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Movie Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Is Bloody, Intense & Thought-Provoking

As the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, which was itself a prequel to Scott’s Alien, Alien: Covenant finally brings the familiar xenomorph monsters back to the big screen, but also with plenty of new ideas. In an age where most remakes and reboots tends to bank hard on nostalgia, Scott’s latest Alien picture attempts to do more than just present the same scenes with better visual effects.

Yes, you will see a face-hugger creature attach itself to someone’s face, plant an egg and birth a baby xenomorph alien via the chest of a human. But the familiar scene comes with a much different tone and fascination, as the android David (Michael Fassbender) observes with curiosity and amazement. He stands upright in front of the beast, to which the slimy creature mimics. Are the aliens more intelligent than they’re given credit for? Such questions are fun to ponder in a film, which could have been nothing more than a slasher picture in space, despite being quite strong at this genre as well.

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The xenomorphs are back and grosser than ever.

You may recall that David was one of the few survivors from the previous movie and he’s been busy trying to decipher some of the unanswered mysterious from the last picture. What happened to those pale giants that piloted spaceships and what was with the black plague that infected that one giant at the beginning of Prometheus? Scott’s script answers some of these questions, but not all of them, still leaving us with plenty of material for our brains to chew and theorize about.

While David tries to find a deeper meaning of the universe, there’s a more human and action-packed story at play with the arriving colony ship dubbed the Covenant. They’re on their way to a colony-worthy planet, but are not as keen about getting back into the sleep chambers after a system malfunction causes one of their deaths. David’s planet seems much more acceptable to them, despite the wise Daniels (Katherine Waterston) being aware of horror movie logic. She knows the convenient planet with the muddy signal of a John Denver song is a terrible planet to investigate and risk the lives of the crew. Of course, her crew will ignore her so the movie can proceed with the slaughter.

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Katherine Waterston has her work cut out for her.

When a handful of colonists venture down to the planet, they unwittingly become hosts to xenomorph aliens via a black gas-like virus that quietly sneaks its way into the human body. Wait a few minutes and out pops a baby xenomorph, be it from the spine, the throat or the classic route of the chest. Naturally, the xenomorph aliens come out with claws and teeth, ready to devour the unfortunate humans that stumbled onto their planet.

Not all the visitors are human. The android of Walter (also Michael Fassbender) accompanies them to the planet, designed after David. Once Walter and David meet, it’s a fascinating meeting of two minds. Walter is sure of his emotions and allegiance towards the colonists, while David has spent so much time contemplating life and his purpose for being to look down on humans.

Alien: Covenant Movie Review MovieSpoon.com
He might need to see a doctor.

The two of them, incredibly distinct for both being played by the same actor, have the best scenes that tap a little deeper into the theology of the aliens and our place in the universe. If you’ll recall, David was previously sent on a mission to discover the origins of human life that may be present in other galaxies. Since that movie, he has had plenty of time to think about these mysteries and comes to some troubling conclusions with mad scientist results.

Read more for the rest of the Alien: Covenant movie review:

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