The sixth film in the Alien series – eighth if you count the dodgy vs Predator spinoffs – is, like the beasties it concerns, an odd beast. Half the film is a spirited, if at times overfamiliar, trip through the franchise’s signature tropes: Distress signals unwisely followed, body horror, running full-pelt down corridors. The other half is a slightly clunky meditation on hefty themes — a long way from the original film's straightforward goal of scaring you silly. Director Ridley Scott nails several deeply uncomfortable set pieces, but their thrills sit oddly distinct from the more cerebral stuff. Still, seeing the intergalactic menaces of the title on screen again is like seeing an old friend, Michael Fassbender excels in a dual role as two generations of the same model of android, and there’s plenty of gore, if that’s your kind of thing. Also: who would have thought that the standout performance in an Alien movie would come from, of all people, Danny McBride? Times & trailer
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