Ridley Scott has been focused on revisiting or revitalizing the classics he has created throughout his career in recent years. “Blade Runner” is returning in the hands of Denis Villeneuve, while he combines his 1979 creation “Alien” with the 2012 film “Prometheus.” He is also currently in search of a new actor to revive “Gladiator.” Ridley Scott is treading on dangerous ground. Almost all of his films are considered classics and are firmly established as milestones in cinema history. However, adding a new stone on top of these stones years later can be risky. It can potentially damage the past. Speaking of “Alien Covenant,” the film is a successful example of action and suspense, but as a sequel to the masterpiece “Prometheus,” it unfortunately falls short and seems out of place.
Briefly, let’s touch on the plot… As always, a ship full of colonists is on its way to a “habitable” planet they have discovered. Interestingly, the robot David (Michal Fassbender) we encountered in the first film now appears as Walter. The crew of the ship, for some reason, is forced to wake up the hibernating crew members due to an accident. While repairing the ship, the team receives an unknown signal, which they follow, leading them to a much more promising planet than the one they originally set out to explore. They change their course to investigate this new planet, and they will have to confront the unknown in this supposedly habitable world.
When analyzing the film from its internal perspective, I can say that, with a few minor issues, it’s a successful action film. It has increased the level of suspense and, especially, brutality. The film features many successful jump scare scenes and moments of intense violence. The film truly deserves its 18+ rating. “Alien Covenant” is a film you can enjoy in the cinema, where you may be scared at times, captivated by curiosity, and ultimately left with satisfaction. Of course, I’m saying this within its framework. I want to give credit where it’s due.
However, when we look at “Alien Covenant” as a sequel to “Prometheus,” unfortunately, it’s an unsuccessful film. The film completely abandons the existential concerns and mythological aspects of “Prometheus” and connects the story entirely to a Battlestar Galactica theme, suggesting that artificial intelligence will one-day wage war against humanity. After a classic like “Prometheus,” this perspective is altogether unwarranted. The story that revolved around “Prometheus” was quite striking and thought-provoking. It could even be discussed as a possible theory. It would make a great YouTube topic with 2 million views guaranteed. The mystery of where the human being came from, the actual ancestors of humanity, the enigma of Earth’s millions of years of history, all of these were fascinating topics on their own. However, the story we encounter in “Alien Covenant,” where the creators of human beings think they made a mistake and want to destroy the flawed humans while accidentally infecting themselves with the virus they produced, is a topic that is too detailed and powerful for a single film to contain. Moreover, adding Xenomorph scenes that unravel the mysteries of the original “Alien” on top of this story turned the film into a philosophical easter egg celebration.
“Alien: Covenant,” on the other hand, is not even half as deep as the film it follows. The scenes featuring Xenomorphs and their counterparts, the Neomorphs, are pretty successful and impressive; they are satisfying in terms of action. However, when we delve into the story behind the Xenomorphs, it becomes problematic. Because the creation story of the Xenomorphs falls far short of the creation story of “Prometheus” and is not particularly interesting. “Alien Covenant” should have built upon and exceeded the original. The film makes an intriguing start like “Prometheus,” creating a sense of “what if,” but apart from the brutal action, it doesn’t offer much.
In conclusion, “Alien: Covenant” is an action-packed, brutal film that can be enjoyed in the cinema on a weekend, but it lacks depth, especially when considered as a sequel to “Prometheus.” If you are a fan of “Prometheus,” you may find the mythological story more appealing. Unfortunately, “Alien Covenant” doesn’t have the same depth. It attempts to create depth but falls short. While it delivers the promised action, it doesn’t add enough to its mysterious world.
Cast & Crew
director: Ridley Scott
writers: John Logan, Michael Green, Dante Harper, Jack Paglen
starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo
USA – UK | 2017 | 122 MINUTES |