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Advance viewing - Feeling Disappointed

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Jef1988

OvomorphMember14 XPMay-11-2017 7:58 PM

Hi. First time poster here. Signed up to do this.

Was lucky to see an advance viewing last night. I'm not going to suger coat anything either. I am really upset; I think Covenant is awful.

I am really sorry for voicing this opinion. I want to like this film. Alien has so much potential to tell thrilling, emotive, tense and horrifying stories. I want that. I want to like this film but I do not.

I have seen all of the Alien films, love them. Seen Prometheus, I thought it would have made a good film if it wasn't Alien.

The problem is that Covenant isn't a good film at all as far I can see.

I want opinions from people who have seen it as well. And also to advise people on issues, so that they can make an informed purchase decision, without spoilers.

The only good thing I can say here is that Michael Fassbender performs as good or better than his performance in Prometheus. I can't see any other merits that the film has.

There is little to no tension, so it falls down as a horror film. At most there is maybe 30 seconds before a monster shows up of tension. Sound design is used quite well for those short periods but there isn't enough build up to utilise it. Rapid pace seems to be the name of the game.

The opening is poor. A cluster of contrivances occur at the beginning to set up characters and setting but it is let down by poor choice of plot devices, implausibility and honestly mediocre acting and dialogue.

The action scenes are unoriginal, they do nothing new, similar to Prometheus however so if you liked it this might be OK for you. There is a lot of implausibility here again, threat levels from creatures change drastically as the drama requires.

The Alien, as seen in the trailer, acts like the creature from Alien3, no real signs of intelligence or of being an unpredictable alien thing. However the creature designs are quite good - although we directly see far too much too quickly as soon as it is introduced, again no sense of tension or dread.

The introduction of the Alien was also handled in an odd way also, in contradiction to everything we have seen so far in several ways. It's handling was also off, used as a chance at symbolism and character development instead of horror. I truly do not understand film if this will be looked back on as a good scene.

The story itself is made overly complex half way through, shoe horning in additional narrative that is executed poorly, through exposition, that detracts from the survival storyline.

The storyline is again let down by bland dialogue, unimpressive acting and poor writing in terms of plot points. The crew of the Covenant do not act in naturalistic ways, it is either complete insensinate panic or blasé pragmatism. Neither is there any kind of common sense which made me disconnect from the characters. They were actors in a story, not people acting naturally. There isn't the feeling of fraid nerves from Alien or Aliens. I never got the impression that the characters were real people, they never acted in a believable way for me.

To sum it up...

The Bad : unimpressive acting for the most part, contrived plot points, little effort toward tension, little effort toward believable character actions or reactions or development.

The Good : Creature design, Michael Fassbenders performance.

I'm sorry.  I am really not trolling or stirring up trouble.

Please, explain to me how I am wrong, I hope I have missed the point. I want to like this film, I want another good Alien film.

17 Responses to Advance viewing - Feeling Disappointed

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPMay-11-2017 9:13 PM

JEF1988 - We are each free-thinking, fully-autonomous beings. As such, we are free to think and feel different things about different subjects - it is what makes us unique! There is nothing with your feeling displeased by Alien: Covennt. Your having chosen to come here and share your thoughts with us is quite excellent. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to expound for our consideration. :)

dk

TrilobiteMember8212 XPMay-11-2017 9:23 PM

Jef1988 Welcome and thanks for the candor. The way you described it was basically how I felt about Prometheus- There was Fassbender and then there was everything else. I agree with the comparison to the A3 runner and am glad since I always liked that creature.

No one can tell you your opinion is wrong (but I hope that is heh heh). Thanks for the heads up.

krove

OvomorphMember11 XPMay-11-2017 10:05 PM

the moment the other David from prometheus showed up, things got better and got more interesting. As for the movie, it wasnt boring, i was paying attention from beginning to end, so it was good.

BuzzB

OvomorphMember15 XPMay-12-2017 1:33 AM

I think it is good but not in the same ball park as Alien or Aliens!    I was genuinely scared and there is tension in clumps but without giving spoilers away, Alien and Aliens built tension because they are trapped in a claustrophobic environment.  The environment that this crew find themselves in, is vast.  And again without giving away plot spoilers, the Alien we see in Alien is few generations down from the ones we see here.   The backstory that ties up this to Prometheus is the big weak link IMO.   There are too many holes in how David got to where he got to.   Once he was there and settled, it does flow better and it explains a lot.   I think you are being harsh.  It's a 7/10 movie compared to 9 or 10/10 for the recent Star Wars reboots!  

BuzzB

OvomorphMember15 XPMay-12-2017 1:34 AM

I think it is good but not in the same ball park as Alien or Aliens!    I was genuinely scared and there is tension in clumps but without giving spoilers away, Alien and Aliens built tension because they are trapped in a claustrophobic environment.  The environment that this crew find themselves in, is vast.  And again without giving away plot spoilers, the Alien we see in Alien is few generations down from the ones we see here.   The backstory that ties up this to Prometheus is the big weak link IMO.   There are too many holes in how David got to where he got to.   Once he was there and settled, it does flow better and it explains a lot.   I think you are being harsh.  It's a 7/10 movie compared to 9 or 10/10 for the recent Star Wars reboots!  

Fury161

OvomorphMember11 XPMay-12-2017 1:36 AM

Saw it last night, first poster too.

My initial opinion is one of disappointment. Story is weak and little more than a rehash of what has gone on before it, Its link with Prometheus is probably its biggest problem.

There was a direction I had hoped Ridley Scott would have gone with this movie as hinted by some of the artwork and indeed in the film where Daniels finds Davids scrolls. Alien Covenant should have gone back to its original roots i.e. HR Gigers designs.

I though Elizabeth Shaw might have had a role other than as a dissected corpse. Gigers painting spell II comes to mind with regards to the origination of the Alien eggs. As with prometheus there are more questions than answers - where did Davids eggs come from? 

As it stands it is nothing more than a mad scientist albeit android playing doctor frankenstein. The decisions the crew makes are borderline stupid, every time somebody dies/picked off by an alien it is either with screams or gunfire yet nobody else ever comes to investigate. 

I enjoyed the last half hour although there was very little tension, gone are the dark corridors of Alien and once again for the fourth time in the alien series we have it being blown out of an airlock.

Ridley Scott wanted to distance himself from the creature with the Prometheus it is almost as if he has begrudgingly brought it back and would sooner focus on the David story of experimentation. I love Ridley Scott films in General and would put Alien as my all time favourite film but please leave it alone. Covenant brings nothing new to the party other than ticking off a studio tick lists of Alien things to include.

Sorry for the rant - shooting a little from the hip, but these are my initial thoughts

 

Engineer Tech Brett

OvomorphMember59 XPMay-12-2017 1:44 AM

I personally enjoyed the film.

Its going to have the same reception as Prometheus where fans will be divided.

Fassbender steals the show again but I don't think the acting from the rest of the cast was that bad throughout. 

In terms of the creatures Intelligence, we should wait for everyone to see it before we discuss that. (Certain things happen which makes you think differently about the Alien)

Plot for me was fairly straight forward. I think its harsh to say that its contrived.

 

Its difficult to speak about the film in anyway without spoilers so when most have seen i think i will talk about it more.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

Dogboy73

OvomorphMember19 XPMay-12-2017 2:45 AM

I'm with OP. I was disappointed even though I went in with very low expectations after Prometheus. Still came out shaking my head. Nearly everything is in the trailer (again!). So I found there was little in the way of tension. Less so than Prometheus even. The Alien franchise (if we can call it that) is now David's Odyssey ..... with a xenomorph (or two) thrown in and lots more stupid cannon fodder. I felt the more classical xeno was shoe horned in. It was unnecessary alongside the neomorphs, which I thought worked really well. They were suitably ferocious and aggressive. Didn't really need the xeno in their. A lot of pluses in he film. It looked amazing for the most part. You'd expect nothing less from a Ridley Scott film. But I thought the plot was very poor with plenty of moments in cinema were I was shaking my head not quite believing what I was seeing. It's a very average movie overall I felt. 

Vinomorph

OvomorphMember15 XPMay-12-2017 3:09 AM

(Mild Spoilers)Thanks for speaking your heart guys.

Am afraid ...not that afraid.

Thats my main criticism. Covenant is solid. Photography is superb. Good acting. Half smart and existentialist and half action packed with a few ****roaches. It's half android half alien to me so it will fail both in a way. 

The problem when you try to reHash (lol) for newbies and consumers is that you tend to spoonfeed them what they need instead for expressing yourself as an artist.

These films need alot of dosh and to spread stories over 4 5 episodes will take both time and resources and studios will want returns on investment.

And that is when it all falls down what is the most frutrating is that we don't have a protagonist who can share our pov anymore these new heroes serve their action purpose not our desire for clarification. I was confident Shaw would be the new Ripley like smartie who unravels it all whether it goes **** up or not. In that respect am way disappointed. The only true recurrent theme is that machines can't be trusted and we swim here in replicant territory not alien(s) which should be all about frightening the **** out of us. Alien was a revolution is that it was well crafted smart sci-fi horror but the build up...was wow!the Nostromo itself was a  decorum scarier than the 8th passenger you could only catch glimpses of.

Here the cat is out of the bag in the open and scenes with it seem like easter eggs. You wanted it here you have it so the pacing is off once it's revealed. 

It comes to a point in a singer's life a director's when you just want your work out there for as many ppl as possible for success when you lose your vision. RS expressed he was impressed by Michael Bay success that says alot.

The original trilogy was great in that  each film was convoluted on itself with a narrative and an arc for Ripley, in just that they were satisfying. Their approach was a different matter. The films completed each other but were self sufficient also.

Now we have to wait for decades to see the sagas make sense. Besides we are asked not to care much for the human characters who keep mastering the art of stupidity (Please punch whoever wrote that idiotic biologist in Prometheus). Remains David the sensitive robot I think he is a metaphor for us: we care but watch films in the assembly line but how could we ever emulate him... doesn't work for me or his brother. Yet Fassbender is so talented and bankable.

I had my money worth though but I expected muchbetter. 

 

 

Spearfish

FacehuggerMember164 XPMay-12-2017 4:44 AM

There are movie goers, that want an entertaining 2hrs escape from reality, and then there are forum members that devote hundreds of hours contemplating what the film should be.  We (forum) should realistically expect to be let down as we likely have spent more time on the subject than the script/plot writers LOL.

Goddamn Tropics in here

FacehuggerMember288 XPMay-12-2017 5:06 AM

@spearfish agree

I was entertained for 2 hours

Acting and Characters were solid

An extra 20 mins of fleshing out would have been perfect and a tad more tension the icing on the cake

Its a good film, but it doesn't topple the king that is Alien

Engineer Tech Brett

OvomorphMember59 XPMay-12-2017 6:43 AM

@Spearfish....

Nail on the head. 

Sometimes people just need to let go. You can't always get what you want.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

Wonder Boy

OvomorphMember52 XPMay-12-2017 6:48 AM

Enjoyed the film and it explained the origin of the xenomorph. Would have liked it to have been 20 minutes longer at the previous poster suggested. Also the culture/technology of the former residents of the planet could have been explored a little more.

S1m0n

OvomorphMember87 XPMay-12-2017 7:16 AM

Well just got back from seeing it. I enjoyed it but not many answers so be prepared to be disappointed in that retrospect.

 

Although the movie gives you some answers about the xenemorphs we know of i still think there is a lot not being told.

Also to me those engineers we see on the planet ! to me are not the engineers we think they are but this is my oppinion and only based upon the reactions of those people when david arrives. e.g they look like "OHH our gods have returned" type of people. 

 

 

Metastasise

OvomorphMember12 XPMay-12-2017 11:09 AM

Also first time poster registered to share my opinion. Been reading the forum avidly for the last 8 months or so. 

Unfortunately I have to agree with the OP. I feel disappointed having seen the preview last night. Feels like an incredible waste of potential, and I'm just sad that I came out not exhilarated. My partner who couldn't come last night for work reasons asked if we should go again on Sunday, and my response was kind of meh....

My thoughts:

I actually thought the first hour or so was excellent. The tension built up nicely, and the cornfield attack was probably the high point of the film for me. Then David showed up and it all went downhill. 

Downhill story wise I mean. Thought Fassbender was excellent. But given that Scott wanted to appease the fans somewhat to after Prometheus, why piss all over established lore? Lope seems to have been infected in a split second encounter with a facehugger. Aliens (ok proto) burst out fully formed and imprint on the first android they see. They're fully grown seemingly within minutes. God knows what's in the lore 'bible' they supposedly created.

I don't buy the 'we're the Alien geeks, we were bound to find problems' line. These were canonical deviations that were laughed at in AvP. 

Disposing of Shaw in some unexplained off screen manner - **** maybe Walter is still alive given his 'upgrades' was lazy. Smacks of Newt/Hicks. Unless they do go back for in time for Awakening to explain it of course. Which means finding out what happens next is probably a decade away if at all. 

Engineers are now dumb cannon fodder.  Apparently their entire civilisation fits into an arena that can be walked across in a few minutes. 

Final gripe. 2 baby neomorphs cause havoc killing a number of crew. Daddy Neo gunned down while being horse whispered at by the bible guy, and 2 x protos handily dispatched by grieving spouse.  

Overall:

1st hour: 8/10

2nd hour: 5/10

I will watch again, I hope it grows on me.

 

LV

OvomorphMember14 XPMay-12-2017 2:50 PM

I've seen it. Loved it. But then I couldn't care less about the minor details of the alien life cycle. I care about the quality of the acting, the structure of the story and the action, buildup and pay off, etc. For me, those things were all delivered and delivered very well. Far better than they were in Prometheus or even Resurrection/3. Honestly it was a huge relief to not have to wince every five minutes over a poorly handled set piece.

pokcay

OvomorphMember15 XPMay-12-2017 6:17 PM

You've captured exactly how i felt. I kinda wanna love it, but after the viewing, i was constantly cursing due to frustration on seeing how things unfold (especially Shaw). I've yet to decide whether i wanna get a second viewing or not

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