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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.19.17] scifi horror

The Alien franchise can (somewhat) cleanly be broken into two parts: the original films and then everything after Alien 4. Regardless of how you feel about the last two movies in the original series, Prometheus felt like a completely different beast: a movie that was set-up by the marketing as a direct prequel which would answer questions when in fact, it would have been better sold as a new story which takes place within the world of Alien.

Whether you think Prometheus is a good or bad entry into the franchise will likely determine how you feel about Ridley Scott's follow-up. Let's not mince words or bury leads: if you didn't like Prometheus, you're not going to like Alien: Covenant.

The new movie stars Billy Crudup as Oram, the defacto captain of the colony ship Covenant which, while hurtling towards an oasis planet, is hit by an anomalous storm causing unforeseen damage and forcing the crew out of stasis. While repairing the ship they pick up a signal and re-route the ship in order to investigate and in the process, change the course of their lives and those of the colonists onboard the ship.

Alien: Covenant has far more in common with Prometheus than with any of the previous Alien movies. Though it opens as a typical thriller in space, the machinations eventually land most of the crew on a planet where the story really gets interesting. Like its direct predecessor, writers John Logan and Dante Harper focus most of Alien: Covenant's central themes on questions of faith, creation, AI and the role of humans in the larger scheme of the universe and though it doesn't answer all of the questions, it certainly answers more than Prometheus did.

Along the way, Alien: Covenant manages to eek out a solid number of thrilling, blood-soaked moments and more than one bursting scene raising the question: is an Alien movie an Alien movie if an alien isn't bursting out of a human?

Alien: Covenant feels disjointed. The events which unfold aboard Covenant feel far removed from the events on the ground and though in the end, it comes together nicely, the opening scenes feel like a too-long set-up for getting to the planet. That said once the away team lands on the ground, things quickly get interesting.

By far the movie's most satisfying moments are those between David and Walter, the two androids played by Michael Fassbender. Though David takes over for Elizabeth Shaw as the character asking the big questions, he' also completely her opposite. While Shaw searched for meaning David has created his own leading to some of the best "Ah ha" moments in Alien: Covenant if not the entire franchise to date.

It's difficult to talk in much detail about Alien: Covenant because so much of what's interesting about the movie is best left for discussion after viewing but I'll leave you with this: as a new horror-filled entry into the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant is a disappointment. However, as a darkly beautiful and occasionally creepy rumination on humanity's quest for answers to "the" big questions, our roles playing god and the expanding role of AI, it's a cautionary tale of the effects of relying too much on our own creations.

Alien: Covenant opens May 19.

Recommended Release: Prometheus

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MichaelRAllen (4 years ago) Reply

I think I will celebrate the launch of Alien: Covenant by re-watching Prometheus. Sounds like a hodge-podge of ideas - unfocused.


Genius (4 years ago) Reply

I was told by a film bud that it's great Movie better then Prometheus. I am try and see it on Tuesday. I have been obsessed with BLAME! which just released on Netfilx.


Arcangel2020 (4 years ago) Reply

I saw the film on opening day (Friday) here in the U.S. And, my overall opinion about it? Just like the write up here said...if you liked "Prometheus", I think you will like this film (I did) and if you hated "Prometheus"? You will not like "Alien: Covenant"
I liked how the film answered a few of the questions left open in "Prometheus" and I liked the overall tone and look of the film as well.


Dj Vee (4 years ago) Reply

ive watched both movies, they were both very good with they own different stories lines, also the writer said that if you hated prometheus you will hate Aliens covenant, such a sweeping over the top statement, lol .. visually both movies were beautiful, thumbs up to the team on the visuals and cgi it was amazing, it did answer questions but not all, you will have to wait till we get another chapter in the alien saga. i'm baffled to what some people expected from aliens covenant. dont let anyone stop you from watching it its worth watching both movies again.


Lotus Eater (4 years ago) Reply

If you enjoyed watching "BLAME" try watching an alternative animation title known as "EXPELLED FROM PARADISE". Below is a link for the trailer there of.

As for "ALIEN: COVENANT", though I have yet to see the film I definately plan to do so. I will however state I personally am a ravenous fan of comic books set in ALIENS and Predator universe story cannon. TAKE NOTE: There exists already countless gems of comics stories set within the many varying comic book/graphic navel ALIENS & PREDATOR related series which are very very very worthy of live action film adaptation.

Ill definately be viewing ALIEN: CONVENANT.


Genius (4 years ago) Reply

Lotus Eater I have Netflix.

BLAME could have been better but for what it is they pulled it off.
the music is a hit and miss, it lakcs a main theme but has some pretty good action cues.
the Fisher peoples theme is pathetic and I would never allow that but hey it's cliche' in Anime movies.


Genius (4 years ago) Reply

little slow here but I finally saw the Covenant and I liked it a lot! Flowed better then Prometheus but also was good continuation of Prometheus. Great!

Good Sound Design work!


Betty (4 years ago) Reply

Great film! watched it here
I also loved Prometheus, howevre this one is better

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