Alien Covenant Review (Contains Spoilers)
Posted May-19-2017 4:54 PM
I have been holding out for this Review since my first viewing on the 10th and second on the 12th
I have been keeping a eye on all the Trailers and other Information for this movie so i already had a good idea what the movie was about including information off someone who saw a Screening in March... so i went into this movie trying to not build up my hopes to much.
I like many others had been waiting 5 years for a Sequel to Prometheus that would hopefully give some answers to that movie and a bit more of Alien, but i am full aware that there was a Change of Plans when they changed to Alien Covenant, so i did not expect the kind of answers we would have hoped for.
So let me begin....
Visually the movie is spectacular, its very well done right from the start, the scale and the attention to detail is magnificent, but there are a few Visual Flaws... mainly in regards to some CGI on the Neomorph and Xenomorph that could have been done better or used Practical more for close ups... I was also a bit disappointed in the appearance of the Engineers but i understand this was a oversight, but more attention to detail would have helped.
Audio wise, the Music and Sound effects, were almost flawless, some nice nods to the Original Alien Score, and appropriate effects to bring tension to the scenes. I think Sound and Music wise i cant pick any faults, even with nice Nods to Prometheus with the Track LIFE and also Enter the Gods into Valhalla
The Plot, in part was interesting it allowed for TWO Androids, and to bring back some Horror/Action that Prometheus lacked. I felt however that the way they got rid of the Engineers and Shaw was a bit of a Cop Out but i understand they had to be cleared up and out of the way so the movie can Concentrate on the Covenant Crew and the Horrors they uncover. I was very pleased with the Slow Burn beginning and also the Neomorphs as a new Species and how they came about. I was not a fan of the way they handled the Xenomorph, but its a Curve-Ball and i can see where they are going as well as with the Twist Ending that was again Predictable.
Execution i however felt the way the Plot was executed was not to good, the movie seemed to be fine and interesting right until when David arrived and took them back to the City, and its from this point that things just never went to plan.. The Characters started to become less interesting to a degree, the whole Plot at this point seemed a bit to rushed, and leaves some Questions as far as why the Crew did not want to Quiz David about those bodies, or indeed throw a bit more Caution to the situation. I felt the set up to get to the Xenomorph Eggs and then Face Hugger was a bit to Forced... and i really have to Question how silly Chris Oram was at this point.
I felt it was disappointing how they had seemed to brush Prometheus under the carpet a bit and then concentrate more on David and his God Persona but thats ok, just i felt it seemed a bit Forced too, and then the Xenomorph Growth Rate and how David seemed to be able to interact with the Baby Xenomorph and Neomorph was a little odd but these things i guess had to be done to cover PLOT Devices. As due to the Slow Start to build Characters, the movie was like half way through and left not much time to cover why David did and acts like he does and then also bring the Xenomorph in, which is why things had to be speeded up.
I felt the Final 3rd was rushed and not really original however i do wonder if we actually had a lot of scenes cut down to fit within the 2 hours Theatrical.
Characters/Acting I felt this started off pretty good, pretty believable, until after the Point when the Neomorph turned up and Walter discovered Davids Workshop... Many Characters was just Fodder but i felt they was handled better than Prometheus Fodder... I felt Oram was interesting and Daniels, right until after the encounters with the Xenomorph Life Cycle. It just seemed that due to the Threat Daniels quickly went from Terrified Terraformist to a Kick Ass Ripley from Alien 3 wanna be... but its not all bad... she was good at times, but i just never seemed to think the events effected her as deep as how Prometheus effected Shaw.... I think McBride did well, considering i am not a fan of his... and again the biggest shout out has to be to Fassbender... his David again was superb, and Walter was well a Bore Bag.. Monotone and not interesting... a bit too Mr Spock/Commander Data.. but that was actually Fine... because Fassbender just really played the Dull Straight up Robot to a Tea... I think Fassbender did great with going from the Unstable and Emotional Psychopath David to the Calm and Emotionless Walter.
The Movie has its Flaws... such as a lot of Plot Holes, but i can cover these another time.
8.5 Visuals (For the Most Part Stunning)
8.5 Music/Sound (Cant really Fault it)
6.0 Plot (2/3rds of the Plot was interesting)
5.0 Execution (a Bit Disappointing in Parts)
6.0 Acting/Characters (Overall above Average)
6.0 Horror/Thriller (Neomorphs worked, but hardly Scary)
5.0 Action/Drama (Not to much Action, and hit and miss drama)
A Movie thats a Tale of Two Halves, half of it was good 7.5/10 the other half was between above average to disappointing.
I hope that the only AWAKENING we are in for is FOX/RS wake up and learn from their mistakes.
Posted May-19-2017 7:41 PM
I'm pretty much right there with you on this review. It was an ok movie that had the potential to be downright amazing.
Basically a lot like Prometheus in that way. It's like they both got almost there with these cool big ideas, but then didn't end up expanding on them much at all.
For example, in Prometheus, I wanted SO BAD to know more about those biomech Engineers and what the heck was goin on with them. It was alluded to and implied, but never expanded on. In A:C, David freaking destroys a whole civilization, and it is just kind of glossed over.
For Ridley Scott to always mention in EVERY SINGLE INTERVIEW that he wonders why people didn't question the history of the space jockey from Alien in its subsequent sequels- where he came from, etc.. it's VERY weird to me that in two of his own movies in a row now, he has gone out of the way to dance around, but NOT answer that question, keeping it very ambiguous.
I feel a real acute sense of "what could have been" in almost the same way as after first seeing Prometheus.
While I do like the 'David as god' scenario, that concept is alot less original - less grand of a concept - and less 'alien' than a literal race of giant, white aliens, traveling through space in gigeresque ships, who are DNA manipulators and so far superior to humankind. #iwanttheengineersback
Posted May-19-2017 8:01 PM
The fact that nobody said "who are/were these people and what happened here/to them" (I'm referring to the charred Non-Engineers of course) is quite ridiculous. God I am so frustrated with this movie right now. That's not what would have happened on real life. They just follow some cloaked stranger with a flare gun (another ridiculous part of the movie) and didn't bother to ask about anything?
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched Androids blow and finger each other's flutes.
Posted May-19-2017 8:43 PM
Here are the thing about reviews and now a days. So many people can become a critic most people are meaningless voices who go for blog views and all that crap. Pick your reviewers and go from their.
I'll mention roger eigbert. "Dazzling Alien Covenant"
incredible movie for the budget.
Four stars. Pick your adjective.
there will be many bloggers putting out reviews simply to garner clicks, try to be edgy, attention.
Apparently everyone is an edgelord now, lol.
Posted May-20-2017 2:06 AM
I can't write movie reviews. I don't pretend to understand film. About the only thing I can make an accurate comment on is regarding the writing.
I liked the writing in covenant much better than Prometheus. I liked the dialogue between T and his wife. The curses were on point. David is a tad to artsy for me but it adds a layer to his crazy and pyschotic behavior.
These people were scientists as well but they seemed like normal people where Prometheus seemed sterile. So in a conclusion I thought covenant writing was pretty good.
The reason I'm commenting on the writing is because I am a writer, author myself. I know nothing about cinematography except once I made a movie about beer disappearing without lifting the glass. Stupid stop motion and having fun opening doors and cutting away and back. Yeah, I'll stick to writing.
The part where Daniels and the captain argued about going to the planet was good. The banter was good. That captain was such a dipshit. I'm not going to analyze every single thing. On a while it was fine. Then again I don't write scripts either:)
Dont get me wrong Scott has a great visual eye but he's not a writer/director correct?
I personally feel you get better work when it's one guy. Less hands in the pot.
Posted May-20-2017 7:43 AM
I happened to adore the movie Prometheus and was so excited this movie was going to be a definite sequel. I would have enjoyed a better explanation as to what happened in the last 10 years along with the action sequences of the monsters. What did Davis use as specimens if he eradicated all the engineers? How was the Xeno perfected without humans? Why facehuggers when there aren't any faces? How is the mural explained if David created the Zeno? I feel like Scott totally just regurgitated this version to please the fans looking for Xeno's. This movie was definitely dumbed down to a level that Prometheus haters could comprehend. The ending was total crap! Did anyone actually believe David was dead? No one thought to check if David was dead? I am very disappointed with this movie, I suppose I wanted a more intellectual movie from Scott and really expected one.
Posted May-21-2017 8:15 AM
I agree with much of your criticism BD but I think I was more disappointed when I first saw Prometheus (which grew over time). I think the major drawback with AC was that it was a bit too forced, they wanted to get a lot into the movie (of 2 hours and 2 minutes). Characterization and creepy atmosphere was lost (more of action as in Aliens).
I think if deleted scenes are available on the blu-ray, perhaps making the movie 2 hours and 40 minutes, it could get more creepy and generate more characterization and atmosphere? One example would be the shower scene which was too quick in the movie. There should have been more of a camera from the monster’s point of view through the corridors, perhaps seeing the creature's feet sometimes, slowly leading to the shower. The same goes for the neomorph which more slowly should have approached Rosenthal. Everything happened too quickly. The monster’s transformation and growth happened extremely rapidly. How quick was the progress from Oram and the facehugger to a fully grown protomorph attacking crew members in David’s lab?
Still, I liked Scott’s choice of music from the original Alien, comments like “Walk in the park” (and even “That’s the spirit” from Blade Runner), the plot of David as the villain meeting his upgraded doppelganger and the twist at the end etc.
I hope there are lots of deleted/alternate scenes. In that case, I think the movie could get much better?
Posted May-21-2017 8:58 AM
I've seen the movie four times already; that's how much I love it.
There's not much point speculating about the scientific accuracy of the movie because – let's face it – none of it is really possible. It's just fantasy. Remember, it was posited that the extraordinary growth rate of the squid in Prometheus was put down to its ability to rapidly ingest plastic insulation. Hey, just run with it. That's the kind of thing that an 'ingenious' design, as David puts it, can do. There is actually no indication in the first Alien movie as to how quickly the Xenomorph grew to full size. We only got to see it later scurrying about in the air conditioning system.
As for plot holes, I don't regard them as flaws, merely gaps in the story that is yet to be told.
The Engineers might be playing second stage here, but I find it just as fascinating that mankind's downfall is essentially his own doing. And I love David's part in it, and the 'lonely perfection' of his dreams. The Engineers will, of course, feature in a future movie or two because we know where it all ends up.
Posted May-21-2017 11:20 AM
i have to say i rated it 3/5. so 60%.
before my viewing of covenant i had tried to keep my feet on the ground as it became more clear that there would be little opportunity for reveals.
i decided to just try and enjoy the film and be happy with the 2 or 3 potential reveals that would come.
i had wanted to try and work the plot out using what evidence was available and i did that. it didnt spoil the film for me. its something i wanted to do - so i did
the reveals are what i was most interested in.
questions from prometheus needed answering and ridley gave us the crossing and informed us it was a sequel.
however even though it was hinted and said that there would be some answers, we got none.
i just think that if they had gave us some more reveals in the covenant story, then that would satisfy most fans until the next one.
however the interesting scenes which were beautiful were just skipped around. no mention. hall of heads, city etc.. to spend all that time and money making those sets - then to not mention them it just seems a waste for me. you might as well have nothing in the scenes if you are not going to address them
Take This.... This is the blood of our lord
Posted May-21-2017 1:21 PM
Holy crap Covenant ruined Prometheus AND Alien with one blow.
If someone had told me 4 years ago that Ridley Scott would manage to destroy Prometheus and the Alien films in one fell swoop I never would have believed you. But that's exactly what happened here. The Alien franchise is now dead to me. It was probably a combination of stupid fans bitching about Prometheus, the studio wanting nostalgia, horrible writers, and senile Ridley Scott that brought this into being. What a perfect storm of fail. The flawed Alien franchise finally had the last nail pounded into the coffin.
They explain the origin of the xenos with a mad scientist android with daddy issues. That is the stupidest idea in the world. These writers deserve to be publicly crucified!
I hope Covenant fails at the box office because it's ruined now.
Posted May-21-2017 6:00 PM
Thank for sharing your review.
I would highlight the visual work and the environment, everyone can realize that Ridley's touch, and those bubbles and sizzling in the final scene on space it's remarkeable, I stay with the artistic look, the rest of the film is predictable as I thought, but I dont care about it, my overall a remarcable director with a very BADS screenwriters as companion, so this evil touch spoiled the tail again!
Posted May-25-2017 3:45 PM
BigDave, thank you for writing a review. Your posts over the past months (years really) have been incredibly well-thought-out and insightful. I think your review sums things up pretty accurately.
I will say that I genuinely enjoyed the movie. At this point I have to set aside my personal thoughts and aspirations for series and instead allow the events on screen to simply unfold as they are being told.
The thing to me that is missing most is the bio-mechanoid nature of the beast. I remember reading the early leaks from the set of Prometheus. "Giant alien head is piloting an alien ship." <--- shit that sounds amazing. I was ready to buy into that immediately. It might be ridiculous, but I could easily imagine it. I halfway expected AC to have a ship powered by human blood at this point. The android interfacing with alien tech, transforming him etc.. We have never gotten a Pinocchio story of David becoming anything other than the android he already is. Same with the Engineers.
I do love the setup at the end of Covenant. They really have left things pretty open in terms of what happens next. The next film will have to have an R rating and get us to the next step before we get to A L I E N. To that effect, there are many ways that can happen.
I think I really wished that Ridley/Fox would write out the whole thing, start to finish, and execute the vision. Prometheus was a great rousing start. To abandon it for horror tropes is just a waste. Thats why it got lower scores. Many fans of the series are not fans of horror movies. ALIEN was not a horror movie, so much as a suspense thriller.
XENO-MORPH... In the original ALIEN movie, we had no clue what was going to happen next. Going from the chestburster to the 'big chap' was an amazing feat. In AC we get that movement in condensed form with far less surprises.
AC did not need the Xenomorph. At all.
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