Disclaimer: The review contains some spoilers
Alien the covenant is the much-awaited sequel to the Prometheus and prequel to the original Alien franchise, launched by Ridley Scott himself. There has been a backlash from the fans since there were no Xenomorphs depicted in Prometheus. Apparently, this film is made specifically for those fans who want to see the original Alien and at the same time, a lot of gory death scenes. This is not really a spoiler, ’cause it is expected from almost all Alien films.
The space ship, “covenant” leads a mission; to start a colony on a distant planet that could sustain life. But the ship undergoes disruption caused by a random neutrino shockwave waking up the crew members from stasis, killing the captain (James Franco). Oram (Billy Crudup) takes over as the captain. While doing repairs, the ship receives a signal from a planet, which also could sustain life, Oram takes the crew to the planet to investigate the source of the signal against Daniels (Katherine Waterston) objections.
First of all, I watched this film, thinking that finally all the questions raised by the bunch of convoluted plotlines in Prometheus. Not only the answers were quite tangled in itself but other sets of questions were raised with some sprinkles of WTF moments to dress it. What is the intention of Mr. Scott? Alien films are scary, thrilling and have nerve-racking moments that could destroy your appetite for hours. That’s it. Whenever an expedition with men and women in cryogenic sleep on a ship is formed, you can simply expect them all to die in hands of the Alien or in a freakish accident. Remember the climax of the Prometheus? Which included the unnecessary deaths of three people? And Vicker’s inability to run sideways. There will be just one survive, a woman, at the end. The uplifting part of this franchise as it depicts strong independent women, who can make on their own with their skills which help make tactical choices and kick the Alien’s ass. Katherine Waterston play’s the role of Ellen Ripley in this film but she is not Ripley. But she is clever, straightforward, practical and brave. Had the crew listened to Daniel’s advice then they will all be alive and David would not get the advantage. David is the antagonist in this film as expected, he is the poisonous snake raised by Weyland which led to the death of Prometheus crew member and creation of Alien xenomorphs. He killed Elizabeth Shaw and used her as the host to create the first xenomorph. Why? Because he feels incomplete as an android and wants to be able to create. He tries to influence Walter similarly with the cheesy gay moment. At the end of Prometheus, we see a determined Elizabeth wanting to go to the planet of the engineers and find answers, like why they hate humans and why they want to destroy the Earth. The answers are clear and unclear. But killing Elizabeth Shaw reduced the effect of this film abnormally. We just see a glimpse of her “singing” and giving the signal. This film is more about David making the aliens and less of a sequel to Prometheus and the complicated plotlines. And desecration of a kickass protagonist from Prometheus, who might not be taken into account due to Noomi Rapace’s lack of charisma.
The build up and the suspense parts are pretty engrossing and we won’t feel the time passage. The film is gory and is meant for those who enjoy that genre and seemingly a tribute to the original Alien franchise but not to Ellen Ripley. The film has more WTF moments; like David showing Daniels what he did to Shaw, he pins her down and tried to rape her, starting with a kiss. When Daniels sees David again, she reacts like how a woman would when she is alone in a room with a man who sees her lasciviously. David is made to be more human but did he have to be *that* human? With all the screams, tear jerking conversations and his obsession with music. David also falls in love with Shaw and the xenomorph he created is the expression of that love, even if it got her killed. Despite Walter being an upgraded version, David has taken him down and took its place. When, how and how fast? Who knows, after all, Scott is known for the complicated plotlines. As per the original Alien franchise, an android created the Xenomorphs and that’s what the prequels want to show, basically hours of the interesting story made to look like a background, overshadowed by Alien’s wicked ‘smile‘ and *everyone* deaths.
The reason why I am giving this film 1.5 is because of the majestic visual, suspense and better depiction of a gender neutral environment. Apart from that, the movie is not worth viewing. Not even Fassbender’s layered performance could make this film worthy of a second viewing.
Featured image: slackfilms