Alien Covenant Review
In Space, Everyone can hear you groan
Alien Covenant is a movie filled with moments that left me shaking my head, wondering at the sheer stupidity of the characters. Just like Prometheus in fact. As a cliched horror movie it works fine, but as part of a sci-fi saga, it left me feeling cold and if truth be told a little bit annoyed.
The movie gets off to a good start as we get to see the first moments of David (The android played by the excellent Michael Fassbender). From the get-go, we can tell that something isn’t quite right about the Android when he questions Weyland, his creator. The scene is really well done and thought-provoking. Would an A.I be disappointed at meeting its mortal maker?
The next scene takes us to the colony ship Covenant where we are introduced to another android called Walter (also played by Fassbender). The 15-man crew is in stasis until a solar flare strikes the ship and causes all sorts of problems. The Covenant you see is carrying over 2000 colonists (all in stasis) as well as several embryos which will be used to create the next generation of people once they reach their destination.
The solar flare kills several colonists as well as the Covenant’s captain putting Christopher (Billy Crudup) in command. We immediately can tell that he’s not up to the job as he mentions that he is deeply religious and for some reason that was the reason why he was only made the second in command. Anyway, while repairing the damage to the ship they pick up a message from a planet (that they somehow missed while searching for a world to colonise. Seriously this film has quite a few instances where you have to question the tech being used….).
So after a scene that further highlights that Christopher is a bit of a tool he decides that they should abandon their original target world (which they’ve spent years training for) and instead head to the new world where the scary message comes from and colonise that instead. Bear in mind that they know nothing about this mysterious new world.
They arrive at said planet and almost immediately the Prometheus problem arises where all the characters who are supposed to be highly trained individuals begin to do the dumbest shit imaginable. It’s also at this point that Covenant becomes a typical horror movie complete with people wandering off alone.
My main issue with the arrival on the planet is the fact that they happily wander about an alien world without wearing any form of protective gear. An unknown alien world could be full of alien viruses and diseases, and I reckon in reality if/when we do venture to other worlds explorers would wear full protective gear. Predictably two crew members quickly fall sick from breathing in some black spore-like stuff (we later learn is the same black goo from Prometheus).
From this moment on we enter typical Alien territory complete with disgusting Alien birth scenes (the back bursting scene is gross) and are introduced to the new Neomorphs. These albino monsters are similar to the more famous xenomorphs and equally as deadly.
After being attacked by said Neomorphs, the survivors are rescued by David (who arrived on the planet after the events in Prometheus.) I won’t give away any spoilers, but this part of the movie is probably the most interesting part. We learn what happened to the Engineers (the race first introduced in Prometheus) and learn that David has seriously lost the plot. After a few more stupid deaths as a result of really dumb actions by the crew we are finally introduced to the xenomorph, and it’s a big disappointment. Something about it just looks off, and the aura of fear and mystique is ruined by the relative ease in which the characters dispatch it. The survivors escape back into space and the Covenant. Next, the film follows the typical Alien formula by having the survivors thinking that they’re safe only to have yet another Xenomorph appears onboard resulting in the heroine Daniels (Katherine Waterston) and Tennessee (Danny McBride) hunting it down.
Overall I enjoyed aspects of this movie. The David storyline, in particular, is good and very disturbing as is the ending but I just couldn’t shake off the feeling that the plot kind of ruins the Alien mythos. The stupidity of the crew also ruined the movie for me (a common flaw with many horror movies) and the plot devolves into a bit of a mess later on.
My final score for this movie is 6/10.