Alien: Covenant

I’m so glad that we live in a world where there are only three Indiana Jones movies, only three Die Hard movies, only two Karate Kid movies, only one Caddyshack, and only one Christmas Vacation. If there had been any more movies in any of those series, I can’t imagine how awful they’d be. I only wish that they’d shown as much restraint with Alien movies and stopped after the second one.

The Covenant is a spaceship carrying thousands of people sleeping through a long trip to colonize a distant planet, but it’s hit with an unexpected neutrino burst that damages the ship and awakens the crew (not all that dissimilar from the beginning of Passengers). By some astronomically improbable coincidence, they just happen to be passing by a previously unknown planet, and they receive a radio signal from that planet. They decide to investigate before going back to sleep for several more years of their trip and are surprised to find another ship there. It’s the Prometheus (from the movie Prometheus), and David (Michael Fassbender), the android on board that ship, is still “alive” and functional even though everyone else who had been aboard is long dead.

The crew of the Covenant (including characters played by Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride) and its android (also played by Michael Fassbender) decide to explore the planet to see if it might be a suitable alternative to the one they were planning to colonize. But a couple of crew members independently come across some alien puffballs, whose spores make their way into the crew members’ bodies and turn into miniature aliens, who then burst out of the crew members’ bodies in a very messy way. In the process of trying to fight the aliens, the landing vessel they’d used to get down to the planet’s surface was destroyed, leaving the Covenant crew members unable to escape what quickly turns into a very deadly situation.

Everything about this movie is bad. The premise is hard to believe (both the unbelievable confluence of unlikely events that led to it and the laughable idea that anyone would mourn the death of a character played by James Franco). The two Fassbender androids are tremendously boring together much of the time (a sequence in one shows the other how to play a flute somehow manages to be duller than anything in Prometheus), and their interaction at the end of the film demonstrates how little respect the filmmakers have for the intelligence of the audience. Most of the Covenant’s crew members seem completely worthless in a crisis, and they’re always doing stupid and unnatural things like opening and closely peering into a pod that they’ve just been told has an alien growing inside it. The CGI is horrible across the board, and just about every major thing that happens in Alien: Covenant is pretty blatantly and clumsily stolen from another film in the franchise.

I’m legitimately surprised at how handily Alien: Covenant manages to surpass Prometheus in its terribleness. I might even go so far as to say that Alien: Covenant is the worst film in the series, but it might be spared that shame by the existence of the also-wretched Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. At any rate, they may make more Alien movies, but I don’t intend to watch any more Alien movies.