ALIEN: COVENANT Review; "[It] Fails To Deliver The Answers We've Been Waiting Five Years For"

ALIEN: COVENANT Review; "[It] Fails To Deliver The Answers We've Been Waiting Five Years For"

Alien: Covenant hits US theaters tonight and if you're on the fence about checking out this sequel/prequel, you're going to want to read our spoiler-free verdict on the Ridley Scott helmed release.

The biggest problem with Prometheus was that it failed to provide the answers to the questions it raised about the Alien franchise. Regardless of your thoughts on the movie, by the time the credits rolled, we were none the wiser as to the origins of the Xenomorphs or even humanity itself. Alien: Covenant was supposed to provide those. It doesn't. While we do learn about their creation, it's shoehorned in in a big way and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Throw in the fact that Prometheus' lingering mysteries are almost entirely ditched (specifically in relation to the Engineers and their role in, well, everything) and this movie makes for an unsatisfying experience. That is, in fact, the biggest problem with this movie; it's just going to disappoint you. 

However, while Alien: Covenant fails to serve as either a satisfying sequel to Prometheus or even a worthy prequel to Alien, it is at least fun when the Xenomorphs start attacking the movie's humans. In fairness, the vast majority are fleshed out well enough that you care when they're killed and these scenes are often tense and suitably gory. They're just not particularly frightening or memorable. 

In terms of performances, Michael Fassbender is excellent despite being given some questionable and strange material to work with. Katherine Waterston is also great as the movie's female lead and delivers yet another excellent turn after Steve Jobs and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Danny McBride and Billy Crudup also do good work, but the rest fade into the background and James Franco's cameo is a complete and utter waste of time sure to leave you scratching your head. Yes, he factored into the movie's viral marketing campaign, but those of you who didn't delve into that will just wonder what's he's doing here. 

Action set-pieces are handled well, but the special effects are a tad hit and miss. While Prometheus looked visually stunning, Alien: Covenant looks run of the mill and the Xenomorphs (which definitely come across as being far too weak, a problem caused by the movie featuring more than one or two of them) tend to look better in some scenes than others. This movie isn't Ridley Scott at his worst or best, but simply right in the middle and pretty average. That's a description well suited to Alien: Covenant as a whole. It's easy enough to have fun with and is never boring once you get the first twenty minutes or so out of the way, but it adds nothing to the franchise and doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose. Ultimately, it's kind of pointless and not the return to form we hoped for.

A so-so entry into the series, Alien: Covenant is enjoyable but fails to deliver the answers we've been waiting five years for and won't get you excited for the release of yet another one of these prequels.

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