Film #284: ALIEN: COVENANT
1.5 out of 5 stars
I’ll be honest… after PROMETHEUS, I was convinced we’d seen the last of the Xenomorphs. They’d seemingly run their course and no one seemed happy with where the series was going. It all just needed a few years to chill down before their eventual rebooting. Instead, director Ridley Scott decided there were still unanswered questions after the credits rolled on PROMETHEUS and the world needed to know more. With that in mind, I’ll say two things… firstly, the film looks great. Scott creates real atmosphere and everything looks terrific. Secondly, the cast are all top-flight and do what they can given the material at hand. Ok, cool… don’t let it be said I didn’t have at least a few nice things to say about this shit pile. Now for the bad news… COVENANT is, simply put, stupid. The film rolls out very much like ALIEN, but it’s all forward momentum with little to no justification and ZERO character development. We’re told that the crew is on a ‘terraforming mission’ to… somewhere. They quickly get sidetracked by a nearly indecipherable message from space (sound familiar?). Scott quickly gets rid of the ship’s captain (a hugely wasted James Franco) and leaves things in the hands of a Billy Crudup (WATCHMEN), a ‘man of faith’ who clearly has zero command experience and even less of a clue. From there, it’s a contest to see which character can make the dumber decision. The plot soon becomes terribly contrived, manufacturing trouble rather than letting it all roll out organically. After that, I can’t count how many times I threw my hands in the air at the narrative’s stupidity. Things happen for no reason, supposed professionals abandon safety protocols, they seemingly have zero battle experience, and things happen purely to add to the overall screen time. It’s infuriating. In the end, this is one film I wouldn’t suggest to ANYONE; especially fans of the series. If you hated ALIEN 3, this is going to make you want to small your head in a door. For newcomers, you’ll just walk away confused.