Alien: Covenant

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So, I wisely went to peep this flick last night (sans my expected company, since she has issues with seeing scary movies after a certain time of night and I have issues with people who are still scared of movies when you're more than a decade past drinking or voting age).  

I usually prefer to see movies alone because of my well documented history of film snobbery.  It's a good thing too because I really wanted to grab a pen and start writing down all the random stuff I saw that either made me scratch my freshly shaven, bristly dome, or bite my lip in utter confusion.  

For fans of the franchise, I'll say this - no Ripley or Dallas, no Sgt. "Look into my eye" Apone, no Vasquez, no Hicks or Hudson, and no James Cameron, but at least it was No PROMETHEUS!  For that, salute - Ridley Scott (Director).  If you had a bunch of big ass bald pale alien giants doing things that didn't make a hell of a lot of sense again, I'm convinced you would have murdered this franchise.  This movie could be best be called Redemption.


Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, American Gangster... but also Exodus: Gods & Kings - Yikes!) - Director
John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall) - Writer
Dante Harper - Writer
Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Assassin's Creed) - Walter/David
Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy, Selma) - Karine
Katherine Waterston (Taking Woodstock, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) - Daniels
Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Watchmen) - Oram
Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, This is the End) - Tennesee
Amy Seimetz (You're Next, Upstream Color) - Faris

Image result for alien covenant movie artSo, I believe we left off just a bit after this happened - 
So after the Prometheus flick fiasco, we find ourselves watching the crew of the Covenant, a ship full of dumb ass colonists (mostly white folks), head towards an extremely remote but habitable planet they are to terraform and prepare it for future generations of humans. 

Clearly, there is no way they're getting my people on a space slave ship.  You can add all the Carmen Ejogos you want to, we not falling for your Jedi mind tricks.  I'd be staying my black ass right here on Earth - you can keep your interstellar gentrification.  It starts off all artesenal shops and log cabins with no curtains in a new, rustic world, and ends up like this -
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Anyway, the crew of the Covenant gets abruptly awakened by a tragically unexpected event in deep space.  The event threatens the mission of the Covenant to bring its cargo of thousands of dumb ass colonists to their distant destination.  Fortunately, they discover a planet that is far closer with a much better likelihood of successful colonization - it cuts seven years off of hibernation from them.  What could possibly go wrong? 

It is there that the real danger begins.  David (Fassbender) has survived and plays host to the intrepid crew investigating the planet, but not long after, they find these things waiting for them >>
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The planet ends up being a planet filled with the dead bodies of the giant bald white aliens.  It's where David and Dr. Shaw headed to at the end of Prometheus in search of the ancient race of aliens they believed to be responsible for the evolution and development of human beings.  

You can guess the results.  Yes... damn near everybody dies.  Stop acting like you thought people would get out of this okay.  When was the last time somebody walked away from an encounter with the Aliens?

The writers couldn't resist the urge to connect antiquity with a mythology it began developing in Prometheus (I can respect that, even if I don't like it); they had David citing Shelley's  Ozymandias.  Interestingly, there are a bunch of different little tweaks and twists that they give us in this movie that make it worth seeing for fans of the series.  If you are not a fan, it probably doesn't do much for you.  In fact, there was nothing remotely scary about it.  The scare factor in this movie was far below that found in Get Out (which is AWESOME, buy it or see it if you still can in the theater).

The best thing about Alien: Covenant was the fact that the movie returned to its roots of stomach popping, evil synthetics, butt kicking female leads, and space colonization.  The lack of action allowed everyone to be actors and not let the special effects smother the generally exceptional talent level of the actors in the movie.  That's good...right?  Yes and no.  The lack of action in an Aliens movie makes for a fairly boring movie and this was only saved by the abilities of Ejogo, Crudup, Waterston, and a couple of others.  Alien: Covenant ends up on that directly on the borderline between drab and semi-compelling.
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The bad things were the little details (like how Walter was stitching himself with the stapler which made a lot of sounds of staples, but when they showed what he was stitching... nada), or people doing stupid stuff, or how the foreshadowed deaths, betrayals, and twists were not remotely surprising (like how they all but told us what the end would be as soon as we see David).  More importantly, there was not one sympathetic character; by that, I mean I didn't give AF if they all got mercked and they basically did.   The thing about the first two movies was that they made the characters so well-rounded that you actually liked a few of them and disliked others.  In Alien: Covenant, everyone but David - who we already know was a turd from the time he put his nasty finger in that glass of water in Prometheus - was good at heart, caring, willing to risk their life for each other, and blah blah blah.  Yet, there was not one line from Alien: Covenant that is memorable or quotable.  People who never saw Aliens can quote lines from it:

 - Get away from her you, b!tch!
 - So, why don't you put her in charge!
 - Is this a bug hunt?
 - He's coming in... gee, I feel safer already.
 - There's some juicy colonists daughters from their virginity.
 - It was a bad call, Ripley.  It was a bad call. 
 - Is there anything I can do?/I don't know, is there anything you can do?
 - Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked.

And one of my personal favorites:

 - Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

The list goes on.

Go see it if you're a fan.  If you aren't a fan, skip it and wait for it to pop up on-demand.  It's not a rush out and see flick (like I did), so I guess I'm going to have to find a way to let my friend slide for chickening out on this not-scary scary movie.  

IMTHATDUDE gives Alien: Covenant: 3

5 = You should be about halfway to the theatre by now… Well… GET!
4 = Definitely worth the bread. Niiice.
3 = I won’t cuss anybody out and demand my paper back.
2 = Somewhere SOUTH of under-whelmed./I know it has a pulse, but…
1 = Not a good look. They played me AND I played myself.

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