How 'Alien: Covenant' turned serious for Danny McBride
May 19 2017 by Johnnie Parsons
MCBRIDE: "Yeah, Because I would just run".
While entertaining in spurts and carrying a fine lead performance from Katherine Watson (wearing the Ripley hat and haircut here), "Alien: Covenant" doesn't bring anything new to the franchise that Scott started back in 1979. It also felt a bit like a lie.
Which may be why, back in 2012 when the movie was released, director and Alien franchise maestro Ridley Scott said it took place in the same universe, but claimed that Prometheus was not a direct prequel to Alien. "He was like, 'You know, Carl Sagan and I were talking, ' and at first you're like, 'Oh yeah, please go on from there.' He says, 'Carl Sagan told me mathematically it's impossible to imagine humanity without a creator.'" Crudup trails off and smiles at the implication. Denver did die flying a weird aircraft, so.... She sets course for the home planet of the Engineers in order to find answers as to why they created human life - and why they now seem to want to destroy it. But the first time the aliens attack is equal parts dramatic, nicely edited and "oh damn!" for the audience. Jamal, as we all know him from "Empire", sat down with us to talk about his experience on the first sci-fi movie he has been part of and we really enjoyed his confessions about the amusing moments lived during the shooting and how important has been this title for his career. Waterston isn't at fault, but her character development is nearly non-existent, relying wholly on the hope that you'll associate her enough with Ripley to forgive the fact that she's written primarily as a foil for David.
Billy Crudup (who plays Covenant's second in command, Christopher Oram) and Danny McBride (who plays the ship's pilot, Tennessee) agreed with the rest of the cast. That means he gets to wear a cowboy hat and talk tough. Michael Fassbender plays both, and if there's anything particularly good about this movie, it's the way these two interact in a well-made fight scene. Projections indicate that the Marvel movie may take a 50% drop in viewership on its third weekend, allowing the film to earn around $30 million during the time.
In terms of performances, Michael Fassbender is excellent despite being given some questionable and odd material to work with. The opening scene introduces us to his character and how he thinks logically. Well, more than 20 JCB machines - JCB skid steer loaders, Loadall telescopic handlers, and JS excavators - are co-starring with Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston in the movie.
We've been crying a lot today.
The aliens we see aren't all that intriguing. There are actually more infection possibilities than just humans, as seen in 1992's Alien 3, when we see a face hugger infect a dog. And seriously, we need to give a rest to the exhausted scene of humans on another planet looking at a blossoming flower, only to have something jump on them and devour their face.
Clearly, the elder Scott's aim is on the scares - and oh, what satisfying, terrifying, screams-echoing-down-a-ship's-corridor scares they are. It follows all the usual formulas and tropes.