This will probably go down as one of my most shocking reviews to date and I might lose cred within the horror community. Brace yourself, horror fans. I’m about to tell you a big secret about myself and its a good one! Up until May 18, 2017, I had never once seen any of the movies in the Alien franchise. The question that you are all probably asking yourself is how can I still call myself a true horror fan if I’ve never ever watched Alien (1979), one of the most beloved sci-fi horror movies of all time? That is exactly my point – we all have our favorites and, just until recently, I was not interested in sci-fi horror. The good news? After seeing Alien: Covenant, I am now a fan! So now I get to experience this franchise as a first-time watcher. Don’t you wish you could relive your first time? So what’s the big deal about Alien: Covenant that turned my tide?
After opening weekend, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant grossed $117.9 million against a $97 million dollar budget. It has a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. From what I can gather from my social media friends, many are not pleased with this addition to the series and are calling for a new director to helm the franchise. In my case, this is where it worked to my advantage since I had no preconceived notions of what this film should be like. What did I like about it? Let’s discuss!
Official Synopsis of Alien: Covenant:
The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.
I’ll be absolutely honest – the first 20 minutes of Alien: Covenant absolutely bored the shit out of me. I was sitting there in my chair thinking, “This is exactly why I don’t watch movies that just take place on a spaceship – now they’re going to crash, the aliens are going to wreck havoc and there will be no happy ending, as per usual.” I was right about that part, except for the fact that I actually enjoyed it. You would think by 2104, people would be smarter, yet you would be wrong. I felt no sympathy when they died. Seriously, in the beginning, the Captain of the ship is James Franco, who’s there with his buddy, Danny McBride. It came as no surprise that McBride’s character’s name was Tennessee with a cowboy hat and all.
Spoiler Warning: James isn’t in the movie for more than 2.5 seconds and he actually probably would have done a better job then Oram (Billy Crudup), who just complained the whole damn time that no one would take him seriously as captain… well, I wonder why? I thought I would have a hard time taking McBride seriously, but he actually did a bang up job and it was almost as if he was made to play this role. Daniels (Katherine Waterston) reminded me a little too much of Demi Moore in Ghost. Without a doubt, the standout performance goes to Michael Fassbender, who played dual roles of David and Walter… although I would be remiss if I didn’t mention an extremely awkward scene he has with a flute.
I thought the way the aliens got into the bodies was pretty bad ass and the first kill scene was certainly epic. I’m sure fans of the original will disagree with me and say it had too much CGI. However, the ending is highly predictable, even without knowing anything about the previous movies.
If you have not seen any of the other Alien films, I think this a good one to get you started. I say that because Alien: Covenant absolutely made me want to watch the other films. If you were expecting me to connect the dots or talk about xenomorphs in this review, I’m not. You’ll have to wait for me to watch the others. In my opinion, Alien: Covenant could be a stand alone film, or you could watch this and then go straight into Prometheus since this is a direct sequel to that. Was this anyone else’s first time seeing an Alien film? What about you Alien veterans – how do you think this one stacks up? Let us know in the comments!