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[Review] ‘Alien: Covenant’ Disappoints, Despite a Stellar Production

Alien: Covenant Review

Ask and you shall receive. When Prometheus was announced back in 2009, audience expectations were through the roof. The end result was an interesting but flawed film that posed many questions that it didn’t deem necessary to answer. Worst of all though, is that it didn’t actually feel like an Alien film. After that film’s mediocre box office return and slightly above-average critical reception, 20th Century Fox and director Ridley Scott decided to make its sequel a little more Alien-like to please fans. Jump to 2017 and we’ve got Alien: Covenant, but the results are decidedly mixed. This is a film that includes many of the best parts of the Alien franchise but none of the heart. 

Before I get started with this review I should point out that I do like Prometheus (I’m not as wild about it as John Squires is, but I do like it). Like many others, I did want more Xenomorph action, but I accept the film for what it is. Alien: Covenant does deliver on xenomorph action, but what we are given is a hybrid of Prometheus, Alien and Aliens that has all of the right ingredients but never amounts to much, opting to set up future sequels that sound a lot better than the film we are watching.

10 years after the events of Prometheus, the colony ship Covenant is on its way to the planet Origae-6 with two thousand colonists and an additional two thousand embryos. After an energy surge damages the ship and kills the captain (James Franco, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo) the crew, which is comprised entirely of couples, is woken up in order to repair it. While awake, they receive a transmission from Elizabeth Shaw and track her location to a nearby planet. The crew decides to investigate that planet in the hopes that they can colonize there instead of Origae-6. Upon arriving they soon discover David (Michael Fassbender) and learn that the planet is not as friendly as they had hoped.

Right away, Alien: Covenant runs into problems with character motivation. It makes absolutely no sense for the crew to go explore this planet. In the original Alien the crew members of the Nostromo were automatically re-routed by the ship’s computer to go investigate an SOS it received from a remote planet. That makes sense. The motivation in Alien: Covenant does not. Screenwriters John Logan (SkyfallSpectre, Penny Dreadful) and Dante Harper attempt to make sense of it by playing on the crew’s fear of getting back into their cryosleep pods after what happened to the captain, but it still requires a significant suspension of disbelief that the film doesn’t earn. The film follows many of the same beats as the original Alien, and that proves to be its biggest weakness. If you’ve seen that film and/or Aliens, you have essentially seen Alien: Covenant. There are very few surprises in store for you.

Logan and Harper include a large cast of characters in their script, but it’s too large. You are never allowed to get to know any of these characters beyond a surface level. A helpful dinner scene like the one in the original 1979 Alien would have helped a tremendous amount, but we are given nothing like that to acquaint ourselves with the characters. Even Katherine Waterston’s Daniels, who is meant to be the character the audience connects with the most, isn’t given the material she deserves. The film assumes that because her husband (the aforementioned captain) dies in the film’s second scene that the audience will automatically connect with her, but that is incorrect. Making all of the characters one-half of a couple does add a small amount of tension to the proceedings, but because you know nothing about them the stakes don’t feel particularly high.

The performances are all strong but the roles are underwritten. Special mention must be made of Michael Fassbender, who completely owns the dual roles of David and Walter. His roles are given the most attention and deservedly so. Scenes featuring both androids in the same shot are the most engaging. Katherine Waterston is compelling as Daniels, but you are never allowed to fully connect with her. Danny McBride is serviceable in a rare dramatic role as the pilot Tennessee, but actors like Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Jussie Smollett (Empire) and Callie Hernandez (Blair Witch) are completely wasted. They are relegated to a few brief lines of dialogue but aren’t given much to do.

All of that being said, it must be mentioned that Alien: Covenant is a beautiful film. This should come as no surprise considering that cinematographer Dariusz Wolski also shot Prometheus, which was filled with several, if perhaps a few too many, gorgeous landscape shots. From the stellar views of outer space to the shots of the terrain, it is clear that a lot of thought and love went into filming this movie. Made for a budget of $111 million, the production values are simply astonishing. See this one on IMAX if you can.

The practical effects that are in the film are equally fantastic. Scott amps up the gore to the max, making this the bloodiest entry in the franchise. Heads are bitten off, backs are split open, Xenomorph mini-mouths are shoved through heads. It’s all glorious. Unfortunately, roughly 80% of the creature effects in the film are CGI renderings (and that may be a generous estimate). In some instances this is understandable. It makes sense to resort to CGI during the wide shots of a fast-moving xenomorph, but it’s the static shots that surprise. There is no reason for any long shot of a stationary alien to not utilize practical effects. When a chestbursting scene in 2017 looks noticeably more fake than a chestbursting scene from 1979, you have a problem. It’s all the more surprising that this is coming from the director of Alien, a film known for its phenomenal practical effects.

What is sorely missing from Alien: Covenant are set pieces. It does boast the backburster, mouthburster and the chestburster which are all sufficiently disturbing, but there is nothing in the film that truly stands apart from any of the other entries in the franchise. Other than a battle sequence in which Daniels is tethered to the hull of a ship, nothing in Alien: Covenant brings anything new to the table, especially if you’ve seen all five of the other Alien films. The few times that Scott tries something new fail to pay off and don’t really work in the context of the film (for example, the shower scene seen in the trailers feels like it belongs in a Starship Troopers film rather than an Alien film). There are a lot of good ideas on display that just don’t mesh well together. This brings me to the ending (no spoilers). Had the climax been even a little bit suspenseful and awe-inspiring it would be easier to forgive many of the problems that came before, but it isn’t. The over-familiarity of the events that take place in the final 15 minutes are going to be all too familiar to viewers who have been watching this franchise for almost 40 years.

If you didn’t like Prometheus, you may very well love Covenant. So briefly does Alien: Covenant gloss over the events that happened between the two films that it’s a little insulting to fans of that film. There was an idea for a film between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant that would have seen Shaw and David arrive on the Engineers’ planet, but after Prometheus‘s poor box office reception that was scrapped in favor of a more Xenomorph-centric film. This is a real shame, as flashbacks to Shaw and David’s arrival are given mere seconds of screen time. That would have been a movie worth seeing, but that narrative is rushed in order to get to the xenomorphs. That is all well and good, but it dilutes much of the impact that Alien: Covenant could have had.

Alien: Covenant is not a bad movie, it’s just not a particularly memorable one. Even though I’ve harped on it quite a bit, I did like it. Truthfully, my feelings on the film are more a 2.5/5 but I think my extremely high expectations affected my opinion a bit so I’m giving it a 3/5. It has all of the pieces of a good Alien film (and to be clear, it is entertaining), but it cobbles them together in an enjoyable but hollow film that lacks inspiration and exists solely to set up the next installment which, based on the setup at the end of the film, sounds awesome. Reception for Alien: Covenant would be better if it was the Alien prequel fans were expecting five years ago, but now that Prometheus exists it feels like a betrayal of ideas that have already been established. This is a film that was made as a response to Prometheus critics but tries to appease fans of that film as well and it doesn’t fully work. If anything, watching Alien: Covenant will make you appreciate Prometheus more, so that’s something.



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COMMENTS

165 Comments
  • Jayson Tomas

    Why no stars Trace. Would have been a clearer representation of how you felt. We love them visual cues.

    • Looks like the scoring system got removed with the new site update, but if you read the last paragraph of the review you will see that I told you what my score was.

  • jv

    Went to see this with a friend who writes movies reviews for a local paper and we both think this is a 5 star movie great in every way! This is my 2nd best in the franchise behind Aliens . Yes I thought it was as good if not a little better then Alien yes it was that good!!!

    • Glad you liked it!

      • jv

        Thanks I think you need to see it again i know you said you didn’t hate this film but it is a lot better then you are giving it credit for!

        • To each their own. I definitely plan on seeing it again, but on a first viewing it just didn’t do much for me, for reasons I explain above.

  • DEIMOS

    I liked the movie but I left the theater with a feeling that something was missing to conclude this movie correctly. Alien Covenant is not a bad film Alien but there not as good as what I wanted to see 3/5
    PS: Good review 🙂

    • Saturn

      I agree – once the film was over I was like “oh, is it done?”

  • nowaygetreal

    Goddammit I knew I shouldn’t have read the review. Had to dip when James Franco’s scene was spoiled.

    • nowaygetreal

      And that’s not a knock on you, Trace. I had already told myself I wasn’t going to read reviews or watch more features on the film.

      • Golic

        If you want to go into a film blind, don’t read reviews. It’s pretty simple lol

    • It’s not a spoiler. He legit has no lines (save for 1 or 2 in a video recording) and dies in the second scene of the film. He has no bearing on the plot whatsoever. Also, news of his appearance was released by the studio months ago. It was not a surprise. I think he just wanted to be in the film so Scott gave him that part.

      • nowaygetreal

        I knew he was in the film and I surmised he would meet his doom, but I would have rather went into it blind.

  • Michael Hill

    all Alien films and their off shoots are crap. end of.

  • M Dan Ortiz

    First y’all posted a positive review, then a negative one next. Make up your damn minds already morons.

    • Hi! One of the great things about Bloody Disgusting is that many different writers with various opinions work for the site. We are not one mother brain where everyone has the same opinion. We release multiple reviews for the same film to give everyone different opinions. It also allows readers to decide which writer they agree with more often, thereby creating a writer-reader trust for when you come back to read reviews.

  • I wish they erase Prometheus of the Alien timeline.

    • Matty Ice 2016

      While you are there …Erase #3, That stupid mess where they clone Ripley, Prometheus , as well as Covenent …Go back and tell the story the public really wants …Ripley , Hicks , and Newt ..A no brainer ..

      • wedellbudwhite

        why it’ll just be bad fan fiction, the public really wants fast and the furious transformers and a thousand superhero films, fuck the publics tastes.

      • Saturn

        The public mostly wants that story. Mostly……

        (oh come one people – it took 3 days – nobody could have beaten me to the punch?)

  • Ocelot006 .

    ‘Prometheus’s poor box office reception’? The movie made $403 million and we are here now discussing the sequel. Pretty sure it did well at the box office.

    • Correct, the worldwide total was what saved it, but domestically it only made $126 million on a $130 budget. It wasn’t a flop, but it definitely underperformed. 20th Century Fox was expecting a lot more.

      • Ocelot006 .

        Well the term ‘poorly’ would imply well….doing ‘poorly’.

        • Alright, you win! Wrong word choice on my part. Let’s say “underwhelming” instead of “poor.”

      • Matty Ice 2016

        This film will end this whole prequel nonsense by bombing in a major way ….there is no Alien movie without Ripley and Hicks ….That is the one I want to see…I will be skipping this glossy mess

        • wedellbudwhite

          Except you know the first one in the bloody series doesn’t have hicks but at least he was in alien 3

      • Saturn

        This is the problem we have now – because a handful of movies have broken the Billion dollar mark (I wonder what older movies may have done so if we take inflation into it) it seems that if a movie doesn’t reach those heady heights it’s a flop.

        Batman Vs Superman made almost 880 million dollars but is considered a flop? Damn – it probably broke a billion when it came to dvd/blu/digital sales – but still a flop.
        Like with football (both British and American) money is becoming out of control.

  • Barry El Beardo

    OMG this film was terrible!

    And go enjoy your honeymoon!! Looks beautiful there 🙂

    • Adam Clifton

      Everyone of us who have seen this has been rightfully fingered.

  • Golic

    Not paying to see this garbage.

  • Geno1987

    Ridley Scott: Uh, so like…what if Aliens weren’t just bugs?
    FOX: Go on.
    Ridley Scott: What if like, we made them.
    FOX: That is stupid.
    Ridley Scott: But what if I refer to the bible a lot?
    FOX: That is brilliant.

    • Rick-Taylor

      This feels completely accurate to me. Best way to describe Prometheus and Covenant.

      • Simon Allen

        At least Prometheus manages to do it with conviction not like the hackneyed mess that is Covenant .

  • sliceanddice

    Trace, i usually see eye to eye with you but i really enjoyed this move. that said, it was not perfect and i do respect your points.

    • And I respect yours too! I will watch it again to see if my opinion changes, but I feel that my 3/5 is generous. I seem to be in the minority though so there’s that! I’m glad most people are enjoying it.

      • sliceanddice

        It has its flaws certainly i think will remain in my guilty please chest fro a while. that said, i seem to be one of the few hardcore alien fans to be sanguine with the idea of david being the creator’s of the alien.

        • Mehliens

          He is not the originator but the one who perfected the organism. I’m totally fine with that as well. I’m also fine with most other choices / retconning that went on in covenant

          • sliceanddice

            Yes, what you’re saying is more accurate than what i said. he did perfect it. good point. a small but important difference.

  • GunsOfNavarone

    The entire time I was watching Covenant I couldn’t help feel that Noomi Rapace was a much better actor than Katharine Waterston. I felt like Waterston was a damp squib compared to the emotional and charged range of Rapace in Prometheus. Even in the prologue which features Rapace repairing David’s head, I was reminded how likable her character was. Also of note are the silly decisions some characters make throughout the movie e.g. David leading the captain down into the catacombs of his lair on a guided tour of his demented creations, right bang into an egg room, without the captain thinking fuck this, I’m warning the others. Or the others never wondered where the captain was despite him being facehugged and the gestation period after while David sat watching him. Then there are plotholes from Prometheus which still are left unanswered…. Why was the engineer on his way to earth with his cargo of bioweapons? – We thought we were going to get some answers from visiting the engineer’s homeworld but instead of that David unleashes his own payload on them and wipes them all out so that’s the end of that question. I was kind of disappointed that given they were in an Alien citadel, not more time was given to exploration and discovery of what the buildings / who the people were. Ridley did mention that if they do more, they would eventually wind back up to LV426. So if that is the case, are we to presume that there are other engineers out there? – Because there is one in the ship on LV426 with his ribcage busted open. The whole thing is starting to feel very convoluted.

    • Matty Ice 2016

      Well Played …..Waterson = Hollywood Nepotisim …

    • Adam Clifton

      Or how did they NOT notice a planet that could sustain life on it in their scanning range AFTER scanning for sustainable planets? They asked that question but it never got answered. The planet just appeared out of nowhere I guess. Whatever

      • GunsOfNavarone

        And when they send their scouting shuttle down to investigate, not a single fucker thinks of putting on a space helmet – JUST in case of any adverse conditions they happen to encounter, you know like airborne pathogens for example. Doh ! The stories in Prometheus and Covenant seem to rely heavily on human stupidity and without it there wouldn’t be much driving the stories forward.

        • Adam Clifton

          Right! Then when one starts coughing up blood only then do they worry about quarantine lol

    • Vicente Garcia

      The Engineers were headed to Earth 2000 years ago to wipe us out because Jesus was an Engineer and we crucified him. (SERIOUSLY, this was a plot point in Prometheus that Ridley rightly cut out for being too on-the-nose. I prefer the movie just not telling us, because it isn’t important to Shaw’s story.) It’s why the skeletons in the movie carbon-date back 2000 years. Something went wrong on the ship before it could take off though, and the goo (or goo-creatures) killed/infected the Engineers before they could complete their mission.
      Agree with you on Shaw though — she will go down as one of my favorite characters in movie history. Rapace nailed the role and made you root for her despite all odds.

      • GunsOfNavarone

        Do you have a link to the source for that ? – Not doubting you at all at this point because the story is all over the place, but I’d like to know Ridley’s thinking on that one. I mean Christ was resurrected after being crucified and forgave mankind so if he was going off on that angle it sounds like he’s cherry-picking parts of the bible. That said, it would explain why they are dressed in shawls. I think the engineers have largely been disappointing, there are things that don’t sit right with me. You have this higher intelligence, the supreme beings who crafted us in their image who fly advanced space ships terraforming worlds, who engineer bioweapons (for whatever reason) but walk around in shawls and live in carved out buildings that look like mudhuts from tattooine. I was pretty disappointed with the engineer citadel in all honesty. I was hoping for something more in tune with Ancient Egypt or similar. As for the ambiguity, I think Scott has now passed the point of no return. The loose ends need tying up – he introduced the engineers but no sooner than they are introduced, he wipes them out in favor of how the original xeno comes to be. I couldn’t give 2 fs about that in all honesty, I’d like some light shed on what the bioweapons were for, hints at how or where it was sourced, how an engineer – bigger than a human being and able to take out a whole crew in prometheus could be crucified, why the doughnut style ship hadn’t changed design in 2000 years and still had a docking station about to support it…. lol

        I really wish we’d got Prometheus 2, I was hoping a team would have tracked David to the engineer home planet where they would have also found Shaw who’d not long landed and the tracking team maybe do something that jeopardizes the mission and pisses the engineers off and then all hell breaks loose. – So many cool places to take the story, but instead we got ‘Xeno Origins’.

        • Vicente Garcia

          Your idea of Prometheus was what I imagined too. 🙁
          You could even work Shaw into the plot of Covenant — Why couldn’t Shaw be the one who helps Covenant survivors after the explosion?! Wouldn’t the whole plot make more sense if SHE met them and explained that she’d been surviving on the planet and her ‘distress call’ was a warning to stay away becuase a psychotic robot had been conducting experiments on the planet’s fauna and life, and he had killed off the original inhabitants in a mass genocide?
          And then she and Daniels lead the Covenant crew back to ‘paradise’ (engineer capitol) to try and escape the planet on an engineer ship, but David is waiting there for them…Covenant’s plot plays out, crew is picked off, Tenessee still drops in, maybe Shaw then finally dies; ending plays out with Walter switch as is. I would’ve even loved that, but nope, all traces of Prometheus but David had to be wiped…

          • Vicente Garcia

            To answer your question though:

            http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/interview-sir-ridley-scott-explains-prometheus-explores-our-past-and-teases-future-alien-stories-716238

            Fandango: You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?

            RS: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him.

          • GunsOfNavarone

            Yes, we’re very much on the same page. Prometheus wasn’t without it’s issues but I liked the direction the story was heading in and I liked that Noomi headed that story with such wonder. She wasn’t the tough fearless heroine but displayed a warmth that we’ve been missing from the franchise for a long time. I thought her acting was superb and tbh I was gutted to see her confined to the short prologue. I was really excited to think about what was next for her character, landing on the engineer homeworld and learning more about her creator unaware of the impending doom that awaited. It would have been such a great story and like you’ve said there were multiple ways of taking it from there, I was actually hoping for some sort of scene that showed her circled by engineers as she pleased with them to understand the answers she’d been seeking. Maybe she had been able to decipher their language somehow and says something that makes them hesitate. Maybe they reluctantly answer part of her question before something happens and she’s left to fill in the blanks. The part in Prometheus when the engineer rose from it’s cryo pod gave me chills, I wanted something more along those lines.

            I fear that the next Alien movie (if we get one), will be a remake of Aliens. Terraforming ship full of 2000 hosts, David gets to work and lands somewhere creating a hostile environment with maybe the first alien queen. And then insert an Engineer or 2 – maybe some out on a terraforming mission return to their homeworld to find it ravaged and attempt to track the perpetrators for revenge, and that’s how we get the ship on LV426. However, it’s not really the story I want. Still, we’ll have to see how the takings for Covenant do.

          • Saturn

            I wonder if the survivor of Covenant (I won’t mention who) could possibly be experimented on and become a Queen (and no, not a spoiler, as that could either be a female character or a gay character).
            Me – yeah, I’m all liberal and snow-flakey.
            Or not.
            But those eggs have to come from somewhere….

          • GunsOfNavarone

            Well, it could very well end up being an Alien 3 scenario all over again. Hopefully not though, I mean I would hope Ridley wouldn’t want to retread old coals but then he did at the end of Covenant because we got a retread of the end of Alien. So who knows. Also your message was crazy but it made me laugh!

      • Saturn

        It’s really strange that now so many people “loved” Rapace in the role – I seem to remember at the time it was more “not a patch on Weaver!”.
        Mad how a few years down the line peoples attitudes can change.

        A fine example is that more and more people consider Land Of The Dead the last great Romero zombie movie, but at the time it was a disappointment (much like Day in the mid 80’s). Sometimes a film can take a while before it finds it’s audience.

        • Vicente Garcia

          In all fairness I’ve loved Rapace in the role from Day 1 and always hated Land of the Dead….

  • Matty Ice 2016

    Thanks for the spot on review…..This whole series is a parody of itself …There are no surprise moments left ….Next!

  • That totally summarized my opinion about A:C – a greatest hits compilation but in the previous entries it was done better. Still the cinematography was breathtaking and those landscape shots! Probably the med bay sequence was the most memorable but everything else been there done that. Particularly with crew member that you do not even know their names – so why care when they meet their makers ? – and the CGI over the deaths – see biting their head off looked funny.

    • Saturn

      It was the Alien series’ Death Magnetic.
      Keeps the fans happy that what they want is in it, but it’s quite obvious it’s been done for that reason, but you’re still hoping for another Master Of Puppets.

      • That is a great analogy! Everyone was raving about death magnetic….which was ok since they had that horrible saint anger album and that one with Lou Reed but not even close to their earlier work!

  • Mehliens

    Saw the film and it reminded me that the most frightning thing in Alien was already the synthetic Ash and David takes that to Level: Hitler. Most diabolical ending in a major production ever. Now I can see the dark cynicism in calling the next one Awakening. XD

    Ps: the birth scenes were ridiculously awesome and glorified the shape of the Xenomorph(s) beautifully. I’m also glad Scott clearly distanced the Xeno from the space bug cannonfodder of Cameron’s meathead spectacle and made it this bizarre, hard to kill, demonic shape straight from hell. (I thought the cg was good enough most of the time and I hate cg)

    • HappyClappy

      At last, someone who actually ‘Gets It’.
      10/10

      • Saturn

        Although the movie was far from a 10/10 it was was still an entertaining ride which I’d give a strong 7.5/10.
        Is it as good as Alien/Aliens – no, of course not. But is it worth a viewing at your local cinema? For me, yeah, I had fun with it – although I have to admit when it was over I was a little bit “oh – is it done?” – kinda felt like a pretty decent album (although not the bands golden era) that ended on a pretty good song, but not a KILLER song. But it had enough to be “interested” enough to check out the next release, with fingers crossed, but deep down knowing it won’t be another Reign In Blood as too much time has passed.

  • DBZEROGRAVITY

    I was afraid that the Prometheus connection would be quickly swept under the rug. What a bummer

  • DS Ullery

    Prometheus didn’t have mediocre box office returns, it just made the majority of its gross overseas as opposed to stateside. The film pulled in over $400 million worldwide. It wasn’t a flop. That’s why the sequel was greenlit.

    • Please see my comment to Ocelot below. My description should have read underwhelming. Not poor. My mistake. But the domestic gross WAS less than what Fox was expecting.

  • cduns

    Thanks for saving me a few bucks at the movies. That said, I’m profoundly disappointed with what you had to say about the mere seconds of screentime the events of Prometheus/Shaw and David arriving on the engineers planet gets. That’s the movie I was hoping to see. As someone that loved Prometheus, this feels like a slap in the face.

    • Vicente Garcia

      Have you seen the Crossing prologue? It’s a deleted scene from Covenant detailing a TINY bit of Shaw’s trip with David. Ridley cut it from the movie’s final cut though, leaving no trace of Prometheus behind but…well, I don’t want to spoil it, but if you go to this movie looking for Shaw’s story continued, you’re going to be VERY let down.

      • Simon Allen

        Let down ? More like crushed !!!

        • Vicente Garcia

          Seriously. I don’t know why Noomi even bothered to come back for the one scene; it’s completely disrespectful what they did to her character. Glad she did though, because even in her two-minute prologue Rapace shines. This is the beginning of Alien 3 all over again though…

          • Simon Allen

            Two words …contractual obligation .

    • Saturn

      Well it seems that the next movie could well deal with what happened between Prometheus and Covenant – so we may find out.

  • Ranc

    3/5 is way too generous. I voted 4/10. As a big Alien fan, I am angry I spent 20$ on this POS..

  • disqus_k39rnaVe8B

    One of the (many) reasons I like the Alien franchise is the story of a heroin that kicks some alien butts and saves the day and not the story of a psychopath android. Covenant is David’s story and not the story of a heroin you root for.

    • moebius2249

      When the most captivating character in your movie is a psychopathic android you know your script has issues. I hated his character in “Prometheus”, and it looks like it’s going to be worse in the sequel.

      • Saturn

        David is better this time around.
        Especially when it comes to fingering.

        • moebius2249

          The more I hear, the less I want to watch this film.

          • Master99

            Have your personal opinions of a movie ever matched 100% with a critic or message board poster? I never listen to them, and only read them to get a laugh. I always make my own decisions after watching the movie myself.

          • moebius2249

            Money matters. Theater tickets aren’t cheap.

          • Master99

            First critics and message posters never say something is good unless it’s some God awful movie like lala land. But if one did say it was good and you went and spent your money, only to find out that you disagree, you would have still wasted your money. Most theaters have matinee prices for early showings, which is what I use when I am not sure about a movie, plus less annoying talking people in the theater.

          • moebius2249

            First off, I only listen to critics whose opinion I generally share. The truth is these movies practically tell you the whole movie before it comes out so you can more or less piece together whether you’re leaning in the direction of liking a film, thinking it’s okay, or not liking it.

            There are so many options to watch a film nowadays, so if I feel a movie is just going to be okay, I wait for it on ppv or Netflix.

      • Mehliens

        Ash pretty much took the scary crown in 1979 as well and he isn’t even fully autonomous like Walter. How come people forget to mention that in their comparisons?

        • Adam Clifton

          That’s another problem with this movie. It’s said that Walter is a more upgraded droid than David who was made earlier. Ash (from ‘Alien’) is obviously created years after Alien: Covenant but he gets his head easily taken off with a lead pipe? Did Weyland-Yutani skimp on the droid costs after Covenant and decided to get cheap robots to save money? Or did Ridley Scott confuse the timeline?

          • Mehliens

            What has that to do with anything? Use your imagination on this one easily. And who really gives a fuck unless you are one of those self entitled critics nitpicking at whatever they can find just to be able to make themselves look like observant experts who can’t be fooled by shoddy writing. That’s so pathetic

          • Adam Clifton

            Whatever. The movie stinks

          • HappyClappy

            As does your mamma’s clunge..

          • Adam Clifton

            *rolls eyes*

          • Saturn

            Ah, another Brit!

          • HappyClappy

            Assuredly.. Haha!

          • Mehliens

            And by now it should be crystal clear that Scott completely ignores Aliens and even most of the life cycle canon of his own film. Covenant is a soft reboot

          • Saturn

            It’s covered in the next movie – they started making them in China.

        • moebius2249

          ??

          • Saturn

            Not Ash from Evil Dead, silly!
            😉

    • Saturn

      I personally wouldn’t root for any drug to be honest (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    • Mehliens

      Then you obviously haven’t seen the original which has a psychopathic android kicking the heroins butt and face rapes her with a Magazine. He was also the most scary and memorable part of the 1979 film. The heroin also doesn’t really save the day, she barely gets away with her own life after losing all her crew and ship. The stuff you are talking about only happens in the steroid bullshit film made by Cameron

      • disqus_k39rnaVe8B

        A butthurt android, I suppose.

        • Mehliens

          Haha, nice one!

    • HappyClappy

      “Hell yeah!! Let’s kick some Alien butt….”
      Oh dear, your lack of vision depresses me greatly.
      Idiocracy is REAL.

      • disqus_k39rnaVe8B

        Do you like Prometheus? If the answer is yes you should use the word Idiocracy to describe yourself..

    • Simon Allen

      And a boring and unwanted one at that ….killing off Shaw was the first wrong move .

  • bigval

    You were spot on Trace when you said you have big problems when the aliens effects look worse in 2017 than they did in 1979. This movie was borderline embarrassing. I thought Alien: Resurrection was the worst movie of the franchise but I think Covenant might in fact be worse.

    I was struggling to stay awake throughout this, the plot was rubbish, the acting average at best, the cinematography vastly inferior to Prometheus and perhaps the biggest crime of all the aliens looked like something out of a bad cartoon. To say I was disappointed with Covenant is an understatement but now this truly is the end of the Alien franchise no way another one will get greenlit after this.

    • Mehliens

      Scott already said he will begin shooting Awakening in 2018 and I’m positive this will happen

      • moebius2249

        I hope he gets it over with and moves on from the franchise.

        • Mehliens

          According to him hats not going to happen anytime soon

          • moebius2249

            First it was endless sequels, but now it’s maybe only 1 or 2 movies now. What’s happening? The economic outlook of the Prometheus arc may be losing some luster in Fox’s eyes.

          • Mehliens

            I doubt it. Scott has a pretty good track record in general when it comes to cashing in with his films. I’m sure that as long as he is physically still able to make Alien Movies he probably will. But my guess is that there just isn’t enough to explore for 4/5 films. Awakening has such a fucked up and diabolical premise that I can’t wait to see where it’s going

    • Mehliens

      Covenant had a few outstanding practical effect shots of both the grownup Neo and Xeno and they looked unparalleled. Some of the cgi wasn’t that great but far from bad. The design of the Alien by itself was absolutely gorgeous. Very Gigerish and sexual. Loved that attention to this important Giger design element to distinguish the alien from Cameron’s space bug cannonfodder bullshit.

      • Cameron’s design was way more primal than Scott’s and made them more believable IMO.

        • Mehliens

          Primal? If you mean a total abandonment of Gigers design then yes

    • HappyClappy

      You’re obviously a troll…or mentally retarded.
      Remember to close your mouth when breathing.

      • moebius2249

        Another one of those mentally unhinged posters.

        • HappyClappy

          I’m sorry…are you refering to me dear?

  • David.

    I really wanted to love A:C it was one of my most anticipated movies this year but I agree it was a let down sadly.

    So much never made sense and people made stupid decisions that made me roll my eyes. The woman going off alone to freshen up, the captain stupidly following an android who just freaked out he killed a blood thirsty monster, Locking the medic in with a dying man and risking over 2000 lives to go pick up 2 people.

    Also why did David’s hair grow? If his skin doesn’t regenerate nor he age how does his hair grow?

    Only thing I can honestly say impressed me was the creature effects, the fully grown Xeno was fantastic and the shower scene very creepy.

    • Simon Allen

      And David must have had access to a Vidal Sassoon salon on the planet to get the colour and cut the same as Walters LOL !!!

      • Brian McNatt

        Well the cut at least, his natural hair color is the same as Walter’s. Remember, at the beginning of Prometheus we see David hanging around the ship, and at one point he’s dying his hair blonde to mirror Lawrence of Arabia.

    • Adam Clifton

      The human characters in Prometheus and Alien Covenant are incredibly stupid

  • Rick-Taylor

    I feel Blade Runner 2049 will suffer the same fate.

    • I hope not, but this definitely has lowered my expectations for that.

  • HappyClappy

    Alien Covenent is fucking incredible, the character ‘David’ is creepy as fuck and would give Hannibal Lecter nightmares, I will definately be rewatching this gem many, many times in glorious 4K blu ray when it’s eventually released.
    The cinematography is amazing and the direction is inspired.Some of the shots in this film left me with my jaw on the floor. The slow build up maximises the horror and tension when the SHTF.
    Seems like people have forgotten how to enjoy a cracking film and only take enjoyment from nitpicking and whining like babies with infantile colic..”But the characters do dumb things..boo hoo hoo!!..The Aliens don’t look very good..whingey mcfucking whine!!..The film spoils the mystery of the original Alien…Mwaahahhhaaaaaaa!!!”
    Just shut the fuck up!!

    • Simon Allen

      Are you 12 ?

      • HappyClappy

        Why?
        Is that too old for you?
        Do you prefer them a little younger?

    • Anthony DeRouen

      Isn’t it past your bedtime?

      • HappyClappy

        Actually, mummy allows me to stay up late on special nights, especially when I’ve been a good boy and I make sure that all my toys are tidy and I’ve eaten all of my greens.
        So just STFU and blow me.

    • Adam Clifton

      How old are you? Just asking because the David character doesn’t come off as creepy. Scarier than Hannibal Lecter? I don’t think so

      • HappyClappy

        I’m 10 years old..
        Well 10 and 3/4, its my birthday soon. You can say Happy Birthday now if you care to.
        The key sentence in your reply is “I don’t think so”….
        Just because you don’t ‘think’ something is creepy or scary it doesn’t mean that other people can’t. Assuredly.
        It suggests to me that you suffer a deficiency in imagination.
        Sorry about that old chap.
        Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

        • HappyClappy

          I’m sorry, truly.
          I perhaps came across as a little rude or flippant in my previous reply..
          As we all know, the rude should always be eaten..with a pinch of salt.
          What i was trying to say was, as an adult and a long time aficionado of all things horror related ( I read horror litereature profusely – Laird Barron, Lovecraft, Adam Nevill, Scott Nicolay. T.E.Grau, Thomas Ligotti,Matthew M. Bartlett,Cody Goodfellow etc, etc,etc) I can still find aspects of fiction, films or books, that can scare me. Now I don’t mean hiding under the bed scared, rather, a creeping wonder or unsettled feeling induced by using my own imagination to…add to, compliment something that is shown or suggested in films/books, even music.
          I found the character of David to be utterly facinating and yes, more than a little creepy.Think about it. This creation of man is unhinged and what we would class as psychotic, if he were human. But he’s not, he’s a machine and who knows what twisted pattern or form his thoughts are taking in his milky blooded artificial brain.
          That’s the really scary thing, not some murderous Alien tearing about despatching unfortunate ‘red-shirts’.

  • Simon Allen

    This re-hash of all the best bits of the other Alien movies is an abomination ….flimsy and unmemorable characters apart from a Ripley clone and not one but two robot asshats who are equally annoying , no story to speak of (we land on a planet and get attacked YAWN ) .
    The special effects are sub -par with horrible CGI that looks like a bloody cartoon (reminded me of the first Spider-Man movie) and “surprises” any dumbass could see coming a mile away .
    I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be good but I had no idea it was going to be this bad ….it didn’t even look as great as Prometheus ….I really wonder where the hell they spent $110 million ?
    And as for Ridley Scott’s promise that we would get answers ? WTF.
    I hope the franchise dies here …..unless it goes with Blomkamp …it’s only hope of redemption

    • Cx

      My sentiments exactly.

    • HappyClappy

      Same old tired bullshit…heard all your points before, only much better articulated.
      Your rant makes YOU sound like a spotty adolescent 12 year old.
      Oh…and your beard looks stupid, is that really your best profile pic?

      Have a nice day now.

  • Vicente Garcia

    Regarding PROMETHEUS: since when is “slightly above-average” bad?! “Slightly above average” means even better than above average, which seems pretty good?
    Since when is 400 million+ a bad gross too? Sounds like you just didn’t like Prometheus…

    • Anthony DeRouen

      Prometheus didn’t triple its budget. Wiki doesn’t include marketing which must have been north of $50 million, plus the theaters’ cut and so on. $400 million box office was low considering what they put in and expected to recieve.

      • Vicente Garcia

        Oh I know, but all the studios care about is that the worldwide gross looks good for stockholders and investors. 400+ million and they can say it tripled its budget. Not as high as they hoped, yes, but they ALWAYS hope for more than is reasonable. Most movies fight just to make their budget back!

    • Hi! I actually do like Prometheus. Did you read the second paragraph of my review where I stated “Before I get started with this review I should point out that I do like Prometheus (I’m not as wild about it as John Squires is, but I do like it). Like many others, I did want more Xenomorph action, but I accept the film for what it is.”?

      • Vicente Garcia

        Ah, in all honesty I started skimming after the first paragraph…my fault man! Was just a bit upset at the focus on the disappointing domestic numbers and not the (for the time) stunning international numbers. For an R-Rated philosophical alien horror sci-fi hybrid with a mostly-unknown foreign lead…it did pretty damn great.

    • aFriendlyAgenda

      Critics liked prometheus

      And maybe that should be the best evidence that there was genuinely something wrong with it

      The mainstream critic mafia dont understand or respect what makes a good genre movie

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    “hybrid of Prometheus, Alien and Aliens that has all of the right ingredients but never amounts to much,”

    Less then the sum of its parts
    Which is pretty much the polar opposite of the trick that Alien pulled off

    If you dissect Alien, you’ll discover that many of the things in it can be found in previous movies and media The used future look was in Star Wars and also in Dark Star The frumpy Space trucker feel was also in Dark Star There’s Forbidden Planet, the Thing, Haunted house movies. . .

    But you never notice any of that unless you dissect it becasue its done so cleverly that its adding up to more then the sum of its parts

    Which has got to be a hard trick to do or everybody would do it
    But you also have to take into account that it takes risk to create something that adds up to more then the same thing or less laid out by a previous formula

    And hollywood isn’t in the habit of betting their own money on risk taking when they can make as much money or more just squeezing every last drop out of something proven and familiar to an audience thats satisfied with that

  • althotos

    So, I was really disappointed in Prometheus. After waiting 33 years, I got a squid at the end of the movie. Where were my answers about the derelict ship with all the eggs in it? What about the space jockey, who by the way is much bigger than the engineers shown in Prometheus. Prometheus had so many flaws and tried too hard to ask the philosophical and existential questions of humanity’s reason for being. I loved the scenes with the reliefs that seemed to depict a proto-alien creature and the woman on the walls of the domed building on the planet in Prometheus. Having lambasted the movie, I did buy the DVD and have watched it at least 3 times since the theatrical release. It’s not a terrible movie and the cinematography is fantastic. It’s just a movie that was too complex and tried to answer too many questions while going in too many directions. Only Fassbender and the film artistry carried Prometheus. I’m looking forward to Covenant this Saturday and I hope Scott and churn them out faster than 5 years for the remaining prequels. God knows, I don’t have that much time left to wait another 30 years.

    • 0ldboy26

      So what is your opinion of the film?

  • Freaky Freelings

    I just saw this and I agree with your review 100%! It sums up exactly how I feel. I left the theater slightly underwhelmed. Then again my expectations were extremely high. I am going to be in the minority when I say I was hoping it would be more Prometheus 2 than Alien. I was excited to see what was going to happen next with Shaw, David and The Engineers. Ridley Scott mentioned the possibility of doing a prequel to Alien Covenant. Interesting.

    • Brian McNatt

      I’m with you about hoping it’d be more Prometheus than Alien.

  • CR

    Fuck this kid.

  • CR

    Let’s have some kid none of you should give a shit about tell you what you can and can’t enjoy.

  • Jonathan Ledesma

    The man gives his review of the movie, which is pretty spot on, and people give him shit for it??? For fucks sakes people

  • American Atheist

    Awesome movie! Extremely dark. Loved the ending! I can’t wait for the next one. Bravo Ridley Scott!

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    I just read the plot on wikipedia,
    its another hollywood dummy plot

    Everybody does something stupid that anybody who’s seen a horror movie before or with any common sense wouldn’t do just to move the plot along from set piece A to set piece B

    Maybe the scariest thing about it is the suggestion that these are the kind of people who should be allowed to breed and spread their stupid around the galaxy

    Or the real world terror that the people who make this stupidity glorifying junk are sitting comfortably on millions of undeserved dollars in pocket change, while people with common sense work hard for a living to make ends meet

  • kreddyfrueger

    Couldn’t agree more with the character development not being given it’s due course. So much potential, particularly Fassbenders performance.

    The back burster scene was completely ruined by the long shot of the neomorph after…this was almost SciFi channel level shit. Disappointed.

  • Folks it’s one person’s opinion … no need to hate on Trace for his view on this.

    For the record I agree with a lot of what he said and I’m an old fart too!

    The Alien has been with me since I first saw it in 1979 (my elder brother had the wonderful Photo Novel of the film and I eventually saw the film a couple of years later). The mystery, the awe, the sheer gravitas of Giger’s hellish beauty on display left such an impression on me (and countless nightmares).

    Now I finally saw Covenant last night with a massive load of expectation but I must admit I left the film feeling underwhelmed. Really Ridley? This was it?

    I did enjoy it but feeling very underwhelmed by it – the CGI felt bloody cheap for someone of Ridley’s calibre that is almost unforgivable – that all I said need to see it again as I think it might need repeat viewings for me to digest it.

    Oh Fass stole the show mind you – brilliant performance(s).

  • Colin Christian

    Compared to Prometheus,it looked cheap to me. I was with Scott all the way on Prometheus,that film is full of an artists love,it’s therein every corner of every frame,it’s GORGEOUS. WE HAD 4 movies of bugs in coridoors,as he rightly said,”it was cooked” But people like Transformers and drink Bud,so we end up with this mess. You can tell what Scott thought of Xenomorphs,he made them CGI,the opiate of the uncreative,undemanding masses.He dislikes CGI,that should tell you everything. It’s too late for Prometheus 2, and I’m upset at that missed opportunity

  • liltrav88888

    I fucking loved it!!!! Best time I’ve had at the movies in a long time hell even the trailers were awesome

    • Same here I think people were way too harsh on it. I had a good time.

  • liltrav88888

    I honestly feel bad for anybody that’s a big fan of the alien franchise that doesn’tleave this movie happy as hell also glad I don’t have a problem with cgi people bitch about it so much itslike their watching a syfy original or something

    • My main issue with it is that Ridley Scott directed the original Alien in a time where there was no CGI. That film is known for the amazing creature design that was made famous for its use of practical effects. So for Scott to use SO MUCH CGI in Covenant feels like a betrayal. I have nothing against CGI when used in the right doses, but this was just overkill.

      • Chemaira

        also the alien looked fake a little with cgi, which made me sad… hopefully its gonna look better on tv screens.

  • Brian McNatt

    “Should we put on environmental protection suits before exploring this alien planet that could be host to countless deadly pathogens not known to humanity?”
    “Hmm… nah.”

  • CJ

    Alien Covenant was incredible. The sets on board the vessel and the engineer world look stunning, the story was tightly paced but slow burn, the terrifying mocap work by Javier Botet makes the Xenomorph move with a sense of purpose, the CGI work overall was great (And I normally dislike it being heavily used), and the characters are supposed to be real humans in a dire situation…Sure they make a few awful decisions throughout but overall the few lines of dialogue they give are there because they have a job to do and while it makes them seem more expendable on screen, ask yourself this; if I was either being hunted by an unknown creature or trapped up in space not able to speak to my loved ones, would I be worried about spitting out exposition that builds my character or would I be doing my job to make sure makes it back safe? All in all this is an amazing return of our favorite acid bleeding Alien, worth checking out!

  • chuck

    Hands down the best chunk of the film was the scenes with Faris and Karine on the dropship/med lab. I wish the rest of the film could have kept that tension/pace.

    It feels like they took two films and mashed them together, one half with the Aliens on a ship/humans in terror and another half of David and the contemplations on what being human means to AI. If these where two separate films they would have been great companion pieces to each other, and I get the feeling they might have been two separate ideas for sequels but when Promethus failed to delver they cobbled together a mash of the two ideas and it ALMOST works.

    And that end……who in the hell didn’t see that coming.

    • rabidpolitico

      I agree. That seen actually built a lot of tension especially after hobbles out after her ankle gets caught to retrieve another gun

  • d0e1ow

    I loved Prometheus. I did not love this film. It was “OK” just as the review says. It felt like a total reaction to Prometheus instead of a continuation of it.

  • RIB

    I just checked out COVENANT yesterday, and being someone on the “PROMETHEUS was a massive disappointment” side of things, I really enjoyed COVENANT. It’s far from being ALIEN, but all in all I had maybe only a half dozen moments I wasn’t to happy with. Meanwhile the entire last 60 minutes of PROMETHEUS I thought was in shambles, (It was pretty, but nonsensical). Id give COVENANT a 7/10 and say its the 3rd best ALIENs film.

    (This whole movie series is like a cautionary tale for not wearing protective suits on alien worlds. Whats the deal Ridley?)

    • I liked it a lot too though I’ve talked to several people who didn’t like it at all. The ending could have been better.

      I hated Prometheus but loved the trailer. I felt it was a waste of a stellar cast.

      Alien and Aliens are the best of the lot but I don’t think many people would disagree.

  • Alex Harbie

    Congratulations Trace. I think this is your first truly honest review; I was truly expecting you to heap undue praise like alot of the movies that you review that don’t deserve that distinction. If you keep this up, I just might have to consider you an objective horror fan.

    • Uh….thanks? I think I’m pretty objective, I just like a lot of things and can be pretty forgiving because I like to see the best in films. Is that so bad?

      • Alex Harbie

        Fair enough, Trace. Point well taken.

  • premiumcream

    This movie was awful. It is basically a remake of Prometheus. Stupid, one dimensional characters acting like complete morons. Awful dialogue of forced one-liners that are painfully unfunny. I just find the whole idea of magic black goo creating the xenomorphs to be criminally lazy and uninspired. David’s “experiments” are literally just him sprinkling black goop on things. I don’t understand how a movie can be written by adults, for adults that have characters walking around on a new planet without some kind of space suit and then they get infected by an airborne toxin. That kind of stupidity can’t be forgiven. And the fact that they are so careless with the lives of the thousands of colonists was absurd. The story of how the xenomorphs came into existence is not one that needs to be told. Especially not this poorly.

    • At least Prometheus asked some pretty good questions and as a whole was interesting. Covenant had none of that. Both my friend and I were let down quite a bit.

  • Munchie

    Didn’t like it. Wanted to, but it was a whole lot of nothing. Too many questions while watching (“why didn’t they do this?” “Wait, why would she do that?”) which oddly enough didn’t bother me in Prometheus. The whole time on the planet seemed oddly inert and devoid of action despite the circumstances, the ‘shower scene’ was laughably bad, it wasn’t scary AT ALL, and the ending has been done before in at least two of the other films. Very disappointed.

    • Yeah as a whole this film was very disappointing. It should have continued from Prometheus, instead it just made a couple little nods to it to let people know this was a sequel to Prometheus. So much potential wasted. I’m not even looking forward to the next movie now.

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