Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Why the alien isn't the only scary thing in 'Alien: Covenant'

20th Century Fox 20th Century Fox
Hannah Rogers | 19 May, 2017, 14:39

"Alien: Covenant" is rated R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity; running time: 122 minutes.

I will do my best not to give away any spoilers here. This movie isn't Ridley Scott at his worst or best, but simply right in the middle and pretty average.

Once on the new planet, they make two unsafe discoveries. The decision is made to investigate while the colonists remain in suspended animation. A malfunction causes them to awake earlier than planned and, in a parallel to Alien, they receive a transmission from a nearby planet that seems to be as habitable as the one to which they had originally planned to go.

"Are you kidding me?" "The question is whether they're walking amongst us already or not, I would say".

But that's science fiction.

Some of the similarities which easily come to mind are in the names. Both of those movies have a David/Dave too.

Witness the flight of the Covenant, a colonizing space ship of 2104 headed for Origae 6. David, an android with mysterious motivations, inexplicably infects shipmate Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) with a small drop of the black goo in his drink (it seems David, an artificial creation, has an interest in becoming a creator himself). Last thing I want to do is waste money at the theater.

Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir also have their own concerns about the future, although Crudup doesn't think AI is the most pressing concern facing the human race. But while Covenant proves an easy enough entry point for those new to the Alien franchise, you may still have a few questions. The Aliens themselves are cool, too.

As a continuation, this movie worked well. Also, is there only one alien? He was just a talking head at the end of Prometheus, so where is he now? The uninfected crew has no idea what's happening, but they know it's incredibly terrifying.

Clearly, the elder Scott's aim is on the scares - and oh, what satisfying, terrifying, screams-echoing-down-a-ship's-corridor scares they are. Apart from a steamy shower scene and characters inevitably losing loved ones, the film never fully capitalizes on the dynamics that would complicate a ship full of breeders. In this movie, we see Xenomorphs capture the young character Newt (Carrie Henn), in order to take her back to the queen for infection. It was out of place, and nearly gratuitous in nature. Kind of. Prometheus ended with Elizabeth Shaw and David continuing their search for the Engineers' home planet (people in movies are dumb), which is where the first Alien: Covenant prologue, "The Crossing", picks up.

The Alien franchise has always been battleground for the philosophical and physical tussles for dominance between human, alien and artificial intelligence. By the time 2012's Prometheus rolled around-which played coy at the outset as to whether it existed in that same universe-it was worth asking whether being part of the Alien franchise told an audience anything any more about what they could expect.

"Initially, I had no idea what Ridley wanted me to be in this film", McBride confesses.

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