Alien Covenant

Film Review: Alien Covenant

Ridley Scott’s Alien Covenant faces a tremendous amount of pressure right from the very beginning, as it attempts to act as both the sequel to 2012’s Prometheus and a prequel to the beloved 1979 original. But instead of trying to merge the two seamlessly throughout, it almost feels like Alien Covenant is a film split into two parts, with the first half being made up of people sat in a room talking. Granted a lot of what they have to say is fascinating, but you’ll still find yourself impatiently waiting for a Xenomorph in its most recognisable form, to flash its pearly whites from a dark corner somewhere. After all it’s what the trailers and posters promised us and if you’re a diehard fan of the franchise then you’ll know that it’s almost impossible not to get excited by the sight of a Xenomorph, especially as they were so sorely missed in Prometheus.

Thankfully Alien Covenant does eventually grant that wish, but like I say once that comes into play it almost feels like an entirely different movie. I didn’t really care for the scene which featured a Xenomorph being out in the open, from what I can remember all the films up until this point have had them in dark, contained spaces and if you ask me, that’s where they should stay. Without spoiling anything of course, I’d also say that the scene which introduces the Xenomorphs as we knew them ends on something of a sour note. Tension is built and built only to end with a shot that for me was nothing but laughable and corny. I think in future if ever I end up discussing Alien Covenant with someone, I’ll always make a point of asking for their opinion on that particular shot.

Although it may not sound like it there was actually a lot I did like about the film, such as Ridley Scott’s direction for instance. But we are talking about one of the greatest directors of our time, so to say the film looked nice should just be a given, shouldn’t it really? A little bit like Michael Fassbender’s performance, I swear when it comes to acting roles, that man will never settle for anything less than perfect. Danny McBride (Can’t believe I’m saying this!) was actually a really enjoyable on-screen presence. I mean when I first saw that he was going to be in this movie, I thought that it must have been some kind of casting error, but I stand corrected as he actually fit into it all quite nicely, who knew!?

The film makes a lot of interesting points about creation and just how relevant we really are as a species. It’s an intelligent film for sure, but oddly enough that also behaves as something of a downfall for Alien Covenant. Its intellect only serves to highlight the stupidity of certain scenes, like any of the action set pieces for example. When it all goes off it’s usually the result of a character making a decision which just defies all common sense. On a side note I’d just like to say how gutted I am we won’t ever get to see the finished product of director Neill Blomkamp’s Alien Project. Now that Ridley Scott is back to working with the franchise in a big way, the plans have been scrapped. It’s a terrible shame because Blomkamp (District 9) has really proved his worth when it comes to Sci-Fi. While Alien Covenant is definitely not a bad film, it’s also a long way off competing with the original. It has me starting to wonder whether or not Scott has perhaps lost sight of the vision he had way back in 1979 7/10.

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