Scientists who believe that human life evolved from aliens go on a space journey to the planet where the aliens are thought to be. Nobody has any idea how hostile and dangerous these aliens will turn out to be, but the real danger may come from those on the ship with a hidden agenda unknown to the scientists. Widely regarded as a prequel to the Alien films.
Filmography links and data courtesy of IMDb.
There are certainly many similarities with Alien. The slow opening of the film showing the crew coming out of sleep to get ready for the mission to begin, the uneasy relationship between the crew and the android(or should that be artificial person?!) the expendable crew being used as bait by the people running the show, the dark moody filming and atmospheric music, and a few of the alien sequences were also familiar. You can see that it is the same director, and that this is part of the same storyline, exploring the origins of man and how the aliens first came to be known. Sadly, the film does not come close to Alien, or especially Aliens, both of which I enjoyed.
The plus side would be the excellent performance of Michael Fassbender as the android David. He is creepy even when he is trying to be good, and of course has no conscience about his more evil deeds. Guy Pearce is also somewhat creepy as the deluded madman who has funded the mission in his quest for immortality, though his screen time is short. The rest of the cast were ok but I felt they lacked the personalitles that we see in the later Alien films. I felt these guys were there as alien fodder so not much time was spent on making you care about them.
The film itself was slow and long drawn out with very little of interest happening until the last 30 minutes, which I had by then disengaged from the film. The one sequence I did like was the operation scene which was nicely done though the lack of pain and her abliity to get up and move about was a little unbelievable. Still it was interesting to watch and the effects were good. However there was too much of the stumbling around in the dark, talking about alien origins and not enough aliens in the early part of the film. There was also the pointless exploration of a couple of relationships between the crew which added nothing to the story and was just more time wasted. I wanted an action alien movie but this played more like a history lesson with a few aliens thrown in. 30 minutes could easily have been cut out and that would have been an improvement.
Overall I was not greatly impressed by the film and it falls way short of what I was expecting. I suspect thatr there will be sequels but I won't be interested in looking at them. Disappointing.