If you don’t count the Alien Vs Predator movies, and you really shouldn’t, then this is the sixth movie in the franchise but second in chronological order of the Alien Franchise. Taking place 10 years after the events of Prometheus, Alien: Covenant focuses on the crew of the colony spaceship Covenant, as they journey to an uncharted planet to establish a new colony for humans. Towards the end of their voyage the Covenant encounters solar flairs that caused deaths and significant damage. During repairs the crew discovers a signal from a nearby planet that would be a good fit for a colony prompting a change in course. In true Alien film franchise fashion, this is not the planet you should want to visit. Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Billy Crudup.
The biggest stand out of this movie is the cast and despite the fact Michael Fassbender is the biggest name on the cast sheet there are plenty of great actors in Covenant. Katherine Waterston is great as the lead character that definitely has components similar to Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley as a strong female leader in an action movie. She wont be as memorable as Ripley but she is a great lead. I was sceptical about Danny McBride given his previous roles, I was never a big fan of his style of comedy but I could not have been more wrong. He was the stand out as Tennessee the pilot of the Covenant merging his humour with some serious dramatic acting abilities. Michael Fassbender brought his usual high-level talent to the movie that in my opinion makes him one of the best actors currently working. His ability to create a distinction between Walter in Covenant and David in Prometheus is phenomenal. There are some great characters in Alien Covenant but the one thing the movie suffers from are there are too many ‘Red Shirts’ through out the film. A Red Shirt is someone on Star Trek who dies shortly after being introduced thus making their death have little to no impact and unfortunately for Alien: Covenant that’s the majority of the crew.
Covenant definitely feels more like an Alien movie than Prometheus did, in fact what it was able to do was combine some of the best elements of Alien and Aliens and create a good Sci-Fi Horror movie. It doesn’t have the same clever horror that made Alien an iconic movie but it was well shot to give some good jump scares. Taking the action elements that James Cameron brought to life with Aliens also enhances the experience in Covenant. There in lies the problem though; it does not try to be anything more than a cover of the two great movies. The story is better than Prometheus; in particular the character decisions are a lot more intelligent and realistic in Covenant. Despite its flaws Prometheus was a more of a risk with its story where as Covenant feels like it is more of re-tread than an original concept.
The first time I saw Prometheus I was blown away by the impressive visuals but not impressed with the story. The concept, the story and the characters did not appear to have the same impact that Ridley Scott had probably intended to have but he was able to shoot a beautiful looking movie. Before seeing Alien: Covenant I revisited Prometheus and found myself enjoying it a lot and despite some of the obvious character faults there is a lot of positives in the movie. Whilst I believe that Alien: Covenant was better than Prometheus it did not leave me with the same feeling of wonder that Alien and Aliens did. Perhaps when I revisit Covenant when it is released on Blu Ray I will find more things to enjoy about it as well.
If any part of you wants to see Alien: Covenant then go and see it in the cinema because the visuals are some of the best aspects of the movie. Even if you are on the fence it is definitely worth seeing in the cinema. I did not go IMAX but I could imagine it would be even more impressive. Overall it is an entertaining film with some great Sci-Fi and Horror elements that will keep you engaged in the movie but not interested in the lore of the franchise.
Alien: Covenant scored a 70%
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