By Jorge Aldaco
“Alien: Covenant,” directed by Ridley Scott, adds more to the franchise’s mythos in this thought provoking and gruesome installment to the “Aliens” franchise.
The film stars Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride, Billy Crudup, and Katherine Waterston.
The film takes place ten years after “Prometheus,” its predecessor from2012. The colonization ship ‘Covenant’ is damaged by a space phenomenon.
It results in minor damage to the ship and the death of the captain, who is then replaced by Karine Oram, played by Crudup.
As repairs are being done, a rogue signal coming from a planet with an Earth-like surface is intercepted. Despite being heavily opposed by the late- captain’s wife Dany Branson, played by Waterston, Karine orders the Covenant crew to explore the planet.
Shortly after landing, however, the crew experience the wild biology of the planet as two crew members onboard are infected and gruesomely killed by an unknown creature.
In a last-second move, a hooded figure saves the remaining crew and takes them to a hideout. The theme of this film covers the birth of humanity and of the xenomorphs, the main creature villain of the “Alien” franchise.
This film brings back the original xenomorph creature, while introducing the pale, more human looking neomorph. The neomorph is conceived in a new gruesome way, which will gross out even the biggest horror fans and moviegoers a like.
Seeing the creatures in action as they kill off the crew is always inviting to film monster fans.
However something about their interactions with people is the most off putting part. Fassbender comes off well as a awkward entity that is slowly gaining humanity.
McBride takes a new route in his acting career. Normally being a comedy actor, playing a well developed and serious character adds diversity to his roster of films.
Despite these positive points, many flaws are seen in the film. The pacing of the film is off putting and somewhat forced. The moment where the creatures are introduced are done quickly, whereas the original film builds up the introduction of the alien.
The computer-generated imagery of the alien creatures are poorly done, and it is easy to spot. They strayed from the original first two films where they used practical effects and costumes to portray the creatures. They are capable of doing it and have done it for years.
It would send a message that practical effects can compete in an industry where computers generated images dominate. Watching a scene that uses a practical creature to attack the crew or crawling around in a creepy manner would have been great and would have amplified the creepy factor.
In an article by IndieWire, Waterston said that she stepped into the lead female role and tried not to think too much about her role especially with the success of Sigourney Weaver.
This is evident because she didn’t give us her full potential especially during scenes driven by intensity and fear. “Alien: Covenant” offers new material and expand on the story in this recent installment.
The continuing story of humans, aliens and their creators will continue into a third installment. If one is tolerant of gruesome scenes and extraterrestrial beings, this is the film to watch this summer.
If one is not too familiar with the franchise, the film itself is self explanatory on its own. “Alien: Covenant” is rated R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language, and some sexuality/ nudity.