The follow up to 2012’s “Prometheus” is here, but this time the Alien has been reintroduced to the title equation. To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. I thought I was looking forward to it. I think? I liked the original Alien films with Sigourney Weaver. I laugh every time I think about my mum being dragged on a date to see it, as she is probably the biggest anti-horror, anti-gore woman in the country. Probably why that guy didn’t end up being my father: boys take note, choose a chick flick if you’d like to successfully woo a woman. Me on the other hand, I’m a horror fanatic. So I guess Alien: Covenant was something I expected a lot from. Especially in amongst the huge list of horror/sci-fi movies flooding the market at the moment. Plus, aliens bursting out from inside of people. Can’t go wrong.
After seeing teasers online, I was almost convinced that Danny McBride and James Franco would be a welcome shake-up to the sub-par efforts of the 2012 predecessor, “Prometheus“. But given that Franco actually isn’t in the movie, and McBride is lacking any kind of personality other than “wooden”, I am going to declare myself wrong on this occasion.
The flick begins with a drawn-out scene between David (Michael Fassbender) and Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) discussing something about artificial life and David being forced to play the piano. Not sure, as I began to daydream about lunch tomorrow during this extended sequence.
Cut to 2104 where we meet the crew aboard the Covenant, transporting human life forms with the view of creating a new society, where unfortunately cowboy hats are still relevant. An unexpected storm hits, bringing a few of the passengers awake too early, to which they decide to head to a close planet to try and colonize, but as expected, they won’t be alone. The planet looks like Skull Island to me, so I spend the remainder of the movie crossing my fingers for a Kong/ Alien crossover.
One of Alien: Covenant’s biggest downfall’s is the lack of connection formed with any character in the flick. Ironically, the character I enjoyed the most was Walter (also a Fassbender character), who actually lacked any emotion as an android robot or whatever he was. But otherwise, you don’t find yourself “rooting” for anyone in particular. Not the aliens, not the crew, not even the incapacitated bodies lying in goo aboard the ship, innocently waiting for a place to live that isn’t so claustrophobic. Everyone is just a little bit annoying and in many ways, I just want them all to die. I’m not even sure who is who, to be fair. I think some of them are married to each other but it’s hard to tell when a spouse dies and a single tear is shed before they move on with their intergalactic Alien hunting adventures.
Here’s something I’d never thought I’d see though – a man make out with himself. But somehow, director Ridley Scott makes it happen. It’s a little bit incestuous and I’m genuinely scared about what is going to happen next. And thus ends the single moment of terror I felt during this film.
You’d think that the one redeeming feature here would be something like “stunning scenery” and “outstanding graphics”. Alas, you’d be wrong. The ‘stunts’ are heavily marred by a hugely obvious green screen and the scenery is about as inspiring as Danny McBride’s cowboy hat. There are no “edge of your seat” action scenes. There’s a lot of waiting around, looking for aliens, or bodies, or tins of baked beans. Again, I’m not sure as I drifted off and I was doing my taxes in my head.
To be brutally honest, the script is probably the most boring I’ve endured in a long time. It’s not exciting, inspiring, witty, funny or clever.
Dialogue like this, delivered without any enthusiasm or energy, probably contributes to the lack of character-bonding we’ve ended up with.
“What the fuck is that?”
“Some kind of vehicle.”
It just feels like it’s filling in time at this point.
Ridley Scott is clearly married to this franchise, and wants to go deep into the origin of the Aliens and tell the story in something reminiscent of the creationism vs evolution debate. The problem is, he’s probably the only one who really cares. Very few people want to know about the dark past of the aliens, we just want action, gore, some cool looking monsters and a sex scene that isn’t chucked in in a last ditch attempt to keep viewers engaged.
I’m not going to spoil anything, because quite frankly I don’t care enough to, but also because if I had to sit through this movie that felt like it was 10 days long, then so do you.
Franco for best supporting actor, though.