Thursday, February 23, 2017

Watch This Alien-Free 'Alien: Covenant' Prologue

Even if Prometheus left many folks cold (I totally dig it, though it’s certainly a deeply flawed film), it’s difficult not to get psyched about the idea of Ridley Scott making another movie set in the Alien universe. So it makes sense many of us are fiending hard for Alien: Covenant. We saw that brutal firsttrailer, and now 20th Century Fox released a short prologue film last night during Legion (you should also be watching Legion if you’re not). And here it is.

To be honest, Prologue: Last Supper doesn’t really do much for me. It’s fine and it serves its purpose, but it hardly gets the pulse racing or does much to stoke the fires of anticipation. This is also clearly where that cast photo from the other day originates.

What Last Supper does is introduce the world to the new characters and lets the audience know what they’re up to before most of them, presumably, wind up in the digestive track of Xenomorph or whatever other deep space nasty they encounter.

The central thing we see is the dynamic within the crew. Katherine Waterston’s Daniels, reportedly the protagonist, may not be the captain—that’s James Franco wrapped in a blanket—but she commands a certain level of respect. More so than Billy Crudup’s character, and that appears to rub him the wrong way. My guess is that he outranks her, but she’s more blue collar and has the ear of the crew—I assume this lead to some conflict, possibly urged on by Carmen Ejogo’s character.

There’s also hard-partying contingent that includes Amy Seimetz and her husband, Tennessee, played by Danny McBride—surprise, surprise, he’s a foul-mouthed, wise-cracking jagweed. These ensemble movies always need some humor, but I hope McBride’s shtick doesn’t distract. We meet a few others, but none of them are notable and will probably be among the first to die.

One familiar face pops up, sort of. Michael Fassbender does double duty in Alien: Covenant, and Last Supper gives us some face time with the new synthetic Walter. Walter is essentially an updated version of David from Prometheus. We also know that David makes an appearance as the crew finds him on the planet they eventually encounter.

As far as the mission, here’s the synopsis:
The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers 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.
That’s the same general story we’ve heard since the beginning, and Last Supper doesn’t really provide any new information. The crew of the Covenant is on a mission to colonize a distant planet. Along the way, shit goes wrong.

Presumably, Alien: Covenant picks up with the crew in the midst of their journey. This video gives us a glimpse of the beginnings, before they even go into the cryo-sleep or stasis or whatever sci-fi term they use for being asleep in suspended animation for a long, long time.

Daniels’ speech makes it clear what these people have given up to be part of something larger, leaving almost everything behind to settle a new world. This also hints at the state of our planet. Searching for resources, searching for new places to live, things are likely grim back home. But it’s the future, we all assumed that.

I’m still stoked for Alien: Covenant, even if Prologue: Last Supper does little to move the needle. As long as most of these people get devoured by an armor plated alien killing machine, I’m on board.

Alien: Covenant opens May 19.

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