Directors: The Brothers Strause
Writers: Shane Salerno, Dan O’Bannon (“Alien” characters), Ronald Shusett (“Alien” characters), Jim Thomas (“Predator” characters), John Thomas (“Predator” characters)
Starring: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade, Kristen Hager, Sam Trammell, Robert Joy, David Paetkau, Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte
This is the fourth time I’ve forced myself to sit through this atrocity to both the “Alien” and “Predator” franchises. Why would I watch it four times? As humans we have a need to try to understand the inexplicable, I guess.
However, for the first time this movie didn’t seem entirely inexplicable to me. I mean it’s bad. It’s just as bad as I always thought it was, but this time through I felt I could see why this story appealed to the filmmakers. The story itself isn’t as bad as the movie. It eschews most of the established signatures of these once great film properties, but at least there actually is a story here.
A Predator/Alien hybrid gets loose from a Predator starship, and a Predator comes to Earth to hunt it down and destroy the evidence. Why they would only send one Predator for this job is as mindboggling as why that Predator would leave evidence of his own kill hanging in the trees when he destroys every other bit of evidence that either he or the Alien leaves behind. The plot is filled with such idiotic inconsistencies. Overall, it could’ve worked though, with 6 or 9 more rewrites.
The real heart of this film’s atrocities lie within how it is all executed. Made by The Brothers Strause, as these brothers like to be known, you’d think their vast experience in producing special effects for a number of excellent special effects laden movies like “300” and “The Day After Tomorrow” would’ve informed them of the necessity of the audience actually being able to see what was on screen.
This movie is so dark, it’s as if they’ve totally misinterpreted the Clint Eastwood philosophy on cinematography. Eastwood famously asked of one of the dark shots in the movie “Firefox”, “Can you see it’s me?” When his cinematographer said “Yes,” Eastwood told him to print it and move on. The Brother’s Strause seem to have altered this dialogue slightly.
“Can you see the Alien?”
Cinematographer, “Um, no.”
“Well, can you see anything?”
“There seems to be a speck of light traveling fr…”