Alien Covenant marks the third Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott and the second prequel to the franchise after Prometheus. They also seem to be getting worse with age.
Prometheus was really a lot of questions searching for answers, ambitious in asking not only about the creation of alien life, but human life as well. However the plan to stretch out these topics into 3 or 4 movies should be met with some skepticism.
Especially considering the basis for this was started by Damon Lindeloff, the creator of Lost and the man most of us are still waiting for answers for most of the things that happened on Lost.
He of course has abandoned this second movie, leaving it in the hands of the far more capable John Logan, but even he struggles to find meaning here, or escape the clichés that have started to grow like a Xenomorph in John Hurt's stomach.
We're dealing with a whole new crew this time; the Covenant. They are headed on a colonial mission to another planet before an electric shock takes out the ship, the Captain, and 47 other members.
Reluctant to get back into their pods for a 7 year journey, the on board crew responsible for the ship's upkeep decide instead to answer a distress transmission coming from another planet.
That's where they find what continues to be the best character in these prequels; Michael Fassbender's David the Android. His motivations and whether he considers himself human or God is constantly in question and Fassbender's soft-spoken performance continues to haunt.
I also really do consider Prometheus to be one of the most gorgeous-looking special films of the last decade and this continues that- from the Covenant ship to the grain fields and other vegetation eerily covering the mostly desolate other terrain of the planet.
We also get the first look at the Neo-morph, who is born the same way, seems a bit faster than the Xeno-morph but the main differences are it doesn't have the Venus fly trap tongue and it can stand like a human. Pretty cool.
Just it's at this point I should probably say that after Aliens there started to be less reason to want these. Alien 3 was fine, Prometheus I thought could really go either way depending on the sequels, and Alien 4 of course was garbage.
The biggest problem here is that it feels so redundant. We get a distress call, the crew investigates, some background characters do stupid things leading to impregnation, someone says "we never should have come", final alien chase.
The aliens, when you can see them, are cool, but there is a lot of downtime between them, and a few quality kills does not a 200 million dollar mega blockbuster make.
It's also really odd that Prometheus does this whole thing of setting up the engineers as the creators of human beings but here they only get one scene and let's just say those looking for more info about them will get angry.
The promise of some larger conversation is in here somewhere but these movies feel so stretched out at this point that when this does get to the few moments of actually having something to say, it's hard to get re-engaged.
The characters don't help either as most just come off like archetypes. Katherine Waterston is the Captain's widow and really the bargain basement Ellen Ripley here.
Billy Crudup plays the faith-based character, and like the last movie, this movie seems to be including that without ever really giving it value in the meaning of life conversation.
But at least those two have some background. I'm so tired of most of these others. The ones who just go tramping through the woods of an unknown planet or show the decision making skills of the Trump administration. You're not supposed to make us root for the alien, guys.
Finally i'm no closer to understanding why these movies are necessary. It's easy to tell what this movie wants to do and it's even easier to see the twist coming a half hour before it even comes.
There are a few nice kills here, I will give the movie that. If you can remember to wake yourself every time Fassbender and Fassbender (he also plays an android named Walter) have a philosophy conversation, you might find some interesting stuff there too. But overall not enough action or thought to make this overly drawn out series seem necessary.
So I go 5/10. For more reviews, check me out on Youtube here- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY_IvAm1bJADConJhDCuq6A