Friday, March 15, 2019

Alien: Covenant Review

Alien: Covenant, 3/15/19, 82%, B-, 4 Stars.
Let’s make a covenant here and now: this is vastly superior to Resurrection, but not as good as Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3, and is also a sharp decline in quality from Prometheus.
Plot
-Pacing 7/10
For a movie that’s a little over two hours, ten minutes of which is credits, this feels oddly slow and bloated. It’s as if the filmmakers were trying to justify its existence when a more direct Prometheus sequel is what should have been. They just brush over the encounter with more of the engineers from the first movie, more on that later.
-Coherence 8/10
For the most part, this Alien prequel makes sense, but why the woman who didn’t let that other woman out of medbay didn’t just let her out, or why nobody just kills the xenomorph right when it bursts out of the humans is completely beyond me. Maybe it’s because these are unfamiliar to them and all to familiar to us, and will be familiar to Ripley later in the timeline, but you’d think anyone would have just stomped out the xenomorph while it was still adjusting to being alive. However, I did like the fact they were created by David to discourage human expansion, but his rationale and the events that occurred in the decade between Prometheus and this make this feel like part three or four instead of part two.
Characters
-Relatability 6/10
I found the aforementioned flaws in the story to affect my ability to connect to these characters. Kudos to making David call out humanity’s flaws, something many people can agree is present, but there’s just something dark and hopeless about that. He’s basically that one friend who’s always a downer about everything.
-Development 6/10
The cast was too large for me to actually care about any of them, and the story skipped any kind of building of Captain Danny’s relationship with her husband, who dies early on. It’s too jumbled to know who to care about.
Picture
-Visual Believability 10/10
The visual effects are gorgeous like Prometheus was.
-Purposeful Content 8/10
Like I said in pacing, it’s trying to justify its existence. There’s great content like how and why the xenomorphs exist due to an angry robot who wants to scare humanity away from the stars, but there’s also lots more bloody violence, even by Alien movie standards. I feel like we went from “high concept truth of creation” to “bloody sci-fi action flick.”
I’ll admit, the ending gives me hope for a better direction in Alien Prequel 3, but Ridley Scott will have to make something really surprising to avoid obligatory “this is how the egg monster got to the planet we see them on in the very first movie.” Bring back the engineers, that was a way better concept than this unfocused mess.
Soundtrack
-Emotional Resonance 8/10
The soundtrack was kind of dull, although the classical music for David was a great character flourish and the original Alien theme, which I barely remember from the first one when I watched it five weeks ago, feels mysterious enough. It’s probably more memorable here, but let that go to show one shouldn’t jump right into a movie after getting home from a long, fun day at the zoo, but back to this movie.
-Appropriate Use 8/10
It was used appropriately, such as the David character flourish. Having the Alien theme played on the recorder was fine enough, but I digress.
Dialogue
-Appropriate Humor 10/10
There’s really no humor to be found here, and that’s ok because I came here for high concept stuff, not for quippy one-liners.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10
This is probably the edgiest Alien movie up to this point, with more swears than I recall from the previous few, as well as getting closer to full frontal nudity than previous ones. This all adds to the sci-fi horror environment.
This really should have been part three or four. It’s entertaining if you want to see bloody action, just don’t expect high concept depth like Prometheus had.
Numeric Breakdown
-1 = That Bad
0. Unbearable
  1. Awful
  2. Really Bad
  3. Bad
  4. Weak
  5. Mediocre
  6. Questionable
  7. Good
  8. Great
  9. Amazing
  10. Perfect
Letter Grade
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
Star Grid
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars

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