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Alien: Covenant (2017)
August 13, 2017, 12:35 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ridley Scott
3 Stars
Alien - Covenant.jpgThose who doubt the continued brilliance of Ridley Scott need look no further than the opening scene of Alien: Covenant, which masterfully manipulates space in such a way that the audience gathers information and becomes acclimated to the world at the same time as Walter, an artificially intelligent character played by Michael Fassbender. Similarly, the much parodied flute scene in which dual Fassbenders discuss “fingering” is a show-stopping bit of suspense, rife with intended erotic tension and the ever-present threat of violence. Unfortunately, much of what happens in between is a mess, and that is largely due to its failings as a narrative. As the Alien series has become more philosophically interested in its religious implications, it has abandoned its roots in the genre—the further that Scott has delved into the theme of creation, the more the films have moved away from the sheer terror of man’s lack of agency in the universe. To put it simply, the xenomorphs just aren’t as scary when their origins are so explicitly discussed. Although Fassbender’s David makes some argument for a different sort of villain for the Alien series, the fact that both he and Walter remain static characters throughout the film is to its detriment. David’s life-creating drive plays as a retread of the most basic expectations regarding artificial intelligence (that that one day they’ll consider human beings obsolete) rather than an innovative idea for the series.

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