Skip to content

ALIEN: COVENANT

Written By:

Iain McNally
alien-covenant

After the beautiful but unsatisfying Prometheus, director Ridley Scott serves up a new company of victims for the Alien he unleashed upon the universe back in 1979.

 

After an accident wakes the crew of the colony ship Covenant from hibernation, they discover a mysterious signal featuring a blurry, but clearly human form, from a region of space where no humans should be. Investigating, they find a planet that appears even more suitable for colonization than their original destination. Led by Oram (Crudup) and Daniels (Katherine Waterson) they explore the planet only to find a lot more than they bargained for, including new, horrifying evolutions of the Xenomorph’s lifecycle and clues to the fates of the survivors of the Prometheus; Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the severed head of the synthetic David (Michael Fassbender).

 

As you would expected, Scott expertly reveals the horrors that await the Covenant crew with practiced skill, ratcheting up the tension as the audience knows full well the nightmares in wait for the crew. That’s not to say that they are helpless, or at least not as helpless as a the crew of the Prometheus ended up. There’s a lot less maddeningly stupid decisions made this time around, making the group a lot more relatable and likeable. For the most part, the group (all couples) are well sketched too, with more time obviously being spent with those who last the longest (we won’t say who). One of the nicest surprises is Danny McBride’s solid performance in a serious role as the Covenant’s pilot. Waterson makes for an engaging heroine, proactive but in a different enough way from Ripley.  Fassbender delights as the android Walter, with a different accent and demeanor from David, and forms the core of the movie. Without going into spoilers we can say that he gets to stretch himself quite a bit acting wise.

 

The technology and vistas presented by Scott are fantastic, the crew are a way more likeable bunch than the dysfunctional dimwits of the Prometheus, and the film avoids most of the mistakes of the previous movie but when all is said and done Covenant is almost, but not quite as unsatisfying as Prometheus but for entirely different reasons. While he explores the origins of the Xenomorphs as we know them, their creation is linked to humanity in a way that removes some of their mystery. It also avoids answering, many of the lingering questions from Prometheus. Who were the engineers? Why did they create, and then want to wipe out, humanity? What was the original purpose of the black goo? There’s plenty of material to theorise about but details remain infuriatingly absent.

 

Covenant is a tense, and sometimes delightfully gross, sci-fi thriller that has a great look, a solid cast, and for the most part addresses the mistakes of Prometheus. Somehow though, it doesn’t quite add up to more than the sum of its parts. Of all the philosophical questions posed by the film, the biggest one you may be left with is “Was that it?”.

ALIEN COVENANT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: RIDLEY SCOTT / SCREENPLAY: JOHN LOGAN,DANTE HARPER / STARRING: MICHAEL FASSBENDER, KATHERINE WATERSTON, BILLY CRUDUP, DANNY MCBRIDE, DEMIÁN BICHIR, CARMEN EJOGO, JUSSIE SMOLLETT / RELEASE DATE: MAY 12TH

EXPECTED:  8 out of 10

 

ACTUAL:

 

Iain McNally

You May Also Like...

m3gan universe expands with spinoff film soulm8te

M3GAN Universe Expands With Spinoff Film SOULM8TE

We already knew that M3GAN was getting a sequel, but now comes news that the horror movie from James Wan’s Atomic Monster and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse is also getting a
Read More
brandy norwood in trailer for a24 horror the front room

Brandy Stars In A24 Horror THE FRONT ROOM Trailer

Brandy Norwood navigates a difficult mother-in-law in the first trailer for A24’s psychological horror, The Front Room. The feature, which hails from directors Max Eggers and Sam Eggers – the
Read More
still from blue beetle feature film 2023 dc studios

BLUE BEETLE Is Being Developed As An Animated Series

Warner Bros. Animation and DC Studios are developing an animated series based centred on Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle, which would follow on the 2023 feature film that starred Xolo Maridueña as
Read More
spaceballs 1987 film still

SPACEBALLS Sequel In The Works

A sequel to the 1980s parody film Spaceballs is in early development at Amazon MGM Studios, with Josh Gad and Mel Brooks (who co-wrote, directed, and produced the original) attached
Read More

Next Edition of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Changes Everything

The world’s most played tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, has a new edition on its way; it’s now available for pre-order. This 50th-anniversary edition is wholly compatible with the
Read More
enemy mine still

STAR TREK: PICARD Showrunner To Remake Cult Sci-Fi Film ENEMY MINE

Terry Matalas, the showrunner who helmed the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, has been tapped to write a remake of the 1985 cult sci-fi movie Enemy Mine,
Read More