'Alien: Covenant' disappoints by, unlike 'Prometheus,' being too conventional

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After a hiccup happens aboard her ship, a fire that kills many including their captain, Katherine Waterson's Daniels leads the crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, to a pit stop on an uncharted planet. Bad idea? Of course. Thus enters the main problem of Ridley Scott latest "Alien" movie: You know where it's going.

I loved "Prometheus," I might be one of the few out there that really bought what Ridley Scott was trying to do there - here was a big budget Hollywood movie with ideas, a philosophical brain! Scott has recently come out and all, but admitted that he too regretted the way he made "Prometheus." That, of course, didn't go well with me, he should have stuck to his guns, "Prometheus" will age well in time whereas "Alien: Covenant" ...

"Alien: Covenant" is a disappointment, it goes  back to the narrative structure of the survival games of the first two movies. Scott has decided to feed the masses and say "fuck it" to any kind of artistic statement. Are some scenes scary? Yes, but they're empty thrills, empty calories that don't have the substance of "Prometheus." This "Covenant" just wants to entertain, nothing wrong with that, but we deserved better.

If "Prometheus" was an ambitious film that asked questions about our own existence, this latest film is madly obvious, at times ludicrously pedestrian. It's a greatest hits package. Scott is fighting with himself here, he wants to tell us about the grand ideas he hinted at in "Prometheus," but wants to also please the masses that were disappointed with the previous installment.

If there's a reason to overlook the film's issues that would be Michael Fassbender. Playing dual roles , Walter and David, Fassbender manages to bring scary humanity to a cold-hearted duo of robots. The fireworks that spark between the two are the clear-cut highlights of the movie. Fassbender, now 40 years old, delivers a tour de force, one of the highlights of his storied career, managing to give us skin-crawling performances that only hint at the potential that was lurking in Scott's mad-scientist ideas, too bad the venerable director had to resort to conventional tropes for box-office potential.
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