Playing God: Review of Alien: Covenant at Chapter Arts.

Playing God: Review of Alien: Covenant at Chapter Arts.

You must know by now how much I love Chapter Arts, I could literally live there. There is such an awesome vibe, with an eclectic mix of people and something for everyone to do. Warren and I dropped the kiddies off at Nanny Kim’s and after a stroll around Canton we headed to Chapter to have food before the movie. The food is reasonably priced, and the fries there are a must-try! We also had a cheeky pint before the movie, soaking up the feel good vibes of Chapter.

Afterwards we had a wander around their latest art exhibition and then we headed into the cinema. There’s a calming sense as you enter into the screen, and for me, it takes me back to all the years of watching my Father lace up the projector ready for the movie. The thrill I feel as the curtains open and the movie begins is one I never want to lose.

I am a huge fan of Ridley Scott’s Alien and I remember the excitement (and terror!) I felt the first time I saw it, and every time since, it still keeps me on my toes. I love the mixture of horror and sci-fi and I adore Sigourney Weaver as the bad-ass rebel who takes on the aliens with every inch of hardcore sass and f*** you’s!

The story follows a crew travelling with a colony to a new planet to start a new life. When they are woken early because of a shock wave from a solar flare, they discover another planet, with all they could ask for and more. The captain decides to check it out, saving the crew seven years of travel, but once they land they discover much more than they bargained for.

Whilst there they discover David (Michael Fassbender), the first android ever made in the image of man. David, who was considered ‘too human’, has a Frankenstein quality within the story, splicing genes and creating hybrids of the alien with humans. Having lived there for a very long time, it seems he has waited for his chance to lure someone in, and when he gets his chance he is completely ruthless. Blinded by his own power, for me, he becomes the ‘alien’, hell-bent on a mission to create monstrous things despite the death and chaos it causes.

Also played by Michael Fassbender, his modern day counterpart, Walter, appears a little less human but much more humane, a stark contrast to his predecessor, David. Their battle of wills is pretty intense, and his acting for both roles completely flawless.
Alien Covenant has had very mixed reviews, and after seeing it, I can see why. Firstly, I was totally gutted there was no sign of Sigoruney Weaver, perhaps I’m living in the past, but I couldn’t help but pine for her. I know this is the follow on from Prometheus, both prequels to Alien, but I still missed her nonetheless.

When it comes to homages, the role of Daniels (Katherine Waterston) felt like a direct homage to Ripley in the very first Alien film. With cropped hair, attitude and lots of f***s along the way, her bad-ass character was definitely based on Ripley, yet I never felt uncomfortable with this because she was so good at being ?. I wanted her to just do a little bit more in terms of action, I felt as if we waited until nearly the end of the film to see her outwit the alien, and even then she doesn’t do it completely solo.

The alien is suitably creepy, but the effects felt slightly cringe-worthy at times, as though it was trying too hard to be like the original. I think this movie could have been amazing, but it feels like it’s become one of those movies left open for a sequel, and they always annoy me because movies should stand alone (unless we’re talking about Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2, of course!).

I’m still glad we saw it, it felt very in keeping with the other movies, but also pretty classic in style and costume (think ribbed vests and retro inspired space suits). I think Katherine Waterston and Michael Fassbender stole the whole movie, especially with some of the weaker dialogue and the general ‘your loved one is dead, deal with it’ attitude. It seemed to me as if it hadn’t quite hit the level it had the potential to reach, with a few slow moments and not enough in the way of alien interaction between Daniels and the alien (or David!).

The great thing about it was the added element of David, a firm believer in his alien hybrid creation. His God-complex was definitely different compared to the other movies, yet everything he did was pretty predictable, an unfortunate side-effect of the storyline perhaps.

I enjoyed the film to a point, but it definitely lacked a punch or two. As for the ending of the movie, well I have to be honest and say I was disappointed. I wanted more, more fight from Daniels, more f*** you attitude and more alien ass-kicking. The ending left me underwhelmed, but also in desperate need to revisit Alien, and there’s nowt wrong with that!
I think this film has to be seen, especially if you’re a fan of the other Alien movies, but don’t expect too much in the way of surprises or amazing graphics, just enjoy it for what it is; a prequel leading to the original, the best and the most kick-a** Alien movie ever made.

Disclosure: I received tickets in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.


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