I was lucky enough to see Alien Covenant starring the incredible Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender & Danny Mcbride a few hours before its official release and this film does not disappoint.
Following on 10 years after Prometheus the film follows a Weyland Yutani terraforming expedition on the Covenant. However, due to circumstances they change their destination and land on a planet with a mysterious survivor.
The first hour of Covenant is enthralling and Ridley Scott is at his very best. It has fantastic cinematography and sets a very tense feel that harks back to the original Alien film. Following the criticism of Prometheus the frights and monsters are back and are in superb form. However, the real stars of this film are Katherine Waterston and Michael Fassbender. Katherine in particular is a character that you can support and hope she survives the horrors that awaits the Covenant. She is able to show vulnerability and yet an inner strength that is a perfect in this role.
Fassbender gets the luxury of playing two roles. David and Walter. In these roles we see his ability to play different characters with different personality traits but he truly excels as the creepy and frightening David who has changed significantly since we last saw him in Prometheus.
This film is not just an Alien film that repeats the themes of the original, Aliens & Prometheus. It takes some of the fan favourtie themes from all these films and combinds them into it’s own terrifying journey. By doing this Ridley Scott is able to keep die hard fans of the original and also new fans from Prometheus happy.
As mentioned above the first hour of Covenant is spectacular and hard to improve on. However, the second half and final act of this film felt rushed. It loses that tension, suspense and intrigue of the first hour. I felt this film would have benefited from a longer run time so that the second half of the film can maintain its tension whilst also keeping some of the action and non stop thrills that this film has taken from Aliens.
The film sets up more sequels that will undoubtedly lead us to the beginning of Alien. What Ridley has managed in this film is to expand the Alien Universe and the xenomorphs creation whilst at the same time getting closer to their origin. Some fans will be unhappy with the route the film takes with their creation but following David’s arc we see that perphaps the Engineers did not even realise the power of the black goo. The film does not answer some questions that fans have been asking about since Prometheus but is a great step in the right direction.
I would rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. The first half of the film is magnificient but a rushed second half does not quite match the beginning of the film. However, Alien Covenant is easily one of the top three films in this franchise.
A further review looking in depth at this film and its themes this weekend.