Why the alien isn't the only scary thing in 'Alien: Covenant'

Posted May 21, 2017

One is a form of the familiar chest-bursting alien creatures.

"So the part of it that was interesting to me was not just that he was a person of faith but he's also an empiricist, he's a scientist". Alien: Covenant feels more like an excuse to indulge in some throwback-style filmmaking without much of a justification for doing something with Xenomorphs and space. But the people in Prometheus (set in 2093), and even more so in Covenant (set in 2104), are clumsy dumbasses who slip in puddles of blood, fire their weapons haphazardly, lean face-first into unknown organisms, ignore obvious warning signs, violate safety protocols, and are easily deceived by robots. But it also takes place 10 years after the events in "Prometheus", which was also directed by Scott and released in 2012.

If it weren't for Elizabeth Shaw's expedition in Prometheus, the mission in Covenant to colonize a planet would have gone a lot differently.

Despite its best intentions though, this sadly seems to re-hash elements of previous Alien-inspired outings.

We just want to know - when all that carnage gets underway - if it was a conscious decision to make both those wildly inept crew members women?

Danny McBride's space pilot is memorable perhaps for how well this comedic actor plays the character straight, but the cast is so large that no one else is able to carve out a real identity ahead of all the carnage. Clad in a dirty cowboy hat, he's welcome comic relief; Scott intended him, apparently, as homage to Slim Pickens in "Dr. Strangelove". It is mentioned two or three times that he's a man of faith, but that fact never becomes relevant (one assumes there are deleted scenes). It just felt so phoney.

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

The ground crew finds an unlikely savior in David, on the planet since crashing there a decade ago. Remember, it's an Alien movie.

Any other details would venture into spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that the planet is nowhere near as safe as they hoped. And seriously, we need to give a rest to the exhausted scene of humans on another planet looking at a blossoming flower, only to have something jump on them and devour their face.

This coming weekend is the movie's opening in North America and the marketing for the film has not been as heavy as Prometheus.

But, make no mistake, Scott bumps the scares up to eleven in this movie. It's not, because it's entertaining as it follows its formula, slavishly, step-by-step.

Scott gives us the idiotic mythology about why these things exist. Fassbender has said while promoting this film that he'd like to do more comedy, but he certainly gets some laughs here, some that were certainly intended, and others that the audience seemed a little less sure of.

For fans it's definitely not without its merits, with a nice build-up of tension, some edge-of-your-seat moments and a few nerve-jangling set-pieces, but these aren't in a plentiful enough supply to really take this above a middling franchise entry. Potentially, she points out, there's too much at risk ...