Movies & TV

Thoughts on Alien Covenant

I finally got to see Alien Covenant last week and now that I’ve had a chance to reflect I think it’s time to have a bit of a chat about how it turned out. Usually I’d be writing a review or similar but this time I’ll take a different approach and just get my thoughts down in bite sized chunks.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

It looks great…

The shift away from the shiny world of Prometheus and back to something grittier like the original Alien does a lot to help set the right mood and tone of the film. The Xenomorph is right at home in those darkened corridors of old.

So much for the “engineers”…

After introducing a new species in Prometheus known as the engineers, who are meant to be responsible for the creation of the human race, they get shafted quickly and seemingly written out of the storyline from here onwards. It happens very quickly too, almost like Ridley Scott was wanting to erase his past effort with as little remaining as possible.

WAY too much is done to link Prometheus to Alien…

Much like how the engineers were removed quickly, how the film transitioned from black goo to facehuggers is so fast that it’s a wonder anyone has time to take a breath. It doesn’t help that it is all due to a familiar face…

David sucks as the bad guy…

Though it was hinted that the android David was up to no good in the teaser trailers leading up to the film’s release, that’s nothing compared to what else he has been up to. He’s also the main driver for that transition from Prometheus to Alien. With everything that gets taken out in the process I’m surprised they even bothered to make a connection between the movies in the first place.

The new alien seemed like a waste…

In addition to the Xenomorph returning, a new alien dubbed the Neomorph made its debut in the film. Problem is that it’s also the last time we’ll see it too as it was quickly replaced by its more famous counterpart. As the goal of the story was to bring back the good old alien, much could have been achieved faster simply by avoiding this introduction altogether.

The “twist” was too obvious…

The final plot twist at the end of the film felt too obvious – a lot of that fault has to lie in the editing of a key sequence (David v Walter) that happens during one of the later parts in the film. Having it cut away from a moment that would decide the path that the plot would follow clearly telegraphed something was going to happen. I do give them credit for them stretching it out to the closing moments of the film but I spent most of my time to that point wondering when it was going to happen.

So… Did I like it?

Alien Covenant definitely excels in setting the right atmosphere and that is helped by having some great performances by the lead actors. But it also frustrates me too by trying too hard to rush through the Prometheus plot threads and get the movie in line with Alien.

Throwing one film under the bus to favour another might have worked for X-Men: Days of Future Past but here it just seems like a bad way to solve a problem.

Now that I’ve said my part, what did you think of the movie? Good or bad?

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