I was gonna try to ease into this, but the heck with that; this is hands down the best Alien film since James Cameron’s first sequel ‘Aliens’ in 1984 (dub check year), and a great film in its own right. Not only that, it is a course correction from the previous prequel Prometheus – and excellent one at that. And not only THAT…at the moment, this is the best film I’ve seen this year.
Now before we start typing, I’m doing something I haven’t done yet…I’M ADDING AUDIO! I’m going to be trying to reshape how I do stuff over the next while on both sites, so expect some more changes.
So if you want to listen (while you do other things) instead of read, you can do that! It was a blast doing audio cause I could dive in more than I can when I type stuff, so I hope you check it out and enjoy it.
And with the audio portion posted, let’s get into it.
I’ll be straight up; on the acting front, this is the Michael Fassbender show – and a great show it is (he gives an outstanding performance in both roles). That’s not a knock on anyone else, I actually can’t think of a bad performance in this at all – everyone does well with the material (and time) they are given. But Fassbender owns this flick and is the star of every scene he’s in.
The film brings in the few good things (minus Idris Elba) that it needs to so it can quickly move on from (the total misfire of) Prometheus. This was a necessary step. I know some people wanted more answers from Prometheus…but that movie did more harm than good to the franchise, and Ridley Scott recognized it. This is full on course correction. It get’s the story of the franchise on a better trajectory and has me crazy excited to see how it’s all going to tie into the original Alien film.
This flick is tonally fantastic; it’s dark, it’s moody, and it’s very tense (especially at certain points). It’s also got great pacing (a balance of some of the slow burn from the original Alien and the quicker action from Aliens). It’s also gets dark in it’s themes of playing God (which I didn’t know was coming) and went in a much different direction from Prometheus with that creator/creation theme.
It’s a return to form for the franchise in the sense that it brings back intentionally awkward and creepy sexuality to the mix. A big part of the 79 original was its metaphors of rape (specifically male rape), the intentionally phalic look of the Xenomorph’s head, the themes of forced into pregnancy – all that made the original a fair bit more tense (and intentionally uncomfortable) and creepier. While it’s not brought back in spades into this film, it is there, very much highlighted in an excellently acted (but a SO AWKWARD WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!) scene with Fassbender.
For the Christians in the crowd reading this (and others who might be bothered by these), here are some things to keep in mind with this film:
It is NOT child/preteen friendly. It’s rated R for a reason. It’s an 18 and up film.
It is very bloody. Not SAW or 80s Slasher flick bloody, but bloodier than you’ll expect (and any of the Alien movies except for maybe the awful AvP Requiem). If you’re squeamish or bothered by blood or bodily harm – skip this.
It has a lot of swearing. Not on a “The Departed” level, but more than some of the other Alien films. If language is something that bothers you (or influences you), you’ll want to skip this.
Finally, there is also a brief start to a sex scene, but they don’t show anything. If anyone is concerned about nudity in the film – I’ll be honest – it’s there, but its unsexualized, it’s in a blurry/unfocused shot – and it’s legit blink and you’ll miss it (I didn’t realize until it was mentioned after the movie was over). Normally this can be an issue for me (due to past struggles with porn and other sin), but it was not in this film at all – and with how it’s presented, it couldn’t be. But still, people wonder about if that kinda thing is in the film, so there ya go.
So if none of those concerns affects you negatively, I highly recommend this movie when you get the chance. Dim the lights, and get ready to get spooked at points. Or watch it with some friends and talk about it after. Great movie.
Thanks for reading (and/or listening), and God bless my friends!