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The cast of 'Alien: Covenant' knows exactly how to terrify you

19 May 2017

The theater was sold out, the audience was pumped, and by the end of it, I had a new role model in Sigourney Weaver's Ripley.

"I've got to say skip it", he responded. Devotees who were quick to decry that the film was a veritable "game over" for the series will be delighted to find that Alien: Covenant, the Ridley Scott-helmed follow-up to Prometheus, returns to the claustrophobic terror of the original films, with hapless humans limping down dark corridors, scrambling to flee from their inky, sinewy, ravenous pursuers in a wide-eyed, sweaty-palmed panic. I'm likely not the only person who thinks this. In the "Alien" franchise, whether human, alien, or artificial, female intelligence is proven to be the most versatile and insightful, and Waterston embodies that with finesse. The two times they've strayed a bit from that formula, well, the less said about those, the better. The fact that the movie was so full of plot holes and flat-out stupid behavior by its characters, and, most importantly, didn't have Ripley, or anyone near Ripley's charisma, strength and smarts, made me anxious for the future of the franchise.

Alien: Covenant is basically the answer to a question that shouldn't have been asked: what if Roy Batty was the lead of an Alien movie?

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"This is [film director] Ridley Scott's first movie since "The Martian" and it's taking him back to the franchise that started it all - of course 1979's 'Alien, '" explained Jackson Murphy, a film critic who goes by the moniker "Lights Camera Jackson". The film, directed by Ridley Scott based on a script from John Logan and Dante Harper, stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Demian Bichir, and Amy Seimetz. However, we can tell you that Prometheus opened to a 3-day weekend of $51M and ended its run at $126.4M domestically and $403.3M worldwide when it bowed on June 8 of that year. There are a lot of other crew members, but they don't make an impression the way the crew of the Nostromo or the squad of Marines aboard the Sulaco did.

This episode takes place ten years since space travelers of the spaceship Prometheus had a run in with aliens and almost killed the whole crew. However, Prometheus screenings began at midnight, whereas Covenant screenings began running earlier in the night.

This is an interesting idea for Covenant to explore, and conceptually, it melds the evolution of those aliens and the android's obsessions fairly well. From Ash in "Alien" to David, android intelligence has always been in many ways superior, but less easy to predict. Fassbender is given the opportunity to give a wide-ranging and fascinatingly campy performance, and it's no surprise he steals the show. The film is projected to bring in around $36 million in its third week. With each title beating one dead horse or another, you're better off staying home.

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Clearly, Scott read the room, and realized the route he originally wanted to take following Prometheus wasn't going to cut it, so Covenant is a direct bridge between it and a full on reboot of the franchise.

The action later in the film, on the other hand, seems more in tune with Disney/Marvel action-adventure spectacle than the moodiness and intimacy of the original movies. "This looks to be right in line with all the others". Walter (Michael Fassbender), an upgraded version of the David android from the Prometheus, is keeping an eye on everything while the colonists and crew are in cryosleep. Fassbender's so good, I'm even willing to overlook Walter 's awful American accent. The new Alien: Covenant is a shamelessly high-minded, Byron-and-Shelley-quoting existential inquiry into the origin of three species and the nature of belief that goes slumming in genre territory just enough to get itself greenlit.

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