Scream. Run. Hide. Pray. Director Ridley Scott takes us back to the terrifying sci-fi world of the Alien franchise with Alien Covenant. This film serves as a sequel to the more philosophical 2012’s Prometheus, but attempts to focuses more on the horror elements introduced in the original 1979 film.
We are quickly introduced to the men and women of the spaceship Covenant who are on a mission to colonize an earth-like planet. They soon discover a paradise full of dark secrets that threatens their existence.
Alien Covenant doesn’t disappoint in terms of bloody displays of horrific carnage. We get to see the infamous xenomorph alien lay waste to its victims in spectacular fashion. The rabid alien predators devour everything in thier path as expected. Michael Fassbender does great work here portraying two androids with opposing views. Katherine Waterston also turns in an able performance as the films main hero. Ridley Scott shows that he’s still a master of making suspenseful scenes leap off the screen. Notably, his limited use of the shaky camera technique is effective in eliciting tension in certain moments. From a technical standpoint this film hits all of the right notes.
It’s some of the story elements that makes Alien Covenant a frustrating watch. In essence, this is like watching two different films that don’t quite go together. In the first half of this film we get more of the questions and philosophy that was the foundation of Prometheus. The origin of man and the power of his creations are themes that are explored in the very first scene. The last half of the film then devolves into an entertaining but typical sequences of horror movie cliches with a predictable ending. Depending on your taste, you may like the last half better than the first and vice versa.
Some of the best sci-fi films tend to pose questions about the nature of humanity and the future of our world. Alien Covenant appears to be going in that direction but seems to abandon those elements by the last half of the film and it leaves lots of questions unanswered. By the end of the film we get a bloodbath of victims that we barely knew and thier deaths by the xenomorph have little emotional impact.
Alien Covenant is still worth viewing for its striking cinematic moments. Ridley Scott is still in top form as a director and perhaps more questions will be asked and answered in the next planned film in the franchise.