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Alien: Covenant (2017)
A huge insult to Alien fandom
Dear oh dear Sir Ridley, what have you done?
*** FULL ON SPOILERS ***
First off, there are some unforgivable deal breakers that render the film null and void for the Aliens canon:
* The chestbursters take 10 minutes to gestate from implantation to bursting out.
* Implantation can occur during mere seconds as the victim struggles with the facehugger, and once off he has no clue that it happened, no sore throat or anything.
* The aliens grow to full size in hours
* The chestbursters can do tricks for its owner right after it bursts out. Raises its hands (it already has hands!) at David's cue. It was almost like the scene in Spaceballs. Seriously.
* The sophomoric dialog between David and Walter had the audience snickering.
* The tall white alien is ridiculous.
Next, the crew is STUPID. Just stupid. Even worse than the one in Prometheus. One ridiculous unprofessional amateurish decision after another. It would not be unreasonable to assume that they would be highly trained professionals serious about their jobs. But no. Witness:
* They don't *feel* like going back to sleep after stabilizing the ship so they just land on the closest planet, without having done any surveying. The 2000 passengers might have a problem with that when they wake up. Presumably the target planet had been carefully selected.
* They go check out the unknown, potentially dangerous signal in mass numbers, leaving the ship (with 2000 passengers!)
* They touch everything they see, they stop randomly and split up whenever it pleases them.
* They drag very sick, ebola-symptom displaying crewmates who are vomiting blood on them, to their med bay. Once there, when the guy starts freaking out, they lose their minds as though they know what's about to happen (they shouldn't know) and panic and do everything wrong.
* Having survived an ordeal where most of their crewmates died, with some amazing events to digest, potential danger still about, two of them decide to go do it in the shower and turn up their music so loud they can't hear the blaring sirens and mother's warnings.
Next, the plot. Just not good. Not good at all.
The characters: none are interesting, David is over the top, and the acting is terrible.
Sir Ridley I want my money back. It's time to retire. But I can't be mad at you, not with Alien and Gladiator and The Martian and Robin Hood and Blade Runner. But please, enough now.
Great fun but a few things could have been much better
Over all, I am very pleased. 8/10!
* I had a giant grin on my face for the first 30 minutes, until the pirates boarded the freighter.
* Rey, Finn, and Poe - phenomenal characters, beautifully cast, perfect! Excellent basis for the trilogy, instantly likable
* BB-8 - amazing. I wish they'd referred to it as "she" instead of "he", though.
* The Millennium Falcon!
* Jakku - the scavenger that tries to steal BB-8 is great, some other very Star Wars-y things there too.
* The humor - I was worried it'd be too "serious" but no, they did a great job with the humor. "That's not how the force works!"
* The flashback!
* Heaps of fun, will see it multiple more times.
Because I am such a fan though I must be very harsh and very direct in my criticism:
* This is episode IV retold - droid with critical info, mega weapon on the verge of destroying the good guys, a trench run, etc
* The relationship between the First Order, the Republic, and the Resistance is not at all explained and intuitively it doesn't make sense.
* It's all very rushed - there are no lingering moments.
* The tie fighter with the bike lock is silly.
* Captain Phasma - what was the point of this character? She is easily persuaded to lower the shields with no fight. That's all she does except walk around looking cool a couple of times. Why wasn't she the one to fight Finn with the light saber repeller thing?
* Finn is way too adept with the light saber. Anybody who is not force-sensitive would be very likely to injure themselves with a light saber, yet he holds his own with a trained force user and even injures him
* Rey is way too advanced with the force and the light saber. She should be no further than Luke was at the beginning of episode 4. The mind trick is way too easy for her, and she almost defeats Kylo Ren!
* Hux is way too young. The officers in the OT were
* Snoke is ridiculous. The only explanation for him I'll find acceptable is if he's actually Darth Plagueis, who was in hiding while Darth Sidious was in power. Then somehow he came out of nowhere and seized power of the empire's remnants. And then he undermined Luke's Jedi academy and found himself an apprentice. It's all very, very familiar.
* Luke should have appeared sooner and done something. For instance he could have appeared to save Rey from Kylo Ren as she is on the verge of defeat. Instead he is more like Yoda, chilling on a remote planet just waiting for a pupil.
* Han's death is weak. There is nothing memorable about it. Think of the duel and the big reveal on Bespin, the emperor with Luke and Vader in ROTJ, even Qui-Gon Jinn's death in episode 1. All of those are clear, iconic environments. Han dies on a dark bridge with no character and the lead up to it is not very dramatic.
* Chewbacca should have died too. Now he's driving Rey to the new Dagobah; doesn't she intend to stay a while for training?
* The super weapon is ridiculous. The entire planet should get fried when that thing fires, not just create a neat atmospheric effect. The range is silly too, interstellar range! And the explosions can be seen from other planets, too.
* The CGI characters on Jakku are unnecessary, that's out of the episode 1 play book. Why not actors? Same with Maz Kanata. Why not an actor? It looks silly and frankly ruins the settings they worked so hard on making.
* The monsters on the freighter - that's not Star Wars. I don't know what it is, but it's not Star Wars and it's not good.
* The entire scene on the freighter, I'm guessing that was massively cut and will be better shown in deleted scenes on the DVD.
A lot of missed opportunities. But again, a solid film, hugely entertaining and heaps of fun!