Great idea, terrible execution: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

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I suppose Hollywood should be forgiven for taking so long to come up with the idea for the Alien and Predator franchises to crossover. After all, the original Alien released in 1979, while the first Predator released in 1987 (the year after Aliens). Well, as the saying goes, better late than never.


On August 13th, 2004, Alien vs. Predator released in theaters. Set (like Predator films) in the present day (Alien films by contrast are in the near/far future)., the film follows a team of archaeologists assembled by billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (founder of Weyland Corporation, the “Company” referred to in the original Alien film) to investigate a mysterious heat signal under the Antarctic ice sheet. What none of them realize is that in ages past, Antarctica served as a training ground for the Predator species, who come to kill Aliens as a rite of passage.

A long time ago, the hunt got out of hand and to prevent the Aliens from consuming the globe, the Predators detonated a huge bomb that wiped out all life in that part of the continent. The heat plume is actually the system holding the Aliens readying itself for the arrival of the Predators. Down below, an Alien Queen is held captive and forced to produce eggs. Several archaeologists are unwittingly trapped in the “sacrifice chamber” where the eggs open and they are all implanted with Alien embryos. Meanwhile, the Predators arrive and discover that the humans have stumbled onto their hunting grounds. In the end, humans and Predators will have to work together to stop the Aliens from getting loose.


I actually liked this movie when I finally saw it on DVD. Predators are an interesting species, because unlike most sci-fi “monsters”, Predators actually have a code of ethics. They’re not like some aliens that just kill everyone (like the Alien or the Independence Day aliens). For the Predator, they assess a) whether a target is a genuine threat and b) is there any “honor” in killing the target? And the idea of humans teaming up with the Predators is really awesome.


This might have been a good franchise (or at least a decent trilogy) except for the fact that the sequel, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) was really, really BAD (except for Brian Tyler’s score, which I talk about here). I really wouldn’t mind seeing more films where the Aliens and Predators battle each other.

What did you think of Alien vs. Predator? Good idea or should the two creatures have stayed in separate films? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

See also:

Brian Tyler “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” scoring session (2007)

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*poster image is the property of 20th Century Fox


3 thoughts on “Great idea, terrible execution: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

  1. Plain, Simple Tom

    Good to see this film getting some praise; a lot of the story is a bit dull but I really liked the idea of humans and predators teaming up, the code of ethics that you mentioned and the fact that in terms of alien vs. predator smackdown-ness, it definitely delivers!
    But as for the sequel – complete waste! Can’t remember the music, though . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Damien Riley

    Nice review. I see these “vs” films as another way to monopolize on old franchises and the aterial is usually recycled as well. This is a film I have walked in on in peoples’ homes and my son has watched it (aged 18 now) when I’ve been making a sandwich or something so I know very little about it. It may be a generational thing, I think I’m about 20 years older than you but I just can’t get excited about these films. I guess there’s a Freddy vs Jason too. Overall I’d like to see more originality from Hollywood.

    Liked by 1 person


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