Alien Covenant Review
by Kristen Rose
Alien: Covenant seems to have torn the Alien fandom in half. Some still disapprove of this current fascination with androids, and some see this film as one of the best in the series next to Alien and Aliens. We’ll get to where I stand in a moment. But, first, a short synopsis: In this follow up to Prometheus, we join the crew of the colonization ship Covenant as they are on a colony mission, on their way to a new planet, Origae-6. On the way to this new planet, however, they come across another that also seems to be inhabitable, and the captain, Oram, decides to travel there, against the wishes of his second in command, Daniels. What follows is worse than any of them could imagine.
So, let’s dive into this, shall we? My initial reaction/thoughts after seeing the film were that it’s a good science fiction film, overall. It has all of the elements of a good science fiction film, and it is quite enjoyable. However, within the realm of the Alien films, this film feels a bit weak. The best way that I can describe it is that it feels as if there is still a missing link between this film and the original Alien film. Thankfully, if everything works out, we will be getting one more film that take place between this one and Alien. So, hopefully, that film will connect it all in some genius way, because that is what I am hoping for. But, for now, this film ultimately works best as a sequel to Prometheus as opposed to a prequel to Alien.
Stylistically, this film felt more in line with the Alien series than the previous film did. In fact, this one reminded me a lot of the film Aliens, mainly due to the amount of action that is in the film. This one took its focus back to the horror element of the original Alien. It brought back the pods and the Facehuggers. It brought back the suspense that Prometheus seemed to have been missing.
Okay. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Michael Fassbender kissing himself. See, even typing that sentence, it seems ridiculous. It was ridiculous when I watched it happen. So, Fassbender plays two characters in this film. First, we have him playing David, again. He appears in the beginning of the film, in a flashback. Then, cut to the year the film takes place and we have Fassbender playing a character by the name of Walter. Walter is an android, just like David was. However, he is a newer model. Any glitches that previous models had are nonexistent in Walter. Eventually, Walter meets David when they arrive on, what turns out to be the planet of the Engineers from Prometheus. What follows is a scene where David is teaching Walter how to play some sort of flute, which comes off as far more sexual than was most likely necessary. Ultimately, it is discovered that David has not been telling the truth, so when Walter goes to confront David, David distracts Walter by kissing him, and then proceeds to unplug him while Walter is not paying attention. However, Walter does not have the flaws that previous models did, so the whole “unplugging” thing doesn’t actually work, and he shows up again moments later. What proceeds is a really sweet fight between two androids that look identical. That was pretty cool.
The focus on creationism and humanity are still present in this film, although not as heavily, I think, as they were in Prometheus. I think that’s an improvement, honestly. I know that Ripley Scott has always had a fascination with these topics (I mean, just watch Blade Runner. I’d almost guarantee that you’ll have an existential crisis afterwards.). However, you don’t necessarily expect these themes within the Alien franchise.
So, would I recommend that you go to the theater and watch this film? Yes, I would. Like I said before, it’s enjoyable and it’s a solid science fiction film. It brings back some of the suspense and the horror of the original Alien film and it lays off, somewhat, on the whole “who created humans” thing. The music is absolutely stunning, as with most films in this franchise. Jed Kurzel did a fantastic job as composer. Visually, this film was captivating. The photography is beautiful. And, honestly, it just feels like one last puzzle piece is missing to connect everything beautifully. Let’s hope it’s done well. Otherwise, what a waste of such an amazing science fiction film series.
Author: Kristen Rose
Editor-in-Chief: Bryan Scheidler