After seeing the trailers for this film I wasn’t that excited at all, I felt the last film was a huge let down although I didn’t think it was as bad as some people did. With some time to spare before a comedy show me and the missus decided we might as well give this a go at the cinema. Being as Alien was a horror and this film has some horror elements I thought I may as well review it so here it is…..
Director – Ridley Scott
Story – Dante Harper and John Logan
Screen Play – Michael Green and Jack Paglen
Based on Characters By – Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon
Stars – Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup and Danny McBride
Budget – $97 million estimated
Run Time – 122 minutes
Tagline – The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell
Trivia – First Alien film to be released after the death of H R Giger. Giger inadvertently designed the original Alien looks and environments in his “Necronomicon” book, which led to Ridley Scott hiring him as art director for the film (and series). Giger essentially gave birth to the entire Alien look that we all know now.
Trivia – At one stage, Katherine Waterston’s character Daniels says “I got you, you son of a bitch.” Ellen Ripley uses these words at the end of the original Alien film.
A spaceship is on it’s way to colonise a planet that’s been scouted out from earth, every crew member is in deep sleep apart from the android that looks after the ships’ systems whilst they sleep. As you’d expect something goes very wrong when an anomaly damages the ship, this leads to the essential crew being woke up early to help out.
After waking and after some adventures in space things begin to settle down and the damage is repaired but there’s more mystery. After venturing out to repair the ship the crew dicypher a transmission, it’s human singing and it coming from a close planet, a planet much closer than the world they’re off to conolise. The new captain is faced with a choice, stay on course and go back into the pods for years or head to find the source of the transmission and see if the new planet can become their new home.
It wouldn’t be a sci-fi movie if they stuck to their plan so off they head. After punching through a massive storm a group makes it to the surface leaving a small handful on the colony ship. As you’d expect things go to crap quickly on the surface some of the crew become ill after inhaling some deadly spores, these spores turn into a small alien that burst from their hosts.
They’re rescued by a familiar face from Prometheus and we get to find out what happened to a couple of characters from the first film. However for me this is where the film began to get predictable and creepy but not the type of creepy we like. It doesn’t take long until the familiar alien we all loved from the original films shows up. The Xenomorph gets onto the ship and messes things up for the crew, it all leads to a pretty enjoyable action sequence as the ship tries to get into orbit whilst the crew fight off the alien.
- I loved the first hour or so of this film, the slow build up to what the hell is going on was well written and well directed.
- Kenny Fucking Powers is in it!
- People praise Michael Fassbender and don’t get me wrong he is a fantastic actor but I loved Katherine Waterston, I’ve only seen her in this and Fantastic Beasts and she’s really impressed me in both films.
- The move away from Prometheus was good, there just wasn’t enough Alien action in that film and it didn’t feel like an Alien film. This one moves more towards the original films and it was a good move.
- Even though we’ll never see an Alien film with better action than we got in Aliens and we won’t see one with the atmosphere the first film gave us I enjoyed the action in this film. The two battles with the xenomorph were fun to watch.
- Finding out more about where the xenomorph came from added to the Alien universe.
- When the film needed to be gory it didn’t disappoint, it may sound silly but I didn’t think they’d have such great gory scenes popping up here and there.
- There’s a couple of stupid creepy scenes where Fassbender teaches someone to play the flute, it really ruined that portion of the film for me and I struggled to take things seriously after. I could have been being immature but seriously who thinks the line “You do the blowing and I’ll do the fingering” is a good thing to write into a non-comedy movie?
- Outside of McBride and Daniels characters no one else stands out, the success of the original films was in part down to some nice unique and relatable characters to support Ripley. This film just doesn’t really have them at all.
- There’s a few aspects of the film that were painfully predictable, it was amazingly easy to see what was coming at the very end. Mainly because it was stupidly obvious for about half an hour before the “reveal”
- As I mentioned I loved the first hour mainly as I have a real fetish for stories where characters explore new lands. The first hour of this film is a solid 8/10 for me but the 45 minutes or so following this hour before the last action scenes was boring.
This film does succeed in adding to the universe of the Alien franchise and despite being predictable and boring in places it’s first hour along with the action scenes towards the end redeem it somewhat. I won’t be in a hurry to watch the third film unless like with this one I had some time to kill and a cinema at hand, it’s not as bad as people are saying but it could have been so much better.
Overall Rating – 6/10