Movie review: Alien: Covenant

Movie reviews

Hello!

Welcome to a review of Alien: Covenant – an apology for Prometheus or its continuation?

IMDb summary: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination and must attempt a harrowing escape.

Writing

Alien: Covenant was written by John Logan (The Last Samurai, The Aviator, Hugo, Spectre, Genius) and Dante Harper (a production manager), based on a story by Jack Paglen (Transendence) and Michael Green (Logan and Green Lantern – what a combo). Similarly to how the previous filmography of these screenwriters is a mixed bag, Covenant is also a movie of mixed quality. It just mostly rehashes the plot of the original Alien and throws in some Prometheus themes. I, personally, liked the ideas of the film Prometheus but didn’t feel like they were executed particularly well. Same happens in Covenant – the potential is there but the attempt at the backstory of the xenomorphs just convolutes the plot too much (how many unpredictable experiments have to happen for their final version to appear?). The idea to have a crew/cast of 10+ people also means that none of them receive any development. We do find out some traits of a few characters, but I am not even sure what roles did the majority of the crew members had on a ship. They all could have been scientists or sheep herders. The couples idea is also just plain stupid. Why would you have a bunch of couples on a dangerous space mission? Wouldnt’ they judgement in a difficult situation be impacted by the fact that their significant other is also on board?

Having bashed the plot, I would now like to praise a few good moments of the film. The discussion about creation was an interesting and promising concept. The faith and rationality divide was also a good idea to introduce. The decision to include another character played by Fassbender was the best judgment that the filmmakers made. While I am not sure when did David turn so purely evil, I liked seeing the David v Walter interactions, even if they were quite creepy.

Directing

Ridley Scott has made some amazing (Blade Runner, original Alien, and Gladiator) and less than amazing (Prometheus, Exodus) films throughout his career. His last picture – 2015’s The Martian – was one of my favorite movies of that year. Alien: Covenant falls somewhere in the middle on a quality scale. Visually, the film was gorgeous: the landscapes, the scope, and the scale were just breathtaking. (Prometheus was also visually stunning – I actually visited the filming location of the opening sequence – Isle of Skye). However, I felt that the action scenes could have been better – more suspenseful and intense. There also could have been more of them to replace some of the creepy dialogue sequences. And yet, at least Covenant was way grittier, gruesome, and more stylistically in line with the original two films than the squeaky clean Prometheus.

Acting

The cast of the film was quite big but not a lot of the actors delivered memorable performances (which was partially the blame on the script). Michael Fassbender (X-Men, Assasin’s Creed, Steve Jobs), not surprisingly, was the standout in his double role, while Fantastic Beast’s Katherine Waterston was also quite good. Billy Crudup (Spotlight, Jackie) and Danny McBride (Sausage Party) were the only two other actors from the cast who I remember as doing something of significance in the film. James Franco was probably featured more in the extra promo materials than in the actual film, while Noomi Rapace had a picture cameo only.

In short, Alien: Covenant was mostly disappointing. It had some good elements, but, ultimately, everything was ruined by the awful script full of laughable but not funny moments. If you want to watch a straight-up sci-fi horror, check out Life instead (even though it is just a knock-off of the original Alien), or if you want a more PG space movie, Passengers should do.

Rate: 3/5

Trailer: Alien: Covenant trailer

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Movie review: A Long Way Down + Edge of Tomorrow

Movie reviews

Hello!

Yesterday was kinda a cinema day for me because I watched not one but two movies so I decided to write my reviews quickly before I forget what I wanted to say.

The first film was called A Long Way Down. It is a British dark comedy film directed by Pascal Chaumeil, loosely based on author Nick Hornby’s 2005 novel A Long Way Down. The movie premiered couple months ago at movie festivals in Germany and UK and in many cinemas in European countries. However, Lithuania just got it a few days ago. Its limited premiere in the US is 11th of July. The motion picture tells a story of four strangers who happen to meet on the roof of a London building on New Year’s Eve, each with the intent of committing suicide. Nevertheless, their plan doesn’t work and they sign a pact, promising not to kill themselves till Valentines day. And their story begins… The main reason why I went to see the movie was Imogen Poots. I have already seen this British actress in 2 quite big movies this year. One of them was That Awkward Moment and another Need For Speed (review on my blog). This was also Imogen’s second time teaming up with Aaron Paul. They were lovers in Need For Speed and they eventually ended up together in this movie too. I liked their chemistry and I really enjoyed Imogen’s performance. She portrayed crazy politician’s daughter with daddy-issues named Jess perfectly. The movie explores humanity problems and raises a question: Why people kill themselves? Rate 4/5

Another film I watched that day was less intelligent. It was Doug Liman’s military science fiction blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow. I was really skeptical when I first came across this movie, because I didn’t really liked the last Tom Cruise’s science fiction alien film (Oblivion), but I heard so many good review about it so I decided to give it a try. And it definitely did not disappoint. The plot was really interesting: Tom Cruises is playing a Major named William Cage who has to repeat one day over and over again. When he dies, he wakes up and everything starts form the beginning. You are seeing the same thing over and over again but it doesn’t look boring, it’s actually refreshing to see how Tom Cruises character copes with the fact that he has already done this and that a hundred of times. The comedy in this movie is also really great. The last plus of the film is the fact that Tom Cruise’s character starts out as a coward. He is just a spokes person for a military, so when he is thrown into the front line of the battle, he tries to run away. It was awesome to see Tom Cruise not as a hero, but as a kinda douche human being. Emily Blunt is also a real bad-ass . I kinda wish she was the Black Widow in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. (She was supposed to play that part, but it didn’t work out.) Though, this was her time to shine. Also every time I saw Bill Paxton on the screen my mind automatically jumped back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Hail Hydra. What is more, the design of aliens was strange as well as innovative and cool. I think this is one of the best summer movies so far. Rate 5/5. 

Next movie that I am definitely going to see is Guardians of the Galaxy. Keep your eyes open for a review. Bye.