This past weekend my wife and I were childless which means we lived it up, big time. Keep in mind my wife and I are in our mid-thirties so for us living it up includes: grabbing a bite to eat, shopping for blinds at Home Depot, and catching a movie. Yeah, I guess you can say I’m kinda like Frank The Tank before he hits the beer bong.
We ended up seeing Alien Covenant since it was the only thing about to play when we got to the theater. I kind of wanted to see it since I’ve seen every other Alien movie, and my wife (being the good sport she is) indulged me. Let me preference this review by saying I wasn’t a huge fan of Prometheus. The movie was alright, but it didn’t wow me by face hugging me into submission. That being said, Covenant made me appreciate Prometheus for what it was. Covenant is definitely a better movie than Prometheus, but you should still see Prometheus before going to see Covenant, or else your going to be lost (like my wife).
I’m not going to give you a step-by-step review of what happens in Covenant because that would just be boring. What I’m going to try and do is unpack what Covenant adds and detracts from the Alien movie franchise.
“Stop Your Grinnin’ And Drop Your Linen!”
This movie was billed as a back to its roots Alien movie and in some ways that is true. Overall, the film looked amazing from start to finish, and it had that Alien vibe to it. I was hoping for a bit more animatronic special effects, but for the most part, the CGI looked good. For what the actors were given, they played their rolls well. I’d agree with most reviewers that Michael Fassbender did a haunting job as David (the android from Prometheus) and Walter (an updated android that is assigned to the crew of the Covenant). There is a pretty homoerotic scene between the two which I think turned the old lady on behind me because she kept saying, “Oh my, oh my!” There is always one loud talker in the theater, and grandma was that person.
Eggs Over My Hammy
This chapter in the Alien saga explains how the Xenomorphs come to be. This is both good and bad. In my opinion, movies that shroud the big bad in mystery add a level of horror to the character, which in turn, makes for interesting drama. Look at how the Star Wars prequels, and the remake of Halloween hurt the mystique of Darth Vader and Michael Myers. No one needed to know that Darth Vader was a whiny kid before he started blowing up planets. Also, I’m sure no one asked for a “boo hoo, nobody loves Michael Myers” backstory. These are typical, boring backstories.
I’ll admit that the way the Xenomorphs come to be is not typical, boring, or even foreseeable. It was definitely a surprising twist that adds a layer to the franchise. That being said, I thought it took away from the mystery of what the Aliens are, and it made them less of an antagonist.
The ending of the movie isn’t hard to guess, but it leaves little to be desired for future movies. There are still a couple questions that remain since Covenant doesn’t totally bridge the gap between Prometheus and Alien. I’ve heard that four or six movies may be on the way before we reach that point. At this stage of the game, I’m not sure that I care to continue. Mainly because the crew members that remain aren’t entirely interesting, and the connecting threads between all of the movies have mainly been answered. We now know that the Engineers created human life due to a hungover Engineer drinking too much black goo, and falling into a waterfall. Also, now we know how the Aliens came to be and why they were created. What else is there to answer? Not much, I’m afraid.