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Sun May 21, 2017, 12:54 PM


Great characters, good plot and the grievous mistake regarding "prudent-precautions-one-should-take-while-navigating-around-an-alien-planet" is almost forgiveable. Afterall, the computer did identify the planet as habitable and they were following someone's playful beacon. No sign of danger, in other words, which explains why none of them were wearing space suits when they left the shuttle to explore the planet to find the source of the beacon.

This Alien movie begins ten years after Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the David leave to seek out the Engineers. And therein lies the weakness of this movie. In those ten years a lot happened, and most of it was just skimmed over in this movie by an unreliable narrator. Some of us did sign on to Elizabeth Shaw's mission to seek out the Engineers to find answers, but that mission was hijacked before they ever reached their destination.

Here's the Spoiler: David, who is suffering from a God Complex, allowed Elizabeth Shaw to put him back together, and then proceeded to use her body to create an army of black goo xenomorphs, which attack the body as organized spores. Once they penetrate the body, they take over, and rip out of the bodies in the way we're all familiar with. Except for one difference, these xenomorphs do not look like our classic, Ripley aliens. Not yet. They are fierce, but not the Aliens we're familiar with that would bring the prequel in line with the Sigourney Weaver story line.

What we learn about those ten years is that David is intentionally conducting experiments while the ship was in transit because he's trying to create a better race of Aliens. Apparently, he thinks very little of humans or humanoid races.

Yes, the Engineers may have been the ones who started to tangle with Alien lifeforms, but it's David who will probably get credit for perfecting on the original. His early efforts result in a weaponized Army of black goo that he dumps on the Engineers when their ship reaches their planet. Didn't even give them a chance to explain where the original Aliens came from, or why they were working on them. Not interested in the whys.

If this is the correct interpretation of what happened, then Elizabeth Shaw is already dead by the time the ship reaches their planet and wasn't there to see the goo spread swiftly across the Engineer population and destroy every lifeform on the planet.

By the time the Crew of the Alien Covenant arrive, there is only David, and dormant, mushroom like spore-caps, ready to spew out spores that will easily find their way into the human body, if you're not wearing a self-contained space suit. And of course, nobody was wearing them.

All in all, it was a solid Alien movie. The biggest questions involved the demise of Elizabeth Shaw because, most of the details of her fate had to be discovered from prologue trailers and internet reviews. For example, I thought that a human body could only be used for one Alien birth, but it's suggested in the movie that David used her for his "experiments," in plural. Which means that she was alive birthing babies. They say that in one of the trailers where she is singing her playful country song, a tentacle is seen coming up behind her. I confess, I didn't see it, but if true, she might have been aware of what he was doing to her and when she was singing country roads, take me home, she might have been wishing for death. Oh, the horror. So unfair.

You do get to see her body with the usual open cavity, but it's described as "mutated." What does that mean? I don't know.

So, as you see the movie, watch for some explanations. I did find one source that did hit on the same questions, and more:

The irony of this is that the real movie Scott wanted to make, and that fans might embrace, could still have had its genesis story in a more satisfying way. The “prologue” that Scott deleted from his movie should have been the movie. One about David and Shaw on the Engineers’ home world, and the disappointment they feel in these creators being the impetus for David to create his own masterpiece—a xenomorph to wipe them out.

If Scott really wanted to change the emphasis from Shaw to David, then an actual movie about that transition in which Shaw is killed off, by the robot or the Engineers she so desperately sought, could have led to a transcendent climax where David wipes out the Engineers with his new xenomorph masterwork. It might’ve been drastically new territory for Scott as a filmmaker, not to mention the Alien franchise. And it still could have ended in a symphony of chestbursts and facehugging carnage with David as his own solitary anti-hero, a God among ants that've been consumed by his wonders.

Instead, the movie Scott wanted to make is a flashback and cutting room fodder. And the protagonist who drove it was insultingly given the “Newt” treatment. It’s a missed opportunity, much like Alien: Covenant as a whole.


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