Xenomorphy Blockbuster Extravaganza - 'Alien: Covenant' Review
Let it never be said that Ridley Scott is not a persistent guy.
His return to the Alien franchise hasn't had the absolute success he expected, but instead of moving away from his beloved universe, the good septuagenarian decided to bend and adapt the course.
Alien: Covenant is undoubtedly his most frenetic movie and perhaps the most strictly entertaining of the entire saga. Set 12 years after the events of Prometheus, this is the story of the colonization ship Covenant.
A ship full of thousands of colonists suspended in stasis and human embryos ready to build new civilizations, all headed for a remote planet called Origae-6.
The crew consists of a solid casting led by Katherine Waterston (Danny), Billy Crudup (Oram), Danny McBride (Tennessee), Demián Bichir (Lope) and Michael Fassbender (Walter). The dynamics of this crew is different from that of past films because instead of soldiers and "lone wolves", all members of the ship were selected with their stable partners, so they'll be ready to create new families in this colonization.
Of course, everything starts to decline when the Covenant receives an emergency radio signal from a nearby planet with equal or even better conditions for colonization, which creates tensions within the crew and the final decision to modify the planned route to the newfound planet.
From here on, Alien: Covenant is full of infections, dead civilizations, an encounter with characters from Prometheus and many, many horrendous deaths.
At times, Alien: Covenant looks like a Ridley Scott spoiled tantrum before Prometheus' lukewarm reception. Scott sacrifices originality and a serious atmosphere of horror for a fast paced and predictable bloody entertainment. Gone are the philosophical themes or the analogies with Greek mythologies.
This is a pure summer blockbuster. The way he cruelly destroys the protagonist and the engineers of that film seem to be his way of saying:"You didn't like that, huh? Fine, I'm going to wipe them off the face of the earth in the cruelest, quickest way so we can concentrate on the traditional good ol' aliens that you seem to love so much”.
The overkill of his female protagonists is remarkable. It seemed, at times, a statement about the impossibility of replacing Ripley, who was also a sort of martyr but was always the clear lead and eternal survivor of the original quadrilogy.
The argument against this theory of "the Scott tantrum", are the characters of the David/Walter androids by Michael Fassbender, who again ends up being the thunder stealer.
So far in this prequel, it's evident that the wannabe Ripleys have been simple decoys. The stoic android with bone-chilling AI, a recurring theme in the whole saga, is really the one who makes the interesting philosophical musings and who makes the plot move forward.
What's Your Rating For Alien: Covenant
David/Walter are the only proof of original personality in this new prequel trilogy. Because besides that, and especially here in Alien: Covenant, everything is a steroid version of the "Greatest Hits" of the entire saga.
There are like 5 chestbursters, two facehuggers, a protagonist who is the almost perfect phenotypic hybrid between Ripley and Vasquez and crew members who in one way or another remind us of former crew members victims of xenomorphs.
Alien: Covenant distances himself from Prometheus with a much more entertaining and full of violent moments. It won't be a sci-fi classic but certainly leaves a very engaging open door for the final chapter of this bumpy but interesting new trilogy.
Title: Alien: Covenant
Release Year: 2017
Director(s): Ridley Scott
Actors: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride a.o.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Sam Shepards