Movie Review - Alien: Covenant
Even if you take this movie on its face, it's not exciting or scary at all. It's highly predictable, which wouldn't be problematic if there were much thrills, compelling ideas at play or any significant character-building. The movie juggles about a dozen people who are crew members aboard a spaceship. It would be impossible to dig into each one. Half are usually fodder for the monster or serial killer. That leaves about six, which a two-hour movie could personalize and explicate, but this movie doesn't do that either.
We don't get to know these characters in the slightest. The only thing we learn is that for some reason, the crew members are all married to each other and one of them plans to build a log cabin on a new planet, but that's more a Chekhov's gun situation, or a card trick that's less about developing character as just being a narrative gimmick. There's also one character who's supposed to be a man of faith, which is meant to play into the theme of this movie and the previous, but, other than echoing that theme, there's not much more to it.
Like Independence Day: Resurgence and Star Trek Beyond, this is a sci-fi film with a very diverse cast. Unlike those two, this movie doesn't have an Asian character, but, like those two outer-space films, this movie continues the trend of including gay characters in a blockbuster flick. Unfortunately, it doesn't do justice to those characters by showing them having any kind of physical affection. We still have yet to see a blockbuster with a $100 million budget with two men kissing romantically.
Oscar-nominee Demián Bichir (A Better Life and The Hateful Eight) plays Sgt. Lope, the head of security. His husband is Sgt. Hallett, played by Nathaniel Dean, an Australian actor. The fact that they're husbands is never said in the movie. I read it later on Wikipedia. The only hint of it is Lope crying over Hallett's body, a trick pulled in Independence Day: Resurgence, and even then, it's only a hint. Bichir's reaction could just be one of a friend. There's nothing specific about their relationship at all. When it comes to the other couples, there's nothing specific to them either.
Prometheus introduced these characters called "Engineers," represented by these seven-foot-tall, pale, muscular men. Instead of exploring these characters and talking with them, this movie becomes more about robots battling each other. Unfortunately, Star Trek: The Next Generation did an episode called "Datalore" that was about twin robots fighting that was way better.
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs and X-Men: First Class) reprises his role as David, the robot in question who is doing double duty. His character is just as nonsensical here as he was previously. He's just evil for no reason and wants to create monsters but no explanation as to what his end game is. He's evil just because, and unlike looking forward like Prometheus, it looks backward and wallows in pessimism.
Rated R for violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality / nudity.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 2 mins.