I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of the Alien franchise, but I definitely have fond memories of Aliens scaring the crap out of me as a kid. Honestly, believe it or not, Prometheus is what got me really excited for the revitalized Alien saga. Prometheus seemed innovative, smart, and full of ramifications for not only where the Alien franchise has been, but also where it is going.
Because I loved Prometheus so much, I couldn’t wait for Covenant.
Here’s the thing … if you’ve seen Alien or Aliens, you’ve seen Covenant.
Did Covenant thrill? Absolutely. Were the special effects amazing? Yes, without a doubt. Were the monsters scary as hell? Oh, yeah.
Unfortunately, from a story perspective, nothing felt particularly new. The story is pretty much the same: Distress call. Good intentions. Infection. Bloodshed. Female protagonists fights for her life. [Redacted.]
Compared to Prometheus, Covenant felt like a retread. Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that I didn’t care about Covenant’s crew. None of them were particularly charismatic or even likable. In fact, I think the vast majority of them were fairly bland and perhaps even cliched. The apparent protagonist, Daniels, can’t compare to the magnetic Ripley or even the engaging Dr. Shaw. Astoundingly, Michael Fassbender felt both constrained and exploited by his character.
I think if you’re a traditional Aliens fan, Covenant will entertain, but I personally just couldn’t get past some of the inexplicable decisions the crew made nor the unlikely scenarios presented in the plot. There were so many instances that left me befuddled.
Speaking of plot, without spoiling too much of the film, there are about five minutes that directly relate to Prometheus, and, man, do I wish Ridley Scott had made that movie instead. If only they had used that vignette as the foundation for an entire film … that movie would have been amazing.
So, like I said, if you’re a fan, Covenant will be a fun experience. It’s not a bad movie at all. It’s well made and looks fantastic. I certainly had a good time watching it with some friends. By the movie’s end, though, I realized I’d already seen it about thirty years ago.