Alien Covenant directed by Ridley Scott is the 6th movie in the well-known Alien franchise (if you don’t include the two spinoff AvP movies). I love the first two especially Aliens but my goodness I found Covenant incredibly frustrating to watch. It took too long for the story to get going, there aren’t enough tense moments, a few out of place awkward scenes, and worst of all, the characters make the stupidest decisions ever! Covenant is not all bad it does do a few things well and introduces some interesting background about the Alien franchise but man it does a lot wrong.
This movie’s whole premise and the events that occur in it is just a bunch of contrived incidences caused by coincidence and dumb ass decisions by everyone in the movie. I cannot understate how stupid every character in this movie is! It pissed me off! Throughout the entire movie they all make the worst decisions you can possibly make. Without getting into spoilers they do things like land on an unknown planet that they know next to nothing about, land on said planet with almost the entire crew, venture out into said planet without protective hazmat suits, lock a healthy crewmember into a room with an infected crewmember, and fire off a shotgun in a small shuttle which is their only way off the planet. All of that happened in the first 15-20 mins of the movie… It got worse from there until the very end. I understand that there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief required especially with a Sci-Fi film but they went so far over the line the line looks like a dot. It just completely took me out of the movie for most of it.
Leading me to the other disappointing aspect, this movie is not scary or tense at all. This was supposed to be the return to the horror and tension of Alien and Aliens but any attempt at scaring you is lost because of some odd choices. This movie is too well lit, sounds weird to say but, this movie is too beautiful and well shot. The visuals are outstanding but you know what’s wrong with that in this type of movie? It’s not scary when the environment is all pretty and bright. What the hell happened to the dark claustrophobic spaces, the dull minimal lighting, and the close up frantic camera work of the first two movies? Again all these elements take me completely out of the experience because what I’m seeing on screen doesn’t match with what the movie is trying to tell me.
There are still a bunch of things that bug me about Covenant but I want to highlight what this movie does do well. As I mentioned earlier this movie is beautiful. The visual effects and cinematography is great as well as the acting. Everyone gave awesome performances and I really bought that everyone was as stupid as their decision making seemed. Michael Fassbender as always gives a superb performance as the androids David/Walter but what really surprised me was Danny McBride as Tennessee. I’m just so used to seeing him in these silly roles playing outrageous characters that it really surprised me to see him in a serious role and he did great.
I know I’m ragging pretty hard on this movie and if I’m being completely honest it’s not as bad I may come off sounding but I was really disappointed with this movie because of my expectation and love for the first two movies. I give it props for trying to do something different with the Alien story and adding more interesting bits to its lore but I wish it was executed better. After Prometheus and now Covenant I believe that this franchise should have ended after Aliens. Alien Covenant is a great looking movie with solid acting and few interesting moments but the things this movie does wrong really prevented me from becoming completely invested in it.