Same topic as back at the old place, a place for movie reviews and discussion on whatever you’ve recently seen.
dir. Ridley Scott
A crushing disappointment of a movie if there ever was one. After leaving the alien creature out of Prometheus for all but a very brief cameo, instead opting to explore heavy philosophical questions about the meaning of life, where we came from, and all of that jazz, one would have thought that the creature’s return to title billing would have meant that we’d get a healthy dose of said creature.
Nope. The movie that I came to see, and that I think the movie that they marketed to the general public, is crammed into the last half-hour or forty-five minutes of this snoozefest that otherwise picks right up where Prometheus left off, bashing the audience over the head with how smart it thinks it is. Where this mostly worked in Prometheus, it fails here because of the film’s intentions to try to cater to the Alien faithful by trying to weave some of those horror elements back into the frame.
The film’s ill-conceived philosophical angle is built around the storyline of David and his twin android Walter, both of which are played by Michael Fassbender. Fassbender turns in a terrific performance in both roles, but unfortunately he can’t make a dull story better than it is. And, sadly, it’s all there to set up the most obvious twist I’ve seen in a film in quite some time. Seriously, if you didn’t guess how Alien: Covenant was going to end, then you’ve never seen a movie before.
Fassbender aside, the rest of the cast is dull, as though they know they’re in a bad movie and are there for the paycheck. Several talented actors (Waterston, Crudup, and McBride) sleepwalk through this film, seemingly as though they know that the only portion of the film that anyone is there to see is the slasher portion of the film, which ends far too quickly, and that the philosophical overtones that Scott has attempted to cover the film in are so simplistic that they are almost self-defeating for the film.
A lot of interesting things could be done to set up a line of prequels that lead into Scott’s original Alien, but neither film has fully worked so far, and have in fact gotten worse as we have gone. I’d love to see them get this franchise back on track, but I don’t see it happening without some changes in the creative direction.