This review contains no spoilers
Prometheus (2012) is regarded as a long-anticipated origin story. But instead of easing our pain of years of waiting, Prometheus tortures with riddles that introduce us to the untold, underlying mystery larger than Alien. It can’t be told in literal way as it’s beyond the mystery of Alien’s creation, surreal. It’s the mystery of larger universe which in the way of process fatally wrongs David (Michael Fassbender) yet effectively enlightens Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) that being hubristic is not an option to deal with the ongoing issue.
In other words, Prometheus goes beyond its initial mission. And to do so, a philosophical approach was conducted by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, The Martian) through the curious mind of David and the adventurous spirit of Shaw. Through both’s, Prometheus widens the possibility as well as our curiosity beyond the premise and most importantly, beyond what has been told in previous Alien movies.
Prometheus delivers a shocking spiritual horror, choking us into such fright that either mankind is originated from aliens or mankind creates aliens in conscious. Turning out there’s Engineer who’s told to exist in between the previous two. Engineer plans to destroy humanity with alien-esque biological weapon without clear backstory. Hence, Prometheus closes with Shaw and David aiming to find the answer.
Unfortunately, Alien: Covenant is designed to deviate from the finding mission, causing the rerouting to be revealing yet unsatisfying. It’s a new idea to create a new terror and terrifying revelation, however, suffer a major setback and later fall into a sort of cliche of the genre. Still an enjoyable ride of terror it is but can’t fit in the context of mystery sought by Prometheus and its audience.
Alien: Convenant is helmed by brand new characters; another Ripley-esque Daniels (Katherine Waterston) and an upgraded humanoid resembling David, Walter (Fassbender). Covenant is set to travel further and with a specific destination yet with a crew drama which apparently brings a fatal impact to the whole mission.
A prologue called The Crossing hints on an expected encounter between the heroines; Shaw and Daniels, which the truth reveals it doesn’t quite happen. The prologue shows that David and Shaw survive the Prometheus’s nightmare and successfully find peace inside the Engineer’s ship. Despite the sinister trick David plays behind Shaw (read: remember Charlie Holloway‘s death case), he’s seemingly thankful Shaw for her kindness and gentle spirit. But can David really be trusted?
Alien: Covenant feels the need to open up with a drama. Due to a technical glitch, Covenant’s Captain, Jacob (James Franco), dies in his sleeping pod, while his crew wake up safe and sound. And due to an unknown transmission turned John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads, the crew is in dilemma; chasing after the song or continuing their journey to a designated planet named Origae-6. Refusing to return to their sleeping pods for another 7 years and something, the new captain, Oram (Billy Crudup), orders to change Covenant’s route as cue of the crew’s approval.
What happens next is as exactly as shown on the trailers. They land on a fertile paradise but seems lifeless. “Do you hear that? Nothing.” as Daniels feels it’s not as promising as it seems. Proven true, the crew are hunted one by one to death, leaving a few to be saved by a mysterious figure. Could it be David or Shaw landing their ship on the planet before Covenant?
We manage not to spoil much as we don’t want our review turning as cliche as the plot. Few things we can let you be sure about are that Covenant ain’t no rescue mission to Prometheus, thus whatever transmission sent to Covenant is completely a distraction. And that crew drama, is indeed crafted to avoid any growing drama once the decision to reroute totally goes wrong.
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Carmen Ejogo, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Danny McBride, James Franco
Duration: 123 mins