Thursday, 11 May 2017

Film Review: "Alien: Covenant" (2017).

"The path to paradise begins in hell."
This leads to Alien: Covenant. This science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, written by John Logan and Dante HarperIt is the second installment in the Alien prequel series, after Prometheus (2012), and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series. The film centres on the crew of the colony ship Covenant, who are bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

Prior to the release of Prometheus, director Ridley Scott began hinting at the prospects of a sequel. Scott said that a sequel would follow Shaw to her next destination. In August 2012, Fox was pursuing a sequel with Scott, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender involved, and was talking to new writers in case Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof did not return. In December 2012, Lindelof ultimately chose not to work on the project. Early on Scott stated that the film would feature no xenomorphs. However Scott would make later statements that were contradictory, stating what is planned and confirming the xenomorphs' presence in the film. On an interview with BBC RADIO 2, Michael Fassbender revealed that a new type of alien creature will appear, on set it was referred to as a neomorph. In late August 2015, Scott confirmed that he had started scouting the locations. In the same month, it was announced that the film would star Rapace and Fassbender. In September, Scott confirmed the film's title as Alien: Paradise Lost. The title was used to avoid confusion that surmounted due to disassociation with Prometheus. However, in November, Scott revealed that the title was changed to Alien: Covenant, with filming set to begin in February 2016 in Australia. In November, Scott announced that this will be the second of three additional films, which will take place closer to and lead up to the original film. Principal photography began in April 2016, at Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, then moving to the 20th Century Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia. Filming wrapped in July 2016. Scott rounded out the cast with an ensemble of established actors such as Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, James Franco and Guy Pearce. For the score, Jed Kurzel was ultimately chosen after Harry Gregson-Williams departure from the project over scheduling and creative issues. Kurzel incorporated Jerry Goldsmith's themes for his score.

The film stars Fassbender, Waterston, Crudup, McBride, Bichir, Ejogo, Seimetz, Smollett, Hernandez, Franco and Pearce. The cast gave compelling performances despite some cast members' characters mimicking characters from both Alien and Aliens.

Ridley Scott's ambitious sequel to Prometheus and prequel to Alien may not triumph over the original, but it's redeemed by its haunting visual grandeur, dramatically intense narrative and the performance of Michael Fassbender as the devilish synthetic anti-hero.

Simon says Alien: Covenant receives:

Also, see my review for The Martian.

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