What is the meaning of life, artificial or otherwise? What does it mean to create life? The joys and heartaches, the ups and downs and ultimately who gets to choose life. At the core of the Alien movie franchise lies the age-old question – where do we come from? And in the midst of that quest, these films illustrated that we are not alone… that we are not the only species in the universe.
“Alien Covenant” continues the horror prequel series, from director/creator Ridley Scott, about the exploration and origins of mankind, and the discovery of another species called Zenomorphs. This film takes place after the movie “Prometheus” but before the movie “Alien.”
“Prometheus” sought to explore the origins of mankind, insinuating that we were born from a race of beings called “the Engineers,” who for some reason abandoned their earthly off spring. Cue the ominous music and enter the enemy…Aliens.
Ridley Scott truly understands the world and mythos that he has created with imaginative narratives and beautiful and stylish set pieces, and “Alien Covenant” is no exception. Like its predecessor, “Alien Covenant” is entirely methodical and predictable but, unlike “Prometheus,” is pleasurable because Scott abandons his insistence on emphasizing mankind’s origins and solely focuses on the genesis of the Zenomorphs.
This is what the fans of the Alien franchise have been clamoring for – Zenomorphs, the monsters who were the stars of the two incredible sci-fi/horror films “Alien” and “Aliens.” And by setting such a high standard for filmmaking, these two iconic films further left an enormous weight of staggered expectations for any other movie that attempts to continue in this franchise.
So, can Covenant handle the weight? Does the film stand up to its predecessors and simultaneously advance this franchise, thus warranting more stories from this universe? Yes!
“Alien Covenant” furthers the momentum birthed by the stunning and visionary images shone throughout “Prometheus” while re-capturing the fear, horror and sci-fi lore from the original series.
The movie starts out cold and calculated, leading the viewers to believe that we are in for the same bland story told by “Prometheus,” but by the second act we begin to see the blossoming seeds of action and horror that many were anticipating.
Previously,” Prometheus” ended with the synthetic life form called David and Elizabeth Shaw, our surviving heroine, traveling back to the home planet of the “Engineers,” – but unfortunately they brought with them “company.”
Company that this film calls Neomorphs, the progenitor of the Zenomorphs, who encounter a ship called the Covenant – that is on a 7-year pilgrimage to colonize a new human settlement on a new planet.
As franchises go, this film adroitly passes the baton from its predecessor and properly attaches itself unto the classic films “Alien” and “Aliens.”
They say no one can hear you scream in space, and “Alien Covenant” is good enough to make you scream in the theater – or at least be horrified by the coming of the Zenomorphs!
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Fate of the Furious, and Dr. Strange right here on MMT.