I am a kind of student of film. (All fans are.)
The original Alien film was a haunted house movie in space. It revisted an idea that has incarnated since THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD over and over again. QUEEN OF BLOOD, IT--THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE and the remake of THE THING. All of these explore variations on the original John W. Campbell story Who Goes There?
The second Alien movie was actually a completely different genre. Aliens was Director James Cameron's Hellzapoppin' variation on a theme seen in countless cowboy and indian movies. There are a bunch of THEM coming to kill us and we better kill them first. My choice for this kind of film is ZULU.
The third Alien film was pure Nihilism It was a sick David Fincher film (aren't they all?) right up there with Se7ven. There was not a ray of hope in the whole dreary exploration of anarchy.
The fourth Alien film, I think is much much better than anybody would allow themselves to admit. The ideas beyond the plot development were original and the technical proficiency in execution was flawless. Alien Resurrection gave us super-Ripley; half-human and half-Alien and you have to admit, that is something worth seeing! The son of Kong aspect to the Ripley/Alien mother/daughter symbiosis is poignant and spooky.
Now we come to ALIEN vs PREDATOR.
I liked the film. Yes, you heard me. I liked it. Why? For three reasons.
1.I had zero expectations. There was no way I could be disappointed with a film from which nothing was expected.
2.It was a great popcorn adventure. It was simply a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.
3.Technical virtuosity in Fx allow us to see impossible things imaginatively presented and this film gives us plenty of that.
Were there weaknesses to the film? CERTAINLY!! Ripley is gone and the lady who replaces her cannot replace the interesting personhood of Sigourney Weaver. This new chick is more tennis bum than fully developed human being.
The characters are not even comic book level cliches. They are cut and paste necessities. Nobody is developed and nobody learns anything.
Is it worth going to see? Yes--if you simply go to enjoy a visual treat with great Fx. If you are expecting Anna Karenina; stay at home.
I believe in accepting movies for what they are __intended__to be. This film does not intend to be anything other than a thrill ride.