Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Alien: Covenant makes a terrifying return to franchise roots

Alien: Covenant makes a terrifying return to franchise roots

Rated R. Opens Friday citywide.

This is the third-best "Alien" movie, with James Cameron's "Aliens" as the standard-bearer, and the original (directed by a young Ridley Scott) close behind.

The phrase that comes to mind while watching Prometheus and Alien: Covenant is: "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed".

With the Alien franchise on the verge of turning 40, it's time to reassess how it has succeeded over the years.

However, while Alien: Covenant fails to serve as either a satisfying sequel to Prometheus or even a worthy prequel to Alien, it is at least fun when the Xenomorphs start attacking the movie's humans. It barely showed the infamous beasties, choosing instead to batter senses with windy dialogue and events that seemed to betray basic elements of this decades-long saga.

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Despite a new wave of Prometheus defenders/ apologists, Scott seems to be addressing numerous complaints fans had about that film, primarily its lack of facehuggers and Xenomorphs. A malfunction causes the crew to wake up seven years early, except for the captain, who burns alive in his pod and is jettisoned into space. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, unsafe world.

Check out what Katherine Waterston had to say in the video above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the Alien: Covenant synopsis and some images from the film. Perhaps. But after learning so much about them, it felt earned.

As we count down the hours to the film's release it's natural to look to the past Alien films for comparison.

This might make the film seem too derivative for some. "I just kind of fell into acting there because we didn't know any actors and just put each other into our student films".

And a story like this can't get by on terror alone. As intense as numerous violent confrontations are, there's nothing as viscerally unsettling as the self-administered alien abortion in Prometheus.

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But when a communication beacon tempts the Covenant to veer off-course, the ship lands on a different planet to discover not only the fate of the "Prometheus" characters Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the android David (Michael Fassbender), but the horrifying destiny that awaits them. This is a grand performance times two that demands to be remembered at awards time. The second-in-command, Chris Oram (Billy Crudup), reluctantly takes the helm, with the ship's terraforming expert Daniels (Katherine Waterston) as his deputy.

Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski and composer Jed Kurzel skilfully combine to boost the film's fear of the unknown. In the trailers, it's unclear what planet they are on.

Franchise films very often disappoint, especially as later instalments run out of fresh ideas. Even in heavy dialogue scenes, I was expecting an alien to pop out and eat someone's face.

Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir also have their own concerns about the future, although Crudup doesn't think AI is the most pressing concern facing the human race.

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