Alien: Covenant ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Some thoughts:

— By far the highlight of this was seeing the Blade Runner 2049 trailer that preceded the film. Very. Excited.

— If you spend half a film thinking "How do you spell longueurs? I think I might need to write longueurs later", that's not a great sign.

— Oh the longueurs. It takes about an hour for anything to happen, and when it does, the film STILL hasn't established any of the characters! Every time someone died, I was like, I don't know who that is, have we actually met them yet, do I care?

— "So how shall we store these two thousand hibernating colonists? Who votes for 'dangling precariously'? Everyone? Really?"

— Despite the title, it's clear Scott is more interested in making a Prometheus film rather than an Alien one. Or, judging by that first shot, a Blade Runner one.

— Finally a reason for Guy Pearce's casting in Prometheus! Although he still should've been played by an older actor in that.

— The core of this, particularly the whole Walter/David thing, is incredibly similar to the father/son thing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Father figure has been isolated on planet for way too long, develops SPACE MADNESS and a hunger to purge/create, spends half the film walking houseguest around lovely sets while monologuing.

— The hair. Sweet Jesus the hair. The awful, awful, Inspiral Carpets hair. Waterston looks like a wet-eyed teenage boy for most of the film, all sulky and wobbly of lip. Even Noomi Rapace was better than this.

— "You blow. Let me do the fingering."

— Obviously Ridley Scott wasn't bothered, but surely somebody could have gone back to the first two or three films to see what the alien looks like and how it works? It took about five minutes from facehug to chestburst, which makes no sense at all; the chestburster itself was all gangly and wrong (plus it practically comes out with "MAMA?"); and the grown alien spends way too much of the film standing upright – there's one scene at the ned where it swaggers in through a door like Danny Dyer.

— Probably my favourite bit was halfway through the film, when David suddenly decided to give himself a Kevin Sorbo haircut.

— "I think I can hear John Denver! ABANDON SHIP!"

— I know he was in the little prologue film thingy, but casting somebody as big as James Franco in the role of Corpse #1 is just a tad distracting.

— Billy Crudup does his best in a role that is basically "Captain Faithy McFaitherson, man of faith". There are really interesting things they could've explored here – how does religion work now that they've found alien life? But no, instead he just says the word "faith" a lot, like some kind of deep space George Michael.

— "You want me to look into this egg? This one here? Look closer, you say? My head … what, all the way in?"

— The music is better! Except for when it reverts to the Star Trek: Prometheus theme when it lingers on pictures of Rapace.

— That big David reveal at the end surprised nobody. What was surprising was how they revealed it. Surely the nail-hole in his chin would've been the most poetic way to reveal it … except the hole had mysteriously vanished.

— A shower-nookie scene? Really Ridley? This is like AvP territory here.

— "That's the spirit!" was a nice, if rather random, Blade Runner nod.

— The alien-POV stuff was a bit naff, and rather laughable compared to the very similar sequence from Alien 3. In that, the alien was FAST and there was a real sense of panic at this wild animal tearing through the corridors. Here, you see the alien wander up to a closed door and then kind of look a bit dejected as it wanders off.

— Ending with David all alone on the ship once again confirms that Prometheus starts way too early. The scene in that of David wandering about, watching movies and playing basket ball, that should be the first scene. Would've mirrored this one nicely.

— There is a good film in here somewhere, a kind of Planet of Doctor Moreau thing, but it's bogged down by it's duties to the franchise. Actually, there's an incredible, horrifying movie to be made between Prometheus and this one, it's like we turned up too late for it. No disposable crew to pick off, just David and Elizabeth Shaw alone on that alien ship, lost at sea, survival and trust disintegrating into madness and experimentation. Someone get me David Cronenberg on the phone at once …

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