Alien: Covenant (Film Review) (Spoilers!)
“Sometimes, in order to create, one must destroy.” – Prometheus.
Well here we are after five years of waiting. Five years of wondering. Five years of cake munching. Behold, Alien: Covenant is here. Behold its purity, its beauty, its relative distance from Prometheus. Join me brothers and sisters of the Giger. Join me as we delve into the depths of Alien: Covenant. (I see Wookiee has rescheduled many of my articles. Just go with it folks. You may get the latest review 3 months late, but at least you’re getting it.)
BLOODY SPOILER ALERT! AVOID THIS ARTICLE IF YOU’VE NOT SEEN ANY OF THE FILMS IN THE FRANCHISE OR THIS FILM. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT IF YOUR NIPPLES FALL OFF!
Did you believe any of that introduction? I did not. Instead, join me as we look at the most predictable and cliche Science-Fiction/Horror film ever made!
Right, so as the more perceptive of you have no doubt realised, Alien: Covenant is the direct sequel to Prometheus and the prequel to the other Alien films. As such Covenant attempts to answer a number of the lingering questions from the other films. But it instead does little more then add a lot more questions that will probably never get answered (Things might get complicated from here on in. -Ed)
Now Covenant takes place some 10 years after Prometheus, and focuses on the crew of the colonisation ship ‘Covenant” who, upon waking up to deal with an emergency, discover a signal from a distant planet and set course to poke the planet with a stick, instead of sticking to the original plan. (I’d fire them all for doing that. -Ed)
FUN FACT: James Franco plays the captain for about 30 seconds.
Naturally, they arrive at the planet, a small crew is sent down (At least they left some plebs on the mother-ship for a change. -Ed) and they go exploring. (So far, so typical.) At any rate, the crew discovers some traces from Prometheus and its sole-survivor, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. (Naomi Rapace.) Naturally, the less important members of the crew poke the planet with a stick and thus become infected with some sort of familiar looking virus… which then kills them, releasing a few Xenomorph cousins to torture and eat the remaining cretins. (These schmucks never use robots to explore planets!)
Enter David! (That’s what she said. -Ed)
At this point David (Michael Fassbender) arrives and chases off the hostile organisms. He then escorts the survivours into an ancient and rather dead city. There they take shelter. They also contact the mother-ship and request cake. Okay, it’s not cake. But it should have been cake. Cake would be better and more useful and less stereotypical than asking for evacuation.
Anyway, David and Walter (Two hot Celto-Germanic robots. -Ed) have a lovely chat about life, the universe and everything. During this conversation it turns out David is as nutty as a fruitcake on national fruitcake day. In fact, he’s so mental that he caused the death of Shaw, the natives of the planet, and others. He’s also trying to breed the perfect killing machine to wipe out the his worthless creators. (There I agree with him. Death to the pitiful human worm babies! -Ed)
Enter The Alien. (That’s what she calls it. -Ed.)
So some more plebs get killed, the alien gets onto the mother-ship, people get munched and finally “Danny” (Katherine Waterston) manages to kill it/them/those/that thing with her Ripley-esque skills. After this battle the two surviving crew members head into stasis, happy in the knowledge that they’ve managed to save the colony ship and its two thousand colonists. Unfortunately for them it turns out Walter is a corpsical and that David has taken his place. At this point David beings to put his Xenomorph plans into motion.
The End. (Not where she likes it. -Ed)
Right, so this is the part where we begin to analyse the film. Are you ready?
Firstly, the film is fun and enjoyable; but once again I get the feeling that the writers and Hollywood people ran out of ideas 5 minutes in. Yes, big budget films tend to stick to a formula. Yes, they tend to commit more money to the effects and not the acting talent. (Though some of the CGI looked like something out of AVP -the 1998 video game. -Ed) Yes, these big budget films are simply chewing gum for the eyes. But that does not mean that they need to become painfully cliche. And let me be bloody honest with you, this damned film is so predictable and cliche that you do not actually need to see more than 5 minutes of it before you can figure the whole blasted thing out!
Let us see if the film ticks all the boxes of cliche sci-fi films.
- Deep space ship? YES!
- Semi-Red Neck space crew? YES!
- Disaster changes plans? YES!
- Mysterious signal draws them in? YES!
- Crew lands on planet and pokes it with a stick instead of sending in robots and such? YES!
- Mindless extras get infected? YES!
- Blood and gore result in hand holding moments of terror? YES!
- Monsters kill morons? YES!
- Mysterious strange saves the cretins? YES!
- Stranger turns out to be person from the franchise? YES!
- Stranger is not what they seem? YES!
- Monster kills off more plebs? YES!
- Hero is powerful female character? YES! (She’s not Ripley though! There is only one Ripley! -Ed)
- Hero and friends kill monster and believe they have saved the day? YES!
- The hero and friends are wrong? YES!
- Monster and hero have dramatic final showdown? YES!
- Monster is finally slain in a dramatic way, and survivors celebrate? YES!
- Twisted ending gives fans hope for more killing? YES!
The film is about as unoriginal as humanly possible. In fact, it’s so predictable that it borders on a family-friendly Disney film. But to be perfectly frank, I doubt that any film will capture the power of the first trilogy, no matter what they try.
That said, if you’re a fan of the franchise and would love to kill a few hours watching something bloody and entertaining, then this is for you! (I’m still confused by it all. Hell, does this mean AVP is dead? Or did Predator 2 not happen? Or did David simply create his own knockoff xenomorphs by poking Shaw and the Engineers with a stick? -Ed)
However, if you’re looking for answers, resolutions and definitive solutions to the franchise, then go somewhere else. If you want to see the best alien film ever, then go somewhere else. If you want to see the best of SFX, then go somewhere else. If you want to have sexy cake, then… Oh, you have the concept by now!I fear that we will be seeing Fassbender’s alien centred story for years to come. YE BE WARNED!
“I say we pull out, and nuke the franchise from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” – Raven. (2012)