I’m honestly surprised by the amount of negative reviews on this film. I understand why they have such hostile feelings regarding the film, but overall I felt that the movie was well worth the money. The barrage of criticism it received is understandable given that they all write as if this is supposed to answer all the questions it presents, but given that this is a sci-fi movie about human existence itself, I would think it is obvious that not all the questions will be answered. The other point I can see is that it’s not defined as a prequel, or just loosely related, to Aliens. It really doesn’t matter what it is though, because trying to find all the connections forces you to miss the actual movie. So, to accurately review this movie, I believe it’s necessary to do just that. Review THIS movie, and not try to write about all the connections that may or may not exist.
Casting was very well done. Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman) does a great job in her role as the slightly mysterious and ethically questionable mission director. Michael Fassbender as David, an extremely realistic humanoid, is incredible. He prizes this role fantastically, managing to take enough humanness out of himself to produce a robot that’s just close enough to the edge of human to make the audience question whether he can truly feel or not. While Noomi Rapace, who plays Elizabeth Shaw, is supposed to be the main focus, I feel as though Fassbender really steals the spotlight with his performance in this film. That’s not to discredit Rapace though, she did astoundingly as Shaw, the faith driven scientist who believes this voyage will uncover the origins of the human species, and her chemistry with Logan Marshall-Green, who takes on the role of Charlie Holloway, really makes for a believable match up of both a scientific team and a couple. Idris Elba, who plays Janek, the ship’s captain, really presents a nice bit of comedic relief throughout the film, aided by Fifield and Millburn early in the film (played by Sean Harris and Rafe Spall respectively.) When necessary, however, Elba pulls out all the stops and can really hit the serious parts. The only weak point in the casting, in my opinion, was Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland. In all honesty, that wasn’t really as much a weak point in casting as it was a weak development in character, so I will hit that later.
Lots of the flack that this movie caught was over the questions that the plot presented and the lack of answers that it revealed. I say that’s all part of the fun, but to each his own. I thought pacing in this film was nice. It didn’t feel like a super long movie, even though it was 2 hours and 4 minutes. Of course, the big plot points in the film may be a bit controversial to those who can’t understand that this is a Sci-Fi movie and not real, but if you can put aside any thoughts you have on the origin of life, or whatever this plot is considered, and just enjoy the movie, it’s very easy to buy into the whole thing and become immersed in the film. While it does open up many questions and the end is obviously wide open for a sequel, it isn’t like it doesn’t answer any questions. It does address all the questions that are easily answered, but any of the profound questions that it presented, it left open. That, as I see it, is more of a philosophical decision rather than a hole in the story. Were the creatures that created us created by someone else, or was it God? Was it evolution? It all comes back to the basic question of “Who created us/them?” That question will be a continuous inquiry until the day we die, so the lack of an answer in this regard was a smart move to keep that hint of realism in an otherwise fantastical movie. Other problems critics had were with realism, such as the inability to walk after a major operation (which occurs later in the movie), yet the character walks. I feel as though all of these are addressed by the fact that A. things may change drastically between now and 2086 or 2092 or whatever year it is when the story occurs, and B. it is a sci-fi, fantasy movie. Of course it’s not going to be realistic. It has to contain that hint of realism to stay just on the edge of human, but it must be removed enough to make it feel edgy. I think that this film really walks that line well. As I stated earlier, the only problem with character development that I found was Guy Pearce’s character, Peter Weyland, and that was probably just the fact that he wasn’t prominent. He was a sort of mysterious character that you could always feel the presence of due to situations, but you never see or hear from him, so he seems fictitious even in the fictional movie world.
And to the piece de resistance, the visuals. If you don’t want to see this movie at all, even the thought of it is repulsive, go see it just for the visuals. They are awesome, in the literal sense. Awe-inspiring. This entire film could have been silent and there could have been no people in the whole thing and I still would have happily gone to this movie in IMAX 3D. There’s not much to say really, other than go see it. The atmosphere presented in this film, both the tone and the literal atmosphere of the planet they land on, is great. The planet’s surface, the aliens, the graphic surgery scene, the landscapes, it’s all well worth the IMAX upcharge. The use of the 3D wasn’t overkill and I felt it was very well done. This section is going to be relatively short because even the best of descriptions of the visuals in this film would be an insult to the actual beauty that it presents. In short, the visuals are magnificent, and if you miss this film, you’ve really missed out on a visual feast.
To conclude, it’s absolutely necessary to go see this film in IMAX 3D, even if you don’t think it’s something you’d enjoy seeing. I mean, all the negative aspects that most critics load on it are just a bias against it for whatever reason, and it truly is a fantastic movie. There’s no reason to miss this film. Maybe if you aren’t a big sci-fi movie lover it would be okay to miss, and it’s understandable if you just don’t want to spend the extra money, but it is absolutely worth it, even if it’s just for the visual aspect of it. So the best suggestion I have for you is to take the risk, shell out the cash, and catch this while it’s still in IMAX and you can bless your eyes to this majestic eye candy. The story line is very well done, and I truly encourage you to see this one while you can, because a TV just won’t cut it.
If you haven’t realized it by now, I’ve begun updating this site every Saturday at (or very close to) midnight, so if you could keep checking back and introduce this site to friends, family, movie goers, random bystanders on the street, it would be greatly appreciated. The more hits I get, the more motivation I have to keep going, and I really do enjoy these, so I’m not going away soon. Recognition is the real pay off for this…