Since the release of Alien: Covenant in May 2017, the internet has exploded with nerd talk. Questions, explanations and theories being flung around all over the place by loyal fans of the franchise, people like me who have been with it when it was just a trilogy, and those who are relatively new to these films who are half expecting fucking Predators to show up, I wish I was joking about that but sadly, there are people out there who confuse these franchises. Criticisms of all kinds, intelligent and not so intelligent are being raised, some people even pulling out their dusty old comics, novelisations, even referring to some of the mindless games we’ve seen being pumped out over the years just to make a point about that this new instalment is not a great one. People are showing this new film love and people are expressing their deep hatred toward it, just as it was like shortly after the release of the science fiction masterpiece, which is Prometheus, back in 2012, a film which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Alien has had a bad wrap for such a long time, so long in fact that a lot of people have given up with it and I do not blame them, with nothing but terrible adaptation after another it is hard to stay true, each one being more insulting than the last (Alien: Resurrection. Aliens: Colonial Marines. AvP and AvP Requiem). The Alien franchise was losing credibility, sadly falling far from grace, but that special day did finally arrive when Sir Ridley Scott announced his return to redeem the films that he started so long ago, and at that moment, everyone who loved Alien, everyone who had held onto their faith..’Came’..at the exact same time. Whether you were driving when you heard the news, walking to work, riding a bike, whizzing around on a roller coaster, relaxing in the bath, reading or cuddling a cat, it was a thunderous moment, one that we all remember as the day that we knew for sure, that we were going to see a good Alien movie returning to the big screen. Before you throw any abuse my way or turn off from what I am about to say because of my earlier statement about Prometheus being a masterpiece, let me just say that the movie is far from perfect, containing a few odd decisions here and there, some pretty silly moments which made me feel smarter than a biologist and a geologist combined (you know what I am talking about) and left the audiences with ‘Why?’ on their minds, which is interesting because people from the older generations remember leaving Alien thinking; ‘What?’ It is important to note that even the mighty Alien, the original that was going to be called Star Beast, was written off by critics of the time as useless upon its release, and received its fair share of scrutiny, as was Prometheus and now Alien: Covenant. Getting back to Prometheus though, overall it was a huge success doing what the best sci-fi movies do and that’s asking the big questions similar to what Star Trek does from time to time, you know the questions, the ones we’ve been asking since we formed our own independent thoughts; Where did we come from? Why are we here? And, Is there a God?…Although we may not get solid answers from this movie, I can at least appreciate what it is attempting to do by exploring some of these ideas and then throwing Xenomorph’s into the mix, a premise I like and am very interested in. Prometheus granted us the first movie of a prequel trilogy which will eventually leave off at the classic sci-fi horror we all know and cherish as Alien, made in 1979, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, one of the best directors working today, a visionary, a man who goes all out to create worlds, using as little green and blue screen as possible, building everything from scratch. Prometheus was a movie loaded with an insane amount of hype coupled with some INCREDIBLE trailers and sweet TV spots, some of the best I’ve ever seen of matter of fact. I can sit and watch one of the trailers and feel emotionally drained and satisfied by the end, they are that good, go and watch them right now, they are easily found on YouTube, I’m not kidding, go!
So much surrounded this movie before its release, what with the big human heads in giant rooms; Where would it be set? What was inside all those canisters? What is the deal with the mural on the wall that kind of looks like an Alien Queen or the Deacon alien that pops up at the end, it literally pops up before the film cuts to black; And, how the iconic Xenomorph came to be? Anyone who was a fan of the original Alien Trilogy which started over thirty years ago, continued in 1986 with James Cameron’s, Aliens (one of the greatest movies of all time) and finally ended in 1990 with David Finchers, Alien3, was now even more of a fan, the franchise being given a breath of fresh air. For those who weren’t or had never paid it much attention until now, quickly got on board and participated with all the talk and I could see why, because it just looked extraordinary with so many quotable lines just from a simple teaser trailer. As for myself, I’ve been with this franchise since I was a youngster, I saw it when I was too young and nothing, nothing has ever come close to re-creating the claustrophobic terror of Alien aboard the mining ship Nostromo or exceeded the intensity of James Cameron’s, Aliens. I’ve always been fascinated and terrified at the same time of the creature itself, designed by H.R Giger and the universe he depicted as a whole, it is indeed unsettling in a sexual, biomechanical sort of way. If you’ve seen some of the artistry in museums or in books, you cannot ignore the beautiful and yet nightmarish style it has, everything looks alive and sinister even within the somewhat empty corridors, something looks like it is lurking around in the darkness. It is obvious by now if you’ve read this far, that I have always held these movies with high renown which is one of the reasons why I felt it time to write a review about the latest release, but I am currently travelling, working from place to place, from farm to farm and do not have the luxury of a nice big TV, a sofa and most importantly, some quiet time.
For those of you who are new to this Blog, this is not the first time I’ve written about the Alien series. If you scroll back through my articles you will see a post entitled ‘Alien – Why it is so Incredible,’ forgive me for the lack of creativity in regards to the title, I know I can do better, I think I was a bit hungover at the time of writing it and just haven’t been bothered to go back and change it to something more suitable, but within that post you will see why I love this franchise, why I find it so immersive and why I feel (even post Alien: Covenant) that it is the best out there today. Feel free to challenge me on this but I do feel strongly that it is more meaningful than Michael Bay’s hollow Transformers, which took a sharp slip it never recovered from since Revenge of the Fallen, and I personally really want it to stop especially after The Last Knight which has been reviewed extremely well by Red Letter Media. The amount of money poured into such movies that deliver nothing but a brilliant firework show has become boring and uninteresting. Prometheus and Alien: Covenant is superior in every way to the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, a direct copy and paste job of A New Hope, riddled with questionable directions, further ruining the ethos of the legendary franchise, almost as terrible as it’s very own prequel trilogy. Please don’t get me started on Phantom Menace and Attack of The Clones, please don’t because the wounds still hurt and before you begin to wonder, the answer is no, I have not seen the trailer for The Last Jedi, I do not care for it anymore. Alien is just as exciting as Marvels and DC’s comic book adaptations which are at the end of the day, fun filled light hearted family films for all to enjoy without much thinking required. Alien is something else, it always was and always will be, requiring audiences to think for themselves and to encourage people to go looking for answers rather than feeding you everything you need to know. Simply put, depending on what you bring to the table will help you understand them, it has worked for me in my experience and continues to do so. So, check out that earlier Blog when you’ve got time and please tell me what you think about it. There is an article prior to that one, called ‘Why I am done with Star Wars’ explaining as to why I will not be following the Star War movies from now on, and have decided to just stick with the original trilogy, which I do still love and admire, The Empire Strikes Back being THE best of the three in my opinion. Also, just so you know this will be my first ever movie review, doing something a little different to what I usually do. Understand that this Blog has been geared up to offer people who are interested, a behind the scenes look into my own projects, which I will touch upon briefly after I rip apart this movie. I have an up and coming post which I am seriously looking forward to, so if you like fantasy epics taken to a whole new level, be sure to check back soon and see what I have in store.
In this review, I will be mainly talking about Alien: Covenant, but I will veer off here and there when needs be to talk about the others, so SPOILER warning if you haven’t seen them already. I suggest before reading that you watch Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, Alien, Aliens and Alien3. If you can, play Alien: Isolation, the first-person survival horror game for PS4, PC and the XboxOne. It is well worth a play through, best enjoyed sitting in a dark room, with headphones in and phone off, as you take control of Amanda Ripley, who is searching for her long, lost mother, the famous Ellen Ripley. By no means is this a poor game like a lot of the others are before it which focuses its gameplay on action elements, it is genuinely scary, challenging and an extremely detailed experience, beautifully capturing the universe of the original Alien film, providing you with almost everything you will come to expect when faced with the perfect organism, as it stalks you throughout the wrecked Sevastapol Station, “Your home away from home.” I’ll leave a link to the launch trailer below as with a trailer from Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. Once you have indulged in these movies and played the game, come back and check out this review, only then will we be on the same page and less confusion will entail.
As I said earlier I’ve seen a lot of lovers and a lot of haters circling this movie like hungry sharks and a lot of people who are just floating around in the middle (like jelly fish) just asking questions while scratching their heads without actually looking closer, but don’t worry, I’m here to answer some of the most meaningful questions this movie has to offer. Share with me your own opinions and theories as to where this is all going and I hope you enjoy what I have to say, if not, just tell me to go fuck myself, I’ll probably laugh then get a little bit sad. Hopefully I’ll be able to cover most of if not all the topics, at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion, my goal here is to just present an angle of approach that you’ve maybe not thought of before, maybe I can convert a few haters and perhaps even get the lovers to love it even more. Whether you agree or disagree with me by the end of this review, that is fine. I’ve only watched the movie once, bear that in mind, I usually do not judge a movie fully until I see it’s DvD/Blu-Ray release where at times extra footage is included, so enough bullshit…LET’S GET THIS SORTED!
-To get this started let’s cover what I thought was great about this movie. I think the fact that Sir Ridley Scott directed it, is overall a good thing, we’ve seen what other directors have done to this franchise and let’s be honest, besides James Cameron and David Fincher (yes, I liked Alien3, I will get into that later), they have ruined some of the key aspects of Alien and spoiled what it had originally going for it. So Ridley, I feel is still the best choice to steer these movies and I very much hope that he directs Alien: Awakening, rumoured to be the third and likely the final movie we get before it links up to our beloved original Alien. If asked; Who else would be a good choice to direct an Alien film, I’d either go for James Cameron or Neill Blomkamp. Niell was in line to do an Alien5 movie, carrying on after Aliens and ignoring Alien3 and Alien Resurrection.
-Like with Prometheus this movie is very symbolic, from the nail hanging from Daniel’s neck which represents suffering, to the themes of ‘In order to create one must first destroy,’ sacrificial rituals, transformation, quoting a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelly, about Ozymandius the Egyptian Pharaoh, King of Kings. David even quotes Milton, a famous line from Paradise Lost feeding in a clue to the structure of these movies, ‘Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.’ Originally the film was going to be called Paradise Lost, but because they wanted to market this film as a real Alien movie, in fear of the backlash 20th Century Fox received after Prometheus, it was changed to Alien: Covenant. Personally, I prefer the title Paradise Lost, but the latter is still just as good, especially when the movie ended. Even the title ‘Covenant,’ refers to the Old Testament of the Bible, where God made agreements with Humanity, specifically Noah, Abraham, and Moses, contracts where he requires certain conducts from us, his fallen creations. I repeat, this movie is loaded, LOADED with references coming from a historical and biblical nature, even the famous systems appearing in Prometheus and Alien, LV-426 and LV-223, are actually Bible passages that tie in nicely with the essence of Alien. I suggest you check the passages out when you have time, they are seriously scary reads but intriguing none the less. I am not a religious man in any sense, in fact I am a head strong Atheist, but even I find The Bible interesting as a piece of literature, containing everything from beautiful scriptures to nightmarish texts and all the grey areas in between. Elizabeth Shaw’s character for example played by the astounding Noomi Repace in Prometheus, is baron, unable to bear children/create life, this gives food for thought about the whole virgin Mary, Mary being impregnated by God/David, leading to Shaw somewhat being the mother of the Xenomorphs. The ideas of an Engineer visiting us 2000 years ago could be where we got the whole Jesus mythos from, remember we do not have the original copy of The Bible, so it very well could (however unlikely) describe Jesus as being an eight-foot tall albino Humanoid, which we eventually killed, pissing off the Engineer race, deeming us worthy of destruction. That is a very brief over-view of why the Engineers want to do destroy us after creating us, because we’re barbaric, ruthless and fallen creations in their eyes. Religious theme is prevalent throughout this series, both its prequels and its sequels and is ingrained into Alien: Covenant as well, which I think gives the movie weight, depth, is thought provoking and pretty damn cool at the same time, bringing to the screen a holy and disturbing edge. Some people are not bothered with this aspect of the film and I can understand why, you do have to look a little deeper to find and understand these themes and although they add more to the story, they do not exactly encroach on your overall enjoyment, they are just something else to consider and I love it when movie makers do this. With that being said, some of my favourite movies, Silence, Devil’s Advocate, Hacksaw Ridge and Constantine are very religious based.
-Another thing I think EVERYONE can agree on is the general look of the movie, whether you love it or hate it with a passion, these two prequel films cannot be denied their gorgeous good looks. Truly mesmerising, wonderfully captured from the opening shots to the close, where the Covenant ship is heading off into blackness. It looks incredible and most other movies simply pale in comparison. It is actually hard now to watch other movies that do not share the same professionalism, for Ridley has indeed raised the bar in this regard.
-It was nice to hear the late Jerry Goldsmiths theme once again, played at the beginning of the movie as the titles slowly appeared, this brought a smile to my face because his score is particularly eerie, actually listening to it now at this very moment in the dark as I write this review and even though I’ve heard it so many times before, it never fails to send chills up my spine, sometimes I get the urge to just to check behind me.
-The acting was top notch, everyone did an phenomenal job. Never once did I feel like I was watching actors, I always felt like I was watching a real crew aboard a colony ship. The only actor I felt a bit iffy about when going in was Tennessee, played by Danny McBride. Danny McBride usually is cast to play comedic roles and he does a fantastic job in each and every one he is in, my favourite being Rico in Hotrod with Andy Samberg, if you’ve not seen that movie, for the love of God what are you doing!? It is hilarious, go and watch it because it’s comic gold. Anyway, McBride surprised me in this movie, all my concerns were quickly washed away within his very first scene, he was a pleasure to watch and although he did come across as the comic relief, when tragedy hit and it hits hard, I felt for him. Michael Fassbender however stole it, he is arguably the best thing in this movie and its prequel Prometheus, playing both David and Walter, A.I constructs built by The Weyland Yutani Corporation. Walter being a newer model of David, an upgrade, possessing less Human traits revolving around their safe guarding and line of duty, while David, the android once aboard the Prometheus now fiddling with specimen’s on a desolate planet, is a curious creator, the true villain of the story and such a good villain for this franchise I believe. Here you have a never ageing, forever learning, intelligent, strong, psychotic machine that is literally playing God, having the best of both worlds of a mortal and immortal man. The concept of an A.I with Human traits that turns out to be far more dangerous than Walter ever could, who lacks said traits, is in itself an interesting idea, the more Human a machine is, the more cautious one should be, brilliant. Catherine Waterson was also very good as Daniels but oddly enough, my favourite character in this movie was none of the above, it was Faris, the pilot played by Amy Seimetz. I found myself drawn to her in every scene she was in, she was kinda funny and I genuinely was rooting for her when the intensity starts and things start exploding out of peoples backs and throats. A very good actress and I’ll keep my eyes open for her in future roles.
-The idea to have couples, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives I thought was a little different. True people have complained that they did not know who was with who, but I was able to follow who was paired with who. This idea gives the death scenes which are wonderfully gory (need I mention the back-bursting scene) a lot more weight. Whenever someone is killed off it is not just another character, it is someone’s loved one.
-I liked the creatures. This kinda goes without saying, this is a fucking Alien movie after all, the creatures are the key selling point of this franchise and they looked as always remarkable. From the eggs, the new dust spawns and Neomorphs to the facehuggers and the actual Xenomorph. You could say this goes under the category of a great looking movie, which was my third point made, but there is a difference in my opinion between shooting the environments and the way characters interact, to the beasties themselves. So, I give the aliens a mighty thumbs up, when the Neomorph stares at one of the female characters for an uncomfortably long amount of time before deciding to literally bite her head off. The bit where Daniels and Tennessee are in the engineering room and the Xenomorph takes a little while to walk in on two feet standing upright, in a similar way to how a Human would. The more Human it behaved, the scarier it became just like in Alien 1979. The first alien kill made, where it leaps from the ceiling onto an unsuspecting guy made me sit upright in my seat, showing off the sheer power of the Xenomorph, tearing into him like he wasn’t even there, like his strength meant absolutely nothing, these Xeno’s are strong and can overpower, outwit and outmatch anything it comes across.
-The ending was satisfying as it was horrifying. Walter and David being the same model of android, look identical. During the end of Act Two of the film, David and Walter fight. Walter being slightly superior, gets the upper hand on David, but loses. We do not know what happens to Walter, but it is safe to assume he is destroyed by David, because David replaces himself as Walter, tricking the survivors into thinking he is Walter, easily stealing his way aboard the landing craft which eventually returns to the Covenant ship. I doubt we will see Walter in the next instalment, perhaps we will see what happened to him on the DvD/Blu-Ray release, but David puts Tennessee and Daniels (the last two survivors) to sleep, but before Daniels is out, it is revealed that Walter is in fact David. In the opening of the movie, we see Walter checking over the Covenant ship, being sure to look after the main crew and the 2000 colonists locked in cryo-sleep, awaiting their arrival to the new planet, a planet better than earth for colonisation. David visits this area, coughs up facehugger embryo’s, places them in with Human embryo’s and seals the shelf, strolling between thousands of Human’s oblivious and powerless to do anything about what he intends to do, and after watching the movie, we get a pretty good idea as to what David has in mind with his hosts.
-Now that we’ve covered the positives, let’s talk negatives, the things I did not like about Alien: Covenant. I’ll start with something I found incredibly disappointing to begin with, but as I thought about it, it kinda grew on me after the viewing and began to make a lot more sense over time. I am talking of course about James Franco’s remarkably short appearance in the film, and when I say short I mean his screen time is only a matter of seconds. When I heard about his casting to be the Captain of the ship Covenant, I could not help but call up a friend of mine (another die-hard fan of the franchise) and talk to her about James Franco appearing in an Alien movie. He is one of my favourite actors, he has proven himself time and time over that he can pull off a variety of roles, from incredibly serious and desperate (127 Hours) to hysterically silly (Pineapple Express). Similar to Danny McBride, Franco is a delightful screen presence, we all know what he brings to the table and what he is capable of and after viewing the Youtube clip called Last Summer, where Franco is given a scene before they enter cryo-sleep, I was even more pumped to see how he would deal with the dreaded Xenomorphs. I have no doubt in my mind that he would have given a performance to rival Michael Fassbender’s. He also appears in a deleted scene with Catherine Waterson where they are in their apartment talking about the log cabin they want to build on the new world, not sure why both Last Supper and this deleted apartment scene were edited out of the final reel but I do hope they will be restored within the home release. What we got in the cinema was a second of Franco in cryo-sleep opening his eyes before he burns up into a crisp, then the grieving Daniels views an old video of him later on, climbing a mountain…That is it, that is all we got from James fucking Franco! I was so annoyed. However, it works to an advantage. As I said earlier, we all know Franco, even though we never actually saw his character properly fleshed out we all love James Franco, so when we see him burn we almost instantly feel a connection, a connection that cannot be obtained if they had just cast an extra called Bob. It also allows us to feel sympathy for Daniels right off the bat, her future on this new world now is a little pointless without him, she’d be alone surrounded by people building lives together.
-I praised how this movie and the creatures looked, and although I am not going back on what I’ve said, I am going to bring up a problem we all have picked up on, and that’s the use of CGI. For those of you who do not know what CGI stands for, it means Computer Generated Imagery. The CGI was brilliant, I applaud those who must have worked tirelessly on the creature, however it took me and a lot of others out of the story at times because we all knew we were seeing something that wasn’t there. We all know the alien is not real (thank fuck), we all know that this is a sci-fi horror show, but our minds want to be tricked, we want to believe what we are watching but couldn’t quite get there BECAUSE of the over use of computer imagery. If they had just pulled the old alien costume out from Twentieth Century Fox’s attic, that I believe would have had more of an effect than a creature that did not appear on set.
-It wasn’t scary. This is one of my biggest gripes with the movie and Prometheus for that matter which knocked it down a point for me, it just wasn’t scary, not in the slightest, I slept easy that same night where with the older Alien Trilogy, each film took a week of sleep from me, Alien and Aliens being the biggest culprits. Yes, you can argue I was much younger back then, but I remember leaving the film REC and Sunshine, afterwards I remember feeling a little disturbed … The main reason as to why everyone, literally EVERYONE found this creature so terrifying, was due to the fact that you barely saw it. During Alien, Aliens and even for the most part of Alien3, you only see glimpses of the Xenomorph, it only appears in full view for short periods of time and even then the lighting is usually dark.
I guess that covers it from my end, agree or disagree, those are my current thoughts, opinion will likely change after a second and third viewing, but at this moment, this is how I feel. Some of the main complaints I’ve heard and read about other to what I’ve listed above, I shall answer now.
Q.1) Why didn’t the crew of The Covenant wear helmets?
Q.2) Why did David kill off the Engineers?
Q.3) Why did David kill Elizabeth Shaw?
Q.4) What happened to the Juggernaut ship that David docked with on the planet?
Q.5) What happened to Walter?
Q.6) Why did the Xenomorph mimic David?
Q.7) Is Alien still an alien due to the fact that David created them!
These are the most common questions which keep jumping out at me. I’ll do my best to answer them. If you have any questions outside of the ones I have found, or are not satisfied, please feel free to contact me on the E-Mail provided below with the question written in the Subject bar.
A.1) The film (from what I remember) does a lot to deter the reason to use helmets. There are a few conversations in the movie where this new planet, has an atmosphere and its climate is cleaner than Earth’s. In any other film with a given conversation between two characters, I feel like people would just accept it, but seeing as this movie franchise is huge, people are more than critical toward its content, critical to the point where they seem to forget that it is just a movie here for our entertainment, it does not need to be 100% accurate all the time. Another thing to add, is that each and every take costs money, this includes the ones that end up on the cutting room floor, due to previous problems that occurred while filming Prometheus, problems like bothering the actors, inhibiting movement and offsetting the camera, to avoid this hassle I can understand why Ridley went with the choice to scrap helmets. Although it is not the decision I would have made, I do not think Alien: Covenant loses points because he chose otherwise. Also, do you know what I find even weirder? Trailers were released months prior to its release, and we all saw the crew stepping out of the landing craft and finding wheat, no one, I repeat NO ONE as far as I could see leaving comments, were complaining about the lack of head gear, it wasn’t until after the film was released, where audiences started to lose their shit.
A.2) I’ve thought about this question a lot, and in all honesty, I do not know why David bombed them with the black substance from aboard his ship, I can only speculate. This has pissed many people off because it was one of THE main reasons why most of us went into Alien: Covenant in the first place, to learn what Humanity did or not do to make the Engineers want to destroy us. Maybe it has something to do with the creation destroying its creators, it could be linked in with the poem written by Percy, or there could be some other view point as to why he did what he did, maybe he is just a broken android, maybe Ridley is still leading it somewhere. If I were to write Alien: Covenant, I would have answered it within this instalment, but alas, I am not writing the Alien franchise…Yet.
A.3) This is a tricky one, one that I should really answer when I’ve seen the extended cut, but there has been some speculation as to whether Elizabeth Shaw had actually fully recovered from her removal operation in Prometheus (which is a freaking badass scene), and she died from her surgery during the trip from LV-223 to Paradise. There is the possibility that David murdered her to use in his experiments. I think that Elizabeth died in her sleep; Why do I think this? Because throughout the movie, David shows real Human emotion whenever Elizabeth is mentioned, he comes across as being genuinely upset by her death. There is a snippet on YouTube, where you actually see Elizabeth putting David back together, and spending time with him as they travel through space. I do not think David destroyed her, in a twisted way, he uses her body to help create the Xenomorph specimen which answer the question as to why he loves the specimen, because it is a shadow of Elizabeth Shaw, the only person to show him real kindness.
A.4) If you are confused with what the Juggernaut ship is, it is the docking station on Paradise (considering that this is the planet Paradise) that David connects with before he bombs the planet. This question was posed to me almost immediately when I left the theatre and I feel I was one of few who was able to spot the crashed Juggernaut in the distance when Covenant’s landing craft set down on the planet.
A.5) Walter…He be scrap. I mean I do not know exactly what happened because you do not see him die, the film needed to be that way for the shock reveal at the end, but it is safe to assume that he is not coming back. Even if he was still functioning; How would he get off the planet? How would he be able to find the Covenant in the vastness of space? Is he really that important to the story? Walter is gone. We may see a flashback in the next movie but I really do not see why we’ll need it.
A.6) When the Captain of the Covenant has a gun pointed at the Neomorph, it seems to be looking at David, something seems to be going on between them, like when a man stares into the eyes of a predator in the wild there is at times, more to it than just acting on instincts. Xenomorphs aren’t stupid from what we have learned throughout this franchise, it is fair to say that Neomorphs (being more animalistic than biomechanical) share the same trait, so I’d say it is curious. More likely, David is not edible, he is made from metal, wires, android fluids and artificially grown flesh, he would not register the same as a Human being so curiosity would be a fair answer to this question. A friend of mine also reminded me that dogs, horses, cats and other creatures can sometimes sense the presence of danger or when it is unwelcome, David was not coming across as threatening, he remained calm and collected, so there could have been a mutual understanding here, before the Captain wastes it. This whole scene, tells me that the creatures think, they are perhaps not just killing machines. When the Xeno is birthed from Kane in Alien 1979, have you ever wondered what would happen if the crew treated it as if it was loved, instead of pulling a knife out and screaming? Maybe, we could have seen something else, but because the Xeno was threatened, it forever saw the space truckers as a threat and persisted on killing them when we wandered in on its territory. Fast backward to Alien: Covenant, David smiles at the creature when it chest bursts, he admires it and performs a simple hand gesture that the Protomorph sees and mimics, recognising that this is its only way to establish communication. There is a part of me that wants to think that perhaps there is a glimpse of Shaw inside, but that is just me and it makes no sense, but I cannot help but wonder, because it is all genetic, are there traces of memory that have crossed over?
A.7) If it wasn’t the unanswered question of as to; Why the Engineers wanted to destroy us? that pissed you off, then this IS what down-rated movie for you. So many people are finding the term Alien, meaningless now, because it is not Alien, because David created them. David did not create the Xenomorph, I repeat, he did not create the Xenomorph, he had a hand in perfecting it, this explains its biomechanical structure inspired by H.R Giger’s work. Remember the mural in Prometheus? This suggests that Xenomorphs existed or have come around before us; How did David create them when this mural existed long before his own creation? It’s possible that they are still out there, it is possible that the black substance which is organic, leads to an eventuality, the perfect organism. Let’s look at the meaning of the word Xenomorph, one of the definitions is ‘Without its own form,’ the creature needs other hosts, it needs other genetic material to grow from, manipulate and perfect, this embodies the very meaning of the word, Alien, it still is an Alien in every sense of the word! To top it off, remember the end of Prometheus? What comes bursting out of the Engineer chest in Vickers’s life pod? Something that people are referring to as, the Deacon, an under-developed form of a Xenomorph, and all this happened without the help of David, although he did unknowingly at the time, set things in motion by spiking Charley Holloways drink with a drop of the black substance, I believe because of the mural which is key, that a species exists that resembles the Xenomorph, the Neomorph sort of portrays this species before its perfection. David is also referred to as perfectly created, it is not unreasonable to think that he desires to create something more outstanding than himself.
That answers all the most asked questions I think, I hope I’ve straightened a few things out within this review. If you are unsatisfied with what I have had to say and would like to share a thought or two, feel free to use the links provided below and I will do my best to respond asap. I suppose you would like to know why I like Alien3 now? Not a popular movie and the most disliked in the trilogy. The reasons why I like it are as follows and I will not go into the details regarding the studios interference with the director David Fincher, who was under the thumb by Twentieth Century Fox and not given 100% control which he should have been given from the start. No, the reasons why I like Alien3 is that it does what Aliens did and more as matter of fact! It introduces a new type of Xenomorph, exploring how it works from a genetic level. In Alien we were introduced to a drone, in Aliens we got to explore the hive and saw the Queen, depending on which version of Alien3 you watch it either comes from a dog or a cow. Ripley has also been impregnated during cryosleep, we see the Alien behave differently around her, it even goes as far as protecting her, providing us with one of THE coolest movie posters of all time, where the Alien’s forehead is pressed up against Ripley’s and the two jaws are readying to take her head off, but we know that it would never do that, it would never destroy its own future. We see a new set of circumstances differing vastly from the previous movies, introducing us to the prisoners, the worst of the worst people you could ever find. Funny how in Alien it was space truckers, in Aliens it was marines and in Alien3 it is convicts, none provide the Xeno with much of a challenge, as pointed out by Newt in Aliens “It won’t make any difference” she was not wrong, no matter what the Xeno is up against it always wins. Alien3 is set on a new planet, Fury 161, a planet with a lot of dead technology. As for Ripley we see a new side to her, we see her softer side with one of my favourite characters Dr Clemen’s played by Charles Dance, a man with a dark past who chooses to remain on this planet, feeling like he belongs there for what he has done. Ripley, is his glimpse into the possibility of a future beyond, but this notion is quickly destroyed when the Xenomorph drops down from the ceiling and splits his skull in two. I like how David Fincher expands of the themes of religion and he does this masterfully well, by tying the burial scene in with the birth scene of the Xenomorph, the dialogue of Dylan goes “From within each seed is the promise of a flower, a new life, a new beginning” then the dog/cow literally explodes and a new creature is born. I love this scene however brutal and combined with the music, the music that is in-keeping with the tones of the movie, really does a remarkable job of giving you the feel of holiness and un-holiness. Alien3 is also gory as fuck and it is rumoured that the gore was toned down before release, it is bloody, brutal, gritty and the sound effects really tear into you, especially when the Alien rips through throats and gnaws on bones, so good. The scene where Ripley goes looking for it in the basements, still gives me the chills, reminding me of when the Colonial Marines go into the atmosphere processor, except Ripley is alone, without weapons and impregnated. There are of course things I do not like about this movie, it is a bit funny with the pacing and the CGI has not aged very well. The biggest complaint is that Hicks and Newt had no screen time other than a flash of their remains in their cryo-tubes. As much as I love these characters it did not bothered me too much, this is how the Alien films go, they aren’t fair, they are dark, unfair and cruel, plus I was too young to understand at the time so it washes over me, leaving me with the question; “I wonder if they had lived?” and “Is Alien5 still on the cards?” The main thing that I like about Alien3 was the general atmosphere, it is in touch with what makes the creature scary and is utilised with both CGI and real costumes. These are my opinions and I could list off a fuck load more positives and negatives but at the end of the day, it ends the trilogy nicely, it does not rip off the previous two, it does new things with the material and provides more growth for the creature and Ripley before they both perish in molten rock…Spoiler alert.
Overall Verdict – Alien: Covenant is enjoyable. It will be unfair to give it a solid grade without seeing it again from the comfort of my own home, but if pushed I’ll give it a 6/10 It does not come close to the original Alien nor compares to Aliens and I feel even Alien3 comes out on top. This does not mean it is a drop in the franchise, it is worthy indeed and holds the series afloat. I look forward to the sequel, Alien Awakening, and am interested in how this ties into 1979’s Alien. There are some serisouly great scenes in here, it is visually stunning, the level of detail is sick and I still would never want to ever go toe to toe with a Xenomorph. Zombies-Fine. Mutants-Okay. Machines-Find the off switch. People-Be smart. Xenomorph-I am not playing anymore…Alien: Covenant has its positives but is dragged down with some of its writing, but above all it simply is not scary, it failed to answer some questions hanging over from Prometheus, often when something is answered two more issues pop up and are brought into question bringing in more frustration than wonder. The film does not give enough screen time to each cast member which makes them sort of expendable, where as in each Alien movie before this one, I genuinely cared for the characters and feared for their safety. The biggest issue I personally have is YOU SEE TOO MUCH OF THE CREATURE IN CGI! Less CGI, more skinny guys and gals in suits.
Well, that was my review guys, hope you enjoyed. All my contact information and details about my own project is listed below, I also included the scenes we did not get a chance to see in theatres but will hopefully be included in the extended cut. Enjoy the rest of your day.
E-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @MegasTeque
My Work – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6
Prometheus Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34cEo0VhfGE
Alien: Covenant Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svnAD0TApb8
Elizabeth Shaw Clip – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeMVrnYNwus
Last Supper James Franco Clip – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuU5YwMx1EI
Obviously, Ridley’s work is his own, I do not own such material, I could be so lucky. Enjoy and please consider checking out my work, worked hard on this project. Thanks.