5 good things Alien: Covenant should keep from Prometheus

20 Mai, 2017, 00:55 | Author: Lucrece Courtet

It's not always a flawless fit, but "Alien: Covenant" combats the overreach with enough primal thrills to be satisfying.

Covenant ripped into theaters last night at 7 PM with previews of $4.2M from about 3,000 locales, promising a strong Friday and weekend ahead. "Maybe I come back as Ripley?" he jokes referencing the original film's heroine, played by Sigourney Weaver.

Just before she drifts off, Daniels realizes her bad mistake. There's more carnage in "Covenant" than in Scott's previous two "Alien" films combined, but he hasn't entirely thrown the existential crisis overboard. I'm likely not the only person who thinks this. In the "Alien" franchise, whether human, alien, or artificial, female intelligence is proven to be the most versatile and insightful, and Waterston embodies that with finesse.

How will "Alien" and "Prometheus" fans react to the film? The fact that the movie was so full of plot holes and flat-out stupid behavior by its characters, and, most importantly, didn't have Ripley, or anyone near Ripley's charisma, strength and smarts, made me anxious for the future of the franchise.

"Covenant" does its best to amend these issues.

A direct sequel to Prometheus (and thus an indirect prequel to the 1979 original), Alien: Covenant is set 10 years after the events of that film.

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The expedition party, led by new Captain Oram (Billy Crudup) and including the reluctant Daniels and their human-looking android Walter, investigate the planet and start to think that perhaps this new uncharted planet could be their new home. Covenant, like Prometheus before it, is Scott unrestrained, making the films he wants to make without worrying about trying to fit them within whatever box you'd like to put them into. His other character is aboard Covenant, and they look a lot alike. But when it's time to kick ass she's front and center, pairing up with Danny McBride's Tennessee against an alien in a shipboard battle that's familiar enough to comfortably anchor this chapter in franchise tradition, and just fresh enough to keep audiences guessing.

As a milky-white gross-beast skitters its way around a wheat field, getting murder-death all over gun-toting space colonists, the only question becomes whether Alien: Covenant deserves a place near director Ridley Scott's original Alien in the pantheon of ideal sci-fi horror. Like Blade Runner, the film's beginning includes a close-up of a replicant's synthetic's eye. Much of the spiritual questions about creation are wrapped up in Fassbender's character, who questions his provenance and if he himself can create.

This is an interesting idea for Covenant to explore, and conceptually, it melds the evolution of those aliens and the android's obsessions fairly well.

The movie then shifts focus to the crew of a ship, the Covenant, on a colonizing mission to the planet ORIGAE-6. The Ridley Scott-directed sequel to the 2012 sci-fi pic Prometheus will roll out into about 3,600 locales domestically today after already chasing in over $46M overseas.

When things settle down, Daniels gives the speech you've heard in most of the trailers so far. On the one hand, that's good, because it's much more of a crowd-pleaser. "This looks to be right in line with all the others".

That said, there's enough suspense mixed in to make the predictable bits more palatable, enough gore to satisfy fans of the original, and some really nice surprises. It's only somewhat odd that these themes are best explored via Fassbender, who has double duty here as David and David's counterpart, Walter. It nearly feels like a case of realizing the story took too much time to get to where it wanted/needed to go, and they sped things up too much to compensate.

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