For many, the Aliens vs. Predator franchise is nothing more than a gimmick. A campy monster match-up in the spirit of Dracula vs. Frankenstein or Godzilla vs. Mothra, if not a desperate attempt by 20th Century Fox to revitalize its two sci-fi/horror blockbusters. Actually, the idea was born out of comics, novels, and videogames over the last 20 years, developing numerous stories from which to draw upon. The histories seemed naturally intertwined: the ultimate hunters (Predators) cultivating the ultimate prey (Aliens) for safari, with humankind caught between the two deadly species.
The concept played well in print, but less successfully on the big screen. Though a minor box office success, 2004's Alien vs. Predator was deemed a failure by most critics and moviegoers, lacking in comparison to its classic predecessors. Some felt cheated by the PG-13 rating, which stripped the film of the gory bloodshed exhibited in the other movies. And others complained that if you're going to bring these creatures to Earth, then unleash them someplace that matters; a populated setting would be scarier than Antarctica.
For better or worse, 20th Century Fox listened, assigning The Brothers Strause (special effects wizards Greg and Colin) to direct their first feature film. As lifelong fans of both franchises, the Strauses were eager to recreate the audio and visual hallmarks of both creatures. They also amped the violence and gore back up to an R rating. And they have attempted the Earthbound story that many fans have long wanted.
The setting is present day, after the events of the previous Predator films and picking up immediately from the conclusion of the first AVP—all before the Alien series. While leaving Earth's orbit, last movie's ...