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Film Review: ’Alien: Covenant’

Author: Luqman Ahmed Updated: 13:00 22-05-2017

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo, Demián Bichir

Age Restriction: 16HLV

Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror

Runtime: 2hrs 2min   

Release Date: 19 May 2017

Alien: Covenant scores 3.5/5

In 2012, acclaimed director Ridley Scott journeyed back to the popular Alien franchise with Prometheus – a divisive affair which had filmgoers rather puzzled.

The sci-fi horror – a prequel to Scott's classic 1979 original – left an unending amount of questions and ambiguity in its wake, as it attempted to explore the origins of the Alien Xenomorphs and the enigmatic Engineers.

Following Prometheus' mixed response, Scott has chosen to rectify some of the issues with the sequel – bringing the classic Xenomorphs back into the fold whilst adding 'Alien' into the film's title.

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Set 10 years after Prometheus, the sequel follows the Covenant – a colony ship bound for the planet, Origae-6.

The mission eventually changes course after the Covenant crew intercept a transmission from an unknown planet.

After landing on this uncharted territory, the Covenant crew soon realise their mistake once they become prey to fearless unearthly creatures.

The crew also meet android, David 8 (Michael Fassbender) – a survivor of the Prometheus mission.

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Despite its marketing suggesting otherwise, Alien: Covenant acknowledges Prometheus and attempts to build upon the mythology. However; the sequel only half-answers the mysteries of its predecessor as Scott chooses to give fans a small taste, deliberately leaving the door open for future instalments.

The Engineers are thrown onto the backburner, with Covenant focusing more on the Xenomorphs and the Black Goo.

Overall; writers John Logan and Dante Harper have crafted a fun, thought-provoking story that while packed full of great ideas, leaves many unanswered questions in its wake.

Scott's latest foray into the world of Xenomorphs also suffers from pacing issues, because while the first two acts smoothly develop the plot and successfully build up the tension; it's the under-plotted final act that rushes to the finish line and leaves you wanting more.

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Alien: Covenant has a lot of plot and characters to get through; and while Scott chooses to focus more on the former, the latter suffers greatly as a result.

Besides two or three characters; the rest are hollow, underdeveloped beings whom audiences couldn't care less about – especially when they meet their end.

Despite this, the actors still manage to pull off fine performances particularly Fassbender – who plays the dual role of androids, David and Walter. Fassbender excellently delivers the ying of David and the yang of Walter, proving why he's a massive asset to this franchise. Katherine Waterston, who plays Daniels, is another standout that deserves praise for her exceptional charisma and making the character a likable lead.

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Like its predecessor, Alien: Covenant boasts lavish and boundless visuals; with an atmospheric cinematography that will absolutely take your breath away.

The fast (and occasionally scary) action sequences are fun, gory and nostalgic; and the Xenomorphs have never looked better.

Verdict: Alien: Covenant is an enjoyable but flawed chapter reminiscent of its predecessor. While it's packed full of quality sci-fi horror, eye-catching visuals, great acting, an enlightening story and a welcome return of the Xenomorphs; it leaves many questions unanswered. 

Published: 14:15 19-05-2017

Posted by on May 19, 2017.

Categories: Movies

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Updated: 07:52 20-Apr-2018