Review – Alien: Covenant (2017)

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alien-covenant-58dcdddad7fbbRidley Scott is back with another installment of the Alien film franchise. Alien: Covenant is another prequel that ultimately takes place sometime after the massively popular film, Prometheus. To say I was excited to see this film is to put it extremely lightly. Prometheus was the film that got me into the franchise to begin with, watching all of the great and not-so-great installments. To see what comes after the last film has awoken another kind of anticipation in me. So, how was it? Let’s first talk about the plot of this film.

lmost eleven years after the futile and disastrous expedition on the distant moon LV-223, the deep-space colonisation vessel Covenant equipped with more than 2,000 colonists in cryogenic hibernation, sets a course for the remote planet Origae-6 with the intention to build a new world. Instead, a rogue transmission will entice the crew to a nearby habitable small planet which resembles a lot like the Earth, nevertheless, sooner or later, the unsuspecting members of the Covenant will have to cope with invincible and unconquerable biological foes beyond human comprehension. Ultimately, what was intended as an exploratory and peaceful mission, under those circumstances, it will soon turn into a desperate rescue operation deep into the cold infinite space. IMDb

Worry came to me when I heard that a lot of people not only hated this film, but said Ridley Scott could’ve ended his own franchise with this one installment. What worried me even more was that nothing could possibly be worse than that fourth film, but people were still claiming this film was horrible. Was it, though? To be honest, I don’t think it is as bad as people were saying. As a sequel to Prometheus, it’s really disappointing. As an addition to the Alien franchise, it fits right in…though, it doesn’t exactly add anything new to the series.

In order to really explain where the film did and did not work, let’s break down Alien: Covenant to interpret the stars.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 7/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1

First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting. The acting was neither terrible or great, mostly typical and forgettable. While previous films have shown plenty of range when it came to fear, suspicion, even love, this film just…doesn’t, really. The characters were fine, but I won’t be remembering them forever. Weirdly enough, I did like the casting. I’m glad they brought back David, I like the female lead, and was surprised with some of the actors in the film, as well. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had history, and I love it. As far as the chemistry goes in this film, there wasn’t much of it. While it was fine, no one really cares about the relationships in this film.

WRITING SCORE – 5/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 1|Story – 0|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2

Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. Now, this film isn’t as well-balanced as it could’ve easily been. It loses its own focus here and there, making the film feel a little bit longer than it should normally feel. So, how was the story? To that, I say what story? Say what you will about the film, it simply has no meaningful story that really warrants a viewing. Is the film original? Well, I think elements of the film definitely feel fresh and new, but there’s always an itching feeling that we’ve seen this film before…so it’s not as original as it could’ve been. Was this movie interesting? Of course it was, don’t be silly. I was all-in for this one.

BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 1|Music – 1

Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were unsurprising pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing, as always. Next, we’re taking a look at the directing, which slips by without you noticing it. That’s right, there wasn’t anything noticeably difficult or challenging for the director. They could’ve hired any director for the job and the movie would be exactly the same. Sorry, Ridley Scott. The editing was pretty darn impressive in this film. I’m always impressed when something surprising shows up thanks to the editor, and that is what you get here. When it comes to the advertisement, you might expect the film to be slightly different than what it is, but it’s not something terrible…just different. In this case, you expected more of what Prometheus brought us…but that’s not what we get. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 1

Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? It was okay, a little anticlimactic overall because it didn’t feel like any culmination of everything else put together. Alright, so how was the falling action? Well, it started to calm things down a little bit, but other than that, not the best. You never get the sensation that they are returning to a new norm, so it’s not a complete falling action.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 4/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1

Okay, so was this movie as entertaining as it wanted to be? Let’s get into that. As far as rewatchability is considered, I don’t know. I might watch it again if I was in the mood, but I don’t see myself looking for the film anytime soon. Is this a film I would consider fun while watching? Oh yeah, absolutely. Whatever technical problems the movie may or may not have, it is definitely fun, and that’s something no one can take away from it. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.

SPECIALTY SCORE – 40/50
Alien – 10|Prometheus – 5|Horror – 5|Sci-Fi – 10|Halfway Decent – 10

Next up, we’re taking a look at the five specialty questions that I asked before seeing the film. First of all, how does this feel as an Alien film? Truthfully, it mostly feels business as usual, so it fits right in. However, when it comes to Prometheus, the film severely lacked. You could tell that’s what it was, but it was mostly disappointing in the end, so I gotta only reward half points there. It’s listed as horror and sci-fi, and no, nothing about the movie is really horror-specific, but I guess it can be thrilling in areas, so half points there. Sci-Fi-wise, yes, there was plenty of things in this film to feel like that’s a good genre to put the film in, full points there. Finally, was it halfway decent? Honestly, I didn’t care for the direction of the film, but that was clearly the way the director wanted to take it, so I can’t dock it for that. They pulled off what they wanted to pull off, so I gotta say full points there.

TOTAL – 71/100

 

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