After watching the first four Alien franchise films and Prometheus in a week before seeing this film, all I can say is “Wow”. Alien: Covenant was one of the best looking films in the franchise, but not the best presented, and I’ll explain starting with the bad, and ending with the good.
One of the many disappointments in this film is the characterization. When the movie starts we meet our crew moments after a catastrophic space event damages the ship and kills the captain played by James Franco, who is only in the film for 1 minute in the form of a video on a tablet. And if you are in anyway wanting a proper introduction to the characters aboard the Covenant, you are better off watching the series of clips on YouTube from 20th Century Fox. Only there are you told the crew members relationship status to each other and who they are and where they come from. Without those videos you are on your own. This was a terrible decision and basically pulls a “Destiny” by making you research through a secondary source which should only be done for more in depth lore. And while on the topic of lore, the way the movie explains the origins of the original Xenomorph is lackluster. In the film, David, the synthetic from Prometheus, goes to the home world of the engineers, not with the intent to find his makers makers, but to release the deadly bioweapon upon a small city’s inhabitants. Dick move David. With this action, his ideas about life and creation are twisted so far that he decides to play god with the bioweapon, thus creating the Xenomorph. This origin story was not one that I saw coming and that I’m sure one that not many wanted. This was obviously done in a cash grab situation to close the prequel trilogy but it could have been done in such a better way.
With that out of the way now onto the good. This movie looked great in visuals and the use of music really brought out the conflict between Walter and his counterpart David. The acting from Michael Fassbender as Walter/David was very well executed and makes me excited to see a third installation and how it resolves into the main Alien storyline. The use of not only one, but two alien creatures brought in some unexpected variety in the form of a chest, mouth, and back burster. The CGI used for these creatures looks amazing and with the first fully CGI facehugger, we got to see a new aspect of movement for them. The alien world they visit has monumental structures with the same monolithic statues from Prometheus. Familiar sights of the space jockey spaceship and the pictures and items left behind from Elizabeth Ward from Prometheus pave way to explaining what exactly happened to David and Elizabeth.
Overall, this movie was fantastic. The visuals, music, acting, and story were great but the way it was presented could have been better. The crew and myself give this movie a 7/10. If you plan on seeing this movie, I’d suggest watching the YouTube videos before hand because it will let you feel for the characters going through this horrific series of events. Also prepare to see blood, and lots of it!