Review: Alien: Covenant
Alien: Covenant is familiar but a fun, worthy entry in the Alien series
Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, the second film in the Alien prequel trilogy, takes place in the year 2104, a decade after Prometheus and 18 years before the original Alien. The story begins with the crew of the USCSS Covenant and 2000 sleeping colonists and frozen embryos on a colonization mission heading for a hospitable planet. Mid-flight, the crew decides to trust a transmission that suggests heading to a closer hospitable planet and despite the concerns of Officer Daniels (Katherine Waterston), they figure the closer planet is worth a look, concerns be damned. Daniels’ wariness becomes a little more urgent upon running into David (Michael Fassbender), a survivor of the Prometheus mission.
Among the Covenant Crew is Walter, also played by Fassbender, who is an upgraded version of the android, David. Like the rest of the team, Walter is alarmed to find that David, physically identical to Walter, has been living in the planet, but nonetheless the crew accepts an invite to David’s humble abode after he saves them from a perilous encounter with the not-so-friendly locals.
It turns out that David has spent his decade on the planet studying the alien life forms that exist around him, all the while building resentment of the human race that created him. There are some excellent, creepy scenes with Walter and David, by far the most interesting characters on-screen, and Fassbender plays each android to perfection. The rest of the cast serves its purpose but only Daniels and Tennessee (a wonderful Danny McBride) properly register as characters.
As the crew learns more about what’s happened on the planet since Prometheus, the need to evacuate becomes clear. From there, Covenant is something of a greatest hits of the Alien franchise and it mostly works. Perhaps feeling the pressure after making the polarizing Prometheus, which many thought featured less aliens than any Alien movie should, Scott has packed Alien: Covenant with action and aliens while still exploring heady themes that made Prometheus so enjoyable (for some).
The characters still do stupid things like in all Alien movies (hey, want to have a peek inside this newly hatched alien egg? Sure do!) but the consistency is admirable and who knows, maybe everyone is just a little dimmer in the future.
Even if the plot is feels a little recycled, the film looks amazing and is filled with enough action and creepy fun to keep fans of the Alien series aboard for the next and final film in the prequel trilogy.