Alien Covenant
Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant Review

Alien: Covenant

I need to preface this by saying that the 1979 ALIEN film is my favorite movie of all time. So I desperately wanted this to be great, but also hold it to a pretty high standard. I enjoyed PROMETHEUS and the questions it raised, but I was eager to see the return of the gritty, horrific and suspenseful ALIEN film.

For the most part ALIEN: COVENANT brought back the horror while still delivering a solid PROMETHEUS sequel. This might sound like the best of both worlds but in the end I think the film somewhat suffered by trying to do so much in two hours. I would highly suggest watching PROMETHEUS before you check this one out. I think the movie does an alright job of filling in the back story but it will be much more enjoyable experience if that film is fresh in your mind.

Early in the movie we are introduced to the Covenant crew as they are violently awakened from hyper sleep. We also meet the on board synthetic Walter who is played brilliantly by Michael Fassbender. Walter may share the same face as Peter Weyland’s David, but he is a dramatically different character from top to bottom. Fassbender steals the show in this movie doing double duty and succeeding on every level.

*** mild spoiler***

Things go awry, as they are known to, and Oram (Billy Crudup) becomes captain of the Covenant. They have found themselves significantly off course and he faces a difficult choice. Continue to their initial destination, with another seven years of hyper sleep, or investigate a nearby mystery planet, that appears to be perfectly suited to support life. I will avoid further spoilers, but things go rapidly south.

'Alien: Covenant' Movie Review

The cast of Covenant is amazing. Not all of the characters are incredibly memorable but they all serve their purpose. There are stand out performances from Katherine Waterston as Daniels and Danny McBride as Tennessee. Both of these characters are tough as nails. They seem genuine and realistic and actually make solid decisions based on the information available to them. The characters were very reminiscent of Ellen Ripley, in that they took action immediately even though they were facing an unimaginable situation. Panicking is for amateurs. Daniels and Tennessee both felt like iconic characters that fit perfectly into the ALIEN franchise. I want to see more of them and I need some action figures to go with my Colonial Marines.

The settings in this film are incredible from desolate but beautiful planet to the sprawling industrial drabness of the Covenant ship. The effects were decent but some of the CGI looked slightly off to me. I am still a sucker for the practical Xenomorph suit from the first film and the CGI just doesn’t look as threatening. They did some cool and interesting things with the monsters in COVENANT and I am sure they wouldn’t be easy to pull off with practical effects. Overall these are small gripes and the effects never took me out of the movie or ruined any scenes for me.

Overall I really enjoyed ALIEN: COVENANT and I will gladly see the inevitable sequel. It really brings the story back around to its sci-fi/horror roots. It amps the gore way up and it is bad ass. The set up and execution of some of the kill scenes felt almost like I was watching a slasher film. There are some areas where the story is weak, but I am hoping that is only because we don’t yet know the entire story, and it will all come together in the following prequel films leading up to ALIEN. If you are expecting this movie to fill in all of the gaps between PROMETHEUS and ALIEN you will be disappointed. It did answer many questions, but it also raised quite a few more. I hope that this is all dramatic set up for future movies in the franchise, rather than shoddy story telling. Go see ALIEN: CONVENANT. It’s not perfect but it is exciting and entertaining and it feels like an ALIEN movie.

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