Sunday, May 21, 2017

Movie Review: Alien: Covenant

The latest installment in the Alien franchise ties Prometheus to the creation of the xenomorph. The crew of the Covenant spaceship has been sent into space to colonize a planet but when a solar flare burns their captain, the new captain Oram (Billy Crudup) decides to follow a rogue transmission to a closer habitable planet. Daniels (Katherine Waterson) has reservations about this unvetted planet but goes along with the crew when they head down to the surface as well as the android Walter (Michael Fassbender). Remaining above with the main ship is Tennessee (Danny McBride) and a couple. The crew explores the new planet finding the familiar alien ship but an airborne virus floats into two crewmembers who then shake and burst out xenomorphs. 

After a gory scene and the ship blowing up, the crew is under attack by the monsters when David (also Michael Fassbender) leads them away to a corpse-filled mausoleum. As the crew waits out a storm, they are slowly picked off by the creature. Lope (Demian Bichir) manages to establish contact, and Daniels instruct Tennessee to bring down a cargo loader that they can use to escape the hostile planet. David reveals to Oram that he has been experimenting with the genetics of the virus and shows off the eggs. A face-hugger bursts out and snags Oram impregnating him with a xenomorph.

Walter and David have a strained relationship as Walter is a more docile version. Walter does not go along with David's plan to experiment on the colonists and fights him. Lope and Daniels escape to the cargo ship with Walter behind them, claiming to have killed David. There is a decent action scene with the xenomorph crawling along the ship as Daniels fights it that was shown a lot in the advertisement. This scene ends with Daniels killing it in a shower of acid blood. The survivors return to the ship and orbit but it is clear that more will happen.

Another xenomorph is loose on the ship and kills Lope and the couple. Daniels and Tennessee fight the xenomorph with the help of Walter. They manage to knock the xenomorph off of the ship in a decent scene, but nothing too spectacular. The two survivors are settling back into cryosleep but just before Walter puts Daniels to sleep, she realizes that he's not Walter but David who has plans to continue creating the species. The first scene of the film showed David waking up and at the end we see David walking through rows of the thousand sleeping colonists after coughing up the embryo of two aliens.

This film felt like another step toward a grander Alien film in the future. It waivered from the initial horror to more of a sci-fi action film. David's conquest wiped out the Engineers but he seems set on building the xenomorph to perfection that will one day become the creature from the original films. There are still pieces to the puzzle that deep-thinking wouldn't explain and from the end of this one, it appears that we will have several more of these to come. I don't know if Ridley Scott has any plans as of now but it looks like this film has been enough of a success at the box office to justify another installment. 

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