Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Alien: Covenent--A Review

Posing with my posse

Went to see Alien: Covenant last Saturday with a pile of friends and family and I thought I would share my thoughts. There are spoilers in this post and some major spoilers in the comments.

It is rather hard to put my thoughts together about this film as my feelings are so mixed. In 1979 when the first Alien film came out I was blown away by the overwhelming emotions of fear, revulsion, and wonder at what I was experiencing. Aliens (1986) came along seven years later and though a very different film, still added so much to the mythos.

As far as I'm concerned, Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997) never happened. They were nothing more than nightmares Ripley had in hypersleep while en route to home from the end of the second film.

Alien: Covenant is a direct sequel to Prometheus (2012) so if you have not seen that film, you will miss much of what is referred to in Alien: Covenant and the motivation of the android, David.

The film opens with the spaceship Covenant en route to Origae-6 that they hope to colonize. Along with a regular crew, they have 2,000 colonists in cryosleep and a few hundred human fetuses.

An emergency forces the crew awake early and with a badly damaged ship, they discover that there is a habitable planet closer than their original destination so they change course.

The new planet is the original home of the Engineers, an alien race introduced in Prometheus, but the planet appears to be abandoned. It isn't. David, the android from Prometheus, is alive and well.

My mixed thoughts:
  • Michael Fassbender is an amazing actor. He pulls off two roles in this film, playing David 8 as well as the other android, Walter, each with different appearances, personalities, and accents and he does it flawlessly.
  • Director Ridley Scott should have learned from the disappointment of Alien 3 where the audiences witnessed the deaths of Newt and Colonel Hicks from the Aliens film that characters the audience has an emotional bond to should not be discarded as unimportant. We deserved a better treatment of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw who was the heart and heroine of Prometheus.
  • The source of the xenomorphs is completely revealed in Alien: Covenant. I was not impressed. Somehow the storyline has lost its magic and the xenomorphs have lost a little of their vicious majesty.
  • The action scenes will put you on the edge of your seat, especially as the survivors attempt to leave the planet for the relative safety of the Covenant. That one xenomorph is worse than a tick.
  • I was surprised to discover that some of the trailers contained scenes that were not in the film and not meant to be there. In fact, NONE of the scenes in this trailer appear in the film:
  • The cinematography is incredible. The Covenant's scout ship soaring over the landscape of the Engineer's homeworld is breathtaking.
  • New xenomorphs are introduced and they contribute to an understanding of the evolution of the more familiar monster that we know.
  • The movie moves too fast. There is important information given in the film and it flies by so rapidly, if you blink, you'll miss it. There should have been some more time spent on the revelation of Shaw's fate and why David betrayed her when he said of her that he had never experienced such kindness from another human being.
  • What happened in 2,000 years that the Engineers apparently devolved culturally and were no longer a space-faring race?
  • Why are Ridley Scott's scientists so stupid?
  • The ending was so necessary for the sequel (Ridley Scott has said there will be two or three more), but it was so emotionally a bummer for me.
Share your own thoughts in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I've been hearing people talking oddly about this movie. Like they love it and are beating their heads against the wall at the same time.