Hot Take: When you’re dealing with the 8th movie in a film franchise, any opinion has the danger of entering “Water is wet” territory. Alien: Covenant is watchable but lacks self-awareness which leads it to appearing to be so damn full of itself.
What do you want me to say about Alien: Covenant? It’s somewhere in the middle of all of the films in the Alien franchise? Okay. It would be unsurprising to learn that someone behind Life scored an early draft of the script and decided to make a similar film the same year? Watch them both and see if you don’t draw the same conclusion. The creature in the two films should have to fight to the death to decide which one is allowed to continue to exist in 2017. Michael Fassbender can even pull off dual roles? Duh.
It doesn’t seem like there’s a place to go with Alien: Covenant that would be fresh and provocative. Essentially, that’s also the movie in a nutshell. There’s the obvious iconic “chestburster” scene in the original Alien that was a defining moment in the franchise. Alien: Covenant takes it to the next level featuring the “chestburster” on a loop. It’s blood and gore and attempts to be pure Sci-Fi horror but when you barely care about the main characters, you get a very ho hum response. At this point in the franchise, part of us is rooting for the aliens, aren’t we?
Alien: Covenant does deliver on a rather bleak and somber tone. Humans continue to screw up their own world and seek out new places to colonize and destroy. In Alien: Covenant, the backstory continues to develop from where Prometheus left off, if you could actually follow Prometheus. David (Fassbender), the android from the prequel is back as well as Walter (Fassbender), the updated android model. The return of the character to link the two films is fitting since Alien: Covenant is an amalgamation of so many elements of the franchise. It continues down the philosophical path of Prometheus while trying capture all of the elements of horror the first few films were known for. It also tries to be the bleakest film in the franchise which is a waste of time since you can’t get any more bleak than Alien 3.
If you’re a diehard Alien fan, it’s likely Alien: Covenant will do enough to deliver a satisfactory night at the movies. It’s likely if you are only a casual fan of the franchise, Ridley Scott’s visual effects and knack for deep space horror will suffice for a good time, too. It’s not a home run but it will be enough to allow this franchise to jump to the next evolution of the franchise as Scott brings the story back to the 1979 original.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Great Visuals
Scott’s films are always beautifully mastered. You can count on a visually pleasing experience no matter how disappointing the film might be. So, even if you don’t buy into the plot, there’s something to watch.
- Two Fassbenders Aren’t Better Than One But They’re Equally Good
The presence of Fassbender in two separate roles is odd but the distinguished actor is able to pull the dual role off.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Oh No! Not Again!
Speaking of that iconic scene from Alien, it seems that Scott has become obsessed with that scene in the second prequel. He manages a way to work this into the plot so many times that it loses it’s iconic status halfway through the film. Fear not, Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme still maintains the self-proclaimed iconic status it gave itself earlier this year.