REVIEW OF ALIEN: COVENANT

Synopsis and information obtained from ComingSoon.net

Grade: C-

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Alien: Covenant, the continuation of the Alien franchise, arrived to theaters this weekend, May 19, 2017. If aliens are your main motive to see this movie (which they should be), you will be sorely disappointed. If you’re a big fan of Michael Fassbender, you’ll be happy to know you get a double dosage of him. Unfortunately, Michael Fassbender alone doesn’t justify the price of admission in a movie where the focus (aliens; heck it's in the title) do not make an appearance until the 45 minute mark. The whole movie is only 2 hours. That means that almost half of the movie doesn’t contain a single alien! The script is very dialogue heavy, and some rather uninspired action sequences peppered throughout.

I have to admit that I am not an Alien junkie, and I do not know the subtle nuances of the Alien story line; still even a non-fan would find this movie predictable. Looking back to my first experience with Alien (the 1979 version with Sigourney Weaver), I remember suspense, scares, and action. Covenant seemed like a recycled lazy script completely devoid of all three, while bringing nothing new to the table.

Fassbender is a great actor, and he was wasted in this role that made him act stiff and robotic. Yes one of his two roles was an android; still it came off weird and relatable. Katherine Waterston tried to act like the tough girl who can handle Xenomorph scum, but instead was portrayed a weak and cheesy role. Definitely not on par with Sigourney’s iconic role. Billy Crudup did a decent job as Oram, still his character was also surprisingly weak. Danny McBride was part of the Covenant crew who played a token Southern Boy appropriately named Tennessee.

The only saving grace for Alien: Covenant is the great CGI, which is probably where the studio spent most of the money. The first planet the Covenant crew arrives on reminded me of a bleaker Pandora from 2009’s Avatar. As usual, the trouble starts when crew members unknowingly interact with alien spores. The “infection” scenes were well done and shot in a way that gives the audience an exact understanding of how all extraterrestrial hell can break loose in your body.

Despite its pallid take on a beloved franchise, Alien: Covenant was entertaining enough to hold my attention for the entire two hours. Perhaps the next installment will deliver on the thrills the franchise is known for. Either way, best to see this installment at home or matinee.

Rated: R (for violence, bloody images, language, and some sexuality/nudity)
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: John Logan
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollet, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Noomi Rapace, James Franco
Genre: SciFi, Thriller

Synopsis:
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with Alien: Covenant, a new chapter in his groundbreaking Alien franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

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