Alien vs. Predator

Alien vs. Predator

Collateral Damages

Not just Kerry vs. Bush—for Europeans this film makes the culture wars pop like never before.

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Alien vs. Predator is a metaphor for the inevitably horrifying outcome of the 2004 U.S. presidential election as seen from the perspective of writer/director Paul W. S. Anderson’s native Europe. The tagline tells it all: Whoever wins . . . we lose. Consider this dialogue from the trailer:

Sebastian de Rosa: This whole thing was a trap.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: They’re not hunting us. We’re in the middle of a war.

Whether it’s the voting machines or the candidates you’re considering, the real loser, they say, is democracy. This year’s U.S. voters, they claim, have about as much choice as an innocently convicted man stating his preference over being shot or hung. Remember four years ago, when Gore’s loss had all the pundits saying it guaranteed him a victory in 2004? Me neither.

And as we remember details about the combatants, another European-focused reading emerges. The Predators are here for a coming of age ritual. Some Aliens used to live among—and were worshipped by the elites of—an advanced human civilization. As the predatory U.S. comes of age and battles the alien terrorists, Europe is horrified to discover that its civilization is caught in the middle, its citizens doomed to become trophies or entrées—or, ignominiously, collateral damage. The real loser is the European global hegemony (and its counterpart in the NPR-listening, Volvo-driving, peace marching, latte-sipping strata of concerned American society). We’re not in charge of our own planet anymore. The move from croissant to Croissan’wich® is complete. Perhaps they’ll kill each other off.

But however you read it, this film comes in the newly exhausting tradition of filmed celebrity smack-downs that became a Hollywood ticket formula with 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason (whose tagline, “Winner kills all” also sounds politically prescient). Since it seems like a cinema trend that’s here to stay, Metaphilm would like to suggest the following celebrity face-offs that are guaranteed to generate box office billions:

  • Spider-Man vs. Shelob
  • Hulk vs. Jolly Green Giant
  • Black Beauty vs. Black Stallion
  • Catwoman Halle Berry vs. Catwoman Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Flipper vs. Nemo
  • What A Girl Wants vs. What Women Want
  • The Governator (California) vs. Jesse Ventura (Minnesota)
  • Braveheart vs. The Terminator
  • Willem Dafoe (Scorsese’s Jesus) vs. Jim Caviezel (Gibson’s Jesus)
  • 101 Animated Dalmatians vs. 101 Live-Action Dalmatians
  • Mary-Kate vs. Ashley (oh wait . . . )
  • Shakespeare vs. His Filmed Adapations
  • James Bond vs. Austin Powers
  • Popeye vs. The Perfect Storm
  • Charlie Chaplin vs. Roberto Benigni
  • The Catholic Church vs. Universal Studios
  • Roger Ebert vs. Harry Knowles
  • Demi Moore vs. Demi Moore
  • Hollywood vs. Jerusalem

Etc . . . :::

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) is the publisher of Metaphilm. He may vote this year. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) edits Metaphilm and wishes he could afford a Volvo.
posted by editor ::: October 28, 2004 ::: philms :::