Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
questions and answers about the origin of life
androids with artificial intelligence
Michael Fassbender … David / Walter, synthetic androids created by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation
Katherine Waterston … Daniels, a terraforming expert
Billy Crudup … Christopher Oram, the first mate of the Covenant
Danny McBride … Tennessee, the chief pilot of the Covenant
Demián Bichir … Lope, the head of Covenant’s security unit
Carmen Ejogo … Karine Oram, Christopher Oram’s wife, a biologist
Guy Pearce … Peter Weyland, trillionaire founder and CEO of Weyland Corporation (now the Weyland-Yutani Corporation) (uncredited)
Noomi Rapace … Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, archaeologist (uncredited)
James Franco … Branson, captain of the Covenant, husband of Daniels (uncredited)
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|Director:||Ridley Scott—“Alien” (1979), “Prometheus” (2012)|
|Producer:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Scott Free Productions
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|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
In “Jurassic Park,” when yet another dinosaur doesn’t make a grand appearance on the initial tour, Ian Malcolm, the wise-cracking mathematician, says “God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.”
This line kept reverberating through my mind as I watched “Alien: Covenant,” Ridley Scott’s sequel to his underrated gem “Prometheus” and a prequel to his sci-fi horror classic “Alien.” While this is obviously a continuation of the story-line from “Prometheus,” “Alien: Covenant” lets viewers know right away, with the familiar opening score and the slow, deep-space title reveal, than we are in for a much more “Alien”-like movie than “Prometheus” ever was. Where “Prometheus” leaned heavily on the sci-fi drama, “Alien” apologetically leaned on sci-fi suspense and horror. With “Alien: Covenant,” we get a movie that finds a pretty solid balance of both.
The crew of the spaceship Covenant are in hyper-sleep, seven years from the target planet they plan on colonizing, when a malfunction aboard the ship awakens them. While repairing the damage, one of the crew members receives a radio transmission that appears to come from a human source. The crew, with the help of Mother (the ship’s AI mainframe) and the on-board android (played by Michael Fassbender), track the source of the transmission to a planet that appears to be perfectly habitable for humans and is only a few weeks away.
The captain of the ship (Billy Crudup) has a tough decision to make: Have everyone re-enter hyper-sleep for another seven years and go to the planet that has already been tested and thoroughly vetted, or take a short diversion and investigate a new planet that could possibly become their new colony and hopefully make contact with the source of the transmission. Against the wishes of his second-in-command (Katherine Waterston), the captain charts a course for the new planet. Once they reach the planet’s atmosphere, most of the crew is dispatched to investigate, while three of the crew members remain on board the ship to be their eyes and ears.
Can someone see this movie who hasn’t seen “Prometheus” or the “Alien” movies? Sure, if they really wanted to. But, anyone who has seen “Prometheus” will immediately recognize the new planet that the Covenant crew has discovered, and will get chills knowing what awaits them. As things quickly begin to go from very bad to a whole lot worse, thanks to the first Xenomorph (“Alien”) appearance of the movie, a mysterious figure emerges to rescue what’s left of the crew and lead them to relative safety in the walls of a large city. The city, we learn, was the former home of the Engineers (the ones responsible for “engineering” the human race) from the “Prometheus” movie.
From there, things spiral even further out of control as the crew on the ground and the crew still aboard the Covenant race to set up a rescue mission before all of the crew members are lost to the creatures roaming the planet.
“Alien: Covenant” starts with a bang and never really lets up, with action and gore pretty much from start to finish (minus the movie’s fascinating opening scene). “Prometheus” spent a lot of time developing character and back-story and slow-burned its way to a more action-oriented climax. That’s not the case in this movie.
What they sacrifice in the way of character-development, they more than make up for in Alien-induced bloodshed. While there isn’t a scene in “Alien: Covenant” that is quite as intense or gruesome as Noomi Rapace’s self-induced C-section in “Prometheus,” this movie is plenty gruesome nonetheless, and the gore is sustained throughout.
Afore-mentioned lack of character development aside, “Alien: Covenant” has a few minor problems. The film is not particularly inventive when it comes to arranging situations where characters are killed off. Just like in most other horror films, you get scenes where characters foolishly wander off for no other reason than to let the audience know that they are the ones about to meet our Xenomorph friend face to face.
I call this a minor problem simply because, let’s face it, no one is going to see “Alien: Covenant” hoping for clever new deaths. The acting is good-ish, but not memorable (with the exception of Michael Fassbender, who should at least be considered for a supporting actor nod). And the ending, while equally exciting and chilling, is seen coming from a few light-years away. Chances are that none of these things will bother fans of the “Alien” franchise, but they are worth noting anyway.
Parents should exercise extreme caution if they are thinking about taking children or teens to this one. At the screening I attended last night, a mother walked in with her 7 year old boy, and I couldn’t help but be saddened at how desensitized people have become. The violence is extreme and will be unsettling to some. The language is strong throughout, much more along the lines of the language in “Aliens.” And there is a brief sex scene in a shower where female nudity is quickly shown. And one character is a self-described “person of faith” who is paranoid about how others view him and is prone to consistently making the wrong choices.
The idea of Creation and a Creator are prevalent throughout “Alien: Covenant,” as it was in “Prometheus.” In the thought-provoking opening scene of this movie (which will likely only make complete sense to anyone who has seen “Prometheus”), a character we know as a creator is speaking with his creation. The creator is explaining to the created being that he is desperately seeking answers as to who HIS creator is, because everything has a creator, and he simply cannot believe that biological anomalies were responsible for the universe and for humankind.
The theme continues throughout the movie, and takes a darker turn later in the film as the created being (who is the film’s more subtle antagonist) says that creation wasn’t meant to serve their creator, and instead is meant to revel in the act of creating something even greater. There is a definite, chilling sense of Lucifer in this moment: A created being selfishly, jealously, wickedly wanting to steal glory from the Creator. In his attempt to destroy the creator, the created being ended up creating something far more destructive to everyone else.
Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer
As Christians, we know there is one, true Creator—God the Father. Much like the creator in the movie, we know that everything around us has a creator. Someone designed and created the buttons on your shirt, the chair you are sitting in, the keys I’m typing on at this very second. If literally everything we see has someone who created it, how can we look at the universe around us and the complexity of the human body and say they just happened by chance?
Violence: Extreme / Profanity and Vulgarity: Extreme—G*d-d*mn, J*sus, Oh J*sus, Oh my G*d, G*d, h*ll, d*mn, f-word (numerous), mother-f****r, s-words, a**, t*ts, b*tch / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
Where did life come from? Is evolution really the best scientific answer? Answer
Can Evolution be the source of life in all its complexity? Answer
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