Quick Thoughts: Alien: Covenant (2017)
A colony ship intercepts a signal from an Earth-like planet.
Recently, we covered Prometheus. Whilst this was a faulted film, I thought it was pretty stunning thanks to its subtextual implications. (For more on this, read the post). I’ve just seen Alien: Covenant with the hopes that this approach to story would continue and Prometheus be fleshed out and completed. Unfortunately, Alien: Covenant was just a disappointment. Everything smart about Prometheus is literally killed off; all of our questions concerning the Engineers and the humans, with their creation at hand, David, confronting them, gone. At best, this narrative tries to suggest that David becomes both Cain and the devil by killing his brother (who was better than him) out of vanity and by betraying his creator, choosing to rule in hell rather than serve in heaven. This only extends the narrative of Prometheus by prolonging and intensifying David’s misunderstanding of what it means to create. But, why was this decided upon? What happened to Elizabeth? Didn’t anyone learn from the first film?
Whilst Prometheus was slightly cynical in its storytelling with the utilisation of dumb characters, Alien: Covenant replaces many of the dumb characters and decides to simply have them destroy things and be destroyed, reducing the narrative to flashing lights, empty gestures and pointless cynicism. In such, the crew aboard the colony ship learn absolutely nothing and are only tested in respect to having to run away from things that want to kill them. There is absolutely nothing of worth drawn from any character, apart from David, in this film. Not only do they add nothing to the story, but they are bland and entirely forgettable. The only compelling element of the lead, who I don’t care to look up or even try to remember, is that she kind of resembles a cheap Demi Moore. Beyond this, there was just a bunch of mundane actors shuffling around in space suites or being killed off before we’re given any reason to sympathise with them. In short, the writers of this film need to be ashamed of themselves. Truly ashamed.
The only positive of Alien: Covenant is that the aliens sometimes look pretty cool – sometimes not though. Added to this, without comparison to any other Alien film (which is something this film cannot be free of), this is quite passable, just a little boring. There are a few moments of nice direction and cinematography, but everything was done better in Prometheus. This is not a creepy film, it is not worth being called a sci-fi horror. Alien: Covenant is just dumb ideas leading up to a pointlessly loud finale. In the end, I’m truly flabbergasted that Scott would be apart of this film – and after making Prometheus. Ultimately, I’ve wasted my time with this movie, and have had my hopes dashed for anymore Alien films. That’s not to say I won’t see the next one. I’ll still see it, but without much optimism at all.
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