Saturday, December 19, 2015

Alien vs. Predator: Underrated and Awesome

During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realize that only one species can win.
Whenever I mention Alien vs. Predator to other fans of either franchise, I usually get this reaction: oh, yeah, that's super cheesy but it's okay. To which I respond, it's my favorite. It is then indicated that I've lost my nerd card authenticity.
Usually, I'd agree. Most 'monster vs. monster' movies are pretty downright cheesy (and as much as I enjoyed the latest Godzilla movie, I'm wary of Godzilla vs. King Kong), but AVP  happens to be my favorite movie from either franchise. My sister and I curl up on the couch with lattes and watch it a couple times a year, while Mom laughs because we react like we've never seen it before.
Why do I love it so much? Let me 'splain.
AVP features more sacrifice, heroism, and genuinely likable people than most Alien or Predator movies.  One of my biggest beefs with most monster/creature movies is the lack of likable characters, and fortunately AVP doesn't suffer from that syndrome. They give you a badass female lead who is neither annoying nor unbelievable in her role, and even the supporting characters are likable and sympathetic to a degree. Including my favorite thing about this movie…
• Scar. A Yautja youngblood dropped to earth to compete in his first hunt against the Xenomorphs, Scar becomes not just a new warrior running around killing things but an actual, three-dimensional character. He takes Lex, the main character, under his wing, and the two end up saving each other's lives more than once as they fight to get free of the death-trap.  Scar is one of my favorite fictional characters in anything, and to prove it, I have his figurine on my desk. He has a sense of humor, he's courageous, he's selfless, and he's downright freaking awesome. He also makes me cry, but you'll have to watch the movie to find out why. [Also his chemistry with Lex is so good that if they weren't voted Best Onscreen Couple of 2004, they should have been. They have my vote.]
• The plot is minimal (like all movies in both franchises) - archaeology team uncovers alien nest, Predators come down to fight the aliens, humans get caught in the middle. However, a typical storyline is carried out really well. You don't sit back and think 'well, that was a whole lotta nothing.' The minimal plot carries the story and characters well. It doesn't need anything complicated.
I adore AVP so much that I was terribly disappointed in the sequel. The only thing the sequel had going for it was the presence of seasoned Yautja warrior Wolf (also played by Ian Whyte, who portrayed the three youngbloods Scar, Celtic and Claw in AVP).
So while I don't recommend Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, I highly recommend its predecessor, Alien vs. Predator.

Have you seen it? What did you think? Are you a fan of either franchise?

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