Originally, I didn’t think I was going to bother writing a review for Alien: Covenant. A lot has already been written about it, some good, some not so good. I, like most people, did like the original Alien and Aliens movies but thought Prometheus was dire, to put it mildly. So, how would a Covenant do?
In 1986 Sigourney Weaver uttered the immortal line, “Get away from her, you bitch” whilst strapped into a rather cool looking loading machine. In 2017 we get Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Inherent Vice) shout: “I got you, you son-of-a-bitch” in a space suit, instead of simply dealing with the alien in front of her.
There are a lot of similarities between Alien: Covenant and Alien and Aliens. We’ve got face huggers, pods, face-bursts, chest-bursts, back-bursts and not one, but two androids. It appears Hollywood is just content on remaking, sorry rebooting, movies these days they re-shoot them shot-for-shot. Anyway, not quite with Covenant.
It’s ten years since Prometheus and a new crew have set sail for an Earth-like planet to colonise it. Along the way they hit a solar flare which also happens to coincide with them picking up a signal from a nearby planet which is perfect for human life. As the ship has been damaged and it’s not another seven years until they reach their original destination, they figure it’s worth a look.
What they discover is the crashed Prometheus site and their they find David, Michael Fassbender (Assassin’s Creed, X-Men), whose all alone and has long hair, for some reason. We learn from Walter, also Michael Fassbender, the newer of the androids, that Weyland industries have made them less-human these days as David’s generation scared the humans.
Then the aliens arrive and begin killing the ground-crew off, an electrical storm ensuring those that remained on the main ship don’t quite know what’s happening. These aliens though, have been tampered with, altered genetically, who’s behind it? The tall giants from Prometheus?
Frankly, at this point in the movie, you couldn’t care less. Or I couldn’t anyway. Alien: Covenant is a mess of a film. Long, drawn out dialogue that doesn’t seem to add or move anything along. Action scenes that we’ve seen before and don’t have the same affect they did back in the day.
In summation, we’ve seen it all before and, if you are going to show us again, what you’ve already shown us, shouldn’t it at least be better? Because this isn’t, not by some margin.
So, 21 years after Aliens we’re recycling lines, recycling entrances and deaths and, just five years after Prometheus, we’re recycling crew.
Fassbender is good as Walter, perhaps less so as David who it feels like has stepped right out of an am-dram performance of an old Hammer horror movie.
Waterston is no Weaver but does an ok job. Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, This is the End) is good as the cowboy-hat wearing ships pilot but both seem to move on quite quickly from the tragedy that strikes each of them, hardly blinking.
It’s as if they don’t care what’s just happened, to be honest, neither do I. Whilst it’s not there yet, I just get the feeling that the Alien franchise is heading the way of the Terminator franchise. Too many sequels, prequels and other quels that miss the mark. I hope someone can rescue it in the inevitable follow-up that’s left open for us.