I saw this film in the theater back when it came out and was rather disappointed. Yes, the settings were breathtakingly beautiful, the actors well-suited to their roles, but the story seemed to hang on too many poor decisions by otherwise-capable characters.
I watched it again this morning, and I’m having a different reaction. I usually say that you need to watch a film (or read a book) two or three times before you can actually understand it. (Except if the movie is Transformers, in which case just watching the previews will suffice.)
Anyway, I liked it better this time. A LOT better. In fact, I believe it may be a work of some brilliance. Scenes which didn’t make much sense or have a strong point of reference (like the opening scene, with the buff alien guy killing himself) came across much better in the re-watching because I already knew where the story was going to lead, so I was better prepared to pick up on the (many) clues along the way. Yeah, some of the “expert” crewmen still behaved like idiots, but they didn’t annoy me as much. And Michael Fassbender (as the android David), whom I liked the first time around, shone even brighter in the second viewing. Damn, it’s a spectacular performance, understated and sly at the same time.
I still reserve my biggest complaints for the action sequences at the end of the movie, which even in the second viewing looked amateurish and implausible. (How does a baby alien grow into a giant squid monster while locked in a sterile room with nothing to eat?)
However, I’m ready to exculpate these sins and look forward to, hopefully, a sequel.