2017, Movies

Alien: Covenant (2017, Ridley Scott)

It’s been so long since I saw the latter Alien sequels that I do not remember if they cared much about mythology, but I feel like they must have, at least a little bit. But Prometheus, which was only sort of a prequel – depending upon who you spoke to – really introduced mythology to the series, if it didn’t exist before. And if you saw Prometheus, you probably wondered a little as to why this series, which was once about humans surviving aliens, was now about mythology and robots. At least, I think I did.

Note: A pretty major SPOILER is alluded to in this review.

Well, the mythology is only heavier in Covenant, which now properly acknowledges that it’s an actual prequel to the Alien movies. The original film is powerful because it is simple, not because it is complicated. But these prequels seem to have forgotten that the whole point of this franchise was, at one point, to scare the audience in a unique way. Then it turned into a bit of an action movie, but still the point was the aliens.

But it seems the point with these prequels is to tease out mythology about how the aliens were created, with the aliens coming in a distant third to the threat of AI. (It’s worth noting Covenant is to Aliens as Prometheus is to Alien in this regard, in a certain sense, as there is a good android in this one.)

I watch a movie called Alien: Covenant for the aliens, not for the mythology and not for the crazy androids. This film is well-made and the aesthetic is well done – though it suffers from the same problem that besets all prequels of older science fiction films, which is that everything in the new version of the “past” looks better than the stuff in the old “future” – but I don’t really care. There’s not enough of the title bad guy in this movie.


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