20th Century Fox/CC by 2.0
The original “Alien” film could be described by words such as masterful, terrifying, and unprecedented. The recent addition to the franchise could be described by words like defective, amateurish, and just… not good.
Like many others, I am a huge fan of the “Alien” film series. Ridley Scott’s 1979 original is a seminal work in American film and the horror genre in general. When Scott returned in 2012 as the director for “Prometheus,” the prologue to the original storyline, fans like myself were ecstatic.
While “Prometheus” was far from perfect, it offered an interesting, darker vision for the franchise. I hoped that “Alien: Covenant” would build upon the breakthroughs of “Prometheus,” yet it sadly fell into the trap of modern Hollywood conventionalism.
Like half of the films in the franchise, the plot line progresses as follows: a ship roams space and discovers a planet that could possibly have life, they go to that planet, and many bad things happen. “Covenant” attempts to add some philosophical topics, such as the search for man’s creator, but these topics feel forced and uneven.
The greatest aspects of the new film are the two characters played by Michael Fassbender, who is one of the greatest actors of the modern era. His performance saved the film from being a pit of despair.
The first half of “Covenant” has promising moments, including some satisfying, blood-filled horror that does send chills throughout the audience. Yet the second half completely flops, filled with pointless action sequences, unnecessary romance, and twists so obvious a toddler could see them coming.
The joy of the original film came from its rawness and economy of events. The suspense came from the anticipation of the action, while the new film shoves action down the viewer’s throat.
It seems as though Scott is now more focused on creating a box office hit rather than making a good film. Is this movie entertaining? I guess. Will it make a lot of money? For sure. Yet I hope one day Hollywood can return to making entertaining films that also had a redeeming quality.
“Alien: Covenant” is a bearable trainwreck. If you’re doing absolutely nothing with your life, go see it, but I think your time would be better spent elsewhere.