Director – Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Alien)
Starring – Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Blood Creek), Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Steve jobs), and Danny McBride (This is the End, Eastbound & Down)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 3.5/5
Horror is an impressive genre. People love horror movies but they tend to get a bad rap among general movie goers. Over the years we have saw the release of some amazing movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Exorcist, The Omen, Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm St, and so many more that are known outside the horror genre.
One film that has a huge fan base spanning genres is Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece Alien. The film has one of the most dedicated fan bases in all of horror fandom. I enjoy the film but I would be lying if I said it was among my favorite films. I’ve seen all the sequels and the prequel Prometheus and I see them as all the same quality which really pisses some of the fans off. When Alien: Covenant was announced I was excited but I didn’t piss my leg and skip work to watch it. I knew I would see it when it was available on DVD or blu. I reached out and was able to secure a review copy. Thanks for sending it my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a colony ship as it heads out for an unknown planet in hopes of colonizing it when they experience a distress call from a nearby planet. The captain Oram (Billy Crudup) decides to investigate instead of continuing their mission. They change course and set out for the beacon where they discover a planet similar to Earth. After doing some searching they find a ship that had crash landed with the belongings of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw who went missing with the Prometheus.
They then experience some of their crew becoming ill before a creature of unknown origin bursts out of them. In a panic they run and their ship is destroyed while their actual ship, Covenant, can’t make it to land due to a storm. They seek refuge when a synthetic named David. He befriends them and offers them solitude before they uncover a dark secret David is hiding from the crew.**Spoiler Alert**
I enjoy the entire Alien series, Resurrection and Prometheus included. The films are great to watch on a rainy day or late at night but to me that is as far as they go. I won’t be getting a tattoo dedicated to the film anytime soon but I will take the time to watch any new installment that is released because they tend to be fun in a popcorn movie sense. Alien: Covenantwas just that. A fun flick to watch in a theater setting or on a rainy afternoon when you want something newer to watch. The film had problems, can’t deny that, but it was still fun.
The acting in this one is great. Michael Fassbender is great in his duel roles at Walter and David. His roles was very demanding and he knocked it out of the park. Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup were very underwhelming. Crudup is a familiar face in my home. Big Fish and Watchmen are two of my favorite films so I was expecting more from him than what we got.
Also, Waterston has been compared to Sigourney Weaver’s performance as Riley and I just don’t see it. She shows no emotion and or reactions to situations around her. She is rather boring to be honest. With all that being said, I was shocked by Danny McBride and his performance. He is known the world over for his raunchy comedy skills but he took on a serous role here and absolutely killed it.
The story for this one does have some issues but is still fun for a watch. In fact, I had a lot of fun with it. The film picks up 10 years after the events in Prometheus and would still be considered a prequel to Alien. We then follow the crew as they suffer a casualty and then discover the beacon that they follow to the planet. Once there they encounter a superior breed of alien and we then meet David from Prometheus. The 10 years between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant is then condensed for the viewer which is a huge let down. This leads to the ending and makes it very predictable.
There is a few segments throughout the film that some consider to be plot holes or un-discussed errors but I don’t see that. Entering spoiler territory but in the end when David is pretending to be Walter the viewer knows because his face has not healed like Walter’s did in the cave which should have set off an alarm to Daniels but she was never privy to that information. She doesn’t know that Walter can heal himself. Some of these minors details are so talked about but they really don’t hold the film back any.
Finally, the film does have several amazing on screen kills that use practical and visual effects. Some of the kills are fantastic with a lot of gore and amazing practical effects. There is several instances where there is visual effects that look great as well but the bad outweighs the good with there being more examples of bad visual effects. I really enjoyed how brutal and bloody the kills. My horror side was screaming when I saw them. Would have loved to see those in theaters.
Overall, Alien Covenant isn’t an instant classic but still an enjoyable film. If you feel like you have to dissect the film then you probably won’t enjoy it anyway because you just don’t want to. However, if you take it for what it is you can really have fun with it. Check it out.