Review Alien: Covenant film review by Snake
Written By Snake on 2017-05-12 15:40:12
Alien: Covenant MovieLearn More
I'm a life-long diehard Alien lunatic and this is the first time I'm posting something here even though I've frequently visited this site when Prometheus was still in pre-production. I just love the debates here and how committed you people are towards your favourite franchise.
I just wanted to give you all my two cents for Alien: Covenant since I keep blabbering about it at home and my family is getting fed up with it. I'll try to avoid spoilers for those of you who haven't seen it yet.
First off, I cannot stress enough how pleased I am with Alien: Covenant! I saw it yesterday and left the theatre feeling quite positive overall, even though I still had some doubts.
Now that I slept on it I can put my hand on my heart and say that this imho is the best movie since Alien 3.
And That's saying a lot when you consider how much this franchise has veered off course during the past decade.
Before I get to the actual review I first want to say some things about Prometheus and why I didn't like it...at all.
I have never in my life looked forward to seeing a movie so badly as Prometheus. The countdown during the last few months before release seemed like years.
I took my entire family (well, the ones who actually wanted to see it) to the local cinema and when the credits eventually rolled I felt totally underwhelmed and frustrated.
Never, not even in my wildest dreams, would I have thought that it could have turned out the way it did. The premise about the untold story of the Space Jockey and expansion of the mythos sent shivers down my spine.
But I was blinded by the hype and honestly believed that this movie couldn't fail no matter what. I was so wrong...
Even though Prometheus looked terrific, it just couldn't be saved because the characters did the most retarded things ever and it was constant and non-stop (eg. trying to pet an alien snake even though it hissed violently, getting drunk after making
the most important discovery in the history of mankind, crew members having sex when others are stranded in the temple, crew members that have zero fucks to give when a person walks in the room all covered in blood, helmet bongs etc.)
This movie was so full of itself and tackled such a variety of big ideas and important questions but answered none! All this and the fact that the Space Jockey in all his epicness
was reduced to a bald smurf on roids made me dislike and even hate it. It was so full of promise but missed all the important marks such as good story-telling, emotional characters we can relate to and worst of all: the connection to the
source material was superficial and felt like it was shoe-horned in. It clearly wanted to distantiate itself from 'the simple' Alien and be the better, more grandiose and thought-provoking film. Most of the Alien-fanbase raged and rightfully so!
I believe it wasn't because the movie lacked xenomorphs, but because it all felt disjointed and rushed. The plot was all over the place and wasn't going anywhere. Afterwards I wasn't surprised at all with a writer like Lindeloff on board. It seemed like Ridley and co didn't even have a finished script when the movie was halfway post-production.
With Alien: Covenant Scott played it safe but even though this is kind of true, he still pulled out all the stops and went straight for the jugular. This is without doubt the most brutal and savage Alien-film so far imo.
But before I get into why, I want to get the obvious things out of the way.
I'll start with the visuals and the score. Ridley stated once that he 'comes from the visual side of things' and credit must be given where it's due. AC looks stunning and is jaw-droppingly beautiful to say the least.
The art-direction is spot on and something to admire. A lot of other directors can learn a thing or two from the man. The covenant ship looks very real and it's amazing what a director
can achieve with a good combination of practical sets and cgi. Likewise, the planet the crew lands on is lush and vibrant and just breathes atmosphere.
It's a welcome change to the overall greyish tone of the barren rocks in the previous movies. So when it comes to visuals, Scott has earned his stripes once again. Every frame looks
like a painting and everything is exactly where it needs to be. Imo this movie is a prime candidate for the oscar for 'best cinematography'.
I also think they did a fantastic job with the music and sound effects. I caught myself multiple times grinning at the screen feeling extremely satisfied. It's like an updated/reinvented version of the original scrore from Alien.
In summary, your eyes and ears will be in for a real treat if you're going to watch it.
As for the story and characters I'll be brief. Unlike Prometheus, Covenant's story is pretty simple and straight-forward and
it's not ashamed about it nor tries to hide what it essentially is: more of the same. You can easily sum it up in one sentence: People land on an alien planet where they all die. Period. But don't be fooled into thinking this is another dumb B-flick.
There are several intriguing scenes and thought-provoking dialogue scattered throughout the film. Especially the prologue is brilliant and a masterpiece.The first hour of this film is executed almost perfectly.
The movie slowly builds up so we get to spend some time with the characters and learn what their motivations and emotions are.
I believe this is crucial to making a good horror film so we actually care when one of them meets his/her demise.
But when they eventually land, Scott doesn't waste any time and everything goes wrong very quickly.
When the crew finally gets to the engineer temple, I admit things get a little awkward at times but it's not like you will cringe in your seat. Some of the character's decisions are questionable, yes, but Ridley needs to move the plot along wherever he can, so all can be forgiven imo.
Sure the story has some minor flaws but hell, nearly all movies suffer in that department nowadays. In Covenant they are easily overlooked. Alas, those looking for answers to the questions raised in Prometheus, I have to disappoint. You won't find any of them here or very few. At the very least we get a pretty solid explanation from David what the black goo actually is, but other than that, don't count on getting your answers. It'll be for the next movie...maybe.
Oh btw...spoiler-alert! Fassbender steals the show. Didn't see that one coming huh. lol
Now, on to the reason why I desperately wanted to see this movie. What about the creatures? The aliens? Did Ridley deliver? Short answer: hell yes! Being the most modern episode in the franchise with a veteran director at the helm, Covenant shows us the most frightening and realistic Xenomorphs/neomorphs yet. The Alien stands up proudly in this film and looks more humanoid than ever. Ridley obviously wanted to avoid the cliche of Covenant being another mere bug hunt and imo he pulled it off.
The aliens portrayed in this movie are vicious and from the minute they are born, their purpose in life is to kill you ASAP without being even remotely sorry. They will stop at nothing and are not afraid to attack groups of enemies.
Scott has made of it a terrifying creature again, so to all who say that the beast is cooked, I choose to think otherwise. Also, because we already know what it looks like, Ridley shows it to us in all it's glory.
Furthermore, the death-scenes look agonizing and gruesome. Honest to God, the backburster-scene is easily just as good or even surpasses the scene with John Hurt.
Also, because the victim for once isn't wearing any shirt ( I believe this is the first time ever for any Alien film) you can see the guy's muscles tear and bones break and what not.
Gallons of blood are spilled and even though most of it was cgi, it was executed so perfectly that it felt more real than ever. It was truly shocking and disturbing to watch, exactly what I craved for in the past...10 years? The mouthburster was cool as well, but the lighting was much darker so it was more difficult to see clearly.
I have to say: some creature designs were a bold choice, as others have stated. But apart from that specific, almost comical scene (you'll know what I'm talking about when you go see it), there's very little to complain about.
That's pretty much all I wanted to say, so I hope I didn't bore you guys to death and you had fun reading this (lenghty) review.
To sum it all up:
Alien: Covenant feels more like a remake of the original film than anything else, but at least it's a very good and solid one. To all Alien-fans out there I can say this:
Scott has finally given us what we had to miss for too long: A GOOD ALIEN-FILM! An updated/crisp take on the original and to be honest, if Alien (1979) didn't exist and Covenant would tie into it better, this would without a doubt be the best episode in the series.
If I had to award it points, it would get 8.5 or 9/10. I will definitely go see it a second time and buy the blu-ray the moment it's released.
Sir Ridley Scott, you have restored my faith in you as a filmmaker and I hope you can keep up the excellent work.