Written by / 6/02/2017 / No comments / , , , , , , , ,

RIDLEY SCOTT SUSTAINS PROMETHEUS WITH ALIEN: COVENANT

More Spoilers Than Usual Since it's Been Out A While YEAR: 2017
While Ash, the humanoid robot from the original ALIEN, was so obsessed with the "perfect" species, i.e. The Alien, he let it inside the ship, director Ridley Scott has the same adoration for Michael Fassbender, as the new Synthetic, that it's a wonder anyone else is even around...

We do learn in COVENANT that Fassbender's David had spent a decade on the planet he and the last sole surviving heroine blasted off to at the end of PROMETHEUS... And what began in 1979 as a body-count horror flick in outer space ("Where no one can hear you scream") has basically turned into a science-fiction version of Frankenstein — and boy, does he have a Monster: But first it takes a spaceship with a crew stupid enough to land there. Enter the new cast of human targets in this rushed sequel of an initially surreptitious prequel that makes the flawed PROMETHEUS seem like the original ALIEN (or James Cameron's action-packed sequel, ALIENS) by comparison.

CovenantScore: *1/2
Taking over the Sigourney Weaver "Ripley" mantle is a whiny, weepy Katherine Waterston as Daniels, who's more like Veronica Cartwright's frantic Lambert: the uptight lady who never stopped screeching... And how director Ridley Scott managed to make the otherwise beautiful Waterston look plain and homely is one of many problems here... 

Other than a cocky cowboy played by Danny McBride (the new Yaphet Kotto blue collar type), the entire crew is downright forgettable and, during sporadic, violent action scenes, aren't worthy enough to care about. While the original ALIEN chief in Tom Skerritt's Dallas provided the PSCYHO Janet Leigh role — seeming like the main character before his surprisingly quick death leaves the crew in an unplanned disarray — Billy Crudup's second-man turned captain, replacing an unlucky guy we never meet but through an archived video, is so inept, pathetic and cowardly he should have feathers. Although, for the record, his banality is needed to explain why they'd wind up on that uncertain, unfamiliar planet in the first place.

Would've made a better ingenue
Like PROMETHEUS hid behind an epic scope while most of the intensity took place inside a single cave, the same thing happens here. As for befitting the Horror genre, The Alien isn't a nightmarish figure that appears before a person has a chance to run, or scream. This CGI Creature zips around faster than Speedy Gonzales — on uppers. Providing little to no suspense for both the victims or the audience. The only "thing" that director Scott puts energy (and tons of dialogue) into is Fassbender's David from PROMETHEUS and his lookalike synthetic, Walter, who works on the new ship, COVENANT... 

David, who'd learned humanity by aping Peter O'Toole as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, sings the echoing "Man who Broke the Bank of Monte Carlo" (an obscure nod) while the poor, mechanical-deer-in-headlights Walter gets lost in the mix until, at one point, while several uninspired humans get picked-off, David teaches his robotic "brother" to play a makeshift flute/recorder. This is about as exciting as things get until, at the 11th hour, the director attempts a crash course from his original classic by turning our whiny heroine into an Alien-hunting bad-ass throughout familiar-looking white, claustrophobic spaceship corridors (like Ripley, she's trying to blast the creature into space). By that time, and even despite a fairly inventive twist ending, ALIEN: COVENANT has run its course, or, better put, its treadmill cycle that consists merely of a single spaceship, a planet with a few dark corners, and a monster much too fast to be frightening or worth the price of theatrical admission. 
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