Paul Barclay

Alien Covenant – Review

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Prequels can be a tricky business. On one hand, you could get something the quality of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly or you could get something far worse, such as Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace. This is the issue that 2012 release Prometheus had. As a prequel to the classic Alien, audiences had conceptions of what to expect, which for the most part were not delivered. The main of these was that there was no Xenomorph creature. But, Alien Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus, does bring the monsters. But is it a better film?

Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien Covenant happens 10 years after the events of Prometheus and acts as another prequel to Alien. In this, a craft carry over 2000 colonists and being crewed by 15 people receive a strange message from a nearby planet while they are travelling to their new world which they plan to colonize. Once they have landed on this unknown world, all types of horrors begin to unfold.

Firstly, Alien Covenant is, despite some flaws, a better movie than Prometheus. It does not suffer from the same level of almost pompous grandeur that Prometheus did. It has the aim of expanding the story of the Alien universe while still creating more questions. As said, it does have it’s flaws. Some of the dialogue is very clunky and relies a little too much on exposition. With a visual medium, it is important to show, not tell. Also, some characters are not the brightest at times, but not to the level of the brain-crushing stupidity that some of the Prometheus characters suffered from.

It is impossible to talk about this film without talking about Michael Fassbender. Playing two roles, as the synthetics Walter and David, Fassbender carries the entire movie. He is incredible in both roles. His performances create a very real sense of unease. Also, special mention to Danny McBride. Known as a comic actor, his performance as whiskey-drinking pilot Tennessee is very strong. Not all performances however are great. Katherine Waterstone, who plays lead role Daniels is a little weak and fell a bit flat

Finally, the creatures. We get some of the classics, such as the Xenomorph, the eggs and the Facehuggers, but we also see new monsters, such as the all white Neomorph, as it seems to have been named. After being so hurt by the Alien Vs Predator films, it is great to have them back as killing machines without conscience or motive. They live to kill.

Alien Covenant is a great film and well worthy of bearing the name Alien. A better movie than Prometheus but not as good as Alien, it feels right at home in the franchise.

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