Alien Covenant (with spoilers)

P.J. Greystoke

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Well, what can I say about this after going to see it? I suppose at least I went in with low expectations. Although, even after a pretty shoddy Prometheus (IMHO), Covenant still managed to underperform even those lower expectations. It made you actually look back to Prometheus a bit wistfully...

Now, like many I assume here, I love Alien. It's a masterpiece. Made even better by the fact that Aliens came after it. Another masterpiece!

But Ridley Scott has, I feel, gone full Lucas with these prequels (and there should be one more, right, to get everything set up for the Nostromo :confused:)

So basically, a bit like Star Wars 7 The Force Awakens being a reboot of the original Star Wars, Covenant basically is a reboot of the original film Alien: Crew are woken up from hypersleep, find mysterious transmission, are compelled to investigate, land on planet, have spaceship problems & find xenomorph, lots of people die, psychotic android, get back to ship (and alien follows), before finally they blow it out into space.

Okay so there are a few differences. For example for those wanting answers from the questions from Prometheus...well, that all gets resolved in a couple of flashbacks. Noomi Rapace makes a reappearance as a wax dummy and the Engineers are conveniently removed stage left. Which I do think will disappoint those with fonder memories of Prometheus and wanting satisfying answers. I think Scott may taken on some of the Prometheus criticism and decided to fall back on 'what worked in the past'. And perhaps just taking all the wrong stuff from the past.

Anyway good and bad points:

Good
- Michael Fassbender makes a fantastic genocidal psychopathic android. (But IMO this great performance does not carry the whole film)
- Cinematography is as you'd expect from Scott, really beautiful.
- Danny McBride. Honestly, Danny McBride!, was about the only one of the 'humans' that managed to get some sort of character across. Well done him :p

Bad
- The rest of the cast unfortunately were so badly fleshed out that I barely understood why I should care as they inevitably got destroyed by the xenomorphs. They were supposed to be all couples, so there should have been more empathy when people died...yet I barely understood who was with who, never mind get hooked into their story.
- The Humans in charge of the Covenant expedition were just as stupid as the highly trained scientists and engineers in Prometheus. And hence made the same stupid decisions. Lots of them.
- Plot points galore that don't really makes sense...but all there to corral the story into the basic Alien plot. Like, why they even bother to go to the world in the first place, aren't they on a more important mission already, with people and unborn relying on them to just do their job?
- Spaceship destroys itself after taking a few hits inside it from a gun, yet main spaceship can fly in the atmosphere of the planet and not become an evaporating fireball.
- Alien life cycle becomes ever more complicated and confusing, but essentially it seems that David is the person experimenting with the black gunk and making xenomorphs. And how fast do this buggers grow? The Chest burster takes a couple of minutes to get to a full size xenomorph!
- After praising the cinematography I have to say that the CGI was pretty poor. Especially the old-school chest burster that almost broke into a dance and song a'la Space balls

So overall I was disappointed. Which given I went in not expecting much is quite bad. Some might like the knowing obvious references to the original - there were loads - but to me that just made it predictable. Captain looks into the opened Alien egg (oh what is going to happen next? Yeah no s**t Sherlock), alien is tracked on ship as it scuttles through the decks...

Anyway that's my view, others are welcome :)
For me the first two movies will always be a tough act to follow. I think Aliens is one of the few occasions where the sequel is better than the original (as good as it was). Though, having bought into the whole alien franchise i still get excited whenever a new movie or audiobook / book comes out. I don't expect them to be anywhere near as good as the first two. Still nice to have a drip feed though.
 

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
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I have only recently seen this film for the first time ( What can I say? I like to wait until films are shown on TV) and I got so annoyed I started to make notes:
1. Why have sleep pods that can't be opened from the outside?
2. Why have cryogenic pods hanging freely so they wildly swing around and fall off? Why weren't they secured?
3. Why not send a remote probe to the alien planet instead of the crew?
4. Why send down so many crew? Out of 14 re-awakened crew, 10 were sent down to the planet. Why not just send down the android?
5. Why land so far from the target? OK maybe there wasn't a suitable landing place, but still...

After that I gave up. I'd have spent more time making notes than watching the film. I think the Honest Trailer covered most of the others

Thanks. I just wanted to get that off my chest ;)
 
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