Because the movie was coming out, I decided it would be best if I saw many of its important predecessors before I saw Alien: Covenant. My brother recently bought the entire collection on Blu Ray, so we watched all of the movies together.
We didn’t watch Alien 3 or any other ones after that because based on what I was told, the first two are really the only ones that matter.
So I figured I’d give my thoughts on all of the movies one at a time.
<I’m going to spoil most of these movies. In order to discuss some some crucial elements of these movies, and especially Alien: Covenant, I am going to need to get specific about some of the elements.
IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS AT ALL, JUST GO DOWN TO THE RATINGS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE>
It’s easy to see why this movie made such an impact on the general public, even during this age of technological progress. Even though the visual effects are not quiet as impressive as other movies, they still work extremely well for this film. Even more importantly, the characters were interesting.
I enjoyed most of the characters in this movie. The film establishes them and how their relationships work rather well.
Now like most horror movies, the plot of Alien does rely pretty heavily on stupid decisions made by the crew. However, they almost completely bypass this with Sigourney Weaver‘s iconic character Ripley.
Ripley is not only the most interesting character in Alien, but she’s also the voice of reason. There’s a lot of times where a character would make a stupid decision, and Ripley would call them out on it, and it would force that character to rationalize why they made that stupid decision. It made these moments feel organic instead of cheap and gimmicky.
There are some stupid decisions that aren’t called out or explained away, but generally speaking, the movie has a good excuse for a lot of the dumb stuff that happens.
The visual effects and the slow pacing in this movie really add to the uneasy feeling of the entire film. Even though the alien in the movie doesn’t really terrify me as I’ve been desensitized to that, the cinematography and the lighting does wonders for this film and how it creeps you out.
By the way, that new movie Life? It copies the plot points of Alien nearly beat for beat. I was shocked when I was watching Alien of how similar Life was to it. What’s even more laughable is that Alien was STILL a better movie despite Life’s realistic CGI.
Over all, Alien is still a movie that holds up over the years. I would highly recommend it if you haven’t watched it yet.
7 out of 10
Holy crap, did this movie impress me. Not only did they change directors from Ridley Scott to James Cameron, not only did they completely change the genre of the Alien movie, but it still ended up being better than the original. I have never seen a sequel do this until now.
One of my favorite things about Aliens is how it continues to develop the character arc of Ripley: the way she copes with the events of the first movie, her hatred towards robots, her distrust of people, all of this gets further developed as the movie goes on.
Aliens also attempts to develop its character more than any other Alien movie that I’ve seen, and it has the most success of doing so. All the other characters, while not necessarily fantastic, get enough development to feel important.
Newt, the child character in the movie, does have her moments where her line delivery is bad, but she’s fine for the majority of the film.
One of the things that most impressed me with Aliens is that James Cameron basically switches the Alien genre from Sci-Fi Horror to Sci-Fi Horror Action. Not only did he do this, but he did it well. He somehow find a way to keep a lot of the same great elements while changing just enough to feel new.
The action and the suspense in the movie are great.
There’s of course a bit of campiness, and some of the dialogue is kind of cheesy, but generally speaking, this movie is a fantastic continuation of Alien.
8 out of 10
The general consensus for Prometheus is that it’s not very good. Most people say that it’s terrible, but I don’t know if I would go so far to say that. All the performances are generally good, the series of events is relatively interesting and fun to watch, and most of the alien stuff is pretty good (no, I’m not joking).
That being said, the movie does have a lot of issues. I think Michael Fassbender’s character motivations for doing things was unclear, convoluted and unexplained. I thought Charlize Theron’s death was laughably avoidable. They set up some character arcs that they never end up going back to and finishing, and Noomi Rapace’s husband was sort of obnoxious.
But the biggest problem is that there is really no strong centralized character in this movie. There is no iconic hero that we could latch onto like we had in Ripley. They certainly tried recreating it with Noomi Rapace as the strong female heroine, but aside from some few interesting details, there’s not much to her character.
It’s an entertaining movie with some cool effects, but there’s nothing much to make it stick out as a film or as a story. I don’t think it’s as bad as everybody is saying, there’s very little reason I have to call it great.
5 out of 10
REVIEW: ALIEN: COVENANT
<I’m going to spoil the crap out of this movie. Sorry.>
Alien: (gag) Covenant is honestly a pretty good film. I thought it was entertaining, I thought the series of events were fine, and I thought the acting was relatively good.
This is without a doubt Michael Fassbender’s movie. The previews don’t necessarily show this, but he comes back as David from Prometheus, but he also plays another robot, Walter. Both of them have different personalities, and both of them have different accents and dialects. The absolute best scenes in the movie are when they’re talking to each other.
By contrast, every single other character, without exception, is okay. They once again try for a strong, short-haired, slightly emotionally damaged heroine thing again, but this time it’s with Katherine Waterston. Not only do they fail to establish Waterston’s character, but she’s even less characterized that Noomi Rapace’s character. This time, all she has is a dead husband… that’s basically her character.
Speaking of her husband, holy crap what the hell happened to James Franco? He’s in the movie for less than sixty seconds, and then he dies. At first I thought this was just Franco doing a short cameo for this movie, but after looking at this movie’s IMDb bio, James Franco is in like 20 pictures of scenes that never happen in this film. Did they cut the scenes? Did Franco just hang around the set after his piece because he could? Or did they make some serious cuts to this film?
There’s a few stupid things that happen in the movie too. I have no idea what that shower scene served for except to add a little bit of nudity and then blood and violence.
That’s about it. There’s some cool gore scenes in the movie, all the aliens look pretty cool, but the longer I think about this movie, the more I can’t seem to remember much about it. They should have spent more time with these characters instead of spending almost no time at all. Props to Fassbender, because he’s the only thing I absolutely loved about this film.
If you’re a fan of the Alien movies, then I would say give this one a shot, but even then, there’s some crazy Alien fans I’ve seen that hated on every part of this movie (for dumb, subjective reasons, might I add).
Alien gets a 7 out of 10.
Aliens gets an 8 out of 10.
Prometheus gets a 5 out of 10.
Alien: Covenant gets a 6 out of 10.