Alien: Covenant – Review

A solid return to the Alien franchise.

I enjoyed Alien Covenant. The film bridged some story elements between Prometheus and Alien, it answered some questions and asked a few more. Just when you thought you had the story worked out, some subtleties in the film made me doubt that I knew what was going to happen (a trait in a movie that I absolutely love).

The film brought some surprises from the first scene. I would recommend watching the two Prelude videos you can find on the Fox YouTube Channel. It sets up the film nicely. Visually, Alien Covenant has the tone and visual style of Alien and Aliens, mixed with the visual effects and cinematography of Prometheus.

The acting in Alien Covenant was solid. Katherine Waterston served well as Daniels, the protagonist, again, like the movie itself, a bridge between Dr Elizabeth Shaw and Ellen Ripley. Danny McBride worked well, despite my fears that he would add unnecessary comedic elements. The absolute stand out for me was Michael Fassbender as both David, the synthetic android from Prometheus, and Walter, a newer version of android, based on the David model. His performance as both these characters was incredible, his robotic movements are realised in different ways for each character, based on individual programming.

The different forms of Xenomorph we see are as usual, scary, deadly and familiar with just a slight twist – something I come to expect from the Alien franchise. While the action scenes with the various Xenomorph forms seem a little re-used, it feels that Ridley Scott wanted to establish more of the backstory in this film. Don’t get me wrong, some of the deaths are pretty wicked and violent, but in my opinion, nothing we haven’t seen already in Prometheus or the earlier Alien films.

All-in-all Alien Covenant is a good film that fits nicely in to the Alien universe. It gives more validation to Prometheus as an instalment in the franchise and sparks more interest in Ridley Scott’s plan for the future Alien films.

Alien Covenant: Average

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Prometheus – Review

Ridley Scott returns in all his epic moviemaking glory with his return to the Alien universe, Prometheus.

The year is 2089 and Dr Elizabeth Shaw and her small expedition team are on a dig in Scotland. Inside a cave they find a pictogram. The last peice to their puzzle. This pictogram resembles other ancient drawings from almost all of Earth’s early civilizations. The pictogram features a constellation that Shaw believes is a map leading to the Origins of humanity. Begin Project Prometheus. A trillion dollar expedition to the system identified in this map, Funded by Weyland Industries to explore the possible creation of us.

After a two year expedition on board exploritory vessle Prometheus the crew of 17 find the moon that according to long range scanners can support life. The Prometheus lands near some ‘pyramids’ that seem to be man (or something like it) made. So sure enough there is life on this world… Are they the engineers of our existance? The answer to that question is the least of the crew of the Prometheus’ problems.

After 33 years, its great to see Scott’s return to the the franchise and sci-fi films in general he helped create. Prometheus IS linked to the Alien franchise, do not listen to those who say otherwise… From the moment Weyland industries was attached to the online marketing it was obvious.

Now to the film itself.

Visually… Amazing!

The Sound… Cinema Shaking!

Narrative… Leaves a lot to be desired.

Shot in 3D this film is one to see with the glasses on, stunning. The narrative of the film honestly feels like half of a film where more questions are asked than answered. To avoid any other spoilers I’ll leave that there. Acting is brilliant! Four stand out roles seem to be the characters that are fleshed out the best. Noomi Rapace (famous for the Swedish Millenium trilogy films) plays the protagonist, the inquisitive Dr. Elizabeth Shaw who has a very interesting and powerful scene around about half way through the film. Michael Fassbender (famous for being born) eerily plays the android David who looks like T. E. Laurence of Arabia and successfully pulls off an emotionless android. If you’ve never visited the uncanny valley… welcome. Idris Elba plays the captain of the Prometheus, Janek who has a few laughs in the film as well as being very serious when the time comes. Finally to round out my favorite four Charlize Theron plays Meredith Vickers, a Weyland representative who is overseeing the mission… she’s definitely got an ulterior motive. Notible mention to Guy Pearce for playing an old guy… Peter Weyland… If you want to see Guy’s best as this character, see the TED talk.

Which brings me to the marketing. Very cool, very meaningful, lots of back story to the back story. Definitely worth a look.

Prometheus is a beautiful film, don’t get me wrong, I was in awe of the shots and the locations. The story left a bit to be desired, was sort of hoping for more… and to be honest, I still am. But all-in-all a good film.

Prometheus: Average