Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Alien: Covenant


I noted with considerable alarm that Ridley Scott, a director I once had a great deal of respect for, is contemplating no less than six more Alien films. That’s in addition to Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Prometheus, and this one. At least one of them is a done deal: a sequel to this, which would make it a prequel trilogy to the Alien trilogy. Shut the fuck up, Ridley! Stick a fork in the sucker! You have used it up.

Don’t even get me started on … well, hell, do get me started on Alien vs. Predator, of which I had this to say in 2004:

One of the worst movies we’ve ever seen. What a crapulous, brain-dead, festering hemorrhoid of a movie. If Hollywood had a great big pimple on its face, and you squeezed it, this is the movie that would come out. I’d hate to have to pay the Vaseline budget for this atrocity. Slime city!
Thirty or forty people (who’s counting? not even the SFX and stunt people who will be killing them like ducks in a shooting gallery) set off across the Antarctic ice to find some sort of giant Rubik’s Cube 2000 feet down. They are led (hah!) by Sanaa Lathan, who everyone ignores. I’ve seen Raggedy Ann dolls who can act better than Lathan. No “character” is distinguishable from any other “character,” except for Lance Henriksen, who looks dead before he’s even killed, and a cartoon Scotsman. Boy, was I glad when that sucker was killed.
The Rubik’s Cube begins to shift around for no purpose other than to split people up. The movie was so dark I seldom had any idea who was doing what to whom … and I never cared. I’d compare this movie to a video game, but that’s an insult to video game writers. I can’t believe anybody wrote this film. I mean, actually sat down at a word processor and wrote down the awful, stupid dialogue. I really wonder if a computer program wrote it, from a list of bad lines and cliché situations.
It’s a sad commentary on the wretched state of the action film in America today that this waste of celluloid and electricity took in $40M its first weekend. They seem to think we’ll go see anything … and apparently they’re right. (By the way, I’d never have seen it myself, except it was the first feature I had to suffer through, for 101 minutes that seemed much longer, at a drive-in with Collateral. So I only wasted half my admission.)

Okay, so there’s my opinion of that franchise, and of the idea of an endless stream of Alien sequels, prequels, and knock-offs. But what about this one?
Not as good as Prometheus, which means it’s only so-so, and sometimes not even that good. The fact is, the story is getting just too damn complicated. And not in an interesting way. Great stretches of this movie seemed to be done by the numbers, rather than with any real feeling. I’m asking myself if I will see Alien: Covenant 2. It’s a two-part question. First, will it get made. That’s in doubt now, as this one under-performed. Then if it is made … I’ll probably see it, but not in a theater. It’s just become too damn much. Like Star Wars, which I wish would just go away.