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when twentieth century fox decided to make this movie alien vs predator a reality i wonder why they chose to go with the lifeless paul w.s. anderson to do it. maybe they thought he was paul thomas anderson? or maybe not. i have a theory that goes like this:
you see paul w.s anderson is not a good director nor is he good writer but he is good at creating a pitch. so he probably came into the fox offices and said: picture this. antarctica. 100 years ago. there is a a mining colony and we follow a guy who is being chased by who or not we do not know. he is killed. cut to today, a satellite station picks up an unknown signal emanating from antarctica. we then assemble a crew, and head into the unknown. it turns out that it's a trap and the crew we have assembled are pawns for the predator, who uses them to make aliens in which they then fight. then it's all out chaos and war as the two fight each other, with humans getting in the way and to cap it all off we end off with a alien/predator hybrid.
i'm sure the pitch went something like that, only better said than i wrote and fox loved it. okay paul, the film is yours they said. so off he went and wrote the screenplay which is where this anderson first fails. while the story works well and is kind of cool, the actions of the characters, the characters themselves, the dialogue and how the plot progresses from one point to the next is just terrible. here is one example: one of the crew members hired is a ice trekking survivalist guide who is the best at what she does. she is hired to lead the team to the signal found. she is hesitant to say the least as she says the signal is coming from the most dangerous terrain on the planet and she needs more time to train the rest of the team. she eventually relents and takes the team to the signal. this is how they get there. she sits in a vehicle and talks and they are there in minutes. why was she needed? what did she do? that whole scene and her character was useless.
there are tons of moments like that: useless archaeologists on missions that don't pan out, smart scientists that act like idiots, the mining base from 100 years ago that apparently no one knows about, the list is endless.
the film also takes way to long to get to the alien/predator action, following the humans way to much without developing the story. the acting is typical anderson, by that i mean very wooden. the cinematography, while very nice at times is too dark at other times. the editing sometimes to quick to see what is happening while at other times dragging.
the effects though are pretty damn good, with lots of models used and of course the great looking predators and aliens are on full display and look awesome. the sets look good (but make no sense) and the cgi is limited and barely noticeable.
it's not the worst film, but it sure isn't very good. some fun moments involving aliens and predators but that's all we get. critics didn't like this, audiences were disappointed and fox has only themselves to blame. this is what you get when you hire the man behind mortal combat, resident evil and soldier (okay, the last one i must admit i like) to headline a new franchise (mashup).
production design: 8 out of 10
cinematography: 7 out of 10
re-playability: 5 out of 10
originality: 4 out of 10
costumes: 7 out of 10
directing: 5 out of 10
editing: 6 out of 10
acting: 6 out of 10
music: 8 out of 10
script: 2 out of 10
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