Some movies can stand on their own, others need their sequels to hold them up. This movie has the unique position of being a pre-sequel to the Alien movie franchise so it's a level of challenge to watch because special effects technology is so much greater now than 25 years ago so it's hard to devolve how movie looks to fit it in alignment to the others. That being said, this is a reasonably fun move with the great actresses Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron really delivering performances as studies in contrast. One is the hero and the other the villain but their characters and motives overlap in ways that makes the film seem like blossoming multiple mysteries. The incredible Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba also do excellent work as a human (and one non-human) who bring to life a tangent mystery to the Aliens drama. That's the most problematic areas of this new entry to the series---we all know that this ride from say NY to California is happening but we're not sure if the journey is a straight line or by air or why we suddenly find ourselves in Texas along the way.
This movie looks at the origins of the aliens and how humanity may've been a planted "seed" by the aliens' creators. But we're not completely sure---mainly because this is the first film in probably a trilogy and then after the other five Alien films there will probably be a film or two to sum all of this up. That means it could take a decade or so to get a full picture of this tale....but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe we're looking at entertainment in a new way---not simply episodic television and movies with sequels but as long term projects that evolve that new visions come into. I often wait until a series ends on television to actually buy the entire seasons (The Wire, Fringe, Homicide, I Spy to name a few) because then I get the whole plateau of the creation.
Think of this film as the beginning of your Alien's movie collection and then in a few years you'll be able to tackle a whole weekend and see if it's seamless or simply less.
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