Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review Tuesday: ALIEN: Engineers by Jon Spaihts

Years ago I heard that Ridley Scott was going back to a franchise he created, ALIEN. Awesome news! The plan wasn't for a sequel, but a  prequel. Alright! Color me THERE!

By Jon Spaihts
Based on overwhelming evidence found on Earth, a team of scientists venture forth into space to find a race of aliens who may have engineered life on our planet only to find out they may not have been as benevolent as they had assumed.
This is the script that evolved into PROMETHEUS. Early leaks about the movie always referred to it as ALIEN: ENGINEERS. At some point during production Scott decided to change the direction of the script.

In all honesty, I was very happy with what I saw on the screen at the time. As time passed, I watched the extended Blu-Ray and saw that all the questions I had about the movie ended up on the editing room's floor. At that point I grew annoyed. Then I heard about this script and, being a glutton for punishment, wanted to see what else Scott had scrapped along the way. 

This script by Spaihts is around 50% exactly what you saw on the big screen. The entirety of it is imaginative and well written. He created a terrifying addition to the ALIEN franchise. Also, being a prequel, despite the on-screen ending, you could very well figure out what the long term ending to the story was. Spaights gets an A+ from me. 

Despite being called ALIEN: Engineers, there was much more about the genesis of the star beasts we know from the franchise. Even though the script was reshaped to tell more of the story of the Engineers, they removed the name from the movie. To me, odd.

Back to the story. This script actually SHOWS the method used to engineer our evolution. To that, I offer kudos. It was very imaginative and helped the story. As well, that method creates problems for our visiting scientists. We see what would've happened if the Engineers stopped by to push us along to our next step in evolution. Perhaps...

Besides the opening of the script, almost everything is exactly like you've seen until we hit the middle of the movie. Everything goes out of control and the pace picks up. 

David is a far more perfidious android. The amount of hostility he has dwarfs that of movie David with Ash from ALIEN combined. 

We have different methods of impregnation by the aliens. We have THREE different varieties of aliens. Professor Halloway isn't David's test subject, but a victim of a new alien spore. Halloway doesn't knock up Watts with a baby Cthulhu. David holds her still for a facehugger!

Ever wonder how David seemed to be aware of things that none of the others were? That was because there were images in ranges our eyes cannot detect, but his sensors COULD. They pull off a cool trick that allows Watts to see through the eyes of an Engineer.

The whole old-man Weyland plotline doesn't exist in this script, so there's another plus. Think about it. Flying into space to ask aliens for the secret of immortality? What would make him think they lived forever? Plain STUPID!

Rather than being a completely vulnerable ship and team, like in the movie, this script had a team of mercenaries on board that were available to protect company assets. That seemed very logical.

I could go on and on about this but the bottom line is that the script was full of suspense, clever, original, and TERRIFYING. If Ridley Scott played it closer to this script, I have a feeling we'd have much fewer angry fans out there. Worth your time to ready it!  

Find it here: