Gilbert Speaks on Alien Covenant

23 May

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I love films about aliens, and the scarier the better. I love aliens so much that my science fiction apocalyptic series Roof Oasis has kick-ass aliens included throughout the first four books. But, when it comes to my favorite alien story, Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise wins thumbs up. My husband and I went to see Alien Covenant today. Did it meet my expectations? Find out after the jump.

Alien Covenant

Ridley Scott gave us a creature back in 1979 that frightened the bejeebers out of us. “In space, no one can hear you scream,” was the tag line…but they sure as hell heard the screams in theatres as movie goers cringed in their seats when first introduced to the face hugger and later the Xenomorph. Ever since the first Alien film premiered, we movie goers demanded learning more about the creature. I was so mesmerized by the efficiency of this new monster that I even wrote a blog about it on Biff Bam Pop.

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Ridley Scott gave movie goers one more gift, a female heroine in the character of Officer Ellen Ripley. Sigourney Weaver reminded everyone just how powerful and resourceful a female protagonist could be, especially, in a science fiction film. In Prometheus, our female protagonist was the lovely Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw and in Covenant we have Katherine Waterston as Daniels Branson, a terraforming expert.

Plot

The film written by John Logan and Dante Harper and directed by Ridley Scott is the sequel to the 2012 Prometheus. It is the second installment in the prequel series for the Alien Franchise. The film begins with a much younger version of Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) speaking with David—a synthetic android about finding the Engineers who were responsible for creating humans from their alien DNA. This snippet shows Weyland and David before the disastrous ride on the Prometheus.

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Ten years have passed since Elizabeth and David (Michael Fassbender) took off in one of the Engineer’s ships. We don’t know what’s happened to them, or if they succeeded in finding the home planet of the Engineers. In 2104, as colonization ship called Covenant makes its way to a remote Earth-like planet with two thousand humans and one thousand human embryos aboard. We are left to wonder if this trip is due to necessity. Have we humans totally trashed our own planet, or is this nothing more than a huge science expedition? There is a newer synthetic android aboard the Covenant, but even though Walter is the exact lookalike of David; there have been major updates to this model.

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Walter (Michael Fassbender) is responsible for all the lives aboard the Covenant and also for the daily maintenance. Everything is going like clockwork until a neutrino burst damages the ship. Walter, realizing that some of colonists have been killed while in stasis, orders the computer to awaken the crew. Captain Branson, played briefly by James Franco, is killed when his stasis pod malfunctions. The first mate of Covenant, Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup) is now the captain. A religious man, Oram is quite a “By the Book” personality and doesn’t allow the crew, especially the widow of Captain Branson, time to grieve their dead.

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A signal is picked up from an unknown planet and against the objections of Daniels, Oram decides to investigate. There are several reasons for Oram’s decision: the crew is afraid of returning to their stasis pods after witnessing Captain Branson becoming toast and, this new planet looks even better than their destination, Origae-6. Upon landing, the expedition team tracks the signal to a crashed Engineer Ship. Is it the ship that Elizabeth and David confiscated?

 

It isn’t long before the expedition team is attacked by alien spores and within a short time vicious neomorphs emerge from their hosts and attack the remaining expedition team. Nature can be a bitch even in space, but the survivors that also includes Daniels and Walter, are saved by David.

Conclusion

We learn that the planet that the Covenant crew received the signal from is the home planet of the Engineers. The inhabitants, David tells the Covenant crew, were killed because of an accident. Elizabeth is dead from the crash that followed. Walter is suspicious of David and for a good reason. It isn’t until the end of the film that we see the Xenomorphs that we all love.

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The film has all the buttons that make us jump in our seats, but this film is really about David and Walter, the two synthetic entities deciding the fate of the human race. They have been programed to know all about the arts and music and the finer things in life, but one feels that it’s time to do away with the human race and the other wants to protect them. Michael Fassbender should receive an award for his performance, and you my friends, should see the movie and not pay attention to the naysayers.

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