Thursday, May 11, 2017

Alien: Covenant - Another Sci Fi Horror Thriller Movie in Alien Franchise

It was a rather odd week of movie premieres in Indonesia this time, when 2 major movies premiered back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was not able to see the movie King Arthur on Tuesday due to some work matters and would only do it today on public holiday. So yesterday we watched this movie which would only play in US cinemas sometime next week. As usual, we saw it in Lotte Avenue at 7.15 PM which was quite near my office. Now how was this 6th movie in Alien franchise fare? Let us move on to the juicy stuff.

Brief Story Line

The story was set around 10 years after the events of Prometheus, with the focus of the colonization space ship named Covenant which was travelling to the new habitable planet called Origae 6. Inside the space ship, there were 15 crews and some 2000 colonists who were put on cryogenics to sleep, due to the many years of travel to the intended location. Including in the crew was the very humanlike android named Walter (Michael Fassbender - X-Men first class trilogy, Assassin's Creed etc) who was also looking after the overall condition of the ship.

In the middle of the trip, the crew got some message from a nearby habitable planet which was somehow missed during previous surveys which would only take them very little time compared to the years of reaching Origae 6. So the acting captain Oram (Billy Crudup - The Watchmen, Jackie etc) after discussing with other crews such as Tennessee the chief pilot (Danny McBride - Pineapple Express, The Angry Bird Movie etc), his wife Faris (Amy Seimetz), Sgt Lope, the head of security (Demi├ín Bichir - A Better Life, The Hateful Eight etc) decided to go and check this planet. However, Daniels who seemed to be second in command (Katherine Waterston - Steve Jobs, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them etc) did not really agree to this idea as she was worried about the nature of the planet. 

After getting Covenant near the planet, a smaller vehicle was detached from the ship to go to the surface of the planet. Tennesse, Ricks (Jussie Smollett - Empire TV series) and Upworth (Callie Hernandez - Blair Witch, La La Land etc) stayed back, while Oram, Daniels, Walter, Lope, Faris, Rosenthal (Tess Haubrich) and the rest of the crews went down to the planet. Now this is where the story started to become interesting and suspenseful as they would be finding a lot more than what they bargained for.

I believe you could guess the rest of the story and I would just let you enjoy it by yourself.

End of Brief Story Line

Well, this movie was rather enjoyable as a sci-fi horror movie. It had the ingredients of the usual Alien franchise movies and it was directed by Ridley Scott who also directed the original Alien movie, as well as Prometheus. Now those of you who did not follow the Alien films, this movie was a direct sequel of Prometheus released in 2012. It was the second movie to a supposedly trilogy of prequel before the events of Alien which spawned to 3 more sequels. So it is already the 6th movie relating to these aliens (excluding the movie Alien Vs Predator).

Back to the film itself, my wife and I enjoyed the suspense and action sequences whenever the aliens were around and trying to do some killing (she quite frequently screamed whenever there was shocking scene). However, I for one was feeling that the first part of the movie was moving in a rather slow pace. We would not be having the suspenseful part until after one third of the movie. And even then, I felt there were too much breathing time especially during the conversations scenes which made the movie rather than having almost nonstop suspenseful time, became less horrifying. I get that the movie was trying to show the background story towards the Alien, but personally I felt it took too long (or rather too deep). Although, I had to admit that the action sequences were top notch! You would not be disappointed in those parts, especially with the very very cool special effects. And if you are watching it in a theater with good sound systems, then you would be even more satisfied with the sound effects (the voice the aliens making were amazingly added to the element of suspense).

As for the story itself, it was actually good and it did provide us more understanding about the origin of the aliens which you would not have guessed. There was also the classic ending of an Alien movie which would be the background of the future sequel(s). But there was no post-credit scene, so there is no need to wait to watch it, if you happened to like seeing these scenes. Another point that I would like to highlight here was that out of the 15 crews here, I think most of them did not stood out, except for Tennessee's character and of course Walter. I guess 15 were too much? And it was rather unfortunate that Daniels character did not seem to be too convincing as a female heroine, much lesser if you compared with Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. But then again, that's my opinion.

If you are a true fan of Alien franchise and really love the story involving aliens (or as they called it xenomorph), then I am very sure you would definitely be enjoying this one. Now if you are a fan of full action movie though, pls be reminded that despite having a 2 hour duration, the action suspenseful sequences may not be satisfying enough. And as I said above, this is the 6th movie in Alien franchise so it is highly recommended that you see Prometheus first before watching this one to avoid having difficulty in understanding the main story. 

Happy watching!

Mike's movie moments rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

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