Alien: Covenant (2017). Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup.
Please could someone remove Ridley Scott’s tight grip from the reins of the Alien franchise? Or better still just put the whole thing to bed? Since Ridley’s return as creative visionary we have seen the worst two films in the franchise released while there hasn’t been a truly decent film made in the Weyland-Yutani world since 1986.
Continuing with a poorly written, ultimately pointless and mystique-destroying examination into how those terrifying H.R. Geiger creations came to be is creative poison. Prometheus was bad enough but this visually lacking remake cum sequel is, amazingly, even more predictable, pointless and infuriating stuff.
Yet another bunch of spectacularly unhinged humans who would fail to pass even the least rigorous psych-evaluations as part of any self-respecting deep-space mission prep find themselves making inexplicably dumb decisions and then utterly freaking out and losing all sense of perspective and logical thought as soon as something untoward occurs.
All parcelled up with lengthy, paddling-pool deep philosophical discussions between irritating android Michael Fassbender and an even more irritating android Michael Fassbender about whether humans are clever or stupid and if biological warfare is cool or bad.
The writing team tries to couch the whole thing in some sort of twisted re-appraisal of Romantic philosophy – lobbing in crass name-dropping of figures like Byron and Shelley (Fassbender fancies himself as a bit of an Ozymandias) to make themselves seem clever. The acid-dripping rippers of flesh are positioned as Frankenstein’s monster without any vestige of humanity at all. There is the required quota of chest-bursting shenanigans and a whole horde of poorly animated CGI beasts but there is no heart to any of it. It is sterile, shallow, boring film making with no narrative tension and nothing to add to what has gone before. If anything, it just ruins the purity of Alien a little bit more.