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8 things wrong with Alien: Covenant

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Alien: Covenant, the second installment in the Alien prequel series, is a slight upgrade over the very flawed and uneven Prometheus – but it still has a lot of problems.

I more or less enjoyed Alien: Covenant the first time I saw it (even gave it a somewhat positive review). Then, just like with Prometheus, some time passed and I realised there are more than a few things that just don’t make any sense. From plot holes and inconsistencies, to just plain dumb moments, here are 8 Things That Are Wrong with Alien: Covenant. (Beware: MAJOR spoiler alert!)

1. No one wears a helmet (again)

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In Prometheus, Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) made the infamously stupid decision to take off his helmet in an unknown, untested, potentially hazardous environment just because the air was breathable. Even stupider still, everyone else followed suit right after. The crew of the Covenant however, doesn’t even bother to wear helmets. After all, it’s only an unknown, untested, potentially hazardous alien planet. What are the odds that some kind of toxin or pathogen will infect multiple crew members, causing them to die horrible painful deaths while alien creatures burst out of their bodies?

Bottom line, either wear full protective gear, or send androids like Walter (Michael Fassbender) in first so that they can take samples and make sure you won’t die.

2. The “fingering” line

While teaching his android buddy Walter how to play a musical instrument, David (also Michael Fassbender) utters what is bound to be the most infamous line of the movie – “I’ll do the fingering”. It’s a blatantly stupid, out of place joke for an Alien movie, made even worse by its context.

See, there is some creepy sexual tension between the dual Fassbenders (does that count as android incest?), which is kind of a plot point and establishes a few things about David as a character. The “fingering” line makes it so overt that it becomes silly and stupid.

Plus, it ruins what is otherwise a pretty good scene between the two androids.

3. Oram dies because he trusts David for no reason

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Acting captain Oram (Billy Crudup) sees David sharing an intimate moment with the last surviving Neomorph (no fingering involved) and promptly shoots it. When David is horrified by the death of the creature, Oram turns the gun on him, demanding answers. David then reveals he’s been experimenting with the black goo to genetically engineer aliens and takes Oram to a chamber full of some very familiar looking eggs.

Oram, like a complete idiot, trusts David when he tells him that the eggs are perfectly safe, touches one and then just stands there as a facehugger jumps at him.

If only he was smart enough to not go alone or trust the creepy android that clearly showed he valued alien lifeforms more than humans just a few minutes ago.

4. Tennessee risks the lives of the colonists to contact the crew

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The three remaining pilots of the Covenant lose radio contact with the ground team because of a storm and have no idea what’s going on with them. They know something’s wrong, because the last transmission happened just as the infected crew members were dying, but other than that, they’re in the dark.

Chief pilot Tennessee (Danny McBride) is especially anxious, because his wife is with the ground team. He decides to move the ship closer to the storm in the hopes of getting a better signal, even though the computer and his subordinates tell him it would risk destroying the Covenant - the ship with more than 2,000 sleeping colonists on it. Yeah.

There’s just no way to justify Tennessee’s decision. As the senior officer, his first responsibility is to the ship and the people on it. Sure, playing it safe might get the ground team killed, but so could damaging or destroying the ship while trying to rescue them.

5. When did Lope get implanted with an alien?

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Daniels (Katherine Waterston), Lope (Demián Bichir) and David, while pretending to be Walter, are the only one that make it out of the planet alive. They return to the Covenant and leave the injured Lope in the ship’s medbay. Later, the computer informs Daniels that there is an unknown lifeform on the ship and when she and Tennessee check the medbay, they find Lope dead with a hole in his chest.

Here’s the thing – the timing of Lope getting implanted with an alien embryo makes no sense. There are only two explanations – he either had an alien in him before he got back on the ship, or David put one in him while he was on the ship.

The first one doesn’t make sense because the alien that burst out of Oram earlier did so fairly quickly – unless the one in Lope was on a timer, it should have come out a lot sooner than it did.

The second doesn’t make sense because even if David somehow managed to sneak in a fully grown facehugger or grow one from the embryos he was carrying in him, the computer should have picked it up as an unknown lifeform.

6. Ricks and Upworth die because of loud music

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Daniels and Tennessee realise that the xenomorph onboard the Covenant is headed for crew members Ricks and Upworth, who are showering together. The computer tries to warn them, but they don’t hear it, because… they’re listening to loud music. This is dumb for several reasons.

a)      If the music is being played through the ship, the computer should be able to pause or lower the volume when it needs to make important announcements, just how your phone does when someone calls

b)      If they’re listening from an external source, they shouldn’t be stupid enough to listen at a volume that’s too high for them to hear important announcements

c)      The computer should definitely have really loud alarms or high volume speakers in case people do stupid things like this

With the alien just a few seconds away, Ricks and Upworth probably would have died anyway, but they might have at least stood a chance if they weren’t so dumb. Then again, this is true for all crewmembers of the Covenant.

7. No one checks if “Walter” is actually David

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The movie’s big, shocking twist that anyone could see coming ten miles away is that it was David, not Walter, that had survived and come onboard the Covenant at the very end. Plus, gasp, he was carrying facehugger embryos in him!

Did no one really think to actually check which android they got? They look exactly like, just because the one with you is missing an arm doesn’t mean he’s the one you know and love. Ask him questions only Walter knows the answers to or hell, take him apart to make sure he is who he says he is.

Or, you know, just trust him blindly like a moron.

8. The Engineers die because they don’t screen incoming ships

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Speaking of blind trust, a flashback sequence reveals that the black goo killing the Engineers wasn’t an accident – David intentionally released the pathogen and slaughtered them all.

We see a large crowd of the Engineers gathering to welcome the ship in which David and Shaw arrived in, which begs the questions – did no one try to contact the ship or verify who’s in it?

After all, the events of Prometheus made it clear that this is definitely a ship that’s been missing for some time. David is supposedly capable of communicating in their language, but even if he was able to convince them a long lost ship has finally made its way home, wouldn’t some kind of remote scan or search of the ship be warranted before allowing him to come near a major city – especially when that ship is responsible for carrying biological weapons of mass destruction?

Tell the ship to land somewhere else, send a team to investigate and confirm that everything is fine and then roll out the red carpet.

Can you think of anything else that doesn't make sense in Alien: Covenant?

Alien: Covenant is out now through 20th Century Fox. Read our review here.

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