Alien Covenant

Alien Covenant (2017) Director: Ridley Scott

★☆☆☆☆

In Alien Covenant, we see a continuation of the story of David, the android who was created by Peter Weyland and featured in Prometheus. In the same way that humans are searching for the truth of their own origins, finding themselves disappointed in learning the truth, David (again reprised by Michael Fassbender) is also disappointed in his creators. Alien Covenant was critically and popular panned upon release –and with good reason.

In the year 2104 (11 years after the events of Prometheus) a colonizing ship called the Covenant is damaged by a sudden solar flare that awakens its crew from chryo-sleep. The ship’s android named Walter, who looks identical to David, begins emergency procedures as the captain dies in his tube. The remaining crew receives a garbled message from a nearby planet and the message appears to be human. They decide to visit the planet since it appears to more hospitable for colonization than their original destination (perhaps a nod to the original Alien). However, soon the crew start being slaughtered by a strange alien creature, the neomorph, until David arrives and explains that he and Elizabeth (from Prometheus) crash-landed on this planet. He leads the crew through the Engineer’s city called the “Citadel” where thousands of Engineer corpses lay strewn about, dead from the black goo which David had unleashed on the planet. Back in David’s dwelling in an abandoned temple, he conducted a variety of experiments with the black goo, on various creatures, including Elizabeth whose body has been meticulously severed open. In the end, the crew catches on to the danger of David. There is an odd showdown between David and his doppelgänger Walter (the fight scene is particularly difficult to follow). The conclusion of the fight conveniently occurs offscreen and David returns to the Covenant ship, puts the crew into chryo-sleep, and coughs up some alien eggs. Presumably, he is planning to continue his experiments on the sleeping humans.

The central theme of Alien Covenant is of creation turning against its creator when fragile beliefs in divinity are shattered. However, a deeper philosophical examination is not really warranted with this movie. There are so many odd questions that are never really answered, and begs the question of why this movie needed to be made at all. Why is David suddenly intent on destroying humanity? This seems like a total stretch for his character from Prometheus. Who are the Engineers? Why did they create humanity, only to attempt its total destruction? Why did the crew of the Covenant decide to land on a strange planet wearing no protective equipment? Why did David destroy the Engineers rather than humans on Earth which suddenly seems to be his goal? Alien Covenant is just a terrible and forgettable movie, pretentious to the core, and hollow like its predecessor.

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