Alien: Covenant May Be The Biggest Disappointment Of Winter

Alien: Covenant May Be The Biggest Disappointment Of Winter

Here’s a sentence I’m just incredibly sad to type: Alien: Covenant is bad.

It’s not terrible. Director Ridley Scott didn’t make some kind of hugely annoying, incoherent movie or anything like that. There are a few pockets of enjoyment in what unfolds on screen and watching it is semi-pleasant. But after the credits roll, mulling over everything you just saw, the film continues to sour like milk left out in the sun. It was good for a little bit, but not for long, and that’s just not good enough for a franchise with this history.

Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Scott’s 2012 film, Prometheus, and it follows yet another ship travelling into deep space. This time, though, the ship is out there not for research but to colonize a new planet. Things then go awry, they land on a different planet, and very quickly it becomes obvious that bad things are about to happen.

And while the characters might realise they made a mistake relatively quickly, the film is not quick in getting to that point. Alien: Covenant is criminally backloaded, with almost an hour going by before the crew lands on the planet and another half-hour or so after that before the thrills start to really kick in. In that long slog of exposition, you spend a lot of time with the new characters but still manage not to learn much about them.

Daniels (Katharine Waterston) is the main character so, of course, she has the best backstory. The other standout is Tennessee, a pilot played by Danny McBride, who thrives on the actor’s charisma. As for the rest of the crew (which includes Billy Crudup, Demian Bichir, Jussie Smollett, and Callie Hernandez), you basically learn they are on this flight to do a job and that’s all. Some of their interactions raise mildly engaging questions, but nothing particularly exciting or interesting happens in the film for a long, long time.

That changes a little once the Covenant ship gets to this mysterious planet. The film opens up with a little more action, unsettling imagery, and it feels like things may be about to take a turn for the better. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. With one or two small exceptions, the characters don’t change very drastically when faced with these obstacles, the tone stays very even, and there are almost no scares to be had. There’s plenty of gore, yes, but nothing that scary.

What you do get is is a lot of explanation of what happened after Prometheus. What happened to the characters, where the ship went, all of that. You even start to think you’re going to get answers to the big “Why are we here?” questions from Prometheus too, which were by far the best part of that film. However, before any real answers can be revealed, Alien: Covenant almost maliciously removes any chance of that happening. The film includes such a brutal, clean dismissal of Prometheus‘ potential it almost feels like Scott is apologizing to fans for that film.

Everything that follows pads the mythology about the title xenomorph, driven primarily by an oddly unmotivated and slightly confusing plot involving Michael Fassbender’s android character from the first film, David, and a second android on the Covenant, named Walter. Fassbender is great in both roles, but the character’s stories demystify everything that made those aliens so terrifying in the first place. So Alien: Covenant gets rid of everything good about Prometheus and takes all the mystery of Alien away. It basically makes both films worse.

As this is happening, the characters continue to get picked off one by one until the big finale. The finale is definitely the coolest thing in the movie but feels relatively standard when compared to the typical big, Hollywood blockbuster. It also doesn’t help that you’ve spent the entire movie waiting for these big action scenes so shoving so many into a short period of time removes much of the tension. There’s just nothing that memorable in the movie. The gore and creature work make for some fun or gross moments, but nothing in the film stands out as something worth of the name “Alien.”

Which is what you should be able to expect from a Ridley Scott Alien movie, right? Something epic, scary and visceral. Alien: Covenant is none of those things. It’s just there. You almost wish it was terrible because then at least it would have taken some risks. Instead, you’re left with an instantly forgettable piece of entertainment with boring characters, obvious mysteries, and none of the horror that made the Alien franchise so great.

Alien: Covenant opens in Australian cinemas May 11.


  • Please tell me I’m not the only one expecting this to be as bad as Prometheus.

    • Reporting in, I definitely assumed that Ridley Scott without a good script would make a rubbish film, just like every film he’s made in the last ten years with the exception of The Martian.

      • I found The Martian to be cringey throughout the whole thing. An Interstellar for a less discerning movie-going public that couldn’t deal with anything but a perfectly resolved and positive conclusion.

        • I do not know what to say to the idea that The Martian was cringey and Interstellar was not.

          • Interstellar might have made people who didn’t enjoy it cringe because of the kind of film it was trying to be. But The Martian felt disingenuous and calculated every step of the way. I wasn’t cringing from intense earnestness like in Interstellar (which depending on your tastes either landed or missed the mark completely), I was cringing from how “designed by committee” The Martian felt every step of the way.

            Even the way The Martian didn’t even start development until it was considered a “safe” move in the wake of Interstellar and Gravity’s successes. Don’t get me wrong, Gravity was not my thing at all, but at least it took risks, such as casting Sandra Bullock as protagonist we’re supposed to like and root for.

            I honestly don’t understand the negativity towards Interstellar. I really want to. When I see that film I see a slam dunk and Nolan’s best work. Maybe it just scratched all my particular itches as a consumer? Can you go into more detail about what you didn’t like?

          • For me it was a good movie just Anne Hathaway Harping about Love being the only thing to transcend reality and.. the answer was love Murph etc etc almost made the movie jump the shark for me. It was unbearable.

          • That seems to be the main point of contention i’ve heard. I personally didn’t even blink at that part. It fit the tone of the film, it never really felt like a “love is space science now” moment and more of a “What lengths do we go to for the people we love?” / “How does love fundamentally change who we are and what we believe?” / “Does love, like gravity, affect our perception of reality?” theme.

          • The Nolans (both of them I guess, don’t really know who to blame for the ones that Jonathan contributes too) put in or allow at least one terrible line in every one of their films. If Hathaway never said that line it would have been a far better scene in every way and the same can be said of at least one line in every Nolan film I’ve seen (with a possible exception in Memento; it’s been a while since I watched that one and can’t remember any terrible lines specifically).

    • I was totally expecting it to be rubbish (but hoping otherwise). have heard good things from most places apart from here though so I’m at least a little more optomistic now.

    • As someone who is super critical about film and also only watched Alien once decades after its original release: Whenever I see people talking about Prometheus like it was the worst film ever made, it just seems like overly entitled petulance.

      I’m going to make a huge sweeping generalisation that i’m happy to be challenged on (if it leads to a constructive conversation, of course): You don’t hate Prometheus because it’s bad. You hate it because it’s not Alien.

      I thought the film was really good, it was tense the whole way through and I really liked learning about this universe in a way that the original Alien seemed less interested in building. There were some parts that I didn’t love, like the whole love story / love death stuff. The music seemed at times completely at odds with the tone of the film as well. But the way people talk about it negatively is completely hyperbolic.

      It was a good film that could never match your memories of the first time you stepped into the world of Alien. But from its completely different title to its status as a distantly connected prequel, it was never trying to.

      • People dislike Prometheus because the “scientists” act like children and make ridiculous decisions. It just so happens that, yes, these are not problems for Alien. This is because Alien is actually a good film that is well written. For context, this is coming from someone who also watched it decades after release. I’m 21 and first watched Alien when I was about 10.

        Now if all the deleted scenes from Prometheus were in the final cut, it would be a far stronger film, because these seemingly outlandish decisions the “scientists” make are given context and reason for their unscientific behavior. In which case, yes, I would agree with you.

        I actually LOVE the cinematography and score for Prometheus. The cuts really let it down.

        • I’d say “I” rather than “people”. Because I seriously doubt that the general viewing audience’s biggest gripe with the film was that “the scientist weren’t scientisty enough”. It is a valid point though, some of their behaviour was pretty dumb considering who they are supposed to be.

          But it’s worth noting that a key trope of horror films is dumb characters who make you feel smart and want to yell at the screen. Doesn’t explain everything away, just provides context for some of these decisions.

      • To be fair though, the original Alien wasn’t trying to build a world, it was just a monster movie then grew into more with subsequent movies. Whereas Prometheus cam out the gate promising to expand Alien mythology, had a trailer cut to look like the original Alien and early in its development was even called “Alien: Engineers” and was set on Lv-426. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to expect it to be more like Alien

      • Apologies for the rant, no disrespect to those that like the film, but Prometheus really rustles my jimmies.

        Nah, I get why it might appear that way, but I hate it because A) it relies far too heavily on the bog standard horror movie structure that Alien helped to popularize, B) Almost every character is terrible, C) Most of the acting is really quite bad (Fassbender is something of a saving grace, Rapace was passable, most of the rest just felt uncomfortable with their roles), D) the writing was atrocious, I mean it, really awful and lazy when it wasn’t abjectly bad, especially the dialogue, E) the set design was far worse than that in Alien, a film made longer ago with a smaller budget and a less experienced crew – there is no way that Scott/studio execs couldn’t have put together a better team than the one they did, F) the props and costume design was largely uninspired as well and G) it was weighed down by a lore and pseudo-philosophical plot that failed to satisfy on the surface and actively disappointed under it, again disappointing given the somewhat in-the-background but superbly written Weylan Yutani sub plot in Alien.

        It didn’t know if it wanted to be a spin-off, a prequel or a stand-alone film and I think it ultimately failed as any one of those. I’d definitely agree with @sir-doctor-b that the scientists acting like idiots was a major problem – I can’t possibly care about the fate of ‘scientists’ who decide to touch alien life or scream about rocks (that one was just a really bad meeting of the worst of the writing, costume design and acting all in one character), in fact I actively wanted them to die because they deserved to.

        If the characters aren’t believable why should I be asked to suspend my disbelief. Alien had a crew of miners, electricians and officials (and one science officer/robot/Weylan Yutani enforcer) and every single one of them either made well-reasoned decisions based on their knowledge at the time or had a believable reason not to (see Ash and Dallas). If scientists make far worse decisions without a reasonable grounds to do so it removes any possibility of engagement on my part. What I find especially frustrating is that there is at least one scene that’s fantastic – the C-section scene is brilliant and a great showcase for what the film could have been if it didn’t try to be something philosophically important/interesting and stuck to the basics of disturbing body horror and tension from the threat of said body horror. Prometheus could have been decent, even if it never could have surpassed the original if it knew what it was and focused on that instead of the amalgamation of strange ideas it ended up being.

        • All fair criticisms. I agree, the C-section scene was really confronting, I had to look away, and I supposed that’s a good thing.

          Ultimately I came into the film with zero expectations and liked a lot of the philosophical elements that Prometheus introduced. I agree that the actual characters were the least interesting part, but I loved learning about the Engineers and the world and history.

          It’s clear you’ve given thought to the reasons you personally disliked it, which is all anyone can really ask for I think.

    • I expect everything to be bad, all the time. It’s worked out pretty well for me. Means I’m always happy to be wrong, for one thing.

  • Considering everyone hated Prometheus and I actually enjoyed it – I’m going to take a guess I’ll enjoy this as well.

    I’m not expecting Aliens or anything outrageous – just another outing as much as I enjoyed Prometheus. As such I’ve skipped all spoilers in this article other than the first few paragraphs.

    And it can’t be as bad as Transformers 5 – nothing can.

  • I’m suspicious when the author of the review smuggles the word “basically” in to the text.

  • Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Scott’s 2012 film, Prometheus

    Wait what? I thought Prometheus wasn’t a prequel and had no connection to the Alien franchise.

    • What you missed the giant ship, the Engineers, the whole Geiger aspect? It was a prequel, it was just the *worst kind* of prequel… it was… the Episode II of the Alien movies!

      • Hey now, I wouldn’t go that far… AotC is in a whole separate league of bad 😛

  • “So Alien: Covenant gets rid of everything good about Prometheus”

    Wait… there were good parts of Prometheus???

    The film includes such a brutal, clean dismissal of Prometheus’ potential it almost feels like Scott is apologizing to fans for that film.

    I mean Damon Lindeloff should really, but I’ll accept a Scott apology for that giant cinematic turd. Prometheus was an incoherent, illogical turd that was the true lowpoint of the Alien series, and I’m even including Alien Resurrection in there. I mean god, it was terrible in every respect. There was almost nothing worth redeeming in that film.

    • heh i must be the only one who like Resurrection and loved Requiem, though Aliens is still my all time favorite

      • I actually enjoy Resurrection on a trashy level. Requiem, although again trashy, is a fun as hell AVP movie, with loads of action. It’s got some decent looking predators and it’s so illogical it’s hilarious. But it’s a ripper of a time, plus that shuriken moment Wolf buries the girl into the wall is awesome lol

        • i remember a lot of people were instantly turned off the moment the kid at the beginning got facehugged, meanwhile i just grinned because it was great to see the child imortality trope get burnt so hard

          • Freakin’ love the Blob remake. They had so much courage with that movie. Noone was safe! NOONE!

          • I remember watching Requiem in the cinemas. At that exact moment a lady two rows down stood up and loud AF says “This is bullshit, I want a refund” and walked out.

    • really everything? the music, the designs, the lighting, the ship designs, the effects, every actor, directing, the editing, the sound effects, the ambition of it. everything about it? almost nothing redeemable?

      the sad part is that some people cant just see a film and go “i didnt like that” no that just have to take great leaps to “cinematic turd”. watch some Asylum films and see what bad looks like.

      Ridley’s main mistake in the film was expecting his audience to be smarter than it was, people calling it a ‘cinematic turd’ proves him wrong

      • Where to start…

        Prometheus was garbage on every conceivable level. From a mundane cinematic score that was as uninspired as it was forgettable to cinematography that wouldn’t look out of place in a first year film students portfolio the movie was as cut and dry as it gets. It’s well known Ridley Scott had barely any control over Prometheus and the movie suffered dramatically from Damon Lindeloffs departure from the movie abandoning the script mid rewrite and constant studio interference when they insisted it be scaled back from R to pg13. Those are just some things that shit me. Couple this with an utterly retarded script with the worst decisions “SPACE COBRA… IMA TOUCH IT”… “We walked forward 30 meters aaaaaand we’re lost”… “Quick.. outrun the donut ship! DONT RUN TO THE SIDE!”. Lets not forget the inconsistent design with the original Alien, for a movie set prior, it was ultra advanced beyond. There was ambition to tell a tale that got lost in the ego and thats why I have no respect for it.

        And the idea I cant call it a cinematic turd? Of course I can. I didnt like it to the point I consider it a cinematic turd. I’ve seen Asylum films. But that point has a major flaw, The Asylum sets out to make cheap exploitation films, it sets out to make cheap shitty cash ins. The Asylum cranks out pieces of shit on purpose. Prometheus, as a piece of shit just got cranked out by pure chance.

        Ridleys greatest mistake was cutting scenes from the movie that were more interesting than the material left in the film. The studios biggest mistake was hiring Damon Lindeloff and your biggest mistake is entering the fray with your fanboy blinkers on. Like the movie all you want but do your research on what exactly went wrong with Prometheus, what is well known to have gone wrong. Its a hell of a read.

        • I can’t disagree with any of your points, but I still didn’t mind Prometheus. Sure, it was a deeply flawed movie, but nailing sci-fi horror is hard, man! I mean, can you name a really good one in the last 10 years? I’ve been racking my brains, and the closest I got is 10 Cloverfield Lane, and to be honest that’s more of a psychological horror with a sci-fi backdrop.

          I mean, if we took Prometheus as a stand-alone movie I think it would be judged less harshly. Alien is tied as the best sci-fi horror movie of all time (with The Thing), so that’s a pretty lofty point of comparison.

          • 10 Cloverfield Lane, Looper, the Arrival, Midnight Special, the Martian, Ex Machina, Her, there’s quite a few. The problem comes when it becomes tentpole horror and studios get nervous about their big investments. Thats when you hear the stories of interferences, cutbacks to pg13 to draw “bigger crowds” etc. ergh.

          • A lot of those movies are defintely not Sci-fi Horror…

          • No just scifi in general. Scifi horror is too hard to be selective of 😉

          • Theres a few you can choose from. Resident Evil movies are definitely Sci Fi Horror and one or two arent bad. Two out of three Riddick flicks would hit the mark, as would the Cloverfield movies, 30 Days of Night, World War Z, I Am Legend, Let The Right One In…

            Its not as bad a genre as people think. Having said that, the bad ones are terrible. Nice list of 20 movies in last 25.


          • @grunt, this ones for you too

            Of that list, if we take the last decade (2008-2017), there were 4 movies – Cloverfield, World War Z, Daybreakers and Let the Right One In (which I don’t even think is a sci fi movie). I liked the Resident Evil movies for trashy beer and popcorn flicks

            I really liked Daybreakers and Cloverfied, and WWZ was pretty good, but they were far from perfect movies.

            My point is that this is a very hard genre to make a good movie in, and because Prometheus/Covenant are Alien movies, they will always be compared to the original (arguably the best movie of all time in the genre) rather than the usual quality of sci fi horror.

            Also, Event Horizon rules.

          • @cffndncr fair points, I was just listing a few that werent terrible. Its a hard genre to get right, but when they do the movies are quite rewatchable. Or maybe thats just Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld flicks…

            Let The Right One In, yeah, its a bit of a fence sitter aint it. I expect its mostly because of the vampire angle, which to a lot automatically puts it into fantasy/sci fi. They just seem to get clumped together. I just included it as it was on the list I linked and in the last 10 years.

            At least the list gives something to discuss 🙂 I think its a pretty good list of movies myself, and theres one or two on there I havent seen yet. Might have to rectify that sometime soon.

          • Daybreakers is easily one of the best scifi horrors to come out in 25 years. The worldbuilding it established in one film, on such a limited budget too, is a testament to the Spierig brothers ability. Such an amazing film!

          • I remember Daybreakers copped alot of flak when it came out, but I also loved it, and was super excited about it because I was a huge fan of their previous movie, Undead. I mean… it had a triple barrel shotgun! WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE!?

            I also have heard nothing but good things about Predestination, it’s one of those movies that I am saving for the right night to watch because I know it will be great. Their next film should be great as well, the story of the Winchester Mystery House is fascinating source material and Helen Mirin is nothing if not a class act.

          • @cffndncr Actually their next movie due for release first is SAW: LEGACY due in October. Genuinely excited for that because of their involvement. Winchester will start after that 🙂 Undead was a hell of a fun romp wasnt it lol. I got to interview them yeeeeears back, one of the most entertaining ones Ive ever had:


            The guys were just so down to earth. I also teach “All you Zombies” to first year Uni English students now. Great short story that Presestination was based upon.

          • Oh I didn’t realize they were involved with the new Saw movie… I abandoned that series after like the 2nd movie, but this sounds like a good time to dive back in!

          • @cffndncr Yeah, the series got worse and worse, but still had one or two redeemable movies in there. But the Spierigs definitely bring their “A game” every time, I can’t wait to see it 🙂

        • Music is subjective. Just because you didnt think it is inspired that doesnt actually make it true. Cinematography, likewise, I have no idea what you are talking about, I thought it was stunning and really connected with it. Art is ALWAYS subjective. You experience and taste or mine or any others are not correct. there is no right in art.

          The space cobra thing is clearly explained by subtext in the film, blatantly explained in the deleted scenes. As for the trying to out run the ship, that perhaps is the most moronic example of how dumb the audience is. It is not even worth trying to explain the science why, you dont care.

          The design of the Alien. If you dont understand that you missed the whole entire point. IT WASNT SUPPOSED to look like the Alien. That’s the point.

          the only thing we can agree on is that Ridley is his own worst enemy in the editing suit, some of the cuts made to films like Gladiator, made the film deeper and even more stunning. But sorry ultimately your whole rant can be summed up… just because someone’s art doesnt match your own. That doesnt made it a turd. it just makes it art you dont like. Sure Prometheus has issues but the one thing you bring up but think harder about is: the studio troubles. Go watch Lost in La Mancha, you learn to appreciate films that make it out of development.

          • blatantly explained in the deleted scenes.

            If it’s not in the movie itself, it’s not to be judged as part of the coherent, whole movie unfortunately. Deleted scenes however can be appraised as parts removed from the movie and critiqued as a seperated part of the narrative. Unfortunately you’ve started coming across as having a real chip on your shoulder towards people who don’t like the movie. I get you love the movie, that’s cool. I think it’s a pile of shit, I respect the fact you like it, but I don’t. At this point you’re gonna have to accept it.

            As for the Alien, I’m not talking about the Blue Deacon at the end, I’m talking about the tech-level, I’m talking about the overall aesthetic to the movie. It was the same disconnect Trek had with the reboot vs the original series/TNG and other iterations of it. I didn’t miss the point, I’m well aware of the point the alien at the end was a proto-alien that isn’t the final product, that’s more than fine. We haven’t seen how the final bio-weapon came to be, yet. Infact, the fascinating part of the whole lore regarding the Deacon is what happens to it after Prometheus, I suggest looking it up.

            Music and art is subjective and while you appear on the surface to continually try to argue is ‘it’s subjective’, by arguing with me, you’re continually trying to argue that I basically should have your opinion otherwise I’m wrong. That’s counter-intuitive to your actual point. If it’s subjective, then respect my opinion, otherwise you’re not saying it’s subjective, you’re saying I’m wrong, which is against the whole idea of subjectivity, whether you realise it or not. Seriously. It’s contradictory.

            In your own words: All of this is subjective and I think it’s shit beyond shit, you think it’s awesome. I’m glad you can enjoy Prometheus. As a life long Alien fan since around 1982 when I was 5 and first saw it, I felt utterly destroyed by the movie, walking out of the movie with the same feeling I got from the cinematic cut of Batman Vs Superman to be frank (thank god for extended editions!). Accept it and move on is all I can say, your posts are starting to become arrogant as you get apparently frustrated as you make a point. I won’t be replying anymore because quite frankly, there’s no purpose to them anymore other than this continual cyclical roundabout. Have a good one.

          • the chip I have on my shoulders is directed at those who cant just accept they dont like something without going to the extremes of calling it a cinematic turd. Not liking something and maturely discussing something with respect (because nothing is ever truly devoid of positives) is different than hyperbolic “its shit”. EG I dont like the movie “The Thin Red Line” I hated it on so many levels. Like with a fiery passion yet, the film is thoroughly well thought out, interesting and well put together work of art. The problem is my tastes compared to those that put it together. The issue is me: I didnt like the script, the movie, most of the performances etc. They didnt match my tastes but even with all that I can see find a lot to value in it, I still respect it as a work of art. Just not my art.

            Calling something a pile shit. Says more about you than it does the film.

            People seem to forget the original Alien was set aboard an industrial hauler that had been in commission for ages. Not even a spaceship in a sense. Prometheus was financed by a billionaire on the verge of death. its like comparing a Mac Truck to a super car.

            I would respect your opinion if didnt go straight to the style of conversation. You can fundamentally hate something still be able to see the respect of the craft behind. Even if the decisions dont match your own.

          • As a life long Alien fan since around 1982 when I was 5 and first saw it, I felt utterly destroyed by the movie

            It ultimately boils down to this comment.

            I said this above as well, but i’m super picky about film (to the point where every major big budget film released each year is a tough sell for me), and i’m someone who agrees with you on most of your examples of “good” sci-fi films in one of your responses above.

            What I don’t agree with is you saying anyone has “fanboy blinkers” on when you’re a self confessed Alien evangelist. I saw Alien decades after it was released and while i liked a lot of what I saw, I have no great attachment to the franchise.

            So I approached Prometheus as a discerning consumer with no preconceptions about what it “should” have been like. The film was not, as you so eloquently put, a “turd”, it was a stylistically confident and visually impressive thriller. It had a surprising amount of guts to tell a pretty nihilistic story to the lowest common denominator audience it would have attracted. It was not perfect, but point me to a modern big budget film that is.

            If it were released without any overt connotations to the Alien franchise (clearly being called a completely different name and being set well before the original film wasn’t enough for some people), I am confident it would have not have been attacked with so much blind rage.

            If you can’t step back and see how your own bias affected your viewing of the film, as someone who was old enough to see the original Alien release, no less; then you’ve got some growing up to do.

          • Again, I’ll point you to the factor that *it’s my opinion* and as I stated I respect his liking the movie, I just didn’t. I wasn’t the one who came out swinging when I stated otherwise but granted, each of us could have been more eloquent, but it was what it was an its all been talked through. I consider the movie a turd, I’m glad you don’t. It doesn’t change the fact I do. I’m glad you don’t, I’m glad you can love it. I consider Attack of the Clones one too, yet I know people who adore it. Does that change my stance? Absolutely not. I guarantee you there’s properties you adore, or hate that people feel the contrary to as well.

            If’s and buts don’t come into the equation, simple fact is it wasn’t released as a prequel to Riverdale, or a sequel to Breaking Bad either, it is what it is and can only be taken as was, so it’s a fruitless, worthless argument not even worth entertaining.

            I absolutely know I have bias, however that bias is also placed on the backburner allowing me to see the highs, lows and faults of the entire series, I’m not blind to the problems, the downfalls and the high points of the series. Now if we talk Star Wars Original Trilogy? Holy crap I’m probably as blind as they come. But Alien? Nah I’m not an evangelical fanboy, I like it, but I’m not a fanboy. I just have a good memory.

            As far as having ‘some growing up to do’, that’s an insulting premise, as the discussion took a much better turn with Blake, discussing how we both have our personal opinions as I pointed out, I clearly noted I respected his opinion, that I wished I liked the movie, that my opinion is I consider it a turd, I backed it up with why and I clearly respected his right to believe that I’m wrong and respect his right to disagree with me. But you saying that ‘growing up’ part, even in that context, was nothing more than an empty, personal stab that didn’t need to be made and served no purpose other than to flare up argument that never took place and had already abated 🙂 Have a good one mate.

          • Please, please find a better word to use than “turd”. It’s not a good look and a key part of the “growing up” remark.

            It’s all well and good to say “hey man it’s just my opinion we’re all friends here” but lets examine some of the things you have said:

            I mean god, it was terrible in every respect. There was almost nothing worth redeeming in that film.

            Prometheus was garbage on every conceivable level.

            an utterly retarded script (again, you’re not a child, don’t use widely condemned words like “retard”, this isn’t some SJW thing, this is basic maturity and decency)

            your biggest mistake is entering the fray with your fanboy blinkers on.

            I think it’s shit beyond shit

            So while it might feel like time to start taking the high ground now that you’re being challenged, you’ve actually come in from the very start with extremely black and white language that does absolutely nothing to foster conversation.

            You say after more than half a dozen incendiary comments that leave literally zero room for alternate interpretation that “it’s just opinion, we all have them”. It doesn’t work like that, you don’t pitch opinion like that, you don’t make allusions to people having terrible taste or being “fanboys” and then turn around and say “but i totally respect your opinion”.

            So again, it might feel good to vent about a film that was personally disappointing, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either take the hardline “I’m not willing to discuss this rationally” stance, or take the “Here’s some things I didn’t like, what do you guys think? -whoa hey now let’s not get personal here” approach. Don’t try to do both, because you’ve proven you can’t.

          • Please, please find a better word to use than “turd”. It’s not a good look and a key part of the “growing up” remark.

            I’m really at the point of my life I don’t care who I offend, or don’t offend honestly. It doesn’t worry me. If turd offends, or worries you, that’s not my issue. If I call a movie a turd, that’s probably the nicest name you’ll find movie geeks calling a movie they think bad on the internet. I don’t tend to overly swear on the net, I drop the occasional word, but not directed at people by and large, so if I use the word turd, essentially who cares.

            As far as retarded goes, fair whack on that one, I’ll refrain in future that’s a fair cop.

            As far as saying fanboy blinkers, I disagree. My biggest fault when it comes to Star Wars or Star Trek conversations, is I enter the fray wearing them, by god do I ever. I have to really step back and try to take them off when it comes to Deep Space Nine, the original Star Wars trilogy or whatnot. I really do. We all do for those things we’re rabidly obsessive over frankly. Fanboy blinkers dull us to the real issues with things that legitimately exist, that may not actually *be* opinion (this doesn’t include Prometheus here), such as Batman Vs Supermans cinematic cut vs its Extended cut revealing how butchered the cinema version was with 30 minutes of connective tissue missing, that’s a legitimate example right there, no fanboy blinkers at all.

            Again, I do respect his decision to like the movie, he’s clearly respected mine albeit in a manner we’ve left the conversation at a point and not rambled on and that was it. Sometimes a resolution doesn’t require a ‘you’re right, I’m wrong’ or vice versa, it just requires a conversation to stop. I don’t like the movie, he does, that’s cool. I think what I want, he thinks what he does, that’s awesome. But like I stated above, this is just going around and around now, we’ll leave it here and be done. Have a good one.

        • You are eloquent in your reply, but your reply is still subjective and as such should not be taken as gospel.

          I liked prometheus….Didn’t love it, but certainly didn’t feel that it was a cinematic turd. And your assertion that it had the cinematic photography of a 1st year film student is complete hyperbole, regardless of whatever confirmation bias you have found on the interwebs.

          • Indeed, it’s my opinion and should be taken as such. It’s not gospel and I’ve never proclaimed it as such, again, my opinion.

        • I liked the religious overtones in Prometheus, David & Goliath etc, God mad man in his image, I liked the fact that Prometheus wasn’t the run of the mill Alien movie we’ve watched since Aliens.

          • I would’ve been completely down with the Space Jesus angle to be honest. I was hoping it would make it into the movie. I loved the idea that Christ was actually an Engineer, that we killed him, infuriating the Engineers etc. That the story got warped over time, into a multitude of religions etc and became what it was. I have no doubt in the archives is a cut of Prometheus I’d likely enjoy, given the cut scenes of the movie I found quite decent, including the axe fight, the Engineer speaking, the extended scene with the snake etc. It’s just that, like Batman Vs Superman, what made it into the final cut, came across to me as an incoherent mess.

          • Yes the film had promise but wasn’t what any of us hoped it would be.

    • Prometheus was junk, and a lot of the Lindeloff trademarks in the film were especially terrible, but you’d be surprised how much of the junk was in the original script, or read a lot better on the page and was completely botched by Scott in the execution.

      The end film felt like a few amazing images or set pieces in search of a reason for being. There needed to be a much better excuse for bringing back the Alien franchise than ‘how cool was the weird ship in Alien!’.

      And interesting that you say that it’s widely known Scott had no control over the film. I’ve never heard that before. What happened?

  • Huh, IGN(l know) gave it a 7.3 saying it way better than prometheus and was much closer to the first movie

  • Don’t want to read the whole review yet because I’m still actually looking forward to seeing it this week (will be back to this article then) but you seem to be the only one I’ve seen hating it so far.

    As for the Prometheus talk, I actually still don’t mind Prometheus on its own. It’s far from the worst sci-fi/action/horror film around. Of course when I remember it’s actually part of the Alien series though… it makes my head hurt.

  • Yeah, Prometheus was a confusing mess. It was also gorgeous. Didn’t love it. Far from loathed it…

    This is probably the worst review I’ve read of Covenant, thus far… the rest have lauded the action set pieces and a return to gore.


    • Confusing? How on earth is it confusing? Hate to see how your brain handles David Lynch. Things in Prometheus werent supposed to be totally explained, they were opening doors to things that were going to be explained later. but the haters killed that. Or though so much of what people whine about in it as plot holes are quite firmly explained IF the audience actually paid attention but no they were just too busy complaining about lame things like “we is she running in a straight line”. GRRRR.

      • Hahaha what? I adore David Lynch.

        I got that Scott was going for something that wasn’t necessarily spoon fed to the audience. But this wasn’t a Lynchian puzzlebox. It was a well crafted sci-fi epic about oddly moronic professionals accidentally creating a monster… which promptly kills almost everyone. Like every other alien movie.

        But, as I said, gorgeous. And certainly ambitious.

      • I remember reading an article a while back which took a number of unresolved plot points from the movie and arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was an Engineer… so I think it’s fair to say that there was definitely a lot of room for interpretation.

        I mean at it’s core it was a ‘humans find Aliens, Aliens kil humans’ movie, so if you take it at that level it was very straightforward, but I can see how the introduction of all of these unresolved plot threads could cause a bit of confusion.

  • I thought prometheus was pretty great, the ideas it opened up about the origins of humans was quite cool. As well as the designs of the engineers, and the psychopath robot david. The team story was a bit muddled but other then that it was pretty cool. (I even thought the jesus stuff was interesting )

    As i remember it people crapped on that movie at the time too. Tbh i dont want another ghost in the house movie, i think thats what paranormal activity and the other crappy remakes are for.
    Good on Ridley for making something new. Still cant wait to see it.

  • It was good for a little bit, but not for long, and that’s just not good enough for a franchise with this history.

    Really? It actually sounds about par for the course for a franchise with this history. We’re talking about a franchise with 2 great instalments, the most recent of which was more than 30 years ago. Nothing in the 3 decades since (god I feel old typing that) has been much better than mediocre.

  • yeah and I remember all the hysteria surrounding Prometheus and yet now it is one of the most interesting (or at least from a design and filmic point of view) sci-fi films of the last ten years. Just like Blade Runner was hated at the time. Sure Prometheus wasnt perfect but Ridley made one huge mistake… he thought his audience was smarter and more mature. Nope they just wanted the same old Alien doing the same old things. He makes this doing just that and now he gets flack for being lazy.

    The films arent the problem. Audiences are. Sadly he isnt the only artist who faces this every day. We live a world of armchair experts who have all seem to have forgotten those classics arent perfect. World full of people who have forgotten entertainment is suppose to entertain. A world full of people who on one hand cant put expectations behind and on the other expect an-unattainable absolute perfection. How can any artist working in studio format deliver that

    Sadly Ridley still makes films that the future will hail. I for one cant live in the present letting cynicism dictate my appreciation for art.

    • I love Alien movies. Alien is tied as my favourite movie of all time. I even loved the AVP movies. I loved Alien3 and Resurrection, literally anything that has a Xenomorph in it. I am the worst kind of fanboy…

      … and even then, when the guy was cuddling up to the snake-alien, I was like ‘WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!?’

      Yes, Prometheus was interesting, and I really liked it… but it had some definite room for improvement in the script department. Just the little things like that kept breaking my engagement, which was a crying shame considering how engrossing the overarching concept was.

      • I think Prometheus was a movie where they said “Wouldn’t it look cool if…” and it did look cool but they forgot to write actual reasons or motives for any of it.

        • Yeah… I have a feeling the studio was like ‘WHAT IF SHE GETS CHASED BY A FALLING SPACESHIP!?’ and the creative team goes ‘you fkn w0t m8?’ and they’re like ‘YEAH LET’S DO IT! YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIT IT IN! OMG WE’RE GENIUSES!’

  • Most of the reviews I’ve seen have been positive. Ill be going this week and I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy it, I enjoyed Prometheus and i tend to appreciate most movies for what they are, not what they I think they should be.

    • I actually watched Prometheus for the first time last week and though it wasn’t perfect (stupid character decisions & plot discrepancies aside), I still enjoyed it as a whole.

  • Well I was trying to avoid any reviews before seeing it this week so I wouldn’t have any preconceived expectations … then I see “ALIEN: COVENANT MAY BE THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE SUMMER”….. couldn’t you have just titled it “Alien: Covenant Review?

    Although going in with low expectations might be a good thing…

  • that’s just not good enough for a franchise with this history

    Too be honest with the exception of Alien and Aliens the rest of this franchise has been terrible, too be honest making an amazing Alien film right now would be the shock. Maybe Blumpkamp could have turned it around, but that ship’s sailed now

    • no just the audience have been terrible. I take each Alien film as a different artist style. First one is horror. Second action. Third psychological drama. Fourth European art (not quite the right word). Each directed by famous directors. Each some how circumnavigating the studio system (some more successfully than others) branding the series with them own trademark style. Variations of a theme. I love them all, for their own reasons. Flaws and all because with the studios involved we are lucky we have got them at all.

      Sadly the audience just wants Aliens. Repeated. Repeat again. They dont wants variations. Art. Style. Its like people liking David Tennant Doctor Who and complaining about all the rest being awful. TAre they really fans of Doctor Who or fans of THAT Doctor? Same deal here.

      • The worst thing about these movies is the nerd fandom. In fact, the nerd fandom is what ruins most of the things they love.
        They are a pack of perpetually unhappy brats constantly looking for something to complain about.

      • To be fair, Tennant was the best Doctor. It’s kind of amusing but when I think back to certain scenes that I KNOW were a different doctor, I still ‘remember’ them with David transposed in there. Memory’s a funny thing.

      • My 2 cents: As an audience member who hated Prometheus, (I actually like all the rest with their flaws etc) I didn’t want another Alien movie, I just wanted a movie with a somewhat logical script…

    • Yep. I don’t understand how the series gets held in such high esteem by some people when honestly, the only 2 good entries are 30 years old.

  • I must admit I wonder if Scott hadn’t cock blocked Neill Blomkamp from making his alien movie, how that would have turned out.

  • “nothing in the film stands out as something worth of the name “Alien.”

    Well.. you know most Alien movies aren’t actually very good… In fact only 2 of them are something you would say were good. The rest were kinda bad to okay.

  • I lost faith in the film during the trailer, when they land on an “alien world” that’s clearly Milford Sound (c’mon, it’s one of the most iconic pieces of scenery in NZ!). Unless there’s a Planet of the Apes, it-was-Earth-all-along twist, I’m not gonna like this movie.

  • People watch a 2 minute trailer and just go with that, saying they won’t watch the movie because they know its going to bad, just from that 2 minute trailer.

    So when you cough, you’re going to say that’s it, I have cancer?

    Welp I just passed gas, my organs exploded, I’m gonna die now, someone help me.

  • Really? It can only be disappointing if it fails to meet expectations. And I really don’t see how anyone could have watched Prometheus (or in fact any Alien-related films made in the last twenty-five years) and not expected Covenant to be pretty similarly garbage.

    • I’m drawing a bit of a long bow here, but…

      Prometheus was probably the best Alien movie since Aliens.

      The AVP movies were good, if you took them for what they were – movies to which you sink a carton of beers and yell at the screen while watching an Alien fight a Predator.

      If we go with the assumption that Aliens and Predators are from the same story-verse, then Predators is kind of Alien-related… and it was very good.

  • Surely anyone who has seen Prometheus (and enjoys having their movies follow some sort of logic) could not be surprised that Covenant is bad?

  • Reporting in, I have been to the preview screening 2 days ago and the movie is fine. Would rate 7/10 and not as bad as the article is saying.

    It is classic Alien and Ridley Scott.

  • People keep talking about the Alien Franchise as being awesome. There were only 2 great movies, one a horror and the other an action movie… The rest have all been crap to mediocre.

  • Just watched it. Very good i thought. In my opinion this reviewer wanted Alien 2.0. Instead Ridley serves a more thoughful and brutal movie and one that the “human” characters are to be more feared than the creatures. 8.8/10. Excellent!

  • Okay, here’s what I thought after watching it. SPOILER ALERT.

    The film started out well, after a shaky opening scene where David is talking to Peter Weyland after being created. In this opening scene it was made quite clear that Weyland was an immensely stupid man because he created a robot that is superior to him in every way, with enough reasoning and intelligence to be able to see itself as superior, and with a murderous desire and hatred for its creator. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? On top of this, why would the Engineers make such a clearly hazardous bio-weapon that would create such horrific, uncontrollable creatures and unforeseen outcomes? They’d have to be immensely stupid as well. It’s such a flawed premise, that is only made worse by what comes after.

    Anyway it followed with the familiar theme from the first Alien film playing as Covenant started, which made me smile. The film looks great, excellent special effects, excellent designs, great soundtrack, and some very realistic science fiction.

    However after that it all goes downhill fast. First of all, the characters are unbelievably stupid. They are so stupid that they make the characters in Prometheus look like geniuses. They are on a mission, they are scientists, they are professionals, or supposedly anyway. But the instant one thing goes wrong, their new captain makes the most bone-headed decision ever to deviate from their mission and go to some unknown planet “because it’s habitable” and also because they got a signal from it. Totally not a trap.

    Then when they go onto this alien, potentially dangerous planet, they don’t wear any protective gear, like a space suit or environment suit, completely disregarding any potential danger in the most unprofessional manner possible. Of course, as you would expect, this leads to them getting infected by a deadly alien virus lying in wait on the planet. What a massive surprise.

    Another obviously dumb moment was the one where the captain walks up to an egg after it opens, after being shown it by David, whom he already distrusts… yet he puts his face right over the egg so that a facehugger can jump out and latch onto his face. The twist ending was so predictable as well… Oh no, it’s not Walter, it’s David! Yawn.

    But the worst thing is that this film completely de-mystifies the Alien creature by showing its apparent origins. It was created by David… who manipulated the virus weapon created by the Engineers to make a new creature… the Alien. It is beyond ridiculous and stupid that they did this, the best thing about the Alien was its mystery, and if you’re going to reveal its origins at least make them good. These origins are just so hard to believe, and remove the awesome mystery of the first film, contradicting the idea that the vessel on LV-426 is ancient.

    I suppose it does leave some lingering questions to be answered in another film. How could David possibly know how to manipulate the alien virus created by the Engineers? He isn’t any more intelligent than a human. He has no idea how it works, or tools necessary to even study it in his little make-shift laboratory. How did the ship with the Engineer (Space Jockey) end up on LV-426 full of eggs, if the eggs were invented by David?

  • I justed watch it, dont let this article put u off watching it. It is ok and answer what happens after Promethus which is what a sequel should. 3 out of 5 from me.

  • For me, Prometheus and Covenant destroyed Alien,… I´ve read the commentaries, and there´s the all important issue none have raised… in Prometheus, the central plot line shows you how dumb Ridley Scott really is, his lack of science grasp and research: he took the inane, childish and pseudo-scientific crap of Von Däniken and his lap dogs. There are actual interviews where Scott mentions this idiotic charlatan as inspiration. Maybe that was the point, to tap the deluded audience of the Ancient Aliens crap. From there you get the bad science and logic, moronic dialogue, demystifying of the Space Jockey and its cargo, the age and vastness of space, and [SPOILER ALERT!!!] the eggs-facehuggers-xenomorphs were crated by David… So now we´ll get the icing on this crap-cake in the form of whatever happens on the third and final prequel that ties to the 1979 Alien.

  • We’ve been lied to. Prometheus ends with the android and the woman going off to the Engineers’ planet to get answers. That is the movie we wanted to see. That was the promise. The continuation of that story. That is not what we get. Instead Davis now is magically not just a head and there is a whole apeshit nonsense story that the android was out to destroy the engineers and humanity. Where are the answers we wanted? If the original actress didn’t want to be in the sequel they should have just replaced her but kept the story. Now, if the engineers were a space faring species it would be expected that there are many many other engineers elsewhere (and also that their planetary defenses would be better agains terrorist actions like the one committed by David). So bad…

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