Alien Covenant: Robots Vs Aliens?

This weekend I’ve decided that horror fans should also get a film review (ears closed to any protests people.) Lol! Besides I don’t get anyone’s fear of horror movies; it’s not real, guys! Ok, so they may give you the creeps for a day… or more after watching. But who cares! It’s worth the hour plus experience of heart racing, hair raising suspenseful, adrenaline filled fun. Not the cabin in the woods or slasher horror nonsense. I mean the real deal. (See post Don’t Look in the Closet.) And they definitely go best with popcorn and coke. Trust me. *Huge toothed grin.

Anyway, today’s film isn’t  purely horror but the sci fi horror type.  Every die hard “Alien” fan knows of and must likely has watched the British-American science-fiction horror franchise  that follows the battles of Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with an extraterrestrial lifeform, commonly referred to as “the Alien“. The series has led to the Alien vs. Predator franchise, which combines the continuities of the Alien franchise with the Predator franchise, varying series of comics, books and video games.

I recently watched the first of the series Alien (1979) and all I could think was; how did this ever scare me? The human wearing alien costume just stood in a corner of the ship, barely moving. Lol! But it was plenty scary back then. And there’s no doubt that even without the CGI and special creature effects we have now, the film was the hallmark in making of any alien film. Kind of like “The Mother of all Alien Films”. It practically gave birth to the term “Alien” and made all the guys fall in love with Weaver.

This weekend’s movie “Alien: Covenant” is a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the second instalment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth instalment overall in the Alien film series. Directed by Ridley Scott,  written by John Logan and Dante Harper, from a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen, it stars Michael FassbenderKatherine WaterstonBilly CrudupDanny McBride and Demián Bichir.  Set ten years after the missing Prometheus ship. The crew of a colony ship, Covenant, decide to investigate a radio transmission from an uncharted planet and run into the terrifying live forms there.

The film’s makeup and animatronic creature effects was provided by CreatureNFX, which had approximately 30 staff working on the project for almost six months building animatronics. Actors wearing creature suits with animatronic heads were used to portray the aliens. People between the age of 8 and 40 who were skinny, very tall or very short, strong and physically agile, skilled in fast movement, acrobatics, dancing, gymnastics, contortion, and “Cirque du Soleil” type performers were casted for the alien roles.

Reports have it that there was a David-Walter ‘kiss’ scene which was deleted for Chinese audiences’ due to LGBT censorship sensitivities in China. The LGBT community just never give up, do they? Now they’ve got robots making out. SMH!

The film premiered in London on May 4, 2017 and was released on May 12, 2017 in the United Kingdom and May 19 in the United States. But didn’t perform to expectations at the domestic box office, grossing a total of $232.3 million against a production budget of $97 million.

Alien: Covenant was praised for its visual aesthetic and design, cinematography, production design and the acting, with Fassbender’s dual performance as androids David and Walter receiving acclaim. But, the plot, including the mix between monster violence, character motivations and plot reveals, generated mixed responses.

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with an approval rating of 71%, the critical consensus reads, “Alien: Covenant delivers another satisfying round of close-quarters deep-space terror, even if it doesn’t take the saga in any new directions. On Metacritic, film score indicates “generally favourable reviews“. While Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film the same grade earned by its predecessor. an average grade of “B” on an A+ to F scale.

I have to say that the screenplay co-written by John Logan (Skyfall), pretty much left me unsatisfied. (Hardly surprising. I’m not a fan of that Bond sequel.) And while we all know that it’s hard for sequels or prequels to live up to their original, especially for a classic like “Alien, but after Prometheus, I expected more action than crew members inhaling the viral form of the alien species (what’s that?) and a pint size like monkey creature bursting out of their limbs…

Yes, the new installment does represent the franchise with a strong female protagonist, set design and creature effects was unbelievably real, but it boasts fewer scarier moments than its predecessors.

Think it had a lot to do with the unnecessary focus on a philosophical robot. But if I wanted to see a villainous robotic character, then I would settle for the Terminator franchise. Call me a traditionalist but an alien movie should be about “aliens” terrifying species scaring the live out of you. Literally. Sadly,  Alien: Covenant is not.

In September 2015, Scott revealed he was planning two sequels to Prometheus, and that Alien: Covenant would be the first of three additional films in the Alien prequel series, before linking up with the original Alien. The Prometheus sequels would also reveal who created the xenomorph aliens. In March 2017, Scott said, “If you really want a franchise, I can keep cranking it for another six. I’m not going to close it down again. No way.”

Lol! No one expects you to shut down a money-making wheel director Scott. We’ll just appreciate more focus on the franchise theme. Or what do you think guys? Horror and Sci fi fans be sure to send Jollyhood your take on our weekend film. Take care! Bye!

You Might Also Like...

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Damien Ibidun
    July 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    An upgrade from Prometheus, Alien: Covenant amps up the thrills but doesn’t deliver a memorable crew member or the full-on onslaught of the series at its height. It’s just a shame that one of cinema’s greatest image-makers couldn’t deliver his ideas visually.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: