Review: Alien Covenant (2017)

Synopsis: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discovers an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.
Ridley Scott’s 2017 follow up to his 2012 Alien prequel “Prometheus” begins aboard the colony ship Covenant, a space freighter bound for a distant planet. This new utopia promises an atmosphere conducive to sustain human life, and a chance for human beings to further colonize the galaxy. A crew of 15, and a passenger list of thousands, rest soundly in cryosleep, when a sonic shock wave hits the ship and causes a tragic predicament. Now awoken, the surviving crew assess the ship’s damage and unfortunate loss of life, which includes a fiery cameo from actor James Franco, who plays the ship’s Captain. While gaining their senses, and mourning the loss of their adored Captain, the crew receives a signal from a near by planet. Sound familiar? The signal is soon recognized as a John Denver song by the ship’s pilot, “Tennessee”, played by actor Danny McBride. Newly appointed Captain, “Christopher”, played by Billy Crudup, goes against the judgement of his crew, and decides to conduct an investigation to the newly acquired signal. Initial computer scans of this new planet report terraforming elements needed to start a colony. So hey, why not explore?
Covenant then begins on a journey of exploration upon the uncharted planet led by “Daniels”, played wonderfully by actress Katherine Waterson.  Poor decisions by our film’s characters, and spore like vegetation that leaks smokey black goo, cause chaos to ensue. Xeno’s new and old are introduced via CGI, and the death toll rises. When Daniels and company finally leak word back up to the hovering Covenant ship, “Tennessee” embarks on a rescue mission to save his endangered friends.
The nostalgia in the first 15 minutes of Covenant are blatantly loud. With the drop launch, the crew’s banter, and an arsenal of assault weapons, I assumed these new characters that were added to the Alien lore would find themselves on this uncharted planet up to their necks in Xeno’s. Instead, I received a long build of stupid character decisions, and weird plot twists that laughed in the face of Prometheus script writer’s, John Spaihts, and Damon Lindelof. I’m not sure if it was Scott’s decision, or the studio’s decision to have 4 new minds develop Covenant, but it was a tragic mistake. A lot of continuity between Prometheus and Covenant was lost during the writing process. There is little to no explanation as to the motives of the engineers. In my opinion the engineers were the driving force behind Prometheus. Covenant writers John Logan and Dante Harper, would rather see us on a journey to discover who “David the android” is deep inside.
I understand that the underlying theme of the Alien franchise is to discover who the real monster is. Is it the Xeno’s or the Weyland Corporation? Thanks Rayzilla. However, I feel the real point of these prequels should have been about the human race, the Xeno’s and where we both came from. Androids should be a side note. Covenant turns “David” into the absolute focus of these films. I feel this was a mistake and the reason why covenant has received so much backlash on social media. It is also unfortunate that all the internet hate might be the reason why Michael Fassbender’s performance will be overlooked. While I disagree with the direction of the script, I will admit that Fassbender’s performance was absolutely diabolical. “David”, should be recognized as one the most evil characters in Sci-fi history. I believe once people have a moment to breathe, they will realize “David’s” impact on Covenenat.
I really love the Alien franchise. In time, I believe Covenant will age well, and grow on me as Prometheus did. However, in no way, shape, or form can I give this film a positive review. There is a lot more to Covenant that I chose not to discuss in this article for the sake of giving away spoilers. My opinion is what I felt matters most on this review. If you’re a horror fan, you’re going to watch this addition to Alien regardless of what I say. What you should know however, is that Ridley Scott has disappointed much of his fan base. Myself included. That is the most important message I can convey here.
I rate Alien: Covenant 5 out of 10 stars.