The sixth installment in the Alien franchise came with a promise: to improve upon Prometheus and relaunch the franchise. While it may succeed in the first, besting Prometheus was a low bar, all it does is solidify the first two movies as the only worthwhile ones. Maybe it was my fault for having expectations, but clearly director Ridley Scott has decided he wants a movie more about jump scares than the deeper sci-fi horror of the first film, which he also directed.
So many horror movie tropes are trotted out here. More than one character says “I’ll be right back,” seconds before getting decimated by an alien. While under attack from creatures they don’t understand, humanity’s last hope continues to split up, or stick their face in ridiculous places. It’s kind of a mess. And honestly, so much of that would be forgivable if the movie could stick its landing. It did not. It devolves into a ridiculous mess, with plot contrivances that are trite and obvious and left me feeling angry as I left the theater.
Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Jussie Smollett, and Callie Hernandez bring a little life to their thankless characters. Michael Fassbender is at least interesting as dueling artificial beings (his David being a carryover from Prometheus). There are some interesting set pieces, but the storytelling is a by the numbers approach that makes an equally frustrating and disappointing experience, especially from the talented cast and crew who are so much better than this.
My Grade – C-