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Alien Hunter (2003)

There’s nothing here you won’t have seen before.

Directed by:

Ron Krauss

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 92 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

‘Alien Hunter’ is the sort of conveyor belt-produced sci-fi movie that seemed to be springing up by the dozen back when ‘The X-Files’ was making it big. Nowadays, such material still feels as formulaic as it did back then – only now with the added disadvantage of not even being fashionable any more.

Aside from the bizarre appearance of one-time Olympian Carl Lewis, James Spader is the only well-known face who thought it wise taking part in this straight-to-video offering. He plays scholarly ladies’ man Julian Rome, a communications expert called to a lab in Antarctica to investigate a chunk of ice. Nothing particularly abnormal about ice in the South Pole, I hear you say. In fact, from what I can gather, there’s loads of the stuff down there. But this particular chunk has been sending out an indecipherable radio signal, and there’s also the small matter of the alien found lurking inside when the docs cut it open.

It soon becomes apparent that ‘Alien Hunter’ is a grossly misleading title. There’s precious little “hunting” going on, by either the humans or the distinctly mild-mannered alien. In fact, it soon becomes apparent that the principal threat comes not from the little green man, but from the flesh-eating virus it’s accidentally brought with it (oops!).

It’s not a bad film, and has a few nice touches added on by the special effects department. The acting’s also of a higher standard than you’d generally expect from such B-movie fare, with the possible exception of John ‘Sliding Doors’ Lynch who grates as Spader’s irritatingly sceptical love rival.

The worst thing about it is the complete lack of invention on the part of director Ron Krauss and writer J.S. Cardone. There’s nothing here you won’t have seen before, and you’d be better off watching any of the many other alien movies this one takes its lead from.

It's Got: A cop-out ending.

It Needs: To dump the clichés and come up with some ideas of its own.

DVD Extras Director’s commentary, a ‘Making Of’, storyboard comparison, location shoots, deleted scenes (including an alternate ending) with optional commentary, photo gallery and some trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Contact, Dreamcatcher, Roswell, Signs, The Thing From Another World

Summary

Mildly entertaining in places, but utterly predictable and never remotely thought-provoking.

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