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"Alien: Covenant" Movie Review

Updated on December 17, 2021
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Nathan is an aspiring author with a true passion for film and mental health who hopes their writings will help launch their career.

Ridley Scott's newest addition to the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant, had a ton of potential but was seriously lacking in several places. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this film. I almost even loved it. But the way his previous installment Prometheus ended, it seemed like we would be getting some rather interesting answers. We do, just not the ones we thought we would.

The film opens with a prologue which shows the first moments of David's "life" after Weyland finished creating him. In the prologue, Weyland expresses his discontent with merely accepting that humanity happened by chance and that he someday hoped he and David would gain the answers he so desperately wanted. Even this scene goes right along with Prometheus in the spirit of wanting to know more. Covenant, however, takes a complete 180 after that. It seems that this new group of films is David's story, and David doesn't seem to care where humanity came from because he believes that humanity must be eradicated. He's kind of like Ultron in that sense, only Ultron actually had fair reason to want to destroy all life. David's reason is simply that he hated his creator.

Anyway, the film progresses to the introduction of the ship Covenant which is on a colonizing mission. A random solar energy burst damages the ship, causing the captain and several colonists to lose their lives. Now, this is one scene that puzzles me. Why cast a huge name star (James Franco) to play the captain when you're just going to kill off the captain in the first ten minutes of the film? It sincerely puzzles me. Moving on, while the crew begins repairs on the ship, they intercept a transmission from Elizabeth Shaw (see Prometheus if you don't know who that is) and decide to pursue the transmission's signal. They hope to find a good enough settlement on this planet, but find David instead, who has sinister plans of his own.

I did love the fact that we finally get to see the very first Xenomorph. I also loved seeing Michael Fassbender in dual roles, one evil and one pure. The tension and level of horror was outstanding and the acting was top-notch. Danny McBride impressed me above all others because he's not usually in this type of film. Usually he's in comedic or slapstick films, but seeing him in a dark and almost depressing state actually gives me hope for his Halloween reboot coming next year.

What I didn't like is that they pulled a cop out and did next to nothing with Shaw. It was a huge injustice to her character, especially considering all that she went through and survived throughout Prometheus. Also, I hated that they undid everything that they set up in Prometheus. It almost begs the question, 'What was the point?'

In conclusion, I would say if you love the Alien series then you'll probably like this. It's a good addition to the series, but definitely not remarkable like Alien, Aliens, and Prometheus. I have a great respect for Ridley Scott so I am hoping there's a director's cut out there somewhere that combats all the problems with the theatrical cut. I am still looking forward to the next installment, which I hope comes sooner rather than later. I give Alien: Covenant a 3 out of 4.

© 2017 Nathan Jasper


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