ALIEN COVENANT | REVIEW

I will just start out by saying I loathed PROMETHEUS – I nearly walked out I disliked it so much. The die-hard fans of the ALIEN series, myself included, wanted something along the lines of more ALIEN but we got a very different story. Said fans complained and so has tried to placate everyone by blending ALIEN with PROMETHEUS and giving us ALIEN COVENANT. It’s half sequel and half prequel. ALIEN COVENANT is out this Thursday 11th May in Australia from 20th Century Fox. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 122mins.

 

Alien Covenant The First Hatching image

 

BY

ALIEN COVENANT 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.

Director, Ridley Scott, wanted to keep his Prometheus storyline alive but also realised from the backlash the majority of the people wanted more ALIEN. So we get a dissatisfying hybrid movie where Ridley continues Prometheus while creating a prequel to ALIEN and at the same time basically remakes ALIEN all in the one movie. But together it mostly falls on its butt.

 

Alien Covenant Amy Seimetz and Carmen Ejogo image

 

SHITE OR NOT?

ALIEN COVENANT looks amazing; the special effects, the cinematography and the aliens are next level CGI. To view it on the biggest screen you can find will provide a decent sci-fi spectacle. The original soundtrack is blended into the new soundtrack giving a somewhat nostalgic ear notification to remind you this is like the others. But it’s not. For me these new movies fail miserably because there is no Ripley. I would have been happier to have never seen these made at all so the original greatness can live on.

It feels very much like…. “we need to put this in to keep the fan boys from going postal but let’s continue with what I want to do.” When there is a lot of a alien xenomorph hybrid stuff the screen explodes in some chilling viewing with a few blood curdling deaths. Ridley has really upped the effects on death-by-xenomorph. A new back explosion instead of a chest explosion is quite impressively gross. These endings try to set a tone of a , like the two original movies. But it fails because of a want to tell a meaningful story and explain a history.

The thing I hate most about this franchise is the cheapening of the xenomorph by explaining it mostly as a creation from a Dr Frankenstein character in the android David. Their mystery and the thing that made them truly alien is now a human construct’s construct. Boo.

STUPID SHIT:

The one major letdown of ALIEN COVENANT is the pacing, it’s all over the place. Long drawn out nothing sections, fast paced action, then confusion as to what is actually going on. And all the time a mostly cliched knock-off of all the other movies in franchise. And then there is some truly wasted characters with pointless existences, seriously don’t give them shit backgrounds, just kill them. Don’t get me started on the stupid shit and poor horror tropes that the film slides into.

Yes, yes, let’s take our cargo of 2000 colonists and the only space ship we have into a deadly storm for a few people because I love them. “I’m going downstairs” – they actually say it – in a monster’s lair – ok – why not make it a basement, and have the aliens wear SCREAM masks. Bloody hell! And don’t get me started on the Captain – ‘here is this scary looking pod like thing opening, if the somewhat scary man says look in it, there’s nothing to see here,” DO YOU DO IT??? NO!! I may be getting angry haha.

 

Alien Covenant Katherine Waterston image

 

THE CAST:

The Fassbenders steals the show. Excluding the very predictable ending with the two Fassbenders I loved the differences in the two of them, the upgrades to Walter made for a great fight scene. Fassbender would have had some fun in this role. Especially since it is not necessary for him to have facial expressions. Following on from him  is impressive in the role designed to emulate a Ripley-like character, even to the final bad poster that in some way even looks like a 70s/80s poster of Ellen Ripley. But Waterston stands well on her own. You empathise with her, you support her, and she does the least dumb shit. 

I am pretty certain it is Benjamin Rigby as Ledward who wins for the best death – that convulsing is truly grand. The rest are all pretty standard but a special negative mention to Billy Crudip – the character was so poorly written I was glad when he died. The character was just useless. 

 

Alien Covenant Alien image

 

IN CONCLUSION:

The aliens and deaths are truly impressive in ALIEN COVENANT but the rest is pretty poor. I loathed PROMETHEUS and actually found this a huge improvement. Kernel Jack loved PROMETHEUS and found this one appalling. I had the highest of hopes this would be a sublime movie to make up for it’s predecessor’s shite but sadly it is too close to more of the same.

 

 

 

 

YOUR CRITIC:

 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan.  ** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.