By Aidan Tierney (Cavan, Ireland)
Alien: Covenant is the latest film in set in the acclaimed Alien universe, the home of such classics such as Alien and its simply titled sequel Aliens. Yet still, despite these classics, the Alien universe had housed some pretty terrible movies in the past, such as Alien cubed, oh, sorry I mean Alien3, and whatever the hell they called the last. (AvP does NOT count)
Unfortunately, Covenant falls into the latter category. The sort of prequel sort of sequel directed by 79 year old Ridley Scott, who bullied promising young director Neill Blomkamp off of directing an Alien movie, is very disappointing on all fronts.
Scott opened up a lot of questions with Prometheus, and it seemed as if the Alien franchise was going in some kind of an interesting direction, no matter how divisive that movie was. I enjoyed Prometheus, and was really looking forward to expanding the Prometheus universe, while still having touches of what made the original two movies great. But Covenant is one of the most bland movies this year, that literally was going nowhere of interest, and added sweet nothing to this Alien franchise. Scott seemed to have panicked from the extreme divide of Prometheus, and misunderstood what people meant when the said that they wanted the old style of Alien movies back.
Alien: Covenant has the same plot as every other Alien movie had. This time the crew of unheard of actors except for Fassbender and McBride head off on a colonization mission, but they hear a song being transmitted from a different planet, which just so happens to be more suitable for their mission’s needs, and is also closer. They decide to go to this planet, and see what’s happening there. Of course this happens to be where the Xenomorph and other Alien creatures reside, as well as the only character carried over from Prometheus, the android, David, excellently portrayed by Michael Fassbender. So this is pretty much the premise of the movie, which isn’t much of a premise to begin with, but we got the usual clichés and tropes as the movie goes on. I found the actual Alien action to be very disappointing and just felt forced, despite the bloody movie being called Alien. Alien action shouldn’t feel forced in a movie called Alien.
Covenant wasn’t all terrible though. The visuals are fantastically striking and breath-taking, as all Ridley Scott movies are. Michael Fassbender does the Adam Sandler in Jack and Jill job, as he plays two androids in this movie, the aforementioned Prometheus character David, and the new Covenant character, Walter. Fassbender was easily the standout in the movie, as he always is, and he managed to perfectly portray these two surprisingly complex characters excellently. The interactions between Walter and David were my favourite part of the movie, easily. Danny McBride was also fairly good, and probably the only sort of memorable character on the Covenant ship. Our main female protagonist, played by Katherine Waterston, was forgettable, boring and unable to match the sheer brilliance of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley.
Unfortunately, I am going to give Alien: Covenant a 4.5/10. I would like to see more movies in the Alien universe, but seen as there are now more bad Alien movies that good ones, it might be time that Ridley Scott gave someone else a crack at the whip.