I’m not the biggest moviegoer, but I do hold certain movies and franchises close to my heart. The “Alien” series is definitely one of those franchises that mean a lot to me. I remember watching the first movie when I was around 15 years old. I was fascinated and in sheer terror at the same time. All of the questions that shrouded the movie captured my imagination. Where did this Alien come from? What’s the background to it?
Director, Ridley Scott, decided to answer some of these questions that other fans and myself had by making a new series of prequels. The first one, “Prometheus,” actually really captured my imagination, just like how “Alien” did. I was fascinated by the new species of creatures called engineers. They supposedly created humans and may have had a role in creating the Xenomorph that we grew up with in the Alien series. The philosophical theme in this movie added onto the sci-fi exploration. Similar to how the first Alien movie left us with questions about the origin of the Xenomorph, Prometheus also leaves us with even more questions, but at least we’re getting there, right?
Well, the sequel to “Prometheus,” “Alien: Covenant,” was supposed to begin to answer some of these questions that we were left wondering about in “Prometheus.” Unfortunately, the movie did it in a very sloppy fashion.
Before I dig into “Alien: Covenant,” I want to note that Ridley Scott had already mentioned that he would be doing another Alien movie after this one. I knew that I had to temper my expectations for this movie before I watched it. This newest installment in the series looked so promising. However, Ridley Scott decided to take this series in a very confusing direction with this movie.
After our last remaining survivors in “Prometheus,” Elizabeth Shaw and David, escaped the planet, they decided to continue their mission instead of returning to Earth. At the end of the movie, they were going to travel to the home world of the engineers in order to get some answers from our makers. Why were they mad at us? Why was their ship carrying thousands of containers of this deadly pathogen meant for humans?
Instead, nearly halfway through the movie, we figure out that David went crazy and decided to dump tons of these containers carrying this deadly pathogen on the engineers. The result was a complete genocide of the engineer race. David would continue to experiment on the planet with the black goo and create the Xenomorph that we know and love from the previous “Alien” films. This completely killed any hopes of getting answers from the engineers. In a matter of two minutes, all the answers that I was hoping to get answered were destroyed. This was probably one of the most frustrating moments for me during the movie.
This choice in the storyline is what I was talking about before. Ridley Scott’s decision to spoil the mystery of the Xenomorph by revealing that a robot created them was very anticlimactic. I was expecting the engineers to have a role in the creation of the monster. There had to be some kind of extraterrestrial being had to be involved with the creation of the Xenomorph, right? Wrong. It was just a man-made machine that created this species. This was definitely a moment in the movie that felt like a let down to me. I thought Ridley Scott was going to have a far more interesting concept for the creation of the Xenomporph.
The decision to turn David into the main villain was also a strange decision. This movie is basically focused all on David. The crew on the Covenant ship has no meaning to the story at all really because of David. We learn that the Weyland Corporation created David. The company is in charge of all of the outer space expeditions in the series. Peter Weyland is the founder of the company. He decided to create David to be like a son to him. This means that David was built to be more human than any other robot built by the Weyland Corporation. David developed human emotions and became obsessed with proving humans wrong. Humans always scorned David because he couldn’t create life. David is able to create life with the black liquid from the engineers mixed with any DNA that he can get his hands on. In a way, David becomes a mad scientist. He’s obsessed with creating the perfect organism, the Xenomorph. In what was supposed to be a movie about getting answers.
In steps the crew from the Covenant ship. David sets a trap for them by sending out a distress beacon from his ship. The crew decides to explore the signal. Once the action starts in this movie, it literally does not stop, which is kind of something that I disliked about the film. Everyone is being killed off as soon as the first character gets killed. There’s really nothing separating the action other than the fight between David and the crew’s robot, Walter. Michael Fassbender plays both robots in the movie. David ends up killing Walter and goes undercover to get aboard the Covenant ship. Once they’ve defeated the Alien and are on board, David puts everyone in hibernation. This allows him to continue his experiments with all of the crew members on board. The ending of this movie had a nice twist, but everything that happened before in the movie had already put me in a bad mood.
Overall, “Alien: Covenant” was a major let down in the series. In fact, it might be one of my least favorite movies in the entire series. The action scenes are good in this movie, but the storyline was very disappointing. This movie killed nearly all the hype that I had for the next prequel. I’m going to have to rate this movie 2/5 stars.