Alien Covenant Review

“I’m really excited, I love the Alien franchise as much as you love Mad Max Fury Road & Dredd.” Wittered my scriptgremlin from underneath his rock. And, as I looked at him, his little face full of hope and expectation, I wondered what exactly he was basing this delusion on.

Because lets face facts, the last good Alien film was released in 1986. That’s 31 years ago! Since then we’ve had to deal with Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Alien Vs Predator, Alien Vs Predator: Requiem  and Prometheus. I seriously hope he wasn’t talking about Aliens: Colonial Marines. But maybe he was talking about the creatures numerous appearances in graphical novels? I mean wow has the xenomorphs gotten around in its life. As well as taking on the Predator, The Alien has taken on Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, Tarzan, Buffy, Archie, Star Trek: The Next Generation AND of course, my own beloved Judge Dredd.

None of these are regarded as classics and almost non of them are regarded as cannon within their own universes.

But hey, every 111 million dollar film directed by man who gave us 2010’s Robin Hood deserves to be looked at as it’s own entity. It’s own, mediocre, unsure of what it want’s to be so it winds up being a hybrid of Alien and Aliens.

I mean it, you’ve got your people answering a distress call and winding up dealing with the Xenomorph on a planet which is hopefully the birthplace of wherever the always superb Michael Fassbenders accent calls home, and then finish up the film back on board their spaceship which i’m pretty sure the people from Space 1999 would like back at some point.

And as this is an Alien film, allow me to introduce out not-Ripley for the evening- the mono-named Daniel’s, portrayed by Fantastic Beasts star Katherine Waterston who for me seemed less like a woman finding her inner steel so that she could defeat one of the most deadly animals in the universe, than  a head girl trying to decide whether or not to tell the head teacher that someone keeps disliking her Instagram posts.

Your going to spot every twist from a mile away and resent every scene that doesn’t have Fassbender in. I mean everyone else is fine, but there’s no memorable lines or characters in the entire thing. Even my notes only refer to them as ‘redshirt’ ‘redshirt in hat’ and ‘cowardly redhsirt.’

It had some tense moments and some points where I was squirming in my seat and yes, the music was very impressive and unsettling and it did fly past fairly quickly and inoffensively but this could have been a much better film if there had been better and less dialogue, not telegraphed their plot twists in advance, had a lot more Fassbender and a lot less everybody else and realized that the xenomorph is supposed to be a practical effect that you don’t really see allowing your imagination to fill in the blanks and not a CGI creation. Especially not when the budget is running low.

It’s defiantly not the worst film I’m going to see this summer, but it’s certainly not the best.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to re-watch a 31 year old Vietnam metaphor.

My Score- If Nothing Else 


Why Are Film Days A Thing?

Do you know where your towel is?

Well, you should- today (25/05) is Towel Day in remembrance of the late, great author Douglas Adams. Apparently I’m supposed to spend the day wondering around London looking like someone who’s going to try and have a shower at work/ misplaced his marbles by carrying a towel.

Not a Hitchhiker’s fan? That’s ok, there’s other ‘film days’ (for want of a better term)

Because the Americans can’t get the date right the 26 of April is now Alien day (after LV426- the planet in both Alien films) Not sure how to celebrate this one, I think I might get in trouble if I go around cutting out tourists hearts.

And then of course there’s the big one, May the Fourth- Star War’s day. (May the Fourth be with you… *sigh*) which this year extended itself into Revenge of the Fifth because of course it did.

Most importantly though is October the 1st or Dredd Day which is when fans of the 2012 classic complain online about not getting our sequel/TV show yet.

Now whilst I love all of these franchise, I don’t see why they need a day to themselves, nor do I understand why these franchises have days when say James Bond, Doctor Who and Pirates of the Caribbean do not.

Maybe I’m getting old and losing my sense of fun and adventure but these ‘days’ feel like a marketing departments wet dream, with minimal effort on their part- they get their product back in the public eye! Hell, On Towel Day 2015, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti sent a “Towel Day greeting” and read aloud a sample from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy from the International Space Station! That’s publicity money can’t buy. (Note- There’s also a series of Firefly up there should you get bored)

They also feel isolationist, instead of using them to introduce people to something that you love, it’s an in joke. If people don’t get it, then they feel slightly judged and are probably less likely to check it out.

But what do you guys make of the whole thing?

One last ‘film day’ for you- It is a long standing tradition in all British Antarctic research stations to watch The Thing (1982) as part of their Midwinter feast and celebration held every June 21. Because… why not?