The reviews of Alien franchise films I have written caused me a little nostalgia for all those Alien franchise previews. The Alien will never expire as cinematographic artwork, so it is not a surprise that all those films continue to attract viewers' attention. The franchise presents several film's genres at once, so it has numerous fans. For some of us, Alien franchise is high-quality science fiction films' example, for other viewers, it is a classic horror example, and for the third ones - a thriller that gives a big tension.
Thanks to the benefit of modern technical achievements, today we can watch this classic film franchise in the highest quality of visual and sound presence and experience a lot of great emotions.
Ridley Scott is back into Alien franchise better then ever. Once the action scenes begin, you can not take your eyes out of the screen, followed by a terrifying introduction of a new creature, and our brand new Xenomorph.
In 1979, Ridley Scott introduced to the world movie Alien telling about a mysterious planet, welcoming the traveling astronauts, but soon destroying them one by one. The new film with an intense storyline of this director ALIEN. COVENANT is not a direct continuation of the first Alien, but remind us the horrible indigenous locals of cosmos already seen in the Alien.
The filmmaker nominated three times for Oscar calls not only to see the sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus but also to familiarize yourself with the origin of xenomorphs, and at the same time, to experience the horror that could have been felt in the first two Alien franchise's masterpieces.
And it is interesting to see how will be developed the androids theme in ALIEN: COVENANT. As it is known, there we see even two Androids.
ALIEN: COVENANT, official trailer - Video credit: youtube.
The crew of the spacecraft Covenant is heading towards a distant, lone planet where they hope to find hints of a few years ago disappeared spacecraft Prometheus. As they approach the destination, the crew every day more and more admire the growing view of the planet. From the spacecraft, the planet looks like a real paradise. However, when descending on its surface, the first impression begins to spread away quickly.
The first major shock to the crew is the planetary robot David (Michael Fassbender) - the only remaining alive member of the Prometheus crew. The Covenant crew is now really aware that Prometheus has faced a disaster.
Common sense advises to disappear from the planet as soon as possible, but curiosity overcomes. People are starting to explore the planet. What they find outstrips any nightmare.
Alien franchise ALIEN: COVENANT - Photo credit: imdb
In 2012, Prometheus received some criticism from film professionals and franchise fans for the extremely stupid episodes that the director himself was not satisfied with, but in general, the film justified expectations because of some answers related to xenomorphic origin. And it would be good, but the $ 130 million's film barely managed to redeem its production costs. That's what led the 20th Century Fox to stop all the work related to history's extension for a long time.
But, unexpectedly, Sir Ridley Scott has proved he still has ideas and can create big budget movies that bring a lot of money. Therefore, we have received a second part of the prehistory of Alien - ALIEN: COVENANT. This time, the creators seemed to give the fans what they wanted more than the answers, returning them all the horrible beauty of the aliens.
With the new film, the director returns us all not only to the Prometheus narrative's continuation but also to the origins of the xenomorphic origin, so the film partly tells the story of this ruthless and perfect creature. True, there are also innovations. This film shows a completely different kind of xenophobes, which the director simply called neomorph. Significantly more ugly creature than the one you know from classic films.
bitLanders AI-Themed Blogging: ALIEN: COVENANT Movie Review - Photo credit: imdb
But most importantly, the film tells everything in an interesting, even original, and, of course, in a way that the film has an inseparable connection with the original that appeared nearly forty years ago. And it is most enjoyable because Ridley Scott finally decided to create a really worthy focus on xenomorphs, which, of course, does not match the first two parts, but outperforms the third and fourth in its presentation.
The biggest plus in this band is a gloomy and horrible look, as well as qualitatively presented horror scenes that you can't miss. True, the great part of the horror scenes - bloody and slightly nauseating, but very dynamic. Of course, every hero's death looks spectacular, graceful, and supplemented with violent aesthetics, so you eagerly await other victims of the xenomorph. Not because you are a sadist, but because of their presentation and beauty. The tense action complements horror scenes, so boredom in the cinema does not visit you.
The storyline's specificity in this movie is simple but also intriguing. The film consists of four episodes that are interesting in their own way. In the first episode, viewers get acquainted with the Covenant crew and their main purpose. The next episode is for exploring a mysterious planet and colliding with a great deal of trouble.
Alien franchise ALIEN: COVENANT - Photo credit: alien-covenant
In the third episode, the story turns into a survival style thriller with horror elements, and the last episode encounters an ideal evil. Thanks to such a well-structured storyline, which gradually reveals the secrets that the viewers have suffered, the tension grows and grows with each episode until it finally ends. And it ends very interestingly. But here I will not say anything, because it is more fun to see this macabre finale.
Somewhere in the middle, there is a good-looking, more serious shootings that resemble the fights with xenomorphs and neomorphs (as usual, the franchise adds something fresh), a collision between good and bad android (like Ash from part one and Bishop from the second, just in one film). And, of course, how without the woman with a strong character.
For me personally, the key theme of the ALIEN: COVENANT was the theme of the Creator and Creation. It moved here from Prometheus, but it turned in a new plane: a person becomes a creator creating an android robot, then his creation at some point becomes itself a creator, and at the same time, tries to rise above the man. David is a superman whose god is a dead god, and he can take its place, becoming a god for others.
David : I was with our illustrious creator, Mr. Weyland, when he died.
Walter : What was he like?
David : He was human. Entirely unworthy of his creation.
Everyone was waiting for the good old Alien, and Scott suddenly became interested in the origin of man and his place in this universe, so he focuses all his attention on android David.
Alien franchise ALIEN: COVENANT - Photo credit: medium
I can't say anything very good about the heroes, except androids David and Walter. They are absolutely uninteresting, no charismatic characters appearing in the movie, who become victims of xenomorphs and are completely out of your empathy. It is not comparable to the Prometheus crew, where each hero was somehow attractive and interestingly presented.
But, going back to androids David and Walter, they are one of the most fascinating characters in this franchise, and only Ripple was more interesting. Android David, the impressive role of Michael Fassbender in Prometheus, returned with double force.
The clash of logic and emotions of these machines becomes the cornerstone of the film, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the rather deep questions of moral and existential artificial intelligence (and through it, symbolically all humanity).
The film about androids ALIEN: COVENANT - Photo credit: comicbook
These two heroes of the film have their own ideology and attitude towards man, creator, existence, and love, so watching their conversations or monologues is one great pleasure. However, they are so correct about the human fragility and evolution that they cannot argue with some of their thoughts.
One android, David, with another android, Walter, talks about what it means to create, be human, and whether the race of people really deserves to survive. More than anything else, the film is interested in the characters embodied by M. Fassbender and their differences.
Android, David, in many ways resembles Hannibal Lecter performed by Mads Mikkelsen. He has the same love for high art and philosophy, the same devilish light in his eyes, and the same perverted ideas of love and welfare. He is the exact opposite of android Walter, who is simple and reliable. Fassbender's duet with himself is one of the best episodes of the COVENANT.
Science fiction film ALIEN: COVENANT - Photo credit: moviemania.
From not android characters, I would distinguish Danny McBride's embedded pilot Tennessee, though not because this personage would be interesting, but because it is wonderful to see an actor appearing in comedies, giving so much energy in such a role, which don't even require it.
Not too much subtle copy of Ripley - Katherine Waterston's Daniels has no clearly defined character, only her brain works for a few seconds faster than others, which is probably not the most impressive feature of the main character. Daniels has only two states: grief and fear. Her story in the film begins with a great personal tragedy, but we have no idea what kind of heroine was before it, and how this incident changed her. And all subsequent events do not push Daniels to an interesting metamorphosis.
All the other characters are shamelessly stupid and die either because of their own carelessness or succumbing to panic and making a bunch of stupid mistakes. For the viewer, this is not a well-coordinated team, but a dozen people whom he saw so little that even had no time to remember the faces and names.
Science fiction film ALIEN: COVENANT - Photo credit: imdb
The only actor who means something in this film is the talented Michael Fassbender. He has played not one role, but two roles at once, which has further enhanced his ability to transform into completely different characters at once. And, in fact, David's play is more fearful than the xenomorphs themselves.
All the other actors, overshadowed by Michael Fassbender's charisma, seemed just dull. Katherine Waterson, who was the most annoying on the screen because of her pessimistic role seemed particularly bleak.
The actors like Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, and Carmen Ejogo also didn't fully show themselves. They could be replaced by anyone else and have the same effect. It is a pity that their characters have been so poorly presented.
ALIEN: COVENANT Movie Review - Photo credit: imdb
The Technical Side
Those who watched Prometheus can already know what to expect - a demanding and highly detailed Ridley Scott's attitude, breathtaking images, good special effects. In terms of atmosphere, in spirit, in content, this is exactly 2012 film's continuation, where we see xenomorphs again to the fans' joy.
In terms of pictures in front of us is definitely one of the most beautiful films of recent years. The expanses of Australia really look like a gloomy, abandoned by all Eden. The abandoned ship of the engineers on the outskirts, the majestic buildings of a vanished civilization, the gloomy corridors of the Covenant - the creators show everything to the smallest details and is atmospheric to horror. All this is embellished with film decorations, perfect makeup, and heroic costumes.
ALIEN: COVENANT, Androids David vs Walter Fight - Video credit: youtube
The work of the camera is also fascinating, as several movie scenes with the characters' death are so aesthetically presented that it is impossible to distract the eyes from the screen. The scene alone in the shower is worth the mini applause. And there were a few such places in the movie.
A musical track is simple, and it is easy to recognize already heard melodies. It is reminiscent of Prometheus musical solutions on action scenes, but it didn't bother. There may not have been any music in this film, and the effect would be the same because of all the attention focus on images and action, horror, and a frightening atmosphere.
Sound editing is good. It contributed to a much frightening atmosphere while watched this movie in the cinema. With every xenomorph appearance, the sound enchants, and tension just grew like yeast.
Video editing is also commendable. In important parts of the film, the action changes so that the director plays with the viewer to the end, without revealing the most important secrets of the film.
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On A Final Note
ALIEN: COVENANT is Alien franchise's film that we have looked forward to for over thirty years. Dynamic, with violence and blood-filled scenes, keeping tension in the right episodes, not avoiding horror scenes and revealing a true xenomorphic origin project that director Ridley Scott can truly be proud of.
Most of this story is fascinating by the fact that Scott returns here to his subtle style of directing, with long scenes, minimal action, and good actors enchanting and creating a more exciting and intimidating atmosphere than any alien attack in this film.
Whether you want to or not, now we have an unequivocal answer where and why the legendary monster appeared. True, the answer is rather trivial - other fans' theories and versions from games, comics, novels were more original. But again, everything depends on the implementation. Almost every scene with neomorphs and xenomorphs is beautiful. At these moments, the film becomes what we wanted from it: a tough, bloody, and inventive cosmic horror.
bitLanders AI-Themed Blogging: ALIEN: COVENANT Movie Review - Photo credit: twitter
After watching, the question involuntarily arises: who is an alien: the xenomorph, David for people, or a man on distant planets that he wants to own?
Covenant takes John Milton into a future of cybernetics, where the synthetic human (an excellent dual performance by Michael Fassbender) takes on a Satanic role.
My rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 66/100
Critics average: 55/100
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