“Alien: Covenant” didn’t exactly become a cultural phenomenon when it opened earlier this year. Ridley Scott’s latest prequel/sequel in his enduring science-fiction/horror series was met with lukewarm reviews and disappointing box-office returns, which is a shame — it’s the first true “Alien” movie in two decades, and a worthy addition to the xenomorph mythos. In a new video, Jack’s Movie Reviews attempts to diagnose the problem: It doesn’t know what it wants to be.
“I think it’s safe to say that we can learn just as much, if not more, from a movie that doesn’t work than one that works perfectly,” says the narrator as it opens. “For that reason, I believe we can call Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’ a perfect candidate for perfect inspection — a big reason being a lot of this movie does work.” For every horrifying scene and interesting idea at work in the film, however, our narrator argues that the movie is still less than the sum of its parts.
That’s because the three main facets — psychological horror, action, thematic ideas — don’t work in concert with one another. Whether you agree with these conclusions or not, there are a number of valid critiques in this nine-minute analysis. Watch below.