Thursday, May 25, 2017

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant (2017)
Buy Alien: Covenant on Amazon
Written by: Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett (based on characters created by), Jack Paglen and Michael Green (story by), John Logan and Dante Harper (screenplay)
Directed by:
Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride,
Rated: R

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Bound for a remote planet, the crew of a colony ship discover an uncharted paradise with a lethal threat. You know the franchise, you know the threat.

It's a fine movie, but it's in a lineage that includes Alien and Aliens. This doesn't reach those heights, though few movies do. It tries too hard to craft an origin out of nothing and includes too many characters and plot points.
I wish it were lower budget just so they would be forced to be more creative instead of relying on CGI. I would have been happy with an alien on a ship attacking a crew. We get much more than that and I feel like I should have watched Prometheus before I went to the theater. This is much better than Prometheus, and while I enjoyed this, it shows and explains too much of the origin of the alien species.
I was well into the movie before I figured out what this was about, and that's due to how much is going on and me wanting an Alien or Aliens style movie.
Watch it.

Even after watching the movie, I don't quite know what it wanted to do or be. It goes to lengths to explain details in the universe we don't need or really want to know. Revealing so much of the alien origins just ruins the mythology. This movie doesn't want you to use your imagination. This follows Prometheus in that they're both interested in creation, but it just doesn't matter.
I knew from the first scene this was going to be a bit too heavy. Guy Pearce reprises his role as Peter Weyland and provides ruminations on the act of creating. This is a standalone scene.
Why does this movie want to explain the origins of aliens so bad? I just assumed they were an alien from another planet and not all life is humanoid. For some reason this creates an elaborate backstory and even includes the giant alien raced dubbed "Engineers." Some things are better left a mystery.

This entry shows more of the killer aliens: moving, jumping, and climbing from the full grown to the new borns. It shows too much and doesn't leave enough to the imagination. What made previous Alien movies so tense was that we only got glimpses of the aliens and the rest was left up to us to fill in. This movie wants to leverage CGI to show us everything. and the central concept is that it wants to explain the origin of the alien and it shouldn't do that. The earlier movies couldn't show so much because the budget wasn't there and that's why I wish this had a lower budget. I didn't need to see spores dancing in the air and entering an ear canal. A simple sneeze would have sufficed. The CGI flash doesn't add much. Let us use our imaginations.

I expected a back to its roots effort with a ship, an isolated crew, and an alien. While this takes more than a few queues from the first two movies, it never pays full homage. It's okay to include a chest burster and face hugger. Embrace it and show it to us. Don't reinvent it or try to hide the events.

This tries to do a lot. Wondering who the main villain or the main hero is, I felt like I needed to watch Prometheus for a few questions I had. This certainly pushes an intricate story in hopes of creating a serial movie franchise.
While this does have a few good moments, there aren't enough of them. Is this franchise the right one to explore creation?

There are a few writers on this and I imagine the story is a combination as it's a bit too bloated. There's a sequence that feels like the end, but the movie contains another ending at no extra charge. There is definitely a turning point in this movie and that occurs when this becomes less exploration and survival and a look at a psychopath. I didn't realize the movie had taken this full turn until I three quarters through. I was thinking a lot of that was setup and introduction for the main plot, but it turns out that is the plot. This movie felt like the introduction lasted for two thirds of it.

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