If you take two beloved franchises that originated with gory and terrifying scenes of graphic chest explosion and skinning corpses and decide to enlarge your audience by making a PG-13 crossover with all the horror elements excised and replaced with mediocre action, you’re gearing up to disappoint fans of both series. And Paul W. S. Anderson proved that Resident Evil wasn’t just a fluke when he gave us this poorly-written and more poorly-acted waste of one hundred minutes of my life. Re-watching both Alien and Predator in preparation was an enormous mistake, as it just highlights more clearly that this film is an utter betrayal of two sci-fi classics. Even the unrated version simply adds some C.G.I. gore and a few more scenes that try and fail to better explain the plot.
Discovering an anachronistic pyramid in the Antarctic, industrialist Charles Bishop Weyland (a returning Lance Henriksen) rounds up a crack team of mercenaries, archaeologists and Spud from Trainspotting (Ewen Bremner). Admittedly his title of “chemical engineer”, despite never becoming the least bit relevant, does raise a chuckle when you think about his past cinematic experiences with certain “chemicals”. The other important members of the team are the aptly-named protagonist Alexa “Lex” Woods (Sanaa Lathan in a timber-worthy performance), Bishop’s right-hand man Maxwell Stafford (Colin Salmon) and Sebastian De Rosa (Raoul Bova), resident genius, who serves to advance the plot with his vast knowledge of the script.
Meanwhile, a ship belonging to the Predators enters Earth’s orbit, firing laser to drill down to the pyramid’s location, a convenient entrance used by the exploration team to avoid having scenes of weeks of tedious drilling. Venturing down, they discover that the building is far more advanced than anything from that time period, and various pieces of machinery spring to life, transporting the eggs from a captive Alien Queen into the sacrificial chamber, where several of the team are infested by Alien facehuggers, who hatch within minutes and mature to adulthood in minutes more. The rest of the team find the Predator's’ weapons, and are hotly pursued by three “chosen” Predator warriors, tasked with surviving this temple as some kind of rite of passage.
The pyramid begins to transform around them at ten minute intervals, conveniently separating the group into “no-hopers” and “main characters”, and everyone but Lex, Sebastian, and Weyland are soon killed by a rampaging swarm of Aliens or the Predators hunting them. Within five minutes two of the three Predators have been killed by Aliens, for no more apparent reason than that the writer couldn’t think of anything better to do with them. Heading back towards the entrance pursued by the remaining Predator, attempting to recover the weapons the team found earlier, who manages to kill Weyland despite his terminal lung cancer, after his ill-advised attempt to attack it from behind with a makeshift flamethrower. But even our surviving Predator isn’t competent enough to avoid being infested by a facehugger when he momentarily removes his mask. To be continued...