Money versus plot
More equals less here: At a running time of 101 minutes, this is one of those movies that feel much longer. Adding insult, 12 of those minutes were end credits. That’s a lot of names attached to the creation of such a forgettable piece of summer wank. But then, it’s “auteur” Paul W. S. Anderson who should be taking full blame for this.
As the writer, he blithely discards the mythos of both antecedents to cobble together the rough approximation of a plot, and then instead of directing merely recreates familiar scenes from other movies, stitching them together into a celluloid Frankenstein’s monster. He doesn’t even take his time here, introducing the protagonist à la Mission Impossible 2, albeit on ice instead of rock. From there he proceeds to riff on such disparate flicks as The Thing and even the abominable remake of Godzilla. He even indulges in auto-cannibalism, resurrecting Colin Salmon’s character from his prior Resident Evil.
So, minus the 12 minutes of names no one really cares about, we’re left with 90 minutes of flash—well, not counting the 20 minutes of set-up: An expedition is formed to venture into the frozen wastelands to explore a newly discovered temple—an amalgam of ancient architectures. Turns out there are incubating Aliens in there, and the Predators are dropping by to hunt them as a rite of passage (thus invalidating the premise of the original Predator).
The humans are pretty much irrelevant, aside from a cunning linguist who is savvy enough to decipher any amount of runes to provide the back story and is also preternaturally attentive to suss out the nature of the clockwork mouse trap. Conveniently, everyone who is going to die wears a red shirt, so that when the Alien chest-bursters make their entrance/exit, the flick still maintains its PG-13. In other words, a pretty bloodless affair—in every way, shape and form.