*Minor spoilers beyond this point.
Alien Covenant didn't exactly capture the tense spine tingling feelings from Scott's original outing, nor did it feel as awkwardly scary (or confusing) as Prometheus. To be clear, I enjoyed Prometheus even though it felt like a weird way to address the Xenomorph’s origin story without actually doing so. I’d heard Noomi Rapace would be in the movie, and I did see her in one of the teaser trailers, but Dr Shaw doesn’t make an appearance in the actual movie which means we’ll likely get treated to a director’s cut.
I also wish a bit more time had been spent establishing who was who so I actually cared when random soldier-type person #1 had something nasty make his face explode.
Parts of the movie were certainly predictable which makes me worry a little that Scott no longer has the ability to surprise, which was easily one of his strongest traits in the past. Think of that last scene in Alien when Ripley has escaped, she’s in the life raft in her underwear, all is peaceful, she’s fiddling with this computer or that, and then the sleeping alien’s hand drops down and scares her. It was on the ship with her! After all that work! Alien Covenant holds no such surprises.
I also wish a bit more time had been spent establishing who was who so I actually cared when random soldier-type person #1 had something nasty make his face explode. We knew the crew of the Nostromo, the Marines in Aliens, the prisoners in Alien 3 . . . hell, even the smugglers in Resurrection. So we gave a crap when they died. Only half the characters in Covenant were highlighted enough to warrant an “awwww”, when they were inevitably beheaded, crushed, burned, blown up, or had something grow inside of them and then exit through areas that are not normally an exit.
I know it sounds like I’m trashing the movie, well I am a little, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. So let’s move on to the positives . . .
Most of the positives can be summed up in a single word: Fassbender.
Most of the positives can be summed up in a single word: Fassbender. Michael Fassbender steals the show playing duel roles, often acting against himself showing just how far camera trickery has developed over the years. Both his characters are wonderful in their own ways. I don’t think it’s a secret that David, the synthetic from the first movie, is back again and he’s still not all there in the circuit boards. Walter is the Covenant’s new and improved synthetic and the two compliment each other well. It’s a joy to watch him chew up the scenery.
Speaking of chewing things, it was also nice to see the fully formed Xenomorph and facehugger making an appearance though I can’t explain why or how without spoiling one of the main plot points. What the movie did do, and do well, was continue to connect the dots that I'm assuming will eventually lead to where we started in Alien. Ridley Scott has said there are two more movies that will complete the prequels and bring us to the beginning of Alien. He’s apparently working on the script for the next movie and plans to start shooting in the next 14 months. While Covenant brings us closer to that end-game . . . or beginning-game, it does leave a number of questions unanswered.
And so we wait . . .
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