The original 'AvP' movie isn't bad - it's not great either. It's a solid average movie.
It is let down in some areas, for sure. Firstly, it's not what fans wanted. That'll generate a negative response straight away. Most fans wanted an action based tale on a colony world with Aliens, Predators and Marines. We didn't get anything like that. Instead we got some hokey story about an ancient pyramid buried under Antarctic ice that gets used for Rites of Passage by Predators who hunt Aliens. It's a premise that makes no sense. At all. Why..? WHY did they think this was actually a good idea... WHY?
On the other hand, the story itself is an interesting take on the old 'Boys Own' adventure style of material that authors of the likes of Doyle, Burroughs, Lovecraft and Haggard popularised so many decades ago. Each of these writers made their mark on popular culture by sending groups of explorers to previously unexplored parts of the world and the fantastic adventures their characters had there. The first 'AvP' movie resonates strongly in this regard and in a World where most of the surface has been explored, Bouvet Isle is a great location to set up such a scenario for an early 21st Century equivalent of 'The Lost World' or 'King Solomons Mines' or just about everything Burroughs wrote. In this regard, 'AvP' is Tarzan's jungle, the plains of South America or undiscovered heart of Africa. Places that have been thoroughly mapped leaving little room upon the globe for such modern dramas of this nature to take place. Except for maybe at the South Pole. Where Aliens, Predators and possibly an ancient Shoggoth may still roam, waiting for us to discover them.
Whether this was intentional or not on the part of the film makers, this is what the movie feels like to me. It's neither a 'Predator' movie, nor an 'ALIEN' one. Which is probably a good thing. So despite its goofy and outlandish premise, it's no worse off than anyone writing about dinosaurs surviving in South America or finding them thriving on an uncharted island in the South Atlantic. I'm totally fine with all of this. It's nonsense, but at least it's fun nonsense. The film's one big major flaw is its characterisations. Sure, it possesses its other inconsistencies and problems as well but when a movie's characters are lacking, then it's in trouble. If the onscreen performances had been more engaging and worth investing in, then the movie would be something more than just some weird thing that came out in 2004.
It's a sad indictment on the characters of the movie that the pyramid itself possesses more personality than any of them; and it's a queer curiosity in terms of being an entry that bridges both the 'ALIEN' and 'Predator' series. It doesn't perform that essential task in a rewarding manner but at least it's neither a complete Fail for lack of being a resounding Success.
At least it's a damned sight better than 'AvP: Requiem', which is devoid of any personality whatsoever and lacks any performance or direction of any notable value. It could have been a worthy successor to the quaint antiquated 'Boys Own' antics of the 2004 film and be just as odd and quirky; but unfortunately a movie needs to do a lot more than single mindedly endeavour to pull out all stops just to score an 'R' rating to be any good.