Right now, most of the Alien series has been gathered over on HBO and up for a bit in preparation for Alien: Covenant. I had been re-watching the original Alien movie and tonight I finally got to see Alien: Covenant in it’s entirety. Ridley Scott have you gone senile?
It’s horribly painful to watch one of the best movie franchises just descend into utter crap over the years as a result of all these jabronie chefs in the kitchen trying to get their hand in this pie. What’s even more painful is to go from the masterful Alien to this pile of garbage by the original director. And like my prior review of the trailer, my feelings for this movie have not changed as my exceedingly low expectations were practically fulfilled in this nonsensical shit show.
There really isn’t any original thought processes in this version of Alien. The provocative groundwork of Prometheus practically has been obliterated as if Ridley Scott essentially bowed to pressures of a livid fanbase. It’s sad really because Prometheus tried to invoke a real sense of core questions about humanity that involved the Alien universe.
Unfortunately, the idiot executives at the studios had vetoed the original script in favor of an insipid version that essentially stupefied the characters into cannon fodder. With Alien: Covenant, we see more of the same where there isn’t a single character who seems to possess an IQ over 1 outside of the primitive and brutal aliens as well as the androids.
This movie felt like every other derivative in the Alien universe whether it was some stupid fan fiction or the typical narrative of stupid crew encounters the unknown and gets slaughtered until 1-2 remain. Add David mysteriously going rogue out of nowhere and you’re back to the same old plots that seem to bog down the franchise.
As with most films with a modicum of an interesting point, the film opens with some pontification where Prometheus left off. There’s some ideas floating around that act as unique hooks that provide a motivation supposedly for David’s later nefarious behavior. Also, (besides the neutrino blast) the movie up until the landing seems somewhat gorgeous with the landscape shots of a purified world.
After that, the movie takes a sharp nose dive into utter stupidity where one guy triggers spores that infects him while another soldier inhales spores. From there it’s the typical downward spiral found in the Alien franchise as people die horrible deaths to satisfy the hardcore fans of their bloodlust.
The movie makes even less sense than poor Vickers not rolling out of the way from the crashing ship in Prometheus. There is little reason to feel any empathy for the crew as they are all stupid and lack personalities. If anything Alien: Covenant reminds me a bit of how the X-Men franchise got perverted due to the excellent performance of Hugh Jackman. Here, Michael Fassbender did such a fantastic job in his role as David that he received TWO parts.
But that just goes to show where Ridley Scott’s mind is these days as well as Hollywood. By the end of the movie, I had become so numb to the rhetorical handling of the plot that I really couldn’t wait until it was over. The way the two last aliens were killed off lacked any climatic feeling for me. Yes, there were tons of effects but it was so far distant from the impact I felt from the original Alien.
If you compare the original Alien to this, you’ll see that the original Alien will hold up. Everything about that movie was on point from the music, the art, the writing, the quiet dialog. Even the characters were more sympathetic and likeable. But that’s because movies back then had a real craft rather than just resting on the laurels of an established brand.
I doubt I’ll ever watch this movie again unless I’m exceptionally bored. It was a complete mess with terrible pacing and a frustrating plot. It’s a shame that Ridley Scott wants to produce at least 2 more films to connect to Alien. I seriously don’t think I have the tolerance to deal with the same old same old from this franchise.