Friday, 12 May 2017

Alien: Covenant Film Review

I caught Alien: Covenant today. Back in the space of 1979 no-one could hear you scream. And it's fair to say that no-one aboard the Covenant had ever seen Ridley Scott's original shocker Alien on old re-runs. Although one of the crew prosaically does say I don't like space.


It's sad that science cannot move as fast as films because here we have a ship load of 2000 colonisers, 1,140 embryos and 15 crew members, mostly married. And a synthetic; Walter, played by David Fassbender, who does the housekeeping while they are in deep sleep. 7 years away from their new home.



A disturbance in the galaxy sees the crew roused from their sleep. Several colonisers, embryos and the captain are fried in the solar energy surge. But that still leaves a lot to get your teeth into....

One of the games I played was who was expendable. Katherine Waterston's Daniels, wearing the vest, was always going to be the Ripley character. Her husband played by James Franco, in the clip above. Not so much in the actual movie as he's the captain fried at the beginning. Along with their dreams of building a wooden cabin on the shores of a lake, in their new home, on the new planet. Hold that thought.

Billy Crudup's Oram is promoted to being the new Captain, and makes a fateful decision to explore an unknown planet they have picked up a human message from. Playing 'Take Me Home Country Roads'. Daniels believes it's the wrong move. The planet they are heading for they have researched thoroughly for it's suitability as a colony. This unknown planet is just that. Unknown. Although her objections are duly noted, the crew don't want to be locked in deep sleep again after what happened to the captain, and this planet, only a week away, is 7 years closer then the planned colony. So they prepare to land.

The planet is hospitable and looks like Middle Earth. A perfect place to colonise. Two of the crew start taking samples while the others seek out the signal origin. But while padding around taking samples one of them disturbs some greenery, this releases spores that then fly unseen down his ear canal. And sure enough he quickly starts to feel ill. They head back to the landing craft. Meanwhile the rest of the crew have found a hologram that sent the message. Inside the ship we recognise as Prometheus. And another of the crew has his nostrils invaded by the spores.

Back on the landing ship the two are locked into a sick bay. The pilot begging Oram to hurry back from their exploration. But they are hampered by their sick colleague. Poor Karine, played by Carmen Ejogo, locked in the sick bay watches as her sick colleague has something crawling inside his back. And it explodes in typical Alien style. There's always one that has to make an entrance.

The rest of the party outside the ship have their own problems, but mid-way through OB1 appears in the form of David to help them. Walter's doppleganger, and an earlier version of the synthetic. He takes them to shelter, crossing through the remains of a civilisation, frozen forever like the residents of Pompeii after some unknown disaster.

David is all that remains from the Prometheus 10 years ago. How excited he is to learn that the explorers have over 2000 colonisers on board their spaceship. But David has a secret. And we know that cannot be good news.

The story rattled along quite nicely. The Aliens aren't the only horror.

Looking forward already to seeing the next film to discover what new horrors Ridley has prepared for us.


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