Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writers: Jack Paglen, Michael Green, John Logan, Dante Harper

Composer: Jed Kurzel

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterson, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Nathaniel Dean, Guy Pearce

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Run

Plot: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

Where to start...hmmm.  It's not as dumb as PROMETHEUS (2012), even though I enjoyed that picture despite it's blatant stupidity, but it's still a very flawed film.  Scott is a great filmmaker but his biggest problem is not giving a shit if his stories have dumb shit in them.  With these latest two Alien pictures, he's more concerned with exploring some neat, lofty ideas than he is with anything else.  One thing a lot of people can agree on (who've seen these films) is that these ideas are good and are worth exploring but it's the abundance of other shit that gets in the way of making these great films and considering the talent, these should be great films.  The cast does a fine job and, once again, Fassbender comes out on top.  I really dug the bits with David and Walter.  Using music from Goldsmith's score from the 1979 film (and from PROMETHEUS) was great.  I loved it.  It's been a couple of weeks since I saw it so my memory is getting sketchy but I can clearly remember what I didn't like.


I'm getting tired of franchise films borrowing too much from their previous films.  In this case it's ALIEN (1979).  Is is really that hard that they couldn't find another way for the ship to come across the planet where David it?  A crew is awoken when their ship receives a distress beacon.  They pause their mission to go to the planet's surface only to unknowingly pick up an alien life form, bring it aboard their ship so it can pick off the crew one by one.  Are you kidding me?  Here's a nitpick, why the hell does everything have to make a sound?  Like when the microbes and shit are drifting in the air, making its way into the crew member's ear.  Oh, yeah, let's add some noise to that.  Whatever.  The big fight on the platform ship at the end was nothing but dumb and unnecessary.  There's no way Daniels (Waterson) would've survived any of a few spots of that sequence.  It's the "we must have a big action sequence to end the movie" syndrome that's so prevalent in Hollywood.  Surely there are several other ways the climax could've gone without resorting to this silly trope.  I LOVED David switching places with Walter (killing him offscreen) and having Daniels realizing it only after she's in her sleep chamber and it's the last thing that happens to her as she's forced into hyper sleep. 

I left the theater scratching my head about so many little things that seemed like dumb choices by the writers and film makers.  Why do David's feet point awkwardly outward?  You'd think that the creators of the android would've fixed that early on.  He's akin to a miracle of science but they couldn't straighten his feet when he walks?  Dumb.   And what about continuity?  In the first movie the crew discovers The Space Jockey surrounded by Alien eggs as we know and love them today, yet in COVENANT, David is the one who has spent a long time experimenting and who develops the creature so they are born from eggs identical to ALIEN yet this is a prequel.  Then what's the deal with the Space Jockey if David's the creator?  And how does that fit in with the queen alien laying the eggs that was introduced in ALIENS (1986)?  No one seems to care about these thing when making these film.  Ultimately, I was reasonable entertained which is about the least of what I wanted from this film but it could've been and certainly should've been much, much more.

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