ALIEN: COVENANT REVIEWED
“Alien: Covenant” is a better film than Film Twitter would have you believe. Is it the film they wanted? Not really. Is it a continuation of “Prometheus”? Well, only in the most basic sense. What differs for me is that Covenant won’t have to grow on me in the way that I experienced with Prometheus. A lot of that is due to Scott’s leg work having been done in the first film. Now, the Prequel arc of the Alien series is on full display.
In 1979, audiences first met Ash and learned that synthetic life forms could eventually go crazy. Decades later, audiences met David. David (Michael Fassbender) explains a lot of what went wrong with Ash. Hell, I don’t even feel right using the term “wrong”. The synthetics are meant to represent a better stage of humanity. Designed by an industrial titan that was obsessed with mortality and the quest for personal perfection, these angry androids should make sense. Now, they do.
When Ridley Scott started getting crazy on the Alien prequel kick, a lot of online writers talked it down. They felt that the series stopped in 1986 and everything afterwards was a mistake. They are wrong…yet again. Much like Prometheus, Covenant wants to show the burden and folly of errant creation. Michael Fassbender’s David takes the lead as a creation turned God who seeks to eliminate the mistakes of other Gods. Starting with the off-screen aborting of poor Shaw, David has turned his sight to the Covenant crew landing on his Paradise.
The Alien series has gone from Deep Sci-Fi and back into horror again. It’s not quite the Haunted House movie of the first film, but it’s a Mad Scientist picture. David wants to cast of his robotic slave shackles and become something greater. He knows that he’ll outlive all humans and doesn’t matter anymore. David has purpose and that purpose is to make a better alien.
There are several moments in the film that will make hardcore Alien fans go crazy. Xenomorphs evolve too fast and the process of creating the new birthing mechanism feels like it’s missing a few steps. That doesn’t matter. None of it matters, as we realize that the Prequels are David’s world. We’re slowly counting down to a collision point where we see how David turned the Old World into Ripley’s world.
Before I go, I’d feel bad if I didn’t heap praise on Danny McBride. Many people felt it was joke casting, but they are so off base. McBride finds the heart of a Tom Skerritt and matches it with the humor of a Bill Paxton to create a new kind of character. This odyssey is a job for him, but it’s one he believes in. If this the forefather of the later Weyland-Yutani space truckers, then I’m sold. I’m all for more trips in Ridley Scott’s space genetic opera.
- 2 hrs and 2 mins
- 20th Century Fox