Welcome to Monsoon-a-day.
Where I watch and review a movie a day.
*THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK*
Every sequel has to carry the weight of the film that preceded it. So, the best option is to either change the genre, like Terminator 2 and Aliens did or just reboot the franchise like Prometheus did. Alien: Covenant is the sequel to the reboot that’s actually a prequel to the original film. Is the film worthy of such convolutions?
No. No it is not.
Alien: Covenant is a goofy as hell remake of the first film. Almost beat for beat but everything is off. It’s like a karaoke version of your favorite song sung by an off pitch, tone deaf drunk that only knows half the lyrics.
I actually enjoyed Prometheus. There is some incredibly terrible logic lapses and the characters make some astronomically stupid decisions but it was ambitious. It was the first horror film in years where we left earth and encountered a threat, instead of something coming here and terrorizing a small town or isolated base. It was refreshing. Not great but I don’t think it deserves the amount of shit it gets.
I honestly feel like the producers or the studio read the fan backlash and freaked the fuck out and demanded the sequel to be more like the original instead of building off of the world Scott was making with Prometheus. For some, that is a selling point. The fans want more Alien and Scott gave them more Alien.
That’s what the studios wanted and that’s what the fans wanted. But here’s a little secret: studios are always wrong and fans are fucking stupid. The two worst things in the world, some how got the biggest say on how this film should be made.
Studios only see money, which is understandable. Hollywood is a business. Businesses need to make money. I get it. But the problem is, no studio has a plaque that reads “Art before commerce” hanging above the entrance. The product is secondary to the performance.
Fans have no idea what the fuck they want. They’ll bitch and complain about some actor they didn’t want getting a role that they had envisioned with this other guy and then 9 months later the film is amazing and the actor was perfect for the role. They have an incredibly narrow vision (just like studios) for talent. This actor has done this and can only ever do this because that’s what he’s done. Imagine if the Breaking Bad pilot script leaked before it was cast. Not a single person alive would’ve cast the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. They would’ve gone with someone who’s played that role before. No vision.
You know who has vision? Ridley fucking Scott. Whether you like his films or not, the man has a vision. He knows how to tell a story. Hell, the only good thing about Covenant is the look of the film. It’s undeniably gorgeous. The cinematography and shot composition are exquisite. Almost every frame looks like it could be the poster. Or at least the cover of a prog rock album.
But sadly, visuals are all Covenant has to offer. Here’s a brief checklist of dumb things that happen in Covenant:
– They hear a distress signal coming from a planet that’s closer to the planet they were going to and is also inhabitable. What a coincidence.
– James Franco is in this. He immediately dies from some bullshit fire from the sleep pod. It’s pointless.
-Billy Crudup is an unlikable dick for no reason.
-When they land on the planet, a crew member breaks off from the group to take a leak, proceeds to smoke instead of pisssing (guess the group is anti smoking) and steps onto some spores that release shit that goes into his ear. You need someone to get infected but this is the laziest way possible to achieve your goal.
– Michael Fassbender plays a good robot and a bad robot in this film. If you gussed that they would fight at the end, and that the bad one would pull the old twin swap switcheroo, you guessed correctly.
– There’s two deleted scenes made available online as some sort of promotional materials i guess. One reveals what happened to Roomi Rapace from the first one and the other is just a “getting to know the crew” type scene that involves the fact that two of the characters are gay. I’m glad that they’re written in a way that doesn’t relegate them to “The Gay Characters” but it’s an important aspect to their characters and it’s not in the film.
-Two characters slip and fall in the same puddle of blood. Two different characters. Right after each other. Like a goddamn vaudeville routine.
There’s probably a shit ton of other examples of the silliness of this film but my head hurts from trying to remember them all. Suffice it to say, it’s no Alien.
It’s still better than Alien: Resurrection though. That’s for damn sure.