Alien: Covenant – Movie Review

[This Review Contains Spoilers]

Originally Posted May 20th, 2017

Alien: Covenant was easily one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Prometheus, but I was very much looking forward to seeing how they would continue that storyline. I also love the original Alien and Aliens, so that contributed to my hype as well. Despite being slightly concerned by the somewhat mixed reviews that the movie was getting before seeing it, I left Covenant feeling like I pretty much got what I wanted.

Firstly, I need to give credit to Michael Fassbender. He was amazing in the movie as both Walter and David, the two android characters that played a major part in the movie. Every single time David, in particular, was on screen, I was completely sucked into the movie. The chemistry between those two characters, despite both being played by only one actor, was absolutely incredible, and the way David tries to change the way Walter feels about mankind was fantastic.

The big reveal of the movie is that David essentially created the Xenomorph. The way they explained how he did it was glossed over pretty quickly, but I was able to mostly understand that he basically cross-bred creatures that were created by the black goo. To be completely honest, I didn’t need to know where the Xenomorphs came from at all. The scariest thing to humans is what we don’t know or understand. That’s why the way the Alien creatures were introduced in the original Alien was so perfect: they were just sitting in eggs in some random spaceship on a deserted planet. The fact that we don’t know why they are on that ship or where they came from makes the aliens so much scarier and also adds to the idea that we really don’t know what exists in outer space. Nonetheless, we got the explanation, but I actually found it extremely satisfying, mostly because David is such an intriguing character.

Although I loved David and Walter, not a whole lot of the other characters were given enough to make me care about them. I liked Daniels and Tennessee, but I barely remember any of the side characters and some of them felt like they were in the movie for the sole purpose of dying. I think having better characters would have elevated the movie to another level but, unfortunately, 90% of the character focus went towards Walter and David and I would have liked it if some more attention was given to the other characters (although, as I mentioned, I LOVED every scene involving those two characters).

Another problem that I had with the movie was a relatively minor one, which was that the creatures in the movie were entirely CGI and looked terrible. When I had heard that the Xenomorph was going to be completely rendered on a computer rather than being a combo of animatronic puppetry and CGI, I became nervous. And my fears were realized: the aliens in the movie look completely and utterly fake, particularly the Neomorph. The Alien animatronic from 1979 looks 100x better than the computer generated one in Covenant, and there is no excuse for that since the original Alien came out a little under 40 years ago.

Despite the issues that I have with the film, I still like Alien: Covenant. It felt like a combination of Prometheus and Alien, with an added intensity that was not seen in either of those two movies. I am beginning to get tired of this franchise, and I hope Ridley Scott doesn’t make more than two or three more movies, but I was still very much satisfied with this movie and I look forward to seeing how its story continues.

Grade: B-

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