Aztec -like calendar to the current date, although well understanding that the last date of intervention can be dated back "just" 100 years ago. The sarcophagi opens offering lethal weapons that shouldn't be used by human hands, but that human hands are ready to take, upsetting the forces and rules of the hunt. Therefore the hunt will run an unexpected path, totally new and terrific for all 3 species. An authentic breathtaking horror can begin, and, at the end of the nightmare, the hunt is still open for a second station. The menacing hunter's moon could shine again in a second AvP movie.

the enemy of my enemy is my friend ="whoever wins ...we lose"- AvP delivers fights which are so perfectly created and played at the point that they can get mythical contours. 

The monsters look so real, from the spectacular animatronic Queen to the agile cruel alien warriors (more intelligent than we can think), passing through the strong Predators, who are able to win the audience, in spite of their nature. By the way, Scar...Predator Scar is more expressive than the whole human bunch  and plays a top notch role, he is surely the best and most meaningful character of the movie. The Italian icon Raoul Bova, as actor, proves to be more mature for the international success though in some scenes his personal charge is a bit feeble. On the contrary, as character, Alexa "Lex" Woods can become the new hero-woman, as self confident as Ripley, but, thanks all gods, not so arrogant. Dialogues are short but, at times, humorous or razor shaped. But then, in a monstrous pyramid whose inner is morphing like a mobile labyrinth you really don't need philosophical dissertations. However i would like to underline that another sound track could have been used, though the music  by Harald Kloser (The Day after Tomorrow) is surely not bad. But among all the various metal and rock genres, the proper music for this film could have been found. And there is no need to say how an opportune sound track of that kind can enhance the general atmosphere. I think that is also good to say that AvP doesn't present plenty of gore scenes, actually it's more terrific to imagine than to  see fountains of blood (i mainly refer to the aliens' birth) . 

In conclusion the 2 more successful and plausible extraterrestrial species of the cinematographic panorama are surely starring, starring in an insane war, the one slave to the other.  Humans can just desperately try not to die if only they choose one of the 2 "parties". But what species can interact with humans? who can help in the name of the law: my enemy's enemy is my friend? At the end, for the moment, none of the monster species really loses, none really wins. Both will have have their troubles, their nemesis, but also their hope. On the contrary, in the pyramid humans are simply excluded from victory as default, but they must struggle for their lives anyway, this is indeed the only victory left for them. Who among the persons of the expedition will survive? Who will perform the titanic final fighting?

It doesn't really matter if some details are wrong or left, cause this movie doesn't care: important is the allegory, the eternal struggle and fight, supported by  important ritual schemes and marks that can be understood  and shared by different species. 


One of the  2 monster-species can show  a sort of compassion, interest and esteem for us if we are able to become  reliable warriors.  One of those monsters can  fight on the human side, and can experience our same problems . But however then...who will ever save us from our savers ? 


some production notes: Approximately 70 percent of the ALIEN VS. PREDATOR effects are physical and not CG (computer-generated). “Today’s audiences are sophisticated and can sense the sometimes ‘unrealness’ of even the best CG,” says Anderson. “We wanted audiences to accept that these two powerful creatures are going head to head. And the best way to do that was for real.”

the lead Predator Scar was played by 7’1” Ian Whyte, an ex-professional basketball player from the United Kingdom. 

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