May 19, 2017 marks the official worldwide theatrical release of Alien: Covenant, the sixth film in the Alien franchise and second in the new Alien Prequel franchise,. as well as the return to the director’s chair for legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening on May 10, 2017 courtesy of 20th Century Fox, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
As stated, this is the second prequel to the Alien movie franchise, the first being 2012’s Prometheus. Star Michael Fassbender (of the new X-Men franchise) returns as a synthetic human, this time known as Walter (remember, Wayland Corp. likes to keep using the same faces for their synths so this makes sense). He stars alongside Katherine Waterston (of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Billy Crudup (of Watchmen) to bring us this next installment.
Right off the bat, I’m going to say they went just a little overboard with the sound effects. I promise you that my seat did not need to vibrate with every shot of the ship in space. Yes, we get it’s a massive ship moving through space, but enough with the “womp, womp, womp” sounds, guys. I had a four-alarm headache when this was over.
Now, on to the rest of this movie.
I want to say that Danny McBride (of Your Highness) was surprisingly good as Tennessee. He was not his usual over-the-top funny self and it came across really well. Also, his was the only character that seemed to be able to take his emotional blows and not come completely apart. Every other character became as whiny as, well, me at the end of my last relationship. What was it my friend called me? A “whiny teenaged emo boy.” Or something like that. Completely useless, just like these characters seem to become. As a plot device, I’m going to say that it just doesn’t work. They would’ve had complete psychological exams in their vetting process in order to even be considered for a seven year, four month space mission of this magnitude. Their falling apart just doesn’t make sense, but I digress.
As to this being a second prequel, uh, yeah, not so much. It kind of takes some bits from the end of Prometheus and mashes it in here and there, but I’m still in the dark as to where they’re going with this. If this were a standalone movie, it would be fine, but it is supposed to be a part of the Alien movie franchise and I’m not feeling its connection. I’m going to wait to see of maybe they clean this up in the next prequel movie, and make more sense of everything, but otherwise, it’s a complete mess.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Alien: Covenant is absolutely fine as a standalone sci-fi/horror film, but just doesn’t make a lot of sense as an Alien franchise film, as apart from some Xenomorphs, and a couple nods to earlier films, it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The effects are nice, and the voices were crisp despite the sound effects shaking my chair. Some of the visuals were good, some not so much, and the storyline really needed to be cleaned up. An extra twenty minutes could’ve done so much to explain things better. Again, I’ll wait to reserve final judgement until the next one (which director Ridley Scott says there’s several more still to come) but for now, it just doesn’t quite measure up. – 6.5/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine