First things first: Ripley Scott is one of the finest American directors out there. He has directed some of the most important films of the 20th century: Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma & Louise…ah, you get the idea: the guy is a big deal. Naturally, you expect a lot from a Ripley Scott film, one of those things being a coherent organized script and a proven methodology during shooting and editing.
Well, it turns out: Alien Covenant is a mess. It’s not the worst movie out there on this planet, but it has left a fair deal of fans from the Alien franchise dumbfounded by the missing Ripley magic.
The Unanswered Questions
Why has David (the android) become so damn evil? How come no one discovered the ‘mystery planet’ all this time when it was right under their shoulders? How did David manage to so cleverly wipe out an entire race of superior beings (Engineers) without being discovered? There are so many questions that prop out in one’s mind as the script scurries along. At some point you almost wish they would answer the questions just to give the narrative more utilitarian context, but unfortunately, Ridley Scott decides to keep the questions open for perhaps another sequel.
Same thing, again and again and again.
The pot seems to be running in loops now. It’s always a ship. It’s always a mission. It’s always people waking up from deep sleep. It’s always an android running the show. It’s always a planet with some peculiar characteristics. And it’s always an Alien getting on board and forcing everyone to turn towards their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Planet just doesn’t have it.
The mysterious planet the colonizers land on isn’t so mysterious after all: it’s like New Zealand on steroids. It’s green, mountainous and swampy. Which really doesn’t make it such a spooky atmosphere – even with the month long storms.
There’s also way too much confusion: how many neomorphs are there on the planet and if so, where are they?
Neomorphs just don’t have it.
The main antagonists (minus David, of course) for a good portion are the velvet cream coloured neomorphs. Infact, the Xenomorphs from the previous Alien films does not show up until the last quarter of the film.
The neomorphs aren’t much scarier or effective as killing machines then the raptors in Jurassic Park (remember that scene in the open field?). This realization makes them much less dreadful considering the sophisticated weapons the colonists have with them. These mole rat-look-mofos’ seem like a nuisance after their initial appearance.
Also, when you think Aliens, you automatically think of Xenomorphs – there are no two ways about it. Why Ripley decided to do a ‘Godzilla’ act with his infamous villain is another mystery that shall go unanswered until the Behind the Scenes Blu-Ray footage comes out.
The Engineers went AWOL
The Engineers story-line was the best part of Prometheus. As for the CGI generator creatures themselves, they were intense and immediately had our curiosity. Sure, there may be many detractors who felt Prometheus did not hold true to the Alien franchise, but that was the entire goal, wasn’t it?
Unfortunately, there are no Engineers in Covenant. Which is a shame, because there was so much potential to exploit a three-way battle royal between the Colonists, the Aliens and the Engineers.