Alien: Covenant

First Hit:  This version was laughable if compared this with the engagement, thrills and horror of the first film, ‘Alien’.

The opening sequence has Peter Weyland (Guy Pierce) activating his latest humanoid robot David (Michael Fassbender), who is named after Michelangelo’s statue. After a short discussion about Peter being David’s creator,  the question David asks is, who was Peter’s creator? Peter looks at him and says, he doesn't know but that they will search for mankind’s creator together. This dialogue tells the audience that this question is important to the film.

Then we switch to the spaceship Covenant, which is now just seven years away from landing on a planet they believe is perfect to colonize with ship's the crew, two thousand colonists and a thousand embryos that are all stored on the ship.

Minding the ship as it sails along through space is Walter (Michael Fassbender) who looks like a replica of David. At first I was confused because I thought it was David and that he had been re-named. This is an initial flaw in the film but makes obvious that the two characters, David and Walter, will be the drivers of what happens in the film and the film doesn’t disappoint with this thought as a plot device.

The crew led by Captain Jacob “Jake” Branson (James Franco) who dies immediately because of a neutrino burst that hits the ship. This happens just a few minutes into the movie and starts the story’s spiral into trouble for the ship and crew.

The newly awakened crew is thrust into action to fix the ship’s issues from the neutrino burst and while managing the repairs they receive a transmission from an unknown planet that sounds vaguely familiar to Tennessee (Danny McBride). What he discovers is that it sounds like the song “Country Roads” by John Denver.

Jake’s wife, Daniels (Katherine Waterson), helps the next in command, Orem (Billy Crudup), figure out their next steps to fix the ship and what he needs to do to take charge. The side story that the crew doesn’t respect him plays no aspect in the film’s story and is a waste of dialogue.

Following the signal, they find a planet that appears to have everything they need for colonization and it is only a week away. Although the audience knows, as do some of the crew members suspect, the choice to explore this “new” planet will be the wrong choice but they do it anyway. Not much in the way of suspense.

One rule about thrillers is that to be thrilled one must be surprised and given a full dose of suspense or it won’t work well. And from here on the film dives into wasted energy. We are not surprised, nor is there suspense. They land, they discover it isn’t a friendly place, the immensely strong aliens are back and we discover that here, ‘David’ is the creator of life. A few of the crew get away. But remember my third paragraph where I stated that the look alike humanoids David and Walter will be the dark story, it is true.

Fassbender is strong in both roles, David and Walter, but the film doesn’t do much justice to his abilities. Waterson is very good and is a highlight as first the grieving widow. She is strong as the clear headed person who really needs to be in-charge. McBride is funny and very good as Tennessee, the guy who is homey and smart. Crudup is wasted in his minimal role and doesn’t show strength. Dan O’Bannon wrote a mediocre script and screenplay that showed its hand way too early and really lacked suspense. Ridley Scott appears to have been in this for the money because the film is simply uninteresting and is at times, a joke (meaning people laughed out loud and the preposterousness).

Overall:  Don’t waste your time on this poorly conceived story.