FILM REVIEWS

Alien: Covenant

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By Richard Von Busack May 19, 2017

Astronauts make increasingly illogical decisions in latest Alien installment. In Alien: Covenant, a haunting score and beautiful production can't ward off ultimate disappointment. Read More

By Saketh Thota May 26, 2017

I agree with most of the negative comments about this movie.It is a gigantic missed opportunity.My biggest issue apart from the utter predictability and nonsensical,inept script,was the disappointment of seeing 'Prometheus' mixed up with 'Alien'
Alien covenant gets locked up in its own self importance while forgetting why we loved 'Alien' in the first place.I really wanted to like it but came a way with a huge sense of disappointment

By Screen-Space May 14, 2017

"At times a thrilling, stomach-churning journey, but one that leaves those on board wondering if the disorientation and down time was worth the investment..."

Read the full review here: http://screen-space.squarespace.com/reviews/2017/5/8/alien-covenant.html

By CraigJamesReview May 14, 2017

Alien Covenant marks the third Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott and the second prequel to the franchise after Prometheus. They also seem to be getting worse with age.

Prometheus was really a lot of questions searching for answers, ambitious in asking not only about the creation of alien life, but human life as well. However the plan to stretch out these topics into 3 or 4 movies should be met with some skepticism.

Especially considering the basis for this was started by Damon Lindeloff, the creator of Lost and the man most of us are still waiting for answers for most of the things that happened on Lost.

He of course has abandoned this second movie, leaving it in the hands of the far more capable John Logan, but even he struggles to find meaning here, or escape the clichés that have started to grow like a Xenomorph in John Hurt's stomach.

We're dealing with a whole new crew this time; the Covenant. They are headed on a colonial mission to another planet before an electric shock takes out the ship, the Captain, and 47 other members.

Reluctant to get back into their pods for a 7 year journey, the on board crew responsible for the ship's upkeep decide instead to answer a distress transmission coming from another planet.

That's where they find what continues to be the best character in these prequels; Michael Fassbender's David the Android. His motivations and whether he considers himself human or God is constantly in question and Fassbender's soft-spoken performance continues to haunt.

I also really do consider Prometheus to be one of the most gorgeous-looking special films of the last decade and this continues that- from the Covenant ship to the grain fields and other vegetation eerily covering the mostly desolate other terrain of the planet.

We also get the first look at the Neo-morph, who is born the same way, seems a bit faster than the Xeno-morph but the main differences are it doesn't have the Venus fly trap tongue and it can stand like a human. Pretty cool.

Just it's at this point I should probably say that after Aliens there started to be less reason to want these. Alien 3 was fine, Prometheus I thought could really go either way depending on the sequels, and Alien 4 of course was garbage.

The biggest problem here is that it feels so redundant. We get a distress call, the crew investigates, some background characters do stupid things leading to impregnation, someone says "we never should have come", final alien chase.

The aliens, when you can see them, are cool, but there is a lot of downtime between them, and a few quality kills does not a 200 million dollar mega blockbuster make.

It's also really odd that Prometheus does this whole thing of setting up the engineers as the creators of human beings but here they only get one scene and let's just say those looking for more info about them will get angry.

The promise of some larger conversation is in here somewhere but these movies feel so stretched out at this point that when this does get to the few moments of actually having something to say, it's hard to get re-engaged.

The characters don't help either as most just come off like archetypes. Katherine Waterston is the Captain's widow and really the bargain basement Ellen Ripley here.

Billy Crudup plays the faith-based character, and like the last movie, this movie seems to be including that without ever really giving it value in the meaning of life conversation.

But at least those two have some background. I'm so tired of most of these others. The ones who just go tramping through the woods of an unknown planet or show the decision making skills of the Trump administration. You're not supposed to make us root for the alien, guys.

Finally i'm no closer to understanding why these movies are necessary. It's easy to tell what this movie wants to do and it's even easier to see the twist coming a half hour before it even comes.

There are a few nice kills here, I will give the movie that. If you can remember to wake yourself every time Fassbender and Fassbender (he also plays an android named Walter) have a philosophy conversation, you might find some interesting stuff there too. But overall not enough action or thought to make this overly drawn out series seem necessary.

So I go 5/10. For more reviews, check me out on Youtube here- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY_IvAm1bJADConJhDCuq6A

By Gimly May 14, 2017

I had a few reservations going in to _Alien: Covenant_. In my opinion there hasn't been a truly great entry to the franchise since _Aliens_, so I was worried that the statistics were against it. I thought _Prometheus_ was incredible from a technical standpoint, but not a very engaging movie, and I was worried we might get the same here. The trailers had been mostly good but I was worried I had seen too much of the third act in them, and I was worried this would spoil the experience for me a little.

What I was not worried about was within ten minutes of the damn thing starting I would think to myself: "Wow, this movie is really poorly made."

Well I guess I'm an idiot because that is exactly what happened. And that feeling never entirely abated over the course of the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong, it's no "_AVP: Requiem_", but I was still very disappointed.

_Final rating:★★ - Had some things that appeal to me, but a poor finished product._

By Simon Quinlank May 14, 2017

**Limps along under the weight of its own importance.**

I love my films dripping with self importance and this one is definitely one of them. I can't get enough of these films that positively bubble over with a high handed, serious and arrogant attitude that indicates that there is no film quite as important as this one.

This film knows it all. It knows everything that we- the lowly, pathetic and simple minded audience do not know and could not ever possibly know because we are not intelligent enough to grasp anything, you see?

For such an authoritative, superior and intelligent film - I find it odd that every character stumbles around like a simple minded cretin making unwise decision after unwise decision.

Ridley and his scriptwriters seem to think that they are intellectuals but somehow they just _can't pull off_ the role of **being** an intellectual.

- Simon Quinlank

By Richard von Busack May 19, 2017

Witness the flight of the Covenant, a colonizing space ship of 2104 headed for Origae 6. It is a ship free of anyone who can make an intelligent decision, except for the onboard android. The first mistake is changing course for a seemingly unexplored planet, on grounds of proximity. More wrongheaded choices follow.

Alien: Covenant has sterling production design, and an almost regally solemn Jed Curzal score. It mulls the idea that humans and the hellspawn Xenomorphs have a linked destiny. Animated now, as opposed to being acted out by a 7-foot-tall stuntman as in the original, the critters come in all sizes and shapes. They're as lithe as monkeys, chittering, making creaking noises like sprung floorboards.

But director Ridley Scott is up to more than retrofitting the origin of the aliens-he contrasts the world of the religiously faithful with those of us who'd prefer to do without celestial help. Something-a rewrite? Several?-skimped on the problem of a religious officer (Billy Crudup) who is peeved about being out-numbered by humanists. There's also a debate about human intentions between a pair of "synthetics" (androids). Michael Fassbender plays both, and if there's anything particularly good about this movie, it's the way these two interactᅢノat one point, in a well-made fight scene.

Do the deep-dish ideas get in the way of the gut-busting, or is it the other way around? There's more monster for the buck than there was in the previous Prometheus, but the human hosts don't make an impression. I'll walk that back. Katherine Waterston makes an impression, a negative one. Her Daniels, a terraformer who just wanted a cabin by a lake on a faraway planet, is widowed right away (the lost spouse is James Franco). Eventually, she gets in the Ripley game, standing in for Sigourney Weaver, and there's just no substitution. She's a very wet actress, and tragedy is becoming a speciality. She wept frequently in Fantastic Beasts, too.

The parts that work best are everyday sci-fi tentpole material; the oddly similar theme in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was far more bracing, though. Scott has said that he's a better director in old age than he was as a young man. The elder director, and the elder man, can end up judging the human race as damned and worthy of destruction. It's an argument, but as theme for an entertainment, it's just plain depressing.

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