Director: Ridley Scott
Writer/s: Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (based on characters created by), Jack Paglen, Michael Green (story by), John Logan, Dante Harper (screenplay)
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, and more.
So here we are with part two of six, or however many this man plans to make between this timeline and the events of ‘Alien’. Whatever. Ridley Scott has delivered us his newest prequel installment in the form of ‘Alien: Covenant’. While his first prequel, ‘Prometheus’, was hit-and-miss with audiences and ultimately got the “alright” verdict from myself, (Special shout-out to the med bay scene that made me pass out in the theater), we now have what seems like a more in-your-face film with added horror and thriller elements on top of the standard mystery sci-fi. Well let us get to it, it is time to give ‘Alien: Covenant’ the Oberrated stamp.
“The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.”
I almost feel like reviewing and rating a film that is average and in the middle of the rating scale is harder to review than a great/bad film because I will go on a tangent about a film’s negative or positive aspects and make it sound like it should be better or worse. Well, ‘Alien: Covenant’ lands itself in the middle of the Oberrated scale, teetering positively but not by much.
With what worked well, its genre elements did its job. ‘Alien: Covenant’ delivered vibes of sci-fi, horror, thriller, adventure, mystery, and more. Overall, what you could expect from an “Alien” film was presented; unrelenting and vicious terror from otherworldly lifeforms and nature. Sporadic scenes of tight quartered shot locations. It can not get much better than that when it comes from an Alien series… Beyond genre, the pacing of the film did well for me. I never felt bored, honestly. Right out of the gate, curiosity consumed me as I watched the opening events unfold and it quickly turned into fast-paced intensity. This pace would continue throughout the film, invoking curiosity through the duration, then slamming you with terror and action suddenly. If anything, the film will keep you on your toes, whether you like what is necessarily happening or not.
An absolutely shining gem within the film is Michael Fassbender’s performance as he played androids David and Walter. Without delving into major spoilers, he simply puts on a show through two characters that make you truly question what their purpose is. Very complex and interesting characters that could be discussed for hours. It will be interesting to see how these characters may influence the series or not.
Now for the bad…starting with where in the hell could Ridley Scott be going with all of this? He has gone on record stating he wants to make more of these prequels before it finally ties to ‘Alien’, but how far can he go and how much can be crammed into this timeline before it finally connects? True fanatics of this series are already getting aggravated with plot holes they are witnessing or have created themselves and they are having a difficult time trying to figure out excuses or even leads to where the story can go. Even moving away from the fanatics; what are new fans of this series expecting? Is what they are seeing enough for them to be shelling out their money and time to this series? In my opinion, I do not think so.
Moving away from direction of the film, I am sick and tired of seeing “trained” pilots, military, astronauts, engineers, trash collectors, or whatever, going on these missions and losing all basic knowledge of their profession due to running into a high-pressure situation. Okay, sure, “But Oberrated, if they acted like rational human beings it would not make an interesting movie.” Shut the f*%^ up. There is a difference between stupidity and not following training and I am tired of seeing both come to life the moment something crazy happens in a film. Again, no spoilers, but I am over seeing blatant stupidity be the cause of death in films like this. Illogical, unintelligent, unrealistic bullshit decisions by “professionals”. That is all.
‘Alien: Covenant’ does what it is supposed to do and, I guess, as expected when given a prequel ‘Alien’ film. It glorifies itself with multiple genre elements that keep an audience on their toes, not knowing what to expect next, yet still delivers a very complex and mysterious story. The story leads one to wonder what could possibly happen next, given the common knowledge that it must lead to the events of ‘Alien’ eventually, but does it cause people to wonder too much and/or has this prequel series already gone too far away from its originals? Regardless, although the elements of a complex story do well for the film, they do not mask the plot holes presented and definitely do not mask the absurd stupidity of the characters on screen.
Capable of greatness, destined for mediocrity; ‘Alien: Covenant’ lands in the middle of the road again with yet another film making me annoyed yet still strangely curious to wonder, “Alright, what is going to happen next?”
Special thanks to my friend Mike Phillips for some influence in this review as well as sharing his fanatic love and opinions about this film and the original series.