Star Rating:

Alien vs Predator

Director: Paul WS Anderson

Actors: Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Colin Salmon, Ewen Bremner

Running time: 90 minutes

Not a film for the cinematic pursuits, Alien Vs Predator, not surprisingly, does precisely what it says on the tin: the long in-development face off between the villains of hugely popular sci-fi movies. With both Alien (1979) and Predator (1987) spawning four sequels between them, you'd think there may have been enough material already in circulation to satisfy the appetites of fans. But sadly not.

The plot is as threadbare as you might expect. After a satellite, owned by billionaire industrialist Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), picks up unusual activity in the Antarctica, he hires some of the world's finest explorers 'n' scientists (Lathan, Boya, Bremner) and sets out to discover what's happened. Of course, these poor fools don't know that ancient traditions dictate that the Aliens and the Predators meet up in the ice, for a large scale mill, every hundred years or so. You don't really need me to tell what happens next.

One of the perverse delights of cinema reviewing is being faced with films that confound even your most negative expectations, yet Alien Vs Predator doesn't even manage that, despite the alarmingly daft premise. Paul W.S. Anderson has directed a richly shot, sometimes atmospheric, picture, but one that lacks anything resembling narrative cohesion or fluency. His technical agility can't mask the fact that, without a human interest of real substance, a ruck between these homicidal alien species is, well, a bit boring, really.