Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Katherine Waterston – Daniels
Michael Fassbender – Walter / David
Carmen Ejogo – Karine Oram
Billy Crudup – Christopher Oram
Danny McBride – Tennessee
Amy Seimetz – Maggie Farris
Demián Bichir – Sergeant Lope
Callie Hernandez – Upworth
Alien: Covenant is dull as arse. Although most arses I’ve come into contact with have been quite nice.
Anyway, more of this later..
With regards to visuals, I just cannot fault the production. A scene which stands out for me is when the crew arrive on ‘planet number 4’. A member of the group wanders off to explore a strange forest-like area and steps on an alien plant. His action cracks open a spore which releases lots of tiny particles into the air, which float towards any opening they can find.
I enjoyed this. For once, an Alien movie that wasn’t just an archaeological mix of wandering through tunnels and more talking than action. I’ve seen Prometheus in all its dream-like glory but this new instalment felt different, visually. The graphics used to portray the spore explosion were fantastic. Great camerawork here as the focus zoomed in on the plant and exposed some great animation, before zooming out, capturing the sparkling seeds and zooming back in towards the male victim as the pretty little things made their attack. This moment kept me fully engaged as excellent graphics ensured rise in tension. The movie suddenly felt less 80’s Alien, more recent sci-fi.
Go back to the 80’s hit and compare the special effects – no contest. Obviously. But the CGI used during Alien: Covenant has certainly revamped the franchise by adding more punch, visually. Top marks here.
The ‘cavern’ scene taking place between Walter and David (Fassbender) was just plain bizarre. When Walter enters a cavern – the home of David – events take a strangely sexual turn.
The man sits down and instigates a conversation with David, who in return produces a flute from his pocket. And begins ‘blowing’.
The strange scene continues until the second David announces to his visitor, “and now – you blow mine”.
Or something along those lines. Whatever the script, Fassbender raised the boundaries, dropped a comment saturated in smut, and turned Alien – Gaylien. For a brief few minutes this movie took a strange turn as Fass (a-hem) bender delivered a speech on how useful the mouth is when blowing an instrument. And then it returned to normal as the story of Daniels and her struggle to survive continued. This was utterly bizarre, and if I were a more harsh critic I’d probably label it unnecessary.
Speaking of Daniels, one of her final scenes is actually quite slick. Standing atop the Covenant spacecraft, a mid-air showdown kicks off between her and the ‘alien’. She practically uses a wing of the ship as a surfboard, slicing through the air whilst beating the shit out of the extraterrestrial creature. This scene is so action-packed that it – and in fact the rest of the movie – beats Prometheus by miles, fuelling more heart-pounding scenes and special effects into the production, not just having a group of bald-headed men in robes marching around a cliff (Prometheus). Those working on Alien: Covenant did good.
The story is relevant for those who are familar with its history, but otherwise if you’re sitting down to watch it afresh you’re in for a dull time. This movie is a bit grey and some scenes run tediously long. Thankfully though it is saved by the fact it’s better than the previous one.
And that sexy scene between two lovers – and an uninvited alien guest in the spaceship shower.. holy shit, I didn’t see that coming!
Worth a watch if you have nothing else to do on an evening in, otherwise, as the kids say these days: “meh”.