May 22, 2017
Alien: Covenant is bursting its way into the cinemas and our review is ready to hatch. Being a sequel to Prometheus (a movie that introduced godlike alien race of Engineers, black goo that is both a deadly pathogen and a tool of creation, a bunch of new characters and philosophical debates on science and faith), the Covenant tells a story of a group of people who were sent into deep space to colonize a planet. Something goes wrong, they accidentally find a planet that is seemingly much better than the one they were heading to. In the end, they all die, except for Ripley #5. Makes sense, right?
Obviously, from the visual standpoint, the movie is incredible. Every shot of the film is a masterpiece. Ridley Scott does have a neck for creating breath-taking scenery. CGI is great, but pretty much every movie these days has decent visual effects. Another huge advantage of the movie is Michael Fassbender. The man played to roles – a villainous android named David and a newer, less humanized, version of David called Walter. Fassbender’s performance is quite good, weird accent but quite good. James Franco was another huge surprise in the movie because his performance was absolutely stellar, that dude was on fire! The rest of the cast was pretty much a scenario cliché. The Covenant team makes every wrong decision imaginable, doesn’t even bother with helmets and splits up at the first available opportunity. Not to mention that, evidently, seeing a disgusting, alien egg makes you want to place your head directly above it (as close as possible).
The problem with Alien: Covenant is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Prometheus delved into the origins of both humanity and xenomorphs (who cares, though?). Despite the fact that the majority of fans of the Alien franchise were satisfied that xenomorphs just ARE, Sir Ridley Scott wanted to dig a little deeper and touched upon quite a few religious themes as well. The ending of Prometheus saw Elizabeth Shaw flying off to the Engineers home world to finally get some answers and find out why the creators of humanity decided to wipe it off, and in Alien: Covenant she dies off screen. Take that for answers, Noomi Rapace! David destroys the Engineers and plays around with black goo to create the perfect organism. Yes, xenomorphs were created by a broken robot. David’s motivations are still quite vague, he is programmed to learn and create or something. At least now we know where the xenomorphs got their unmistakable smile from.
Apparently, the mixed reception of Prometheus forced Ridley Scott to abandon the attempt of bringing something new to the franchise and focus on what people definitely liked – the xenomorphs. In retrospect, I feel like Prometheus is a better movie than Covenant, because the latter doesn’t have enough aliens to be proper Alien movie, and it doesn’t have enough of that Prometheus story to be a proper follow-up. In result, it is not really anything. Alien: Covenant does get a definitive score, but you’ll know what it is after you place your head directly above a pulsating, alien egg, alright? Good!