I don't get too excited about many movies coming out these days. My pulse might go up a notch or two at the suggestion of a Chris Hemsworth sighting, and I might give pause for a book-to-movie production. But THIS. I was jittery about this.
I was probably a victim of the marketing blitz that accompanied the movie. But hey, I was a child of the Alien culture, an impressionable 13 year-old when Sigourney Weaver kicked it's slimy, drooling, scaly butt. That movie electrified me! So the promise of a prequel coming along from the same director put me on high alert.
Let's just address the question of whether this is indeed a prequel. Ridley Scott, the director, claims this is NOT a prequel, but just that it "has the same genes" as Alien. I say baloney. We just re-watched Alien right before we saw this movie, paying very close attention to ship design, corporation names, alien behavior, etc. and this is a damned prequel. I'm putting it on record, and I'm not changing my mind.
Anyway, in the year 2089, a team of scientists discover clues in a Scottish cave that indicate intelligent life out in the stars. These creatures may not only be intelligent, however, but may be the creators of mankind on Earth. A few years later, a crew embarks on a journey to find the home base of the human "engineers". When they arrive at their destination, they find that perhaps this monumental discovery could trigger an event that will destroy us all.
The primary casting was excellent. Charlize Theron plays the ice queen supervisor on board, a representative of the Weyland Corporation who funds the expedition. She shows very little emotion in the movie, but she exudes bitch - a role for which she already had plenty of practice from Snow White and the Huntsman. Noomi Repace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Swedish version) plays the strong female badass ala Sigourney Weaver who is smart and full of intensity and capable of performing surgery upon herself. (I'll talk about that in a minute.)
The most memorable, and maybe the most despicably intriguing character, is the on-board android, played by Michael Fassbender. He studies old movies and quotes his favorite lines, he can speak ancient alien languages, he spies on sleeping crew member's dreams, and only exists to serve Weyland Corporation. He stole the show in my opinion, and is a much cooler android that the one in Alien.
Some people hated this movie, but from my perspective, it captivated me from beginning to end. We get to witness the seeds of mankind, an insane galactic storm, and a couple of seriously cringe-worthy scenes of, uh, alien/human interaction, shall we say. These two scenes (which inspired noises of gleeful revulsion from me) are primarily why the movie is rated R. One of these scenes was the on-the-go surgery Miss Repace performs on herself. There is blood and sinew. There were a few bad words, no boobs, and only an off-screen implication of romantic interludes. A number of kids in the teenage range, including my own, saw the movie and LOVED it, and have gone back for a repeat screening.
The movie was shot with 3D technology, similar to Hugo. Therefore, the 3D experience wasn't a handful of hokey fingers and guns and an alien head threatening to poke (or eat) you, but full immersion. The planetary landscapes and the storm was awesome. In this case, the extra cash was worth it.
I can't say enough about this movie - my entire family was blown away. It won't win an Oscar, but I'm willing to bet I'll go see it again in the theaters before it is all over. It is just that kind of viewing experience.
5 out of 5 stars