Today I had the misfortune of sitting through AVP, also known as Alien versus Predator. In my own defense I had wanted to see I, Robot, but the last show had already begun by the time we got to the theatre. I have heard that the robot movie isn't actually very good, but it seems rather unlikely that it is any worse than AVP.
Aliens v. Predator is the worst conjunction of cinematic cliches I've seen all year. The amassed group of scientists and security personnel resemble nothing so much as a particularly disorganized elementary school field trip. Character development was so perfunctory as to have been merely obligatory, the only benefit of which was the fact that it limited my exposure to thespiatic (if that's a word) incompetence. Everything, from the pseudo-science to the painful dialogue was one unremitting stream of disappointment. But possibly the greatest failure of the movie came from the fight scenes.
I imagine that, in the late seventies, the first appearence of the alien monster must have been quite terrifying. Indeed, I myself was subjected to the movie Aliens at a very young age, and harbored a fear toward the creature which seems somewhat silly in retrospect. Now, however, the sleek black rubber suit is a familiar icon, one that in AVP illicits nothing save a desire to be watching one of its better performances instead. The Predator too, sadly, is nothing new, and should prove interesting only long enough for viewers to remember how crappy its first movies were.
Of the effects nothing can really be said except that they are perhaps the best part of AVP, rising above the sewage of script, directing, and characters to an exaulted peak of mediocrity. Unfortunately, because we come to such a movie expecting great effects, mere mediocrity amounts to the most profound disappointment to be found in this dismal offering.