The Saturday morning blog is back! This time I am armed with a review of the new Alien film which was indeed a sequel to Prometheus which was indeed sigh worthy but I went into the cinema with partial hope.
First of all; I don’t listen to film review people, as far as I am concerned they are full of sh** , let’s face it they are. You know that and so do I, they are either so far up the rear end of a film or the quite the opposite. Here you will read an honest review with a focus on what was good and what wasn’t so good. I think we all owe Ridley Scott some respect for sticking to a series of films and his overall contribution to cinema should never be overlooked.
And that’s where we will start; Alien, Prometheus, Gladiator and now Alien Covenant to name a few. Ridley Scott makes some awesome looking films, you’ll never see him skimp out on production value and this especially goes for the world he has built with Alien. The industrious environment of spaceships and far off planets are always created with a realism in mind. I guess I shall have to nod towards production design as well as a director or writers vision. But in order to make a good film you can’t rely on visuals alone, you need story, performance, tone, theme and plot.
Quite honestly Alien Covenant ticked many boxes but it also fell short in some ways. For much of the beginning portions of the film I felt as if this was an Alien remake, and look we are in the days of constant recycling of material, stuff that works I guess and initally Alien Covenant worked.
First of all we are shown our first billed actor Michael Fassbender his performance as a robot is arguably the best we have seen in this series so far, without treading on the likes of Bishop (Aliens) and Ash (Alien). And a very strong theme in this film is robots or at least Fassbender’s character. So what seems like an intriguing start the main narrative of the film then begins.
A colony ship called the Covenant is on it’s way to a distant planet, events turn quite unlucky and dark at the very beginning so the crew are awakened out of hyper sleep. As they recover from the events and begin repairing damage there comes a distress type signal with it’s origin not far from them. Already this formula sounds rather familiar with some changes and of course comfortable stuff that stays the same throughout an Alien film. We see a diverse range of characters who make up the crew of Covenant including a Captain seemingly out of depth with the arising situation and some familiar faces from recent film which all put in believable performances.
Eventually the crew arrive at the source of this distress type call, that being a distant habitable planet. At this point the build up and introduction of the story is paced well with the ever important element of mystery in the story. What is this getting to? What’s coming? are the sort of questions you ask yourself at this point.
The unlucky element of this arriving crew strikes again with a sinister level of disaster. In moments everything falls apart for them, two members become infected with a new type of organism (which is very alien like) but not shown before or explored in this world and that’s what I feel Ridley Scott is trying to do here, he’s trying to bring his Alien story full circle and with this film we are only half way there.
Eventually the connection to Prometheus kicks in but don’t let that put you off, everything is explained with in this film’s narrative. Soon enough Michael Fassbender is face to face with the character David he played in the previous outing and this was done well. The whole robotic morality thing is touched upon here as they meet but the sinister edge turns even more as this crew are taken in by David.
As much as I would like to give the rest away, that’s not how we do reviews on here. So let’s cover the good and bad.
This felt a lot more like an Alien film as opposed to Prometheus. There was suspense and real tension. The scenes didn’t jump around and most of the time Covenant focused on one story instead of trying to tell five. This means all of the scenes shown were indeed necessary. Prometheus didn’t know what it was but this one was a horror film.
The characters: many of these personalities we have seen before but they were great, Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts) and Danny Mcbride (Pineapple Express) all stood out to me.
It continued on from Prometheus and was way better than it. This time we saw an actual Alien we all know well and this time around it seemed more lethal than ever. This may have been due to the use of computer generation of the Alien but gave it an Alien Isolation (video game) feel.
The visuals and sets were awesome as always and kept to the theme of previous films.
The music choice this time was better than Prometheus, and nodded to Alien more.
Robots in this were more of a big deal and less of just a side threat.
The not so good
Bad is a big word to use for a film and Alien Covenant wasn’t. But there were things that weren’t so great.
It was predictable, most of the time we knew what was coming. There were only a few Alien related things we hadn’t seen before.
There were a few moments where things didn’t get explained or where they expected you to fill in the gaps ( don’t do that in a film).
The twists nearer to the end could have easily been called from early on. You could even say some twists just shat on the audience at the end.
This doesn’t wrap up the series: unfortunately we aren’t there yet folks!
For what felt like an Alien Remake to begin with this film took it’s own identity but continued to nod towards the original. If you use Jurassic World as an example, that film nodded to the original but cut its own path more. Alien Covenant just felt as if it was up Alien’s ass too much.
Most importantly for any Alien fan and to my conclusion its worth a look! Prometheus was a solid 3/10 this one is north of 5/10.
Any Other Business
Next week things are really going to hot up towards my next book arriving. Darke Blood should hopefully get a cover reveal at some point! I have also started a sale on my first book Open Evening which is available as an e-book for £0.99!