Overall, I have to say I was pretty disappointed with Alien: Covenant. Amongst some pretty gruesome and some pretty epic scenes, it was basically a part two of Prometheus. Whilst this film introduces a new set of characters into the Alien Universe, it continues the story of Prometheus and all too often follows the same theme and overall style. Don’t get me wrong, Ridley Scott knows how to shoot a sci-fi film, but I really felt this sequel/prequel missed the mark.
Heard It All Before?
A space crew headed towards a destination. A mysterious signal from an unmapped world. A detour. A haphazard bunch of human space explorers. A short-haired brunette heroine. Sounds pretty similar, huh? The trailer promised a sci-fi horror, and in some regards, the film almost did too. I enjoyed the start, and the story was set and the tension began to heighten. Although we didn’t really get a sci-fi horror at all.
I thought the initial outbreak of the Xenomorph parasite was pretty cool. Panic and disaster started to kick-off, but after the initial foray of action, the same feel of Prometheus really reared its head. I really wasn’t a fan of the Prometheus, as it went too deep and philosophical for a film set in a franchise about chest-bursting aliens. Alien: Covenant went too far down the same route, sacrificing intense action sequences for in-depth questioning of what it is to be human, as well as some extremely suggestive music lessons with a recorder.
Double Fassbender Action!
Michael Fassbender returns as yet another synthetic android, Walter. Although, if you missed his blonde-haired less-American sounding counterpart, then the band of new crewmates soon find David shortly after landing. The meeting of the two characters led to some pretty interesting scenes but they also led to possibly most obvious to spot plot twist every before seen.
We were taken a little down the road of considering the Frankenstein vs. Creator relationship with David and Weyland – but to what gain? I would have much rather seen more Alien action than delving into deep questionings of mortality and allusions to Paradise Lost. Whilst I really enjoyed Fassbender’s performance, I just felt his character and the audience were let down by a storyline that was too slow and too self-invested.
Glimpses Of The Good Stuff
Amongst a lot of frilly and convoluted plotlines, I did especially love some of the gorier scenes. Wasn’t complete sold on the CGI neomorphs if I’m honest, but overall the miniature alien hatchlings bursting out of their new human hosts were as good as ever. The initial sequence which ended in the destruction of the landing craft was also a pretty intense moment.
As with every film in the Alien franchise, there’s still a small feeling of unease when you see an alien egg or a xenomorph. Despite the film’s flaws I still did feel like they captured this spine-chilling essence. Whilst I feel the story lost its way a little bit, there’s still glimpses of an original trilogy in there somewhere. Let’s hope in forthcoming Alien: Covenant sequels, that these films can morph their way back to their roots.
There’s my review on Alien: Covenant, but what did you think? Did this film meet expectations or did it completely miss the mark? Let me know in the comments below!