Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Alien Covenant

You want me to tell you the good things? I could go on and on ...

Spectacular movie! Gob-smacking visuals! Masterful world-building with precisely imagined details! A taut, science-literate script nearly free of plot holes! Excellent dialog, plausible motives, characters you care about! Great acting, too! Yes, all-in-all, a towering creative achievement. Great movie, master Ridley! 

But it depressed the living shit out of me.

Spoiler alert. If you fanboys want to avoid spoilers, stop reading and watch a rerun of Firefly. I will ruin it for you. You have been warned. To start with ...

As Newt was killed in Alien3, so Elizabeth Shaw is offed in Alien Covenant. Y'all find this out later.

As our voyage beings, a deep-space vessel called "The Covenant" is space-shlepping a contingent of astronauts, embryos and colonists someplace somewhere. Walter, Weyland-Yutani's new improved non-sociopathic android, is minding the store while the humans cryo-sleep. 

Then an ion flre fucks with the ship's 
exquistely rendered gold solar sails! 

In obedience to his "Don't Die in Space" programming, Walter wakes up the core crew. Minus the captatin, who hideously burns to death in his sleep pod. As his poor wife, Daniels, watches.

In this "What-the-fuck-just happened?" moment, the crew encounters a signal. Somebody somewhere is singing John Denver's Country Road. Holy crap! That right there should tell you to make tracks in the opposite direction. But no.

The Covenant makes tracks to a planetoid. The one where the late Ms. Shaw crash landed. 

After several chest-bursting, face hugging, spine ripping incidents, you discover that her android pal, David, engineered the bloody xenomorphs. 

Yep. This Wagner-loving android bastard (who always resembled a smiling face in a Hitler youth poster) figures humanity ain't got what it takes. But he does. 

Upon learning of this genocidal ambition, Walter, the new-improved, non-sociopathic android, does battle with David. Scott cruelly witholds the outcome of the fight. But you know, in this crapsack universe, good is too good to be true. And it ain't.

After some dramatic misdirection that (snicker) implies good triumphs over evil, you discover that ...

After winning the fight, David impersonates Walter. Then he tucks the surviving astronauts into cryosleep. In her final moments of consciousness, poor traumatized Daniels realizes that Walter ain't David. Then she's out out out. 

David promptly regurgitates some xenomorph embroyos. Then puts 'em in the cryostorage unit along with the human embroys. And continues on his merry way to the new colony.

On a scale of one to ten, with one being "The Wizard of Oz" and ten being "Funny Games" ...

I'd rate this a ten.

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