Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2012. , Dune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Brandywine Productions. Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof, inspired by elements of a screenplay by Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett. Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski. Produced by David Giler, Walter Hill, Ridley Scott. Music by Marc Streitenfeld. Production Design by Arthur Max. Costume Design by Janty Yates. Film Editing by Pietro Scalia. Academy Awards 2012. Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2012. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2012.
Is it an Alien prequel? Is it merely associated with Alien because Ridley Scott is directing it and, in doing so, going back to science-fiction for the first time since Blade Runner? (Unless you count fantasy, in which case it’s his first return since the lamentable Legend). Is it possible that expectations were set a bit high for this film, considering that audiences have been disappointed not to have the secret of life revealed to them in a film that, when examined properly, actually has more in common with Robinson Crusoe On Mars? I’d say all of the above are true. Noomi Rapace and a bland Logan Marshall-Green lead a team of geologists, scientists and one glacial company investor (Charlize Theron) to a faraway galaxy where they insist that they will find the beings that created humanity. Their theory is gleaned from cave drawings that they have unearthed around the world, though we don’t know why they made so many assumptions based on these illustrations, unless they found them during a tour led by Werner Herzog (“I wanted to know what dreamssss these aliens had when they DROO theeeze”). When they arrive at their destination, the very unscientific scientists are met with ill fortune and pure terror: they find what appears to be a derelict spaceship, complete with strange creatures and even stranger substances that kill and infect the humans while the endlessly curious android (Michael Fassbender, perfectly robotic) cannot get his fill of touching everything. The best results of this incredibly entertaining film are some marvellous set pieces including chases with nick of time resolutions and the craziest self-induced surgical procedure of all time. The worst it has to offer is its lapses in logic: the film appears to have been cut down from something larger, with character details that come out of nowhere and turns in the plot that allude to events that are never explained. It’s really no matter, there’s such grandeur to the scope of its visual presence that it will easily win you over, and there’s absolutely no way you could watch it without having a wonderful time. Being annoyed by its narrative inconsistencies is just God’s way of telling you to lighten up, because if you expected Ridley Scott to be Michael Haneke, you’re probably not smart enough to watch Michael Haneke.