Alright. I apologize for the lack of posts lately; the complete update to my situation will be out this week. In the meantime, we have another unnecessary Alien movie to review! Since I already gave out my opinions on Ridley Scott in my review of The Martian, I can get right into the meat of things.
Alien: Covenant is directed by Ridley Scott and written by: Jack Paglen, Michael Green, John Logan, and Dante Harper. Stars-Michael Fassbender, Kathrine Waterson, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride. Premise-The startled crew of a colony spaceship en route to inhabit a new planet discover much more than they bargained for when a distress signal leads them to a different destination.
If you thought Prometheus was a disappointment, then hold on to your jaw, cause it’s about to drop right off! Where do I even begin, well, how about the story? The more complicated these movies get, the more I understand why the original film was so smart. We’ve gone from “Killer alien in a claustrophobic ship with an unprepared crew” to “Why do humans exist? Let’s travel out to deep space cuz Guy Pearce says so. Oh, and there’s aliens. Can’ forget that.” Needless to say, I think the franchise has forgotten the “point.” Either that or the scripts for Blade Runner 2049 and Alien: Covenant was switched. If so, I can’t wait to see Sebastian from La La Land fight a Xenomorph. Honestly, this movie is stuck so far up its own butt; I’m surprised it wasn’t written by the Wachowskis.
You’ll notice very quickly that Alien: Covenant forgoes terror and scares for a lot of sciency gibberish and *ahem* philosophy. Basically, Billy Crudup will spout something Mr. Scott thinks is something Christians would say, and he is branded “insufferable” and constantly beaten down by the reality of science (aka, contrived screenwriting). You’re not gonna believe this, but I just summed up the movie’s underlying theme in one sentence. This wouldn’t be a problem if the movie was focused on scaring you rather than talking your ears off. Now, I understand that (God-forbid) we should be getting more intelligent horror films nowadays, but Alien: Covenant is simply putting all of its eggs into the same flimsy basket. A basket that promises classic thrills and plenty of terror, but is in fact, very, very empty. Well, except for one particular egg.
I’m sorry, that metaphor was way to Shyamalany. What I’m getting at is that Michael Fassbender is awesome in this movie. He was one of the best things about Prometheus, and they give him much more to work with. Unfortunately, these characters are more asinine than the entirety of TLC programs. Remember how there were only 8 characters with unique personalities, memorable traits, and interesting actors in the original? Well, Alien: Covenant has 12+ forgettable, boring, obviously-exist-only-to-die characters. Only McBride and Fassbender stand out because both actors have charisma. If you thought those two guys from Prometheus were obvious horror pawns, then prepare to rage (or in my case, be bored-to-sleep) at how many characters show up, speak one expositional sentence, then die. Not only is this formula tedious to sit through (since the pacing sucks), but it’s an amateur approach to filmmaking, not befitting of the legendary Ridley Scott. Speaking of which, this movie treats its audience like morons. Every teen-slasher cliché can be found here, the characters make pants-soilingly dumb decisions, and the “twist” is something you’ve seen in countless other sci-fi films. Also, what they do to Shaw’s character from Prometheus is… well. Remember what they did to “wrap up” Will Smith’s character in Independence Day: Resurgence? Yeah, that’s how disrespectful it is.
It’s really a shame. I can see the effort behind the movie in the cinematography, sets, Fassbender/McBride’s performances, and F/X, but there’s too much talking, the characters are idiots, and I can only remember being in suspense for 5 minutes in a 120 minute film. As for Scott, either keep your deep philosophy in movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings and Blade Runner, or talk to me. I’d love to tell you about a great guy named Jesus Christ. Alien: Covenant gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a C-.