Friday, May 19, 2017

Alien: Covenant [2017]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L) (4 Stars)  AVClub (B+)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review (M. Zoller-Seitz) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review

Alien: Covenant [2017] (directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by John Logan and Dante Harper, story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green based on characters by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett) continues a continues the franchise's 40-or-so year quite fascinating, often monstrously "detached" and at times flagrantly subversive _critique_ of what would seem at least initially to be unassailable: Life, Reproduction, here in this film Creation (the act of creating) in general.

Okay, one could begin by stating that Life and its Growth / Expansion is by definition Good.  Well, from its very beginning, the Alien series proposes a counter-example:

What of a REALLY UGLY / VIRULENT (at some point, any/all sense of "beauty" becomes "inefficient") organism -- a giant, fanged, acidic-saliva dripping, beetle-like monster with a lizard/scorpion-like tail (used as both a weapon and as a means of propulsion) -- whose ONLY DRIVE appears to be to SURVIVE, THRIVE and REPLICATE (MAKE MORE OF) ITSELF (following all manner of stunningly hideous if ever efficient pathways -- from eggs to spores, from sexual to asexual, from carnivorous to parasitic).

Indeed, Ridley Scott's Alien monster is like a hideous "Swiss Army Knife" of Survival a living embodiment of the "Genesis Torpedo" that the Klingons were so afraid of in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock [1984] (to mix alternative sci-fi universes).

The question that the current, eighth in the series, Alien movie seeks to address is: Who would create such a monstrous monster?  The answer given in this film is clever and as has been always the case in the Alien series, not _entirely_ subversive of traditional (Christian) religion.

As generally the case with the Alien series, a quite thought-provoking if also "jump-from-your-seats" Sci-Fi horror film.

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