*WARNING, MILD SPOILERS AHEAD*
Ridley Scott created Alien in 1979, probably the greatest horror movie I have ever seen! While many have tried to replicate that formula, the result has in time become increasingly sour. With 2012’s Prometheus being both a return for Scott and a prequel to this much-loved film, I honestly thought we were about to get another good Alien…but it wasn’t!
Alien: Covenant begins 10 years after the voyage of Prometheus, where we now follow a new crew of disposable humans looking to die at the hands of hideous creatures! Being honest, I enjoy the crew of the Covenant a lot more than the previous, some of the human interactions are pleasant, but there are still some issues.
Near the beginning, we meet Walter, an upgrade of David from the last entry and a heroic figure who looks after the ship. Slowly we get to meet Daniels (Katherine Waterston who sadly spends a lot of time feeling sorry for herself), Tennessee (the fantastic Danny McBride, probably the only human character I liked) and the other humans who we really don’t get to connect with (the most we get is that shower sex scene which ends in…well, it ends in DEATH).
Ok, I want to make this point clear now. This film is so much better than Prometheus, but overall, it’s not that good. While Michael Fassbender continues to be the best actor on earth, he single-handedly can’t save this film. Now in a duel role, David and Walter display the best chemistry, even though it’s the same actor! You have most of the cast in pairs, but it’s one man acting to himself which seems the most believable.
Mentioning the 1979 original a bit earlier, the main draw for me is how good that film looks despite being nearly 40 years old. The special effects in space are spectacular, the sets on the planet strike gritty realism and the flashback shot was just…wow! Unfortunately, the built-up sets don’t make it this film a good one.
Ridley Scott can make any world look great, but it is a shame that he opted to make the aliens into lifeless CGI inventions instead of the puppet or manned creations which actually brought H.R. Giger’s horrific monsters to life. The aliens look bad, and bare little resemblance to their original depictions from the first films (the Xenomorph just lacks when full CGI). The story and lack of development is evident throughout and this film is just made to push the creation of the Xenomorphs by giving them an origin we didn’t really need.
In the end, this film is OK. Not the best, but no way is it a really bad film. There is hardly anything highly memorable and the two twists are seen from about 10 lightyears away. The acting of Michael Fassbender continues to be the only selling point to these Alien prequels, but don’t expect a trio of differently accented Fassbender’s to come to the rescue. The cast are ok, but not at all memorable.
Ridley Scott, you know what you need to do. Remember a few years ago when Neill Blomkamp was going to make a true Alien sequel with Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn and it would have been the film we actually wanted, but you made sure it was cancelled and instead we got this journey into the weird stuff that nobody really cares about? Well, let Blomkamp make Alien 5 and see the film series become popular once again!
Final rating: 5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
P.S. Noomi Rapace is barely seen in this film, that is a tragedy for us all. I loved her in the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy of films!