Bad or Good: Alien – Covenant

Alien: Covenant (2017) looks like it’s another divisive movie from Ridley Scott.  Don’t get me wrong, this movie has a lot of flaws, and I saw a crappy review on arrowinthehead.com giving it a 9/10, which made me second-guess that wonderful site.  This movie is about average, and I think it’s about the same standard set by Prometheus, which is really not saying much, I know.  However, Michael Fassbender is pretty awesome.  And that’s all. 

The spaceship Covenant is flying to a new colony homeworld when the crew picks up a ghost signal from another habitable planet nearby, so they decide to take a detour.  One of the crew disagrees with the Captain about this decision and that’s the only bit of character development we get from these guys.  We don’t learn their story, beyond Katherine Waterston yearning to build a log cabin for her dead husband, James Franco, who dies in this movie off-screen.  The other crew members are just stock characters.

The real highlight of this movie is David, and to a lesser extent, Walter, played by Michael Fassbender.  The questions of humanity are still around from Prometheus, but they’re just not as prevalent.  Instead, we have an emphasis on the theme of creation and on David’s motivation to destroy humanity, in favor of the perfect organism instead.  We’re shown his “work”, which apparently proves he created the xenomorph seen in previous Alien movies.  Of course, this makes no sense.  I was waiting for an explanation for this and other questions, like those raised in Prometheus, but never got any.  

There is more satisfying action than in Prometheus, and I really have to complement the pacing, honestly.  It doesn’t feel slow, even in the cliche parts, which are done and overwith before I can smirk too much.  The action is good, and the conclusion is not a bad way to wrap it up.

What does this movie want to be?  Is it simply a continuation of Prometheus, with its light philosophical moments? It certainly doesn’t seem like hard sci-fi either, so it’s not made in the same mold as Interstellar or Contact.  It’s also not really a rescue movie, or a disaster flick, although has elements of those genres.  I don’t think it fits the body horror genre.  I think it’s more akin to Frankenstein. I think people will appreciate Prometheus a little more because of Covenant and that’s depressing.  At the end of the day, it’s just a light science fiction flick, and that’s disappointing to some people.

This is Michael Fassbender’s movie, and anyone could probably give Covenant a pass for his performance.  I liked his character(s), and David is a great villain.   I just wish the darn movie wasn’t so predictable and familiar, like when somebody wanders off you know they’re going to die, and even the aliens themselves feel like an old familiar threat, but nothing new.   I think Covenant is worth seeing, but not worth remembering.  Sorry.

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