Movie Review: Alien: Covenant

If you need a quick refresher, Alien: Covenant (2017) is the sequel to the Alien (1979) prequel Prometheus (2012), Ridley Scott’s (Director) “Alien: Covenant” is set ten years after the events of “Prometheus” and is a direct sequel to it, bridging the gap between that film and the original “Alien.” With 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, Alien: Covenant stole the box office this weekend bringing in 46.7 million dollars. And here's why.

The Background.

The story kicks off with an accident on board the Covenant, a colony ship headed for a paradise planet. The chosen captain, Jacob Branson, (played by James Franco) who dies in hypersleep, leaving behind a grieving wife Daniels (played by Katherine Waterston), a weak second-in-command named Oram (Billy Crudup) who’s now unfortunately seated in the captain’s chair, and 2000 still-sleeping colonists and frozen embryos. Fassbender, who played the android David in “Prometheus,” is on board the Covenant playing Walter, a next generation version of the character whose emotions and personality have been dialed back a bit. The awakened crew members are shaken, demoralized and still far from their destination, so when they hear a distress signal coming from a nearby planet that seems habitable, they decide to take a leap of faith and head there rather than go back into hypersleep and risk death again. And they all live happily ever after in a land of rainbows and unicorns. Just kidding! They end up trapped on a rainy planet filled with creatures that want to eat or impregnate them.

Is Alien: Covenant better than Prometheus? To answer your question: yes. 

Yes, it delivers a fair amount of classic xenomorph (alien) action. Yes, it is violent to a degree I would characterize as "gory". Yes, it is worthy - worthy of the franchise and the fanbase. Regardless of what some may tell you, yes: Alien: Covenant is good if you go in with the expectation of your watching to see Aliens tearing people apart. The end.

But is Alien: Covenant right for you?

Let it be known that I'll be skipping most of the plot here. If you've seen an Alien movie before, you already know the gist - crew gets a distress signal, crew gets curious, crew immediately realizes the mistake they've made upon encountering some exceptionally unfriendly life forms, blah, blah, blah, who will survive and what will be left of them? The difference this time around is that David (Michael Fassbender), the AI synthetic who just could not stop messing with things in Prometheus, is this story's central figure, and all of his really big scenes are played against ... himself. 

That'd be Walter (also Fassbender), an android who - unlike his previous model counterpart - does not have the ability to create. The surface level struggle in Alien: Covenant involves yet another doomed crew trying to extricate themselves from the horrific situation they've put themselves in, but the real struggle comes down to the differences between Walter and David. These two has some crazy scenes that Alien: Covenant has to offer, and these scenes are just very weird. There's an extended sequence wherein David teaches Walter to play a recorder, and it's just so strange, but I couldn't take my eyes off it. If you can deal with some weird scenes than you can handle Alien: Covenant.

Covenant' Is Bloody, Like An 'Alien' Movie Should Be

Still, in an effort to make "Alien" fans happy, Scott has returned the series to its horror-movie roots, bringing in a lot of gory death scenes as four aliens body-snatch and otherwise terrorize the crew. By now, though, audiences are so familiar with how this species reproduces that there's not much surprise between the point of infection (whether by microscopic spores or old-fashioned face hugging) and the moment that an alien baby bursts out of the host's chest. In the world of "Alien," humans don't recover from these close encounters; once someone catches the virus, he or she is already a goner.

All in all, then, Alien: Covenant is just as you would think it should be – bloody and gory. I'm not convinced it will be an Alien movie for every Alien fan, but to me, it helped answer some of the questions that left me hanging in the movie Prometheus. I can't wait to see where the Director will take us next in the next film since we are left with a cliffhanger at the end of the movie and I can only hope that it's as satisfying as the journey he takes us on in Alien: Covenant.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

If you have seen it, let me know what your thoughts are. Have a great week! -xo Mel