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9.6 36 10
FanMix September 13, 2017 18037
(Updated: November 23, 2019)
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"It's christmas and I want to open my presents". That's how I felt about watching Paradise.
It's probably my favorite fanedit ever because of how skillfully it manages to make a really good movie out of two bad ones.
Nowadays it's once in a blue moon that we get to see a grandiose sci-fi tale, packed with appalling visuals of Ridley Scott's expertise, but not marred by ridiculous writing and superfluous gimmicks. And that's exactly what Paradise is. It's technically masterful - the edition is seamless and everything fits as if it was the original montage of the movie. I would say the overall highlights are the now unburdened beautiful setpieces and the brilliant design of space-faring vehicles and whatnot. But most definitely, a movie for David to call his own.

If I am to indulge in nitpicking though, there are some things I would have edited further to improve the narrative as per my personal enjoyment - if I were to master such arts:

Vickers - It feels like she doesn't belong anywhere anymore. Even though she acts like she owns the place, she has no agency at anything, her ultimate fate is left unknown (as opposed to the original version) and the synthetic ambiguity about her character is reduced with the removal of most of her lines. I don't know to what extent her absence would impact the editing, but I feel like she could be completely cut off, making the edit even tighter.

Both original movies introduce a disgusting freakshow roster of creatures (mostly Prometheus) that I am glad are mostly gone in Paradise (along with the gorier death scenes). However, I still have a gripe with Shaw's surgery and the Neomorph's spawnings. These scenes are very graphic and I would be completely fine with it if they were addressing the Xenomorph. Instead, I find them utterly distracting since they're just exploiting the parasitic horror for shock value (same thing for the snake creature that runs off of Millburn's corpse. What movie is this again?) I would ditch the whole Shaw cesary scene since it does absolutely no impact to her for the rest of the movie - it surprisingly doesn't affect her neither mentally nor physically (which is terribly unconvincing, no matter how many drug doses the movie shows her injecting herself). But I know that one would be tricky since it's followed directly by Weyland's reveal where Shaw appears half naked and visually debilitated, so it would make little sense without the previous events. As for Ledward's spawn, his back burst could lead directly to the newborn neomorph lunging for Karine and skipping the brief CGI sequence that shows the thing rising up from it's placenta - the same for Lope's husband one (whose infection is confusingly overlooked).

The engineered virulent pathogen is also something I never liked about the original versions. I understand how it fits into David's carrying on the Engineers' ploy, but it feels like a disservice to the classic Xenomorph biological glory and mystery. It also feels too mundane that the Engineers big plan was an old-fashioned terrorist-esque biological weapon. I love that David is the Xeno's father and that he created the "perfect organism", but it's an underlying tone inconsistency that the movies can't decide if they want to go with the contagion theme or the infection theme. That's to mention some really silly sequences that demonstrate the processes: Holloway seeing his eyes' worm thingy on the mirror, and Ledward's spore infection through his ear canals. They're both brief CGI sequences that take weight off the suspense. We already know they have been infected, yet the movies go the extra mile to graphically demonstrate it. It's uncalled for and in bad taste. Classic case of less is more. Also, Oram's Xeno mimicking David remains laughable. Personally, I would have gone further in editing out all of these.

If there's one scene I would not have cut is the cargo lift showdown from Covenant. It sure could do with some cuts of the most slapstick action and impossible physics, but it's a truly heart-pumping piece with both Daniels and the Xenomorph showing their full prowess and resilience - definitely Aliens inspired. I also understand the scene takes away a little of the suspense from the chase aboard the Covenant that follows, but I actually missed it from Paradise.

All in all though, these are issues I have with the original material. I just felt like this was the right place to share them, with fellow fans that actually edited out a better movie off of what we were given. I'm very thankful for Job's edit, and again, it just might be my favorite one - hence my passion in dissecting it thoroughly. Look upon his works, Paradise is definitely a proper Alien prequel.

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