Directed by Ridley Scott
Based on characters by Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Story by Jack Paglen, Michael Green
Screenplay by John Logan, Dante Harper
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo
This film is the sixth in the Alien franchise, and part two of the prequel to Alien that began with Prometheus. This one is the third film in the anthology to be directed by Ridley Scott (Thelma & Louise). The story was created by Jack Paglen (Transcendence) and Michael Green (Logan), based on the characters created by Dan O’Bannon (Alien) and Ronald Shusett (Aliens). The screenplay was written by John Logan (Spectre) and Dante Harper (You’re Gonna Miss Me). The cast features Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Billy Crudup (Spotlight), Danny McBride (Pineapple Express), and Carmen Ejogo (Selma).
This story is a nice followup to Prometheus, pushing the story back into the science fiction horror genre that the series was built on. The writing does a nice job getting right to the action. There are a number of early moments that build a solid premise and also introduce the central characters. The dialogue is good, and the early moments of the film light the fuse for the later action. The suspense in this one slowly builds, creating a contrast with some of the beauty of the world of the story. As the beauty is pulled back the story allows the suspense to explode. There are some nice action sequences built into this one as well. This one does suffer from the multiple character stories mixed into the plot. These smaller moments slow the pace and take away from the central story and the building tension. As a whole, this story has more good than bad aspects.
The acting in this one is actually really good. Michael Fassbender’s performance leads this one all the way. He seemed to understand the unique nature of his role, as well as the connection he needed to build with the other characters. His chemistry with all of his co-stars is great. Katherine Waterston also delivers a solid performance in this one. She pulls off some of the more emotionally intense moments in the movie. Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, and Carmen Ejogo all do nice work in this one as well. Most of the roles in the film needed actors who could handle the physical and emotional aspects of this story. This cast handled those aspects nicely. Despite some of the story issues, the actors did a nice job bringing this one to life.
This movie looks really good. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Martian) did a great job capturing the massive world of the story as well as the intense claustrophobic moments. The action is also nicely filmed throughout this one. The movie also benefits from great sets, costuming, and special effects. Jed Kurzel (Assassin’s Creed) also did a nice job composing the score for this one. As a whole, the production work on this one is solid. There isn’t anything in the visuals or sound work that takes away from the film.
This is a good movie, but not a great one. Despite so many solid aspects, this movie just doesn’t create the depth of emotion that the first two films had. There is a lot to like, especially for fans of the series. I would definitely recommend this one to fans of the first two movies, and fans of Prometheus. The story is not as tightly written as it could have been, but it’s a fun one. This is an intense movie with some very graphic moments that might not appeal to everyone. If you’re a fan of the stars, I would definitely check this one out. I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.