"Paradise Lost in Space"
ALIEN: COVENANT is filmmaker Ridley Scott’s sequel to PROMETHEUS, which tells what happens when a spaceship filled with sleeping colonists and controlled by a skeleton crew encounters a new infestation of alien monsters on a planet that once was home to a humanoid race. ALIEN: COVENANT contains state-of-the-art filmmaking with lots of intense, suspenseful, relentless action, but a depressing ending stunned the audience into silence, and the movie contains lots of foul language, extreme violence and a revealing shower scene.
The movie opens with a flashback to the early days of the creation of the android named David, one of the two survivors of the spaceship Prometheus in the previous movie by the same name. David and his “creator,” Dr. Weyland, discuss God and creation while David shows his skills at a piano. David asks Weyland, “Who created you?” Weyland says that’s the most important question of all. He adds that, unless you can answer the question of where you originated, everything else becomes meaningless.
Cut to the spaceship Covenant in 2104, which is carrying 2,000 sleeping colonists and hundreds of human embryos, to colonize a planet on the far side of the galaxy. The ship has seven more years to reach the planet, but a space storm knocks out some of the ship’s systems and wakes up the ship’s crew of 15. Sadly, the 16th member of the crew, the captain, is killed in his sleep chamber during the storm. It’s now up to the second-in-command, Christopher Oram, to captain the crew. Although he’s described as “a man of faith,” he orders the crew immediately back to work to fix the ship. This gives the captain’s widow, Daniels, and the crew no time to grieve for their fallen leader. However, they give the man a quick ship’s burial anyway.
Captain Oram is a little hesitant about his leadership. He tells his own wife, Karine, about his anxiety that the crew will be reluctant to follow a man of strong faith such as himself.
As the crew repairs the ship and brings its systems back on line, they get a garbled video message from a woman speaking English. They trace the message back to a planet which seems just as good and even closer than their intended destination. Against the advice of Daniels, the head of the ship’s terraforming operations, Capt. Oram decides 12 crewmembers should check out the new planet to see if they can start their Earth colony there instead of the other planet. No one on the Covenant really wants to spend seven more years back in sleep mode.
Of course, when the landing crew gets to the planet, they find that the alien pathogen discovered by the crew of the Prometheus, which disappeared 10 years ago, has infected the planet. An even more sinister presence lurks on the planet and wants to kill them all.
Despite a couple plot holes and predictable twists, ALIEN: COVENANT is impressively made. The special effects, from the designs of the spaceship to the attacks by the aliens, are meticulously crafted and great to see visualized. The action set pieces are intense, suspenseful, relentless, and riveting.
However, this ALIEN sequel, or prequel, has one of the more depressing endings in the series. The movie reveals the villain to be a demonic figure who wants to use the alien monsters to wipe out all human and humanoid sentient life. It even compares the villain to Satan in Milton’s PARADISE LOST, using the famous line, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” Adding to the Christian symbolism inherent in this theme is the fact that the new captain is explicitly described as a man of faith.
The problem is that the villain eventually manages to kill the Christian hero, defeat or kill the other heroes, and win in the end, despite the bravery and courage displayed by the new captain and his crew. This left the audience speechless at the movie’s ending, a far cry from the relatively hopeful, exhilarating and uplifting endings in the first two ALIEN movies.
In addition to this problem, ALIEN: COVENANT contains lots of strong foul language, extreme bloody violence and a revealing shower scene. The movie also includes a politically correct, pro-homosexual element. Thus, two of the men in the crew are “married” homosexual partners. Finally, there are a couple brief references to evolution.
ALIEN: COVENANT is filmmaker Ridley Scott’s sequel to PROMETHEUS. Ten years after the Prometheus spaceship went missing, a ship full of 2,000 sleeping colonists, hundreds of human embryos and a skeleton crew heads for a distant planet. A space storm wakes the skeleton crew and kills their captain. A human signal from a nearby planet attracts the crew’s attention. They decide to check out the planet, which may be just as good, not to mention closer than the other planet. They decide to check out the new planet, but encounter a dark and deadly world populated by alien monsters and an even more sinister presence.
Despite a couple plot holes and predictable twists, ALIEN: COVENANT is impressively made. The special effects are marvelous. The action set pieces are intense, suspenseful, relentless, and riveting. Happily, the movie contains some positive Christian, moral elements. However, the demonic villain eventually overcomes the good guys. Also, the movie contains lots of foul language, extreme violence, a revealing shower scene, and brief politically correct homosexual content. ALIEN: COVENANT has one of the more depressing endings in the series.