I recently caught Alien vs. Predator on TV for the first time since it was released way back in 2004, and despite not liking it when I first saw it, I thought I'd give it another go. After all, I remembered it having some pretty good elements in it. I figured I might as well give it another watch and see if it was as much of a let down as I remembered.
It wasn't. It was worse.
The biggest problem I had was with the characters and their dialogue. They were terrible. The only vaguely interesting character in the entire film was Weyland, and it felt like he was only interesting because he was Weyland. Every single person in the movie was total a cliché, but unlike Aliens, they weren't fun, well-written, witty, interesting clichés, they were just shallow, insipid and utterly, utterly dull. And their dialogue was just awful. Even Alien Resurrection had some great dialogue, whereas Alien vs. Predator felt like it had been written by a child using scraps they'd heard before in other movies.
Another thing that surprised me was how bad the special effects look now. I remember this film looking great when it came out, but now the CGI looks awful. It wouldn't matter if they didn't use so much of it in the film, but there's a sad lack of practical effects. Even worse, the practical effects that are there look a million times better than all the dated computer-generated stuff.
One thing I remembered vividly from the first time I saw this was the lack of violence. Violence may not make a movie great (and go too far and you end up with Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem), but a film about Aliens and Predators needs to be violent to create the right atmosphere. Similarly, there was no tension. Even the scene that shamelessly ripped off Dallas in the air shafts from Alien had no absolutely suspense. In fact, it almost felt like they weren't even trying to create tension. In terms of overall atmosphere, this was a kids' film. Why are you making a kids' film based on adult movies? Obviously the answer is money, but it meant the film immediately lost all credibility.
And of course, there's still the fact this film is set several hundred years before mankind supposedly first discovered the Alien. The fact that plot hole should never even have existed is another damning criticism of how inept this movie was from the outset.
So yeah. I was hoping my memory of this would improve with watching it again. Sadly the opposite happened and my opinion of the film got even lower. It was actually worse than I remembered it. A lot worse. I was disappointed all over again, and I never thought I'd say that.
Please, someone make a decent AVP film one day!