Alien: Covenant (2017) Review

We’re finally here! Alien: Covenant has arrived and as a fan of the franchise, I was hoping to finally get some answers to questions posed for the past 38 years. So does this film answer these questions? Well, yes and no. 

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Alien: Covenant picks up 10 years after Prometheus and follows the crew of the ship Covenant. They are on their way to colonize a newly found planet when they stumble upon a transmission from a closer and coincidentally optimal planet to colonize. Of course, they go here and find out they were completely wrong as there’s a very bad and terrifying things on this planet. 

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With a Ridley Scott film, you’re always gonna have beautiful epic shots and amazing cinematography and that’s of course the same here. There’s some unbelievably amazing moments of beauty in this movie. The visual effects were pretty good too although something I noticed this time around was that there was maybe one or two moments where the CGI was really noticeable. Prometheus is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen so maybe it’s due to that that I noticed this but it wasn’t up to the usual snuff Ridley Scott is known for.

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Michael Fassbender steals the show again this time playing David and a new synthetic, Walter. Double the Fass is always double the fun as he absolutely shines no matter which android is on screen and he was easily the best character (s). Biggest surprise hands down was Danny Mcbride. He played Tennessee, the pilot of the Covenant and he was an absolute badass. His comic timing was of course on point but he had a presence to him towards the end of the movie when the s**t hit the fan and he absolutely killed it. I was already excited for him to be writing a new Halloween movie but now I can’t wait to see what he brings to the table. Katherine Waterston as Daniels at first I didn’t know if I liked her but now I actually think she was really good. She definitely felt like Ripley 2.0 but she suffers a personal tragedy and I think that added a lot to her character. Okay now this goes into my flaws but the rest of the characters save for maybe Billy Crudup’s character, although I can’t remember his name which isn’t a good sign and is character is slightly a part of this statement, sucked. They all either made some of the dumbest decisions ever or just were there to be ripped to shreds. It felt like they put so many extra unneeded characters and I think if they eliminated these characters the movie would of been stronger. But you also wouldn’t of had dumb decisions to set everything in motion. If these characters were normal people, I’d be able to let it go but these people are all scientists and soldiers so you think they’ve be able to avoid being so dumb.

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Back to a more positive note however, it was so nice to hear the original Alien theme again. This movie is definitely an Alien movie. While it does continue the Prometheus  story, it is definitely an Alien movie. There are Xenomorphs and Facehuggers and other creatures and it’s all glorious. This is also the most gory Alien flick to boot, having a sequence that actually got audible ews in my theater. I for one loved every moment of the creatures being on screen and it felt really good to have another Alien movie, a true Alien movie. The 3rd act is also balls to the walls fun.

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The film also does answer a few questions to Prometheus and in turn begins to thread itself into Alien and I loved that. I was okay with how they went and explained this. It felt logical and made sense and honestly it was a major positive of the movie. The film also has a lot to say about religion and creation and I thought they way they used these themes in the film was really well done. The main issue with this though is while some of the questions are answered you still have some from Prometheus that I don’t think are ever getting answered. Now you have even more questions involving the Xenomorphs that I think they’re going to choose to go that route as Ridley Scott has said he has plans to weave the next film more so to the1979 film and then eventually go the Rogue One route and lead right into it, as we’re still 20 years away from the events of Alien.

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I am both intrigued but at the same time, I don’t know where this franchise can go anymore. This film does dip slightly into formulaic territory which while I love this formula and think even though the film doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table, it does however still keep the wheel going and going relatively strong.

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Alien: Covenant isn’t the best Alien movie by any means and I keep putting it either slightly above or slightly below Alien 3, which may be a better movie, save for the CGI. Still, this has an intriguing plot, finally starts to give some answers to questions and has some of the goriest creature scenes in the franchise. It has a really fun 3rd act and 3 fantastic performances with Fassbender squared and Mcbride stealing the show. The film does suffer from the same issue as Prometheus, having too many extra disposable characters and some of their stupid decisions sometimes make you roll your eyes. Nevertheless, the film is a definite improvement over Prometheus and fans of the franchise will have a good time with it. That being said, while there are questions still needing to be answered and I have interest in seeing how Scott ties this into the 1979 film, I don’t know how much longer the franchise can go without getting stale. They don’t have much more they can do that feels different and unless they come up with something new to add to the formula, it might be best to leave this franchise be.

 

Grade: B

 


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