The sequel to Prometheus, this is essentially that movie but shorn of all of “the beginning of man” mumbo jumbo and its hilarious inconsistencies/stupidities (I dug Prometheus, even though, in retrospect and after viewing this take-down, I felt a little ashamed):
In Covenant, a colonizing ship makes its way to the new planet, hyper-sleep is interrupted (note to self – no matter what sci-fi film you are in, hyper-sleep is a risky proposition) and rather than schlep to the first destination, our crew is enticed to another planet that just showed up on the horizon, one just perfect for colonization. It’s almost too good to be true. I mean, what could be out there?
Ridley Scott has a few decent scares and the plot moves, but the film is terribly derivative (hyper sleep went bad in Planet of the Apes, the poisonous Eden is an old Star Trek, and synthetics getting too big for their intellectual britches is the sci-fi version of “it’s quiet out there . . . Yea. Too quiet”) and adds nothing to the series. And while I like Danny McBride, he’s not quite ready for dramatic, “just lost my wife” roles, and he’s too pudgy to be running around with a gun. I thought one of the few benefits of hyper-sleep was weight loss?
The ridiculous premise of this movie, and the ensuing byzantine plot, are so audacious that it almost makes up for being such a piece of crap. Ben Affleck is an accountant. But not your everyday accountant. He is autistic, but has had the more extreme manifestations of that condition beaten out of him by his rigid, military father. Accordingly, he can function, and function he does. He has millions of dollars. He owns a Jackson Pollock. He has gold bullion. He can shoot a watermelon from a mile away.
He works in a strip mall as an accountant, when he is not doing the books for local farmers, he is doing them for large, dirty multinational corporations while ratting out their wrongdoing to the Department of the Treasury.
The only really good things I can say about this movie are that it is watchable in an aghast, mouth open kind of way, and Affleck, playing a character who is struggling to convey emotion, almost appears to be on the verge of laughing out loud every scene. And every scene gets progressively funnier and funnier.
It’s terrible but marginally entertaining.
The first 20 minutes of this movie serve as a primer as to how to get a comic book flick started. Simple, short scenes introduce our characters, several pop hits set the mood for the time (late Vietnam era), and away we go to confront King Kong. When a Vietnam helicopter pilot sees Kong, he laconically remarks, “is that . . . a monkey? “. Indeed, it is, and he is big and he is angry.
Death and destruction follow, our fearless survivors work assiduously to get off of Kong’s island while at the same time dealing with their own issues, and the entire endeavor is laced with fun, primarily in the form of John C Reilly, who has been abandoned on Skull Island after his fighter went down during World War II. So he’s a little loopy.
It gets a little ragged at the end, and the emotional connect between Kong and his new gal (Brie Larsen) is rushed, but this is loads of fun. The likes of Zack Snyder should take note. It’s a monkey. A big monkey. Just like Superman and Batman are not real people, there is no need to delve deeply into their anguish, deepest thoughts, and societal implications. Lighten up.