Well that wasn't very good. Not necessarily bad, just not very good at all.
It's a weird mix of great action sequences (second half) with some really lazy screenwriting. That's my biggest beef with the movie, it offers absolutely nothing new and is highly predictable. The first half of the movie is a nice build-up and somewhat intellectually-stimulating, and the second half is some really tight and exciting action sequences. There are just too many shortcuts that were taken in order to link elements together later on.
Best performance I've ever seen from james Franco. I think they literally lifted a scene from 127 Hours and put it in this movie.
I need to take accountability for crapping on Danny McBride when I initially saw the trailer, he's actually totally fine in this. Katherine Waterson is very strong as Franco's wife (lol). Fassbender is excellent but his character just becomes ridiculous at one point. It's hard to fault the actor.
There is much I want to complain about the story-writing, but that would involve spoilers so I'll leave that out of the review. I can safely critique the idea of a 16-person crew being composed of 8 couples as just about the dumbest idea I've ever seen. The second someone's wife or husband goes missing, all protocol goes out the window since these well-trained flight officers are now putting thousands of lives in danger because their partner isn't answering their comms. Ridiculous.
The non-stop obvious foreshadowing during the movie really started to grind my gears as well. Why bother going to visit some bizarre large bay in the ship for no reason at all early on in the movie? Oh, I guess this will be important later maybe so I know how chains work. Stuff like that. There is a way to introduce concepts while not making it obvious you are simply setting up scenes later. It's harder to do, but that's what good movies do.
This isn't necessarily a bad movie, it's just not very good. Ridley Scott is really at fault for not respecting the canon much either. Why has the alien life cycle changed so much? Where are the chestbursters and why did they get cut? Why do I have a flute duet instead that makes the entire audience laugh when Fassbender talks about "fingering?" Is there really going to be another one of these movies?
I hate to say it but Prometheus was better. I got scared and creeped out, was fairly entertained, but just kept losing patience at how this movie failed again and again to surprise me. Ash being an android and being evil surprised me, Bishop being good surprised me. Nothing in this surprised me. It's paint-by-numbers and this is my favourite movie franchise so that's a real shame. At least it's not AvP.
The movie started SO strong too, with the lettering AND musical score of Alien all starting the movie. I got goosebumps. It didn't last.
Heart rating: 3.5 stars - those action sequences were great
Brain rating: 3 stars - first half of the movie was mostly very good