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[Movie Review] Alien Covenant

The posters for Alien Covenant have been rather simple: Run. Pray. Hide.
It’s a lovely marketing ploy but I feel the advertising team was actually warning the audience about this movie.

It’s been five years since Prometheus arrived, you can read my review here.
And the trailers did their job in selling the movie. The television ads did their job selling the movie.
There’s a slight little problem: Where are those scenes in the ads in the movie?
If this sounds vaguely familiar then it should.
Star Wars Rogue One went through enough re-shoots in the third act that half the trailers are showing iconic scenes that were jaw dropping. The slight problem is half the scenes were part of delete scenes and were reshot.
The John Denver ads for Alien Covenant show scenes that don’t even show up in the movie and the fourth act show down, a check box in any Alien movie, looks truncated.
Suffice to say: Did too much arm chair quarter backing kill what could’ve been a great movie?
Let’s start off with the a few missing scenes that could’ve easily been put back into the movie.
The aforementioned John Denver TV Ads w/ missing scene:

Setting up the entire cast with the blink and you’ll miss him, James Franco as the Captain.

Another prologue clip that links Prometheus that doesn’t appear in the movie and opens a can of worms for me which I’ll get to in a second.

And just why did all these scenes get cut?

So, you can understand why I was a bit underwhelmed.
The first of many problems with this movie is the fact Ridley Scott directed The Martian. Either love or hate the movie/book, we know what happens when Ridley gets a well written script. It’s well executed and everyone enjoys it.
Then we get to Alien Covenant that just bends over backwards in all the wrong places.
Covenant takes place ten years after Prometheus on a colony ship, Covenant that is on her way to a planet to colonize until several things happen that don’t need to happen and the crew, half comprised of military cut outs and with weapons this time ends up going down to a planet with horrible cell phone reception in search of a distress call from John Denver.
The movie is so in a rush to get there that the crew (seen in the last supper video above) are barely sketched in. Acting Captain Oram played by Billy Crudup is probably sketched in the most since he keeps getting shit on.
Tennessee played by Danny McBride is probably sketched in the most. This makes complete sense since pilot Janek played by Idris Elba was sketched in so well that last movie.
Daniels, played by Katherine Waterson, acts with what’s she given and judging from the deleted scenes above, could’ve been a great character but instead the movie just steam rolls forward without letting the cast and the horrible script some room to breathe.
Michael Fassbender returns as both David the android and Walter the android. And once again steals the show.
The bending over backwards I mentioned is the fact the planet with the bad cell phone reception is the Engineer’s homeworld. The barren, yet, postcard perfect Engineer’s homeworld.
I bring all this up because if it’s a Homeworld of some rather technological advance species I expect Coruscant, not Australia or New Zealand.
If Covenant had arrived at their destination and then found all the foolishness going, I wouldn’t have had any problems but instead, bending over backwards to create tension.
The John Denver distress call comes from the Engineer ship seen in the above prologue video with Elizabeth Shaw’s ghost at the controls which works out really well until the crew members get sick.
Just as things go from bad to worse David arrives to bring them back to an Engineer city that looks for some bizarre reason looks Roman?
And as for Shaw . . . I feel like we’re missing a movie here. The epilogue of Prometheus while homaging to the original Alien, set our heroine off on a journey to find out why the Engineer’s were so hell bent on killing Earth.
I would’ve liked to have seen Shaw meet the Engineers only to learn, oh, I dunno, come to terms with everything while David could go all Ash/Dr Moreau and then we get to Covenant Crew showing up.
It’s the fact Shaw’s character is dispatched so quickly and without so much of a scene is the worst part of this movie even if it shows how far David is willing to go to create something in his own image.
They could’ved Ripley her but instead they Hicks her and shouldn’t have.
Unfortunately, David’s image is too CGI and could’ve easily been done with someone in a suit and or animatronic puppet.
The space ship sets like the last movie are perfect and I can only assume the Art of Alien Covenant will be just as good as Prometheus was. The problem is the space ship sets can’t save this movie because everything on the planet is so horrible under lit you can barely see anything at well.
The fourth act showdown on board Covenant felt truncated in the theater. The above tv ad with Daniels trying to find ammo points to bad editing on someone’s part to get this movie down to 2hrs.
At least the much maligned Alien 3 explained how the face hugger got on board instead, we’re left to wonder how the fourth act showdown happened and why some iconic alien leaping from wall to wall was left out of the movie.
The writing is the problem. The problem being is that a movie should stand on its own two legs without worrying about the franchise. Prometheus for all it’s problems showed you could have an Alien movie without Ellen Ripley.
This isn’t about Franchise Fatigue. This is about writing a good movie and people enjoying it and if that means it’s two hours and half than so be it.
Is this franchise, once dead, going back down the toilet because they need a fresh set of directors in front of it?
We don’t need to George Lucas this franchise it was just getting some freshness back into and now we got this turd to worry about even if it’s making money at the box office.
In closing, this movie shares more in common with Star Wars The Force Awakens then you might expect: It’s a greatest hits movie.
The problem is the greatest hits is being played 2x faster than it should.
Rating Priority: Movie Expendable. Go watch Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2.

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