Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

alien-covenant-movie-review-2017Take this post with a pinch of salt and good humour. I’m not a Horror connoisseur, and I’ve watched approximately 2 and a half movies in the Alien franchise to date. They are the original Alien (actually kind of loved it), half of Aliens (it was on TV late at night, I’ll finish it someday) and Prometheus (saw it at the cinema, can’t remember anything). You’re probably wondering how I wound up at the cinema in the first place to see Alien: Covenant, right? It’s the husbands fault, despite being a wuss like me he loves the Alien series, and we’d both goaded each other into watching something scary together.

Here’s the plot, as I understand it. A ship bound for a faraway planet holds a small crew and a couple thousand frozen people ready to start a new colony (I’m not talking about Passengers I promise). Their ship is damaged and during repairs, one of the crew members’ helmet picks up a transmission from a much closer planet seemingly just as habitable as their original destination.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. What ruins this movie is the fact that not one member of this crew seems to have watched a Horror movie before. This is 2 hours of dumb people doing dumb things. Here’s mistake numero uno: Months, if not years of research into this new planet must have taken place, and yet the crew change course on a whim, simply because none of them particularly want to go back into space sleep again.

Why not, do you ask? To tell you would ruin the surprise, but you know how much I can’t stand James Franco? I LOVE HIM in this movie. Best role he’s ever done, officially.

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While I’m at it, here’s some other stupid stuff that happens:
– Far too many people go off to investigate solo. Guys come on, you know that means you’re gonna die.
– Oh, you’ve managed to contain an alien in a locked room? Best open the door then!
– I dread to think how much all this tech cost, but apparently everyone’s shoes have the same grip as old Converse. Blood seems to be even more slippery than banana peel.
– What’s this creepy, squishy, giant alien egg here? Best stick my face in it!

I guess common sense isn’t a prerequisite for space travel, huh.

The movie’s highlight has to be Michael Fassbender, who just never puts in a bad performance. He’s in Covenant twice, because I completely forgot that he was also in Prometheus, and so we’re treated to double the Fassbender-robot action. Speaking of which…I simply can’t ignore the weirdly erotic flute playing scene where Fassbender-bot kisses himself…and talks about fingering…*cough*. It all got very awkward in that dark cinema room for a few minutes.

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Finally, movie makers, if I see your plot twist coming a mile off, you didn’t do a very good job. Although, thanks for making me feel smart, I had the most gleeful face when I got to call it before my husband did. He’s the kind of guy to call a plot twist during an opening sequence, and even though sometimes I think it’s luck and he’s just being an ass, I’m never 100% sure. He might have weird powers.

Who’s in for Prometheus 3 in a couple of years then? You can count me in, this piece of trash was hella fun! 2.5 out of 5 erotic bone flutes from me, that might be enough to share out with the remaining crew. You blow, and I’ll do the fingering. I can’t even type it without feeling the shame!

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15 thoughts on “Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

  1. Saw it this morning and I can’t really disagree with any of your comments and your overall review. This is the kind of movie where the audience has to suspend their disbelief – right along with the characters IN the movie. To be fair – the action on COVENANT is meant to take place decades BEFORE the original Alien – so even though WE know what to do and not to do – they don’t. No history there. Yet. But once the shit starts to hit the fan – they do kind of fall apart. Your comment of sending them out one at a time is spot on. They go one at a time – they die one at a time. I also enjoyed the (unexpected) cameo by James Franco. And your comment about the shoes cracked me up. So true. Not just one character slips on the bloody floor – but two. And that was one of the better action/suspense/nail-biting scenes. Think how much more effective it could have been had it not broken concentration with the blood for banana peel slips. I also figured out what I imagine was meant to be the major TWIST. Within seconds. It was so easy that I restrained myself from patting myself on the back with one hand (wink wink). What made it – and it’s payoff – even more ludicrous – was the fact that I could’ve sworn that another main character – the crucial main character – had also figured it out. There was a look she made after perusing another character – that led me to believe that SHE KNOWS. And yet she did nothing about it. I guess that would’ve screwed up the “powerful” ending – which wasn’t all that powerful because she wasn’t all that bright. As to the flute scene – it is almost giggle inducing. Permit me to point out that I am relatively certain that it was written by John Logan – one of the 2 credited screenwriters – because he had a similar homoerotic scene in one of the James Bond movies he wrote and John himself is gay, and he tries to work this type of scene into almost all his writing efforts (see Gladiator amongst others. We worked on the screenplay of a movie together – I wrote it as an original – he came in later on and got credit. he was deposed as part of my lawsuit against the studio). For me – the scene was less than effective because it slowed the action to a crawl – when it cried out to keep barreling forward – and you’re more distracted by the technique of it – watching Fassbender make a move on himself. The slow burn build up was effective for the hell that comes later – and would have been even more effective if – once hell was unleashed – it had stayed that way (a la ALIENS) and not been intermittently slowed down by flute scenes and the like. For me – I might’ve gone as high as 3 stars out of 5 – but barely. Covenant ekes its way into the Top 3 – but ALIENS and Alien (in that order) remain far and away – my favorite 2 of the series. I should’ve known there was something missing when the Rotten Tomatoes scores were only in the 70s and not higher.

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    • Thanks for such an in-depth comment Michael, I appreciate it! I knew I wouldn’t be alone with spotting that twist, it got me the moment he started cutting his hair, I wondered why, and it hit me!
      That’s such an interesting point you make about John Logan, I don’t suppose you remember which James Bond movie it was? I’d love to check it out!

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      • SKYFALL. There’s a scene with Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig that’s (really well written), but also borderline creepy. Watching it – you’ll get the same vibe as the Fassbender on Fassbender scene from Covenant. Logsan has since worked on the last Bond movie and is also doing the script for #25 – even though I’m not sure who will be playing Bond in that one. As to the hair-cutting scene – even though David has an American accent and Walter’s is British – you have to wonder why the other characters in the movie don’t think to ask why – after all these years alone – does he suddenly decide to improve his grooming? The critic of the Hollywood Reporter loved the movie and wrote about how clever the story was and how shocking the “twist”/ I wondered – what movie did he see and what was he smoking when he watched it?

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  2. I actually only just got caught up on all things Alien a couple weeks ago, so don’t feel too left out in not having seen most of the franchise, heh. But yeah, sounds like I liked this one more than you did, even if I do agree that the characters certainly had their idiot moments. I guess, unlike Prometheus, they just didn’t bother me as much here, seeing as the surrounding film was so much significantly better, IMO. (Though really, exploring this new planet without any sort of protective gear on? What were they thinking? lol). Besides, Fassbender was more than worth the price of admission alone. I coulda watched just 2 hours straight of those “awlward” scenes with he and himself, haha! 😛

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    • I was not a Prometheus fan by any stretch. And Covenant had it’s “Prometheus”-type moments. Didn’t help. For me – the 1st two in the franchise were the best – the original as horror/suspense/sci fi and the sequel as a full out war movie/battle royale against the creatures in outer space. Space Marines vs. Aliens. Heart-pounding. Covenant was hot and cold, hit and miss. And who the hell planted the wheat? And why?

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    • Well said Chris! As much as I’ve moaned, I’m going to remember this movie in a couple of years time, and I certainly can’t say that about Prometheus. Bottom line is it entertained me, and that’s what a movie needs to do!

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  3. I’ve seen two the first two in the franchise. They are pretty good. I’ve heard bad things about the others though. I might watch this one, Michael Fassbender is a great actor. That scene sounds mighty awkward though!

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    • I definitely need to watch the rest of the second one, I loved the first! I think Covenant is a prequel to those so you wouldn’t need to have seen anything else, and it’s worth it for Fassbender!

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      • ALIENS was my favorite of the entire series. It starts like a bat out of (space) hell and never takes its foot off the gas. Knowing that you “loved” the first one, I cannot believe that you started watching it – got halfway through – hit pause and have yet to go back and finish it. How is that even possible? If I’m channel surfing on the TV and hit ALIENS – no matter where I am in the movie – I watch from there til the end. And I’ve seen it (all the way through in one sitting) at least a half dozen times – including on the big screen when it was originally released.

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    • I think I’ve probably come over harsher than I mean to, but it ends up being so much easier to write about negatives sometimes. That twist could have been so good if it was just done more subtly!

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      • SPOILER ALERT!!! Do NOT read further if you have not seen any of the Alien series, including COVENANT. STOP NOW….OK – for those in the know – I agree about the difficulty of the “twists” in these movies – specifically as it pertains to the android/robots. In Alien – we (and the crew) didn’t know there was a Bot in their crew until he started spewing a milky white liquid from a wound instead of blood. We had the same in Aliens – when the droid turned out to be heroic (even when severed in half). By the time we got to Covenent – we KNOW there are not one but 2 androids and they play off of one another and we can assume (given the series’ history) that something will be amiss along these lines. I know the writers are treading a fine line here – giving us more of the same from column A – THINGS WE LIKED IN THE PREVIOUS FILMS while trying to also add a few bits under Column B and change it up, put a slightly new spin on it. Covenent, for me, failed to pull it off. Maybe my antennae were up and maybe they just were lazy – but they telegraphed everything light years ahead of it happening. And the problem is multiplied for the audience when we’re so much smarter than the crew/characters we’re watching.

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