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Monday, May 22, 2017

Alien: Covenant 2017 * * Stars

Alien: CovenantDirector: Ridley Scott
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

Did you hear the news? With Alien: Covenant, director Ridley Scott has been cloned and has gone Hollywood! Either that or the studio execs at 20th Century Fox bullied his film, finagled the final cut, and tried to re-release The Descent.

"Covenant" (my latest review) is the sixth installment in the ever-popular Alien franchise. As most critics (including this one) have noted, it's a stronger flick than Alien: Resurrection and 1992's Alien 3. Sadly, that's not saying much considering those sequels are not watchable to begin with.

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From 1979 till present day, Alien: Covenant has allowed Scott to one up the grossly, blood and guts factor. Also, he has been able to improve on certain special effects with his nasty species moving faster than ever (you actually view an alien kill in full detail). What "Covenant" lacks unfortunately, is feeling. Heck, it's so anti-climatic and clunky. Every time you think suspense is about to build with exploding stomachs or massive firepower, Ridley Scott brings Alien: Covenant to a screeching halt with Michael Fassbender (in dual roles) lamenting on the events of "Covenant's" prequel, Prometheus.

Regrettably, Alien: Covenant dismisses what made the first two installments so legendary. Gone is the haunting, horror film feel of '79's Alien. Gone is the rocketing, foot soldier aspect of 1986's Aliens. Finally, gone is James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith's stirring musical scores from both films.

In terms of the actors and their characters, it just gets worse. In place of Lance Henriksen, Yaphet Kotto, and the late Bill Paxton, "Covenant" gives us a miscast Billy Crudup, comedian Danny McBride, and a wooden Demian Bichir. In place of heroine Sigourney Weaver, well Alien: Covenant brings forth an admirable yet second-tier Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs, 2013's Night Moves). The ship computer Mother still exists but yeah, things just aren't the same.

Image result for alien covenant 2017 movie scenesAll in all, "Covenant" has what no other Alien film possesses and that's a twist ending. It also gives us the famed horror cliche in which you have sex and then poof, you die. These are nifty attributes but they don't quite hold enough interest. You're better off seeing March's Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal. That vehicle was a blatant Alien ripoff but it's still better than what's going on here. My rating: A mixed two stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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