MOVIE REVIEW: Alien: Covenant (2017)

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Alien: Covenant is a carnage of visual and aesthetic feast with a freakshow production and uncanny elements from Prometheus and the previous Alien films, all wrapped in a signature Ridley Scott bow of chills and unabashed action.

The goal of Alien: Covenant is for the audience to recognize familiar themes of interplanetary expeditions and Frankenstein-ish Freudian elements meant to basically pay tribute to Scott’s filmography. While it stirs a great deal of curiosity and satisfaction for the fans of the abovementioned referential films, viewers who aren’t familiar with Scott’s previous works would eventually find themselves stuck in periphery as to where the film would go, what it tries to prove, and what the characters actually stand for. It is a sequel that doesn’t commit to be an actual sequel, which happens to be the main problem. It plays safe in marketing itself as an obvious conversational piece in response to Scott’s platter of films, but tries to be an independent cinema all together.

Nevertheless, the film doesn’t fail in bringing action and excitement with bizarre themes of alien vs. predator violence. However, the film comes off oftentimes tedious and overwrought, making the pacing so slow and unnecessarily long, messing a momentum that could’ve been extraordinarily non-stop. Furthermore, it doesn’t add anything new to an overly-prolonged conversation of human versus aliens; it overemphasizes a nostalgia that has since became old and weary. Nonetheless, the action and bloody thrills are there — are they enough to withstand the mundane topic that has been too often discussed? That’s the question.

Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston gave such committed performances amidst a chaotic, underdeveloped narrative of characters. Waterston certainly has the potent energy of the female psyche, embodying strength and resilience while balancing vulnerability — a perfect Ridley Scott muse, resonating to that of Sigourney Weaver in the original film.

Overall, Alien: Covenant is a visual satisfaction, though doesn’t quite live up to the monumental achievements recent space epics have made (Gravity, The Martian, Arrival). Nevertheless, it passes on an above average scale, just enough to flicker the eyes with an expedition worth watching.

As the film ends, I remain curious — but I wasn’t hungry for a “what’s next”.


3.75 out of 5 stars


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