Alien: Covenant  (2017): Nostalgic, but still Going Nowhere

Check the official movie site here.

When Ridley Scott announced the project of the next Alien movie, I have a special excitement. I love the original movie, after nearly 30 years (the first Alien movie was released on 1979, am I correct?), it still gives me goosebumps and still one of the best thriller movie I’ve watched. It still feels like a Friday the 13th movie on the set of Interstellar. The prequel, Prometheus (2012), have a really grandeur cinematic feelings, thanks to Michael Fassbender’s performance as a poker face android called David.

And this movie is the sequel to Prometheus. As you can see, Fassbender is returning as a slightly upgraded Android that claimed to be a better version of David, called Walter. He is now a staff to a giant spaceship named Covenant, that brings about 2000 colonies to a new habitable planet called Origae-6. One moment, the spaceship enters a space storm and he has to wake the whole crews before the actual time. The failure of the system caused some sleeping capsules to explode, including the capsule of Covenant’s Captain Jacob Branson (James Franco, that was the only screentime he had) and left the ship under the captainship of Christopher Orams (Billy Crudup). After the space storm, they find a new habitable planet and a sign of life. Tired of reaching Origae-6 and refused to get back asleep, Orams decides to explore the planet, though his second in command who is also Branson’s widow, Daniels (Katherine Waterston, The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)’s Tina), is against that idea.

The idea is, as you can guess, wrong. Some of them are infected with mysterious thing that turns out to be Alien’s seed. I don’t have to tell you their gruesome death, right? The thrill is starting, then the whole mood of the movie turns upside down since Fassbender is also reprising his android role, David. His best scene where David teaches Walter to play Flute, that somehow turns into a lethal weapon at the end of this movie, left me wondering how they make the scene of one person playing two different characters so beautiful to be watched. On that scene too, you can differ Walter from his “older brother” David, although they have an exactly same poker face. I then realized that maybe there’s just a few actors who can deliver the same performance as Fassbender in this movie, differentiating two characters that have the same face but one with the tricky mind and others with a tragic end.

The whole emotion of this movie is controlled by and laid upon the shoulder of Katherine Waterston, who plays Daniels. On her hand, Daniels is not just a smart woman, but also a decisive, tough woman who do her role effectively although she is just losing her husband. Some little details of the previous Prometheus can still be seen, like the photo of Noomi Rapace’s character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, and younger look of Guy Pearce as Dr. Weyland, “father” of David and other upgrading versions of him includin Walter. This movie did give a nostalgic feeling of the first Alien movie, with the same gruesome deaths and same morphology of the alien itself. Scott feels like he is fully dedicated to this franchise since I can’t name any other franchise older than Alien that has been running for so long and have consistently given us thrills. Unfortunately, the nostalgic feeling is all that we have on this movie. This movie is just telling another episode of the existence of scary Alien, but lead the Franchise to nowhere. If they’re gonna make any other sequels, maybe they should decide which directions they’re gonna lead this whole old franchise.

This movie is rated R due to some gruesome deaths, so don’t bring young children to watch it unless you want to give them nightmares. I give this movie 7.6/10.


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