Apparently, I am one of the few people who openly loved ‘Prometheus’ and feel there is no need excuse anything about it. The movie was a beautifully shot and executed bit of Science Fiction that took us to the possible birth place of our origins. It began with a sense of true wonder and the excitement of the search for answers to the greatest of questions. Then it delivered potential answers that were disturbing and lead to horrific events. Some of those events (like the Alien C-Section) were expertly crafted sequences of true horror. More importantly, it was a beautifully shot, paced, acted, and written piece of entertainment.
So, I couldn’t be more happy that Ridley Scott double down and continued along with the ‘Prometheus’ storyline in his latest film. This movie may take the ‘Alien’ title, but it’s very much a sequel to ‘Prometheus’. If you have a problem with that then you can skip it if you want, but you’ll be missing the most excellent origin story for the classic Xenomorphs that I could have imagined. Now, Scott may seem like he’s melding genres here at times, but who cares?! It all works wonderfully!
The sense of wonder that opened ‘Prometheus’ has been replaced with a sense of creation and the squid like creatures have transformed into the greatest monster in movie history. Which means that you will certainly get lots of blood, guts, and little xenomorph tongues smashing through skulls. It’s classic, and many will say it’s a bit of been there, done that. Maybe some of it is, but the core of the plot is unique. This is because the main thread revolves around the power of biology and how dangerous creation can be. Which you might even contemplate when you leave the theater.
The movie opens with the inception of the villainous robot David (Michael Fassbender) by his master, Mr. Weyland (Guy Pearce). It’s an eerie scene that perfectly sets up the mood of the film. We then quickly move forward to about ten years after the events of ‘Prometheus’. A crew of couples is traveling across the galaxy when an anomaly violently wakes them up from their hyper sleep. A few are killed and the remaining crew must figure out how to repair the damages. The crew is lead by Billy Crudup as Captain Oram, Katherine Waterston as Daniels (this movies version of Ripley) Danny McBride as Tennessee, and another robot named Walter (also played by Fassbender).
Without spending forever on the plot, I’ll sum the rest up quickly. The crew get a message from a strange planet. They go explore said planet and some crazy shit goes down that involves a bit of back splitting gore. After a few die they meet up with David and shit gets even crazier. We figure out where the Xenomorphs come from, what happened after ‘Prometheus’, and it all leads to what will happen in the next chapter (which I’m assuming will lead to Ripley).
Now that I’ve cleared that up for the people that like the plot spoiled for them, let’s move on to the good shit. As an ‘Alien’ fan I had a few things that mattered to me going in. One, was this movie going to answer the questions about their origin? The answer is “yes”. The second was if this movie would have some solid horror scenes to revival the original two films. The answer is a big “hell yeah”. In fact, the white Xenomorphs that show up first in the film are every bit as cool as the original one. Finally, does it continue the thought provoking themes of creation and discovery that ‘Prometheus’ started? Again, a resounding “hell yes”. David is up to all kinds of intrigue.
Speaking of David, this is a character that will not soon be forgotten. He was an interesting addition to a thought provoking mission in the first one, but here he steals the show. This is all because Michael Fassbender is so fantastic in the role. He’s also great as Walter, but David is certainly the juicier synthetic. There are a number of scenes where the two robots play off each other in strange ways and they are a creepy delight to watch. I also have to give credit to Waterston as the Daniels character. She might not equal up to Ripley, but she fills the shows fairly well.
I’m not entirely sure that I like this movie as much as ‘Prometheus’ (I loved the sense of wonder in that film), but I certainly loved it just as much as I was hoping I would. Which is saying quite a bit considering I placed this movie in my Top 5 most anticipated movies of the year. It’s an exciting, horrifying, and ponderous work. It’s one that answers big questions, delivers big thrills, and still manages to be a creepy fun time. Bottom line, this is the best ‘Alien’ film in at least 25 years!
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