I was on the fence about this one, but in the end I decided to catch it before it disappeared from the cinemas. I can’t say I regret the decision and I’m glad I’ve watched the film, because no one shoots sci-fi like Ridley Scott, but the most damning thing I can say about Alien: Covenant is that it’s the first entry in the series that doesn’t offer anything new, and instead plays like the Alien: Greatest Hits. Even the runts of the franchise had some individuality about them, whether it was the director’s unique visual style or some new ideas, and even when these ideas were terrible, *cough* human/alien hybrid from Alien: Resurrection *cough*, at least they were still memorable. My biggest complaint about Alien: Covenant is how little of this adequate movie was truly memorable.
This movie was like a big glaring gap in my film experience, which is almost embarrassing considering that I’m a huge fan of both science fiction and Ridley Scott. I watched it once almost 20 years ago, when my English was still rather shaky, so most of the dialogue and story details sailed right over my head. Though I couldn’t tell you what actually happened in the movie, it’s amazing how much of its imagery remained in my head just from that one watch: Daryl Hannah’s shock of blond hair and black spray-on paint around her eyes, Sean Young’s 40s-inspired hair, cigarette and that fabulous black power suit, and Rutger Hauer’s striking, blond, beautiful Roy Batty, whose face looks like it could have come from some epic blood-soaked Norse myth.
Really loved this movie. It’s a strange one coming from Ridley Scott, whose previous sci-fi films are not exactly known for their sense of optimism and belief in the best in people, yet with The Martian he strikes a perfect tone: it’s entertaining, inspiring, enormously good-natured and with a perfect mix of seriousness and silliness. It celebrates science, intelligence, perseverance, teamwork, and is full of likeable characters I wanted to give hugs to. It is also a love letter to that humble vegetable, a potato (no, seriously).
Just like Prometheus, Kingdom of Heaven is another Ridley Scott film I really enjoy despite its many problems. This extended cut doesn’t fix the core issues I have, but it’s still a far more satisfying experience than the horribly rushed theatrical cut.