You might be confused by the title, and that’s because this movie was officially released under the name Alien: covenant. But I’m on a personal protest and won’t acknowledge this movie as an alien movie. It’s much more a Prometheus sequel than it’s an Alien prequel.
Before I start I would like to mention that Alien and Aliens are some of my favourite films. I love everything from the chunky and industrial 80’s tech, to the jaw clenching suspense the movies offer. And the sequel somehow managed to pull off a genre change from suspense thriller to action horror. And they both excel at their respective genre like Aliens’ changing power dynamics (that turret room scene is a masterpiece.), and Alien’s clinical and pitch-perfect cinematography. This brings us to the Prometheus movie…
It pretty much sucks. Not only did It fail at being a good movie, but it was barely even an alien movie to begin with. The only thing that links it with the previous movies is the corporation names and the xenomorph cameo at the end. But the advertising at least didn’t boast itself as an alien movie and differentiated itself enough to gain different expectations, the movie’s problem is more fundamental than being a bad alien movie.
Prometheus 2: Electric Boogaloo’s downfall is that it advertised itself as being an Alien movie; it even had it in the title (the original title). And that’s a problem since it wasn’t an alien movie in tone, story, universe, characters, iconography or architecture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing that a movie series want to change things up, but this is a bit too far removed. And even then the differences could be forgiven if Scott just handled it well. But both Prometheus and Prometheus 2: The Revengeance was more than clunky. They both failed to even look like Alien.
Prometheus I could forgive, At least they gave an explanation why they weren’t in a usual crappy low-cost industrial ship. The ship was carrying a highly rich and valuable person. So it made sense that he would have clean, cream-of-the-crop transportation. But the same can’t be said for Prometheus 2: Xenomorphs Are Confirmed Fungus Now. The point of Alien world was that it’s a cynical future where capitalism went rampant and corporatocracy had become the governing form. The working man has become expendable and everything is done as cheaply and fast as possible. And the art design of the movie reflected this. I can’t say the same for Prometheus 2: #notmyalien though. The conceit of the movie is that they are a colonist ship on their way to inhabit a new planet. And this is not the type of mission that would warrant a top-tier transport in the type of society alien is. The only reasons they would colonise planets is to expand the business, gain resources and create new workers. So the ship should be built with an industrial mindset, there should be loose wires, clinking metal and dim lighting. This ship should be the bare minimum to bring all the people alive to their destination if even that.
Even the core iconography is changed from H.R. Geiger’s sexual and off-putting creations into a more Christian approach. And this might be seen as trivial that I complain so much about the visuals, but it goes to show that this movie fails at being an alien movie on even the surface level. An alien movie is more than just a Xenomorph. It’s an atmosphere, it’s the world.
There is some other stuff I would like to touch on like the hilariously bad ship medic scene, Film Crit’s interesting points about the director, everything with the androids and how Prometheus 2: Michael Fassbender kissed himself is simply a bad movie on a functional level, But this article took way too long and my backlog is just growing. It’s time for me to move on.