The first time I saw this movie, I absolutely hated it. The second time, I saw this "Unrated" cut, and suddenly I didn't mind it so much. In fact I kind of liked it. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that Jim Cameron himself said that he liked it, and I was under the influence of reading that.
Alien Vs. Predator is a sequel to the first two Predator movies, and a prequel to the Alien series. As such, it sets up how the Company from the Alien films first became aware of the Xenomorphs. The Company is represented by Lance Henriksen, playing the founder of the Weyland-Yutani Company, who later builds the Bishop android in Aliens, also played by Lance Henriksen. We can assume that the dude in Alien3, also played by Henriksen, is a generations-later relative of this character.
A lot of B-level actors have been selected for this film, most of whom I'd never seen before. Most notably is Ewen Bremner, the "other" Ewen from Trainspotting. While nobody in this cast (apart from Henriksen) is on a level with some of the supportors from the Alien or Predator series (such as Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Tom Skerrit, Bill Paxton, or Michael Beihn), none of them are that bad either. In fact they all have a sort of charisma, which is important since you're supposed to feel bad when they start getting slaughtered.
The script is the weakest point of this film. Many fans have pointed out many inconsistencies with the Alien series. While a little thinking can patch up most of these plot holes, some just gape wide open no matter how much duct tape you try to put over them.
The big two, which I can't fathom an explanation for, are as follows. First, the life cycle of the Xenomorphs has been hurried so that they now burst out of your chest after what seems like minutes. Yet this is even contradicted later in the film, when a Predator gets infected with one! Second, there appear to be more Xenomorphs in this film than there were human hosts. I don't get that. No explanations are attempted within the film.
Having said that, I think this movie is easier to swallow than Predator 2 with its cheesy gang members, or Alien Resurrection with its unbelievable cloning of Ellen Ripley and Queen.
Disc two is the real treasure here. I watched the pre-production and post-production segments absolutely mesmerized. Paul Anderson is a charismatic director with a clear passion for Alien movies (the good ones) and he clearly worships the ground that Jim Cameron walks on. As he and his crew walk us through the making of the movie, you really become infected with his enthusiasm. The fact that most of the movie was done with scale models with a minimun of CG just makes is so much cooler. It's much more fun watching guys blow up models than it is to watch some guy do it on his Mac.
Initially I bought this movie simply to have a complete Alien and Predator collection. After watching this cut, and the bonus material, I was hooked it. It's not as bad as I made it out to be the first time. It's a popcorn movie. While the original two Alien films and the first Predator film were more cerebral, I believe Alien Vs. Predator to be better than the later films of those franchises. I enjoyed it, and maybe you will too.