ALIEN: COVENANT is not a promise kept
I’m sorry guys, let’s get this out of the way right now. Alien: Covenant is not at all what we were expecting, and frankly, we may need to reevaluate our relationship. I’m not mad, just disappointed.
See, I remember Alien (1979) – the excitement, the fun, the terror driving the collective us, as Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo, the thrill of the fight, the determination to survive.
Alien: Covenant has none of that. There’s a lot of poor decision making, running and screaming, with an obvious set-up and reveal that makes you more angry than anything.
Here is your spoiler-free capsule:
Covenant is the name of colony cargo ship carrying over 2000 souls to their new home, Origae-6. The crew is torn from hypersleep very early-in due to an unplanned stellar event many, many years from their destination. Dealing with tragedy and uncertainty, they receive a transmission from a nearby planet, and acting captain Chris Oram (Billy Crudup) makes the fateful decision to follow it to the source.
I’m going to stop right there because everything that follows would be considered a spoiler.
If your issues with Prometheus (2012) involved no xenomorphs, your cries of anguish have been heard because this movie is lousy with them.
Here are some unresolved issues (for me):
- Weyland Industries has an issue with product diversity.
- Captain Oram is baffled that his religion has kept him from command, but not once does his faith get more than a passing mention.
- If this was the crew shuttling me to a distant planet, I’d change my travel plans. They’re borderline incompetent when it comes to handling their own equipment. I can barely drive a car, but even I know NOT to shoot a weapon inside a shuttle.
- If you can’t see the twist coming from the opening scenes on the Covenant, then maybe you’ll enjoy this movie.
- People scream a lot and regulations about things as basic as litter and smoking on uncharted planets seem really lax. I don’t know if this was a misguided effort to make the crew “less militia” and more like “regular folk”, but it really came off shrill and off-putting. You’re professionals – act like it.
I guess I am a little mad about this. I’ve seen a lot of smart, fun movies over the last few weeks, and I really expected Alien: Covenant to join that list, especially considering its pedigree. I wasn’t a fan of Prometheus, but I could appreciate what it was trying to do, even if it took forever to do it. Covenant is another link in the endless chain that will eventually connect it to Alien. I wanted to see a smart, well-thought out progression. I got about 45 minutes longer than I needed. Again.
For example, there is a scene showing the crew members reattaching a solar sail. They’re unconnected, seeming to free-float while repairs are made. We’ve seen scenes like this before – the peaceful silence of space, the tension of doing repairs in a dangerous space. Then something happens and bodies are flung into the horror of deep, dark lonely space until they either suffocate, or suits fail and they implode. That didn’t happen here, but it was 5 minutes of unnecessary tension that’s never visited again in the movie. No more space walks, no more solar sails, no one is flung into space. Unnecessary padding that neither furthered the story nor developed characters.
It’s not what we came to see.
I can’t recommend this movie unless you’re a completest.
Alien: Covenant is Rated R for coarse language, xenomorphs being born, amateurish gun play, and a sex scene thrown-in, because why not right?