AVP: Alexa Woods

The reluctant hero. Everyone knows who they are. Officer John McClane in the Die Hard series is one of them. The guy who’s caught in the wrong place at the wrong time but manages to save the day. Enter Alexa Woods, guide to an archaeological expedition to Antarctica, and the hero to my next installment of Women Who Wow Wednesday.

Alexa Woods
Alexa Woods

Billed as a doomsday movie of sorts with the tagline: “Whoever Wins…We Lose,” 2004’s AVP: Alien vs. Predator introduces us to a new reluctant hero. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the movie took in a healthy $173 Million at the box office with a budget of $60 Million.

They call her Lex for short and her stature may reflect that, but there’s nothing short about her. Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) leads a group of ragtag experts deep below the Antarctic frost to explore a recently discovered, giant pyramid. Hired by Weyland Industries, Lex is the first to bail on the initiative declaring the project unsafe. How do you like that for great leadership qualities? She eventually cedes to direct the team with a few simple rules:

  1. No one goes anywhere alone—ever
  2. Everyone must maintain constant communication
  3. Unexpected things are gonna happen

*** From this point forward, I may reveal some spoilers. Be warned. You may want to skip to the end. ***

AVP: Alien vs. Predator
AVP: Alien vs. Predator

When the team arrives at an abandon mining town to set up drilling equipment, they soon discover they may not be alone. A force, greater than anything on earth, bore a perfect thirty-degree tunnel through the ice to the base of the pyramid. As Lex takes one group into the tunnel, the other group meets an invisible force—a pack of Predators. The entire group is slain.

Making their way below the surface of the ice, Predators hunt and kill anyone who appears as a threat to their mission. Although Lex was able to save Mr. Weyland, played by James Cameron veteran actor Lance Henriksen, from a previous fatal encounter with death, nothing could have saved him this time. He is one of the first to go.

One by one, as Predators kill the second team, a new enemy emerges, even deadlier than Predators—Aliens. Aliens kill the remnant of the humans, while Predators hunt the Aliens, and on and on this fun circle goes.

Lex realizes she’s stepped in the middle of a war. When confronted face to face by the last surviving Predator, she bows her head to the ground in humility, and provides the entity the weapon it needs to defeat the Aliens.

And this is the best part. Just when we think it’s lights out for Lex, Predator turns its back on her to fight an oncoming hoard of Aliens. But one of them makes it through to reach Lex. Predator spots this and throws her its spear. This gesture solidifies their warrior kinship. Lex kills the Alien, running it through with the spear. Once the dust clears, Predator fashions for Lex a spear from the tail, and a shield from the skull of a dead Alien. Predator then marks Lex’s cheek with warrior markings with the acidic blood of her conquest. Lex earns the rite of passage from Predator.

She was now one of them.

*** End of spoilers. ***

The Indians who lived in our part of Canada more than two hundred years ago believed that if they ate the heart of the bravest enemy, they would in turn become brave. Lex didn’t have to eat the heart of an Alien, but she certainly earned her right of passage as a true warrior.

What are your thoughts about the reluctant hero, Lex?

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14 thoughts on “AVP: Alexa Woods

  1. Love Alien, love predator, love AVP. A really great post and something genuinely interesting to read, I enjoy reading your blog, but i have to agree she is one badass chick

  2. I’ve actually been pretty impressed with the AVP series. i was a fan of the comic back in the day, so seeing it come to the silver screen has been a treat. Lex was a surprise and a welcome one in that movie

  3. Lex was the best part of that movie. The relationship between her and the Predator, particularly when he marks her cheek, elevated the movie above the gore fest it might have been and provided food for thought long after the closing credits.

  4. I didn’t enjoy the concept of this movie and there was a lot of bad in it. I know that I did a lot of eye-rolling. But I do agree that Lex was a good character. No comparison to Ripley to me. Sigourney Weaver probably has build her whole career with that role. However, the part where Lex gets accepted by them was pretty cool. Awesome post Jack! 🙂

  5. Yeah!!! I’m grinning ear to ear with this one. I’m not a huge Aliens or Predators fan but I thought this film was great. I especially loved it because the lead actress was a fierce black woman. I admired her in one particular scene when she tells everybody they better listen to her. Boom!! Lets be honest. Most of these action roles don’t go to them. Sanaa Lathan is a great actress who has incredible range. Plus she’s beautiful and tough. Jack you should watch her in the film Love and Basketball. As for being a reluctant hero, I think everyone has a little bit of that trait in them. We tend to do things selfishly and for the good of others. She knew it was better to join the Predators than to fight against them. Hell I would have given them their weapons back to and prayed they didn’t kill me. She might not be a Ripley but she fought alongside the best. Thanks so much for this Jack!!!!!!! Oh you know I’m reblogging this for sure. 🙂

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