"Alien: Covenant" (2017) Movie Review
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: John Logan and Dante Harper
Story by: Michael Green and Jack Paglen
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release date: May 19, 2017
My Rating: 4/10
Verdict: For hardcore scifi geeks who can see past human stupidity
Note: The first section has no spoilers. Everything I mention/complain about is literally shown in the trailer. I will give a warning for any sections with spoilers.
This is going to be one of the rare movies that I rate way below the IMDB score. Generally, I'm pretty nice with ratings - because I love films, and that usually makes me a little biased even when it comes to slightly bad films.
But this was NOT one of those. Honestly, I was extremely annoyed throughout the film. And the only two sane characters that I did(Walter and Daniels) like were basically pushed to the side and not listened to by the stupid characters.
Here's the whole crew(Daniels and Walter are at the forefront, one on the left and one on the right):
Spoiler Free Review:
One thing you should know about me is that generally, I am extremely biased with scifi films. Positive bias; I normally love or at the very least enjoy it even when the rest of the world thinks it sucks.
So it surprised me when I gave this one such a low rating.
Granted, I still don't regret seeing the film (there's my bias), but I wanted to bang my head against the wall throughout most of this film. Pretty sure I got a headache after this movie was done.
I'll be complaining/explaining my reasons, but some of them will have spoiler warning labels because....I can't complain unless I spoil some stuff.
Okay, so the movie starts with the ship getting damaged and killing some crew members (shown in the trailer), and one of them is the captain of the ship. So we get the second in command to take his place...and I have to say...the guy is an idiot. He's the biggest fool I've never met. Even his wife had to tell him "hey, let them drink some alcohol a little, Daniels husband/the captain just died." And all the idiot can think of is "they don't respect me as the new captain." If you keep acting like that, I can assure you, nobody will ever respect you. You cannot force leadership on your crew-mates, you have to earn their respect.
Anyways, after fixing the ship, they receive a signal that makes them aware of a new planet (which they had never even mapped out before). There's a lot of people with theories of why the planet was hidden or how (the engineers? David? what?), but I don't care, and since none of us really know the real answer, I'm going to spend my time on more important topics.
After tracking the signal to a new planet (this planet connects the movie Prometheus to this one), the "great" captain decides it's a fabulous idea to go down to a planet that seems to be gathering a loooot of storm. Maybe I've seen too many scifi films...but honestly...how do these space travelers not know some of the most basic things about space..or hell, about weather. Sheesh.
Basically, they go down, almost crash, and can't even really get backup from their spaceship because the storm is - as was shown - getting worse. They can't even communicate well. Because the storm.
Thanks Captain. You're brilliant.
Some people were like: "well...the movie wouldn't be that interesting if we watched them scout from their spaceship while waiting for the storm to subside"......and all I can say is....."Do you not know that this is a movie? They can FASTFORWARD them waiting."
Okay fine, they got to the planets surface with no trouble, now move on:
Second problem: Where are your space suits????????????????????????????????
Notice how many question marks I put in? Yeah...I'm still confused.
Let's hear some arguments:
1) it's a terraformed planet, so they don't need spacesuits to breathe
2) they have better scanners and can detect any anomalies that can threaten their life
3) they're medically prepared for any quarantine measures needed.
All these arguments are straight up idiotic.
1) I'm not even asking for a spacesuit - I'm asking for a hazmat suit of sorts. To protect the crew from any airborne viruses that can render them dead. Just because a planet is terraformed does not make it a safe environment. Take earth for example: beautiful planet, perfect for us to live in, and yet there are viruses and diseases and infections that can kill us easily. We occasionally need to cover our noses/mouths to not spread something; scientists need to wear hazmat suits to go near a virus strain to find a cure, etc. You get the gist. Not something I'm a professional in, but even I know some of the most basic things.
2) The weather is bad, and their scanning could not detect everything. That is rather ignorant. If it's in a new planet, how can their scanners detect everything that harm humanity without very close and thorough search, instead of the lousy one from space.
3) I guess since we can cure most things that drag humanity down, it's okay to not be on the safe side. That has got to be the dumbest thing I've heard. You might as well jump off from the third floor of the building and say "it's okay, the doctors got me covered." Why put yourself in unnecessary risk? If these people seriously are settlers, they should have been better trained. Because they're clearly not capable of doing the most basic critical thinking.
Let's how how this gets them in trouble later on:
1) they walk around, stepping on spores that release something, and completely don't care. WTF.
2) they approach near spores, and touch it and literally breathe in what's released from the spores. I literally could not care if this person died. He had it coming. That kind of stupidity should be weeded out of humanity. No joke.
3) come time for quarantine, the woman who gets the quarantine ready does not even wear a hazmat suit even when it's 100% necessary. Do they not have any? Why not? Or was she too stupid. Seriously, is every crew member on this ship a moron? The movie idiocracy had more intelligent people than this one, and that's saying something! And if this wasn't bad enough.....She messes up twice more!
a) she locks her friend in because "for crews safety", but SHE HAS BLOOD ON HER HEAD TOO!!!
I mean...I get human selfishness for survival...but come on, at this point, you guys would have better luck not spreading the "virus" had you let out your friend before things got worse (still not a spoiler, it's an opinion on what she should have done).
b) SPOILER: skip this part if you don't want to know what she does next. I have warned you...................................she opens the door. What a surprise. It's like a common trend among scifi movies to have the characters open doors to quarantine room. Sigh...I just can't. Before the creature ripped through the dudes back, she could have gotten them both out, closed the door, and gotten as far from that place as possible. But no....she watches her friend beg her to open the door, doesn't do it when it's okay to do it, but then when she sees the creature, she runs to grab a weapon...AND OPENS THE DOOR. I can't...I just can't...I'm done with this part.
Ahhhh. Isn't that a pretty view. Wait. Human wheat in an alien planet that's never been discovered?
Why isn't anyone concerned about this.
I guess they're just going to continue looking around, even though it looks suspiciously...dead.
The whole planet looks abandoned. I mean, the wheat tells me that it's a livable place and possibly humans were once here, but the non-humans and animals tells me that something is very wrong here. That maybe we don't see them because they escaped.
Daniel's points to something very observant: "You hear that? Nothing. No birds, no animals. Nothing." Dude, even on earth, not hearing animals is like the sign of something being wrong. Animals are very perceptive to danger. They run in the opposite direction before humans can even see the danger from afar.
So when you don't see or hear animals, just GTFO. I kid you not. New planet, looks abandoned, and no animals? Thanks, but I'm out. I'll send a drone or something to take a closer look for a few weeks before I even decide to let anyone step foot on that planet, let alone myself.
But alas, I'm not the captain, so onward they go!
To meet their maker. Come on, that's not a spoiler. It's an alien horror movie. You can bet that most, if not all, the crew-members are going to die.
David vs. Walter
So thanks to Shaw from Prometheus (rather stupid of her to ever put him back together after all he did in that movie), we have two androids: David (from Prometheus), and Walter - Daniel's protector (heavily hinted).
And it does not settle well with me.
I found David to be really mentally messed up. He was so human that he probably had a few mental disorders. Ha. He was creepy, and from the start I didn't trust him.
Walter, on the other hand, I really liked. For one thing, he wasn't mentally deranged and emotional. One of the biggest reasons why I've found myself to like the logical or sentient beings in the star trek universe is because I don't like emotional people.
And David was emotional. Along with the idiotic humans who got themselves killed.
I guess the creators are trying to explore gods and creation, and sentience all in one go. Prometheus and Covenant definitely concentrate on David heavily. While I love movies about robot sentience (I promise, I will review some movies on that subject in the future), this one was not exactly enticing.
My problem with this David revelation (it's not really a revelation, the trailer shows that), is that the group is immediately trusting of the robot. Sure, he's a robot, but he acts weird. And what if there was a sentient being on this planet that messed with his program? What then? What if it was a trap?
I'll just worry on my own then.
Also, there is a scene where the two droids have a showdown, and David ends up being superior, both times. Why? How is it that David, an inferior, older model, can beat a newer better model (one that's also less emotional)? I'm still confused how that happened.
David vs Captain:
The captain does some really insanely stupid things when he meets David. While I won't spoil this entirely, I'll ask this one question:
If someone or something looked like he got along with a creature that was eating humans AND admitted that he was the one that created these creatures, told you to look into an incubation chamber and promised that it was "completely safe", would you do it?
I bet everyone is saying "hell no." Well...this captain somehow was stupid enough to do it. He got "Facehugged". Haha.
The ending twist isn't really surprising. Most people saw it coming before it even happened. I won't say what it is here (warning below the spoiler label), but it's kind of a reminiscent of what already happened with Shaw (you find out what happens to Shaw in this film).
Ending aside, I have one question that doesn't make sense in the film:
How in the world does the computer on the ship accept Davids access code/password? It doesn't make sense. And How does David even know Walters code/pass? There is no way he would. None of this adds up. He wouldn't have enough time to hack into Walter, and the computer on the ship would tell him that he was not in their database and had access to NOTHING on the ship. And would probably warn the rest of the crew of the situation.
I'm not talking as someone who's ignorant, I major in the sciences...and this makes no sense to me. If that's what their security measures are, then no wonder this crew was full of morons and got screwed over one after the other.
Good god, if that's what humanity has accomplished that far in the future, maybe we should never explore space after all.
Conclusion (no spoilers):
This movie had more plotholes than my mind could handle, and enough idiots to make me cry more than I have in my entire life.
I love space exploration, I love aliens and androids that become sentient, but even though this movie had all those, one important thing it lacked was Intelligent Human Beings. That was a major turn off and what made me hate this movie so much.
I don't mind people making stupid mistakes sometimes (we all do), but when everyone makes the same mistakes, repeatedly, then I'm done.
And also, it shows lack of creativity on the part of the writer to be so bad at writing better reasons for why this crew got screwed over that they had to MAKE the "scientists/space-explorers/settlers" do the dumbest thing just to make the story continue.
If you love the alien series, you're going to be disappointed. If you liked Prometheus (at least they wore space-suits-at first anyways), you're going to be disappointed. If you like mindless gore where people get screwed over by aliens by doing stupid things, you will enjoy this.
Watch at your own risk.