ALIEN: COVENANT (2017) Score: C
Rated: R Runtime: 122 minutes
Georges Melies was a French illusionist and film director who led many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. He was especially respected for his development and use of special effects. In May of 1902, he made the film, A TRIP TO THE MOON, which was loosely based on Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon”; and H. G. Wells’ “The First Men in the Moon”. Film buffs can never forget the space vehicle in the form of a large artillery shell is used to launch six men on a voyage to the Moon. The vehicle is shot out of a large cannon into space and hits the Man in the Moon in the eye!
Pluto was first discovered in 1930. Pluto became the ninth planet of our solar system. In the late 1990’s, the argument was made that Pluto was too small to be considered a planet. Believe it or not, scientists have found a true ninth planet in January of last year. “Planet Nine” as it is currently being called is about 10 times the mass of Earth and 5,000 times the mass if Pluto.
As a kid growing up, the question was always being asked if we thought that their might be life on another planet. Today, the question is much different —
How many solar systems are there in the universe? According to Cambridge University’s Institute of Astronomy: “There are something like 300 billion stars in the Milky Way. If 10% of them have planets, there are around 30 billion planets in our galaxy alone. And, there are over 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. Is there life on another planet? Let me count the ways, starting with the drooling, tenacled, face-sucking aliens — starting with the original 1979 film, ALIEN. Scariest movie that I have ever watched. Took terror and suspense to a level rarely achieved in the history of cinema.
Which leads me to ALIEN: COVENANT. We do get some answers about Ridley Scott’s 2012 PROMETHEUS. But this screenplay drags on and on.
When you listen to “Mother” you cannot help but think of the calming voice of Hal from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The original ALIEN was released in 1979. Each of these two films are a masterpiece.
COVENANT. That is the name of the spaceship carrying 2,000 human passengers, embryos, the crew of 15 and an android named Walter. The year is 2104. Their mission is to colonize a distant planet.
The origin of the word “covenant” has to do with an agreement that God made with Abraham. Thus, we have a science-fiction horror story that confronts the origins of life, of creation, destruction and the meaning of humanity. Heavy themes to consider and deal with, especially when the carnage begins. And when the carnage never ends. As humans, sometimes we make terrible decisions.
In the end, the movie belongs to Michael Fassbender. His performance is remarkable and chilling — from how he stares, how he walks and how he speaks.
Long after COVENANT has ended, you begin to analyze the questions and mysteries surrounding our lives. Why do we really exist? What is our purpose on earth? Why the gore and the terror and the suspense?. Long after we are dead and gone — these same questions will probably be searching for answers.
What if — what if we have been asking the ultimate wrong question throughout the centuries As the terrifying last scene in ALIEN: COVENANT comes to an end, and the screen goes to black, I wonder —
What if the question is — God searching for man?