Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant

A mess, and a miss. The ALIEN elements, while completely unsurprising at this point, were well-handled, and the hellzapoppin scene where the creatures attack the (idiot) crew members drawn to their planet is the best in the movie. (But I still don't get how these creatures are the "perfect" lifeform, or why mankind is the "perfect" host, as their evolution is practically nil over eight movies--in ALIEN RESURRECTION they swam, and that's about it.)

Unfortunately, the incoherent and unappealing PROMETHEUS elements then reassert themselves, and there's little co-screenwriter John Logan, who very successfully reimagined Gothic horrors for the late, lamented PENNY DREADFUL, can do to make them more enticing. (George Lucas had the good sense to sideline Jar Jar Binks after PHANTOM MENACE; Ridley Scott brings back his goofy PROMETHEUS humanoids for an unwelcome encore.)

A good cast makes very little impression, and as even the more upbeat Ebiri agrees the multiple endings are successively worse, with shower T&A thrown in at the last possible moment and a grim, nihilistic close unlikely to have most audiences begging for a sequel. As a PROMETHEUS Part 2, it's pretty much on par with its sibling, which for me is no recommendation; as an ALIEN tie-in, it's a little better than ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM, but not by too much. Thirty-five year-old knockoffs like GALAXY OF TERROR and CONTAMINATION are a lot more fun than the joyless, thrill-less ALIEN: COVENANT, and there's maybe one more to go before Ellen Ripley returns from 1979 to put a stop to Scott's tinkering. With Michael Fassbender as "David" and "Walter," the closest thing the movie has to a joke, or in-joke; not with, or not really with, James Franco and Noomi Rapace.