‘Alien: Covenant’ finally dropped at theaters yesterday, and after all the hype the smoke finally cleared as I sat back for a late night viewing of the “prequel” for the legendary horror franchise. Ridley Scott returns again after the lackluster ‘Prometheus’ for purely passable installment that is Alien: Covenant. I wasn’t a huge fan of Prometheus, it’s one of those movies I can’t say I ever care about seeing again and same is the case also with ‘Covenant’. It does though fit quite nicely alongside the current trend of forgettable sequels to once amazing movie franchises of the 80’s that are cranked out these days. It’s like the ‘Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull’ of the Alien series, making the third and fourth installments of the Alien franchise suddenly feel more legit.
This doesn’t mean I hated the movie, it just means that I’m quickly growing tired of the trend of sequels that I once endlessly pined for. It pains me to see Ridley Scott now for a second time bringing us such uninspired pieces of cinema. The movies large cast of characters hasn’t got anyone in it you’re likely to give a damn about and spends it’s time focusing on the android “twin btother” characters played by Michael Fassbender instead. ‘Covenant’ simply feels like Ridley has run out of ideas and decided to start lifting major plot points from ‘Bladerunner’ simultaneously trying to re-create a “best of” compilation of scary scenarios from his first Alien movie.
So while no one from the cast gets much time to develop into much more than alien prey you might think that at the very least we’d get quite possibly the best most bad ass version of the legendary ‘Alien’ creature now that it’s 2017 and they’ve more than got the budget to do so. Quite the contrary, ‘Alien: Covenant’ can’t even get that right for fans. For a movie that’s been boasting impressive practical fx work from day one you’re likely to be disappointed by it’s incredibly cartoony looking aliens littered about the movie frantically. Heck the fx work in this movie makes the two ‘AVP’ flicks suddenly feel kinda legit as well and that’s a damn hard thing to do. Long gone is the suspense & stylized horror of the old movies, instead you’ll be treated to the same old CGI schlock you’re used to from all the huge summer blockbusters. The Alien franchise officially lost it’s heart & soul quite a long time ago and even bringing Scott aboard hasn’t resulted in finding it. Right down to final battle, this movie simply fails, proving that we ALL really miss Sigourney Weaver in a BIG way. Ridley has now truly mastered mediocrity as I honestly may’ve actually enjoyed Prometheus more than this, because at least with that one I wasn’t expecting much there from the start.
At least one thing Ridley got right were the locations & sets he used in filming this movie. It’s visually stunning in that respect. However I’m realizing I was actually quite fine with NOT knowing the backstory of the Alien and honestly liked it when we knew nothing about it’s origins when it was little more than a monstrous stow away. The mystery is gone and instead what we end up with plot wise begins to feel a bit absurd and a tad cliche. This is a classic case of “they just don’t make em’ like they used to”. It’s a bit sad but I realize not everyone can make a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and sometimes attaching the original directors to these sequels clearly doesn’t always equal movie magic. That being said, after seeing this last night my excitement level for the upcoming sequels to Bladerunner & Predator has severely lowered. I’d say if you’re a casual fan of the Alien franchise you’ll likely have a good time at the movies with this one but if you’re looking for the magic of the first two (or heck even the third & fourth) you’re bound to feel a bit empty as you exit the theater. At least now I’ve developed a new urge to revisit the ‘AVP’ movies, I mean damn, I was way too hard on those I think…
I was beginning to lose hope this year for the summer blockbusters, after two big duds being The Amazing Spider-man 2 & Godzilla I was quite certain things weren’t going to shape up to much of anything memorable for the rest of the season. However, I was proven quite wrong as I’ve come to believe that X-men Days of Future Past is not only the best X-Flick but quite possibly the best superhero movie of all time. Yeah, it was that good! It finally brings things back full circle with the X-men franchise and is a superior sequel to the fine X-men: First Class. It rights many of the wrongs of “The Last Stand” & “X-men Origins: Wolverine” and brings us back to the fresh start that we all wished for. We’ve got an incredible X-movie headed by but not over powered by Wolverine, played excellently once again by Hugh Jackman.
The movie loosely follows the classic 1981 comic book story line of the same name but adds it’s own flare as it keeps up with the continuity of the movie universe that has been set up. What we ultimately get is a incredibly engaging time travel adventure back to the early 1970’s (which alone in itself is a great deal of fun) filled with wonderful set pieces, groovy clothes and ultra impressive cast. It really shows here how important a cast full of great actors, who clearly care about the characters they’re playing can really make a movie. Plus having director Bryan Singer back, despite all of the controversy surrounding him at the moment, turned out to be a great thing. It makes me even more upset though that he flaked on “The Last Stand”, however if this was his way of redeeming himself to all the X-fans then so be it!
Now I feel I have to say something here about one of my favorite moments in the movie that involve….Quicksilver. Yes, I ripped on his movie look and ridiculous clothing here many times. Somehow though, his all too short role in the movie was one of the best sequences I’ve ever seen in a superhero flick! It’s the same feeling I got during the opening Nightcrawler sequence in X2. Yeah, crazy as it is Quicksilver kinda stole the show! Don’t get me wrong, he still desperately needs a full on makeover! He looked incredibly out of place in his lame ass late 1990’s hot topic attire!
Lastly I wanted to state that the movie looked great, the special effects were wonderful. CG was used tastefully here and the outcome made for an incredibly believable adventure visually. It’s final after credits sequence gives us a good glimpse of what’s next to come in Age of Apocalypse which is planned to be set in the 1980’s. I hope the whole crew will somehow be back for it, and Hugh Jackman better be back for at least one more X-men movie! Go check this out if you want to know what a true summer blockbuster should look like!!
I however still do NOT condone this Carl’s JR Quicksilver bullshit!