So this movie wants to be seen as a standalone movie, rather than a prequel to Ridley Scott's own 1979 movie Alien, which takes place in the same 'universe' as this movie, so lets also take it that way. And as a standalone genre movie it is pretty good, though it's nothing new or too exciting really.

It's actually a shockingly standard movie, with a quite standard story in it, though I perhaps should also add that I have seen plenty of other science-fiction movies, that did some similar things as this movie as well. I still say shocking, since after so much secrecy surrounding this movie, I expected something deeper and more clever perhaps. I just never really got any of that out of this movie.

This movie only has hints of a great movie and great ideas in it. in that regard this movie maybe works better as a setup movie for a potential sequel(s).

The final 30 minutes of the movie are definitely its best but before that it mostly is being a slow moving one, even while it gets apparent pretty early on already what direction the story will be heading at and what will happen next. But still, the movie is such a well made- and good looking one that it never becomes boring to watch neither.

Despite not wanting to be taken as a prequel, the movie still makes a few nods to the other previous Alien movies, especially to the first movie "Alien". For instance with certain scenes, things that can be seen, pieces of dialog, characters and character behavior, etcetera. It's all enough to please the fans but not too much for those who aren't familiar yet with any of the other previous Alien movies. So in other words, it never gets anything too annoying or distracting from this movie, for anyone.

The casting is being a bit of a mixed bag. Some actors fit their roles very well, while other clearly don't. Charlize Theron for instance isn't being very good or convincing as a tough, cold cooperate executive. She just doesn't has the right looks for that, unless she gains 30 pounds and stops showering for a week or two, like she did for her Oscar winning performance in "Monster". Michael Fassbender on the other hand was much better and probably also the best and most interesting character out of the entire movie, even though he plays an android that is not supposed to have and show any emotions. It perhaps should also tell you something about the movie and its characters that he was being the best and most interesting one, out of it.

Seems that the movie wanted to have far too many characters in it. Really, 5 or 6 characters should had been the maximum. But because there are so many different ones, you don't ever really feel like you get to know any of them and some of the characters even get pushed to the background way too much, which also goes at the expense of some of the great actors in this movie. There are even persons with hardly any lines in this movie. The Asian looking guy for instance didn't had any lines, until its very end! I could be wrong though but point is that I didn't even knew what his purpose was. And that is the case with too many of the characters in this movie, that is besides for most part is missing a good, strong but above all visible main character in it.

Another thing I really didn't like about this movie was its musical score. Now, I know that Jerry Goldsmith is dead but just listen to the scores of the other Alien movies. It's all being somewhat similar in tone to Goldsmith's score and share some of the same motifs. The score for this movie, composed by Marc Streitenfeld (who?), really didn't seem to suit this movie and its atmosphere, or it at least did nothing to strengthen it. It's just being too much its own thing.

Still it really isn't a movie that you could or should hate. The only way someone could hate on this movie, is if that person was expecting a new brilliant movie like "Alien", or one that was being more similar to it at least. But really, you should see this movie with a more open mind and don't have you expectations up too high for it. When you are able to, you will get to see a pretty good genre movie. Really, technically and visually there is very little wrong with this movie.

It still remains a great and well made genre movie but it's just still nothing to get too excited about, in my opinion.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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