Tag Archives: Sanaa Lathan

AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) 2.71/5 (7)

 

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Rating: The Ugly – 64.5
Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Duration: 101 mins
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova

Sanaa Lathan stars as a crack mountain climber who agrees to shepherd Lance Henriksen’s “Mr. Weyland” and his team of scientists to a desolate corner of Antarctica to investigate a newly discovered pyramid. As they move deeper into the recesses of the structure, they trigger an age-old battle between the two seminal sci-fi monsters (a rivalry that first arose in a comic and then playfully alluded to in Predator 2). It may be considered sacrilege to fans of both the Alien and Predator franchises and the sight of Lathan and a fierce predator exploding into the night air on a shared sled may just be one of the silliest sci-fi images ever committed to screen. However, *if* you can forgive those indiscretions, AvP can be cracking fun. At its core, the movie was sold on the idea that an AvP showdown would be a cool thing to see and, in fairness to that other Paul “middle initial” Anderson, he achieves that goal in style. The battles, a series of impressive and slickly conceived duels between the heavyweight bad guys, are as epic as they deserve to be and as rousing as the best action sequences from either of their franchises. They’re bolstered by some superb creature effects too (not counting those lumbering, out of shape predators) and, to their periphery, is a decent array of reasonably fleshed out support characters. Lathan proves a worthy action heroine and carries the movie’s final act largely between her and her predatory comrade. But best of all, the movie is replete with some really nice touches such as the Predators’ disgust for the Aliens not to mention the oblique reveals of the former’s culture. Of course, the premise is the weak point. Though fine for a stand alone sci-fi, in the context of the two mythologies, it veers unavoidably towards the ridiculous. Sure, it’s exciting fun but it ultimately takes the sheen off both mythologies.

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Out of Time (2003) 3.29/5 (2)

 

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Rating: The Good – 69.7
Genre: Thriller
Duration: 105 mins
Director: Carl Franklin
Stars: Denzel Washington, Sanaa Lathan, Eva Mendes

Admirable low key thriller about a police chief of a small community in the Florida Keys who finds himself conned out of evidence money and framed for the murder of the woman he was having an affair with. As the murder investigation progresses in brisk fashion, he must stay ahead of the detectives (one of whom is his estranged wife) while trying to uncover the truth. Denzel Washington brings his usual assuredness to an interesting role. His Chief Whitlock is a flawed individual who proves to be both very naive at times and very clever at others. Eva Mendes and Sanaa Lathan do well as the women in his life and John Billingsley and Dean Cain provide strong secondary support. As he did with the outstanding One False Move, director Carl Franklin deftly handles the multiple threads to the story and keeps the action ticking over at a steadily increasing pace. The result is completely engaging and will have you on the edge of your seat at numerous points throughout. As with most movies that move this quickly, there are a few logical errors here and there but nothing which stops the film from being enjoyed.

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