A pristinely made film that, whilst muddling in tone, is a worthy entry into the Alien franchise.
Sometime after the release of Prometheus in 2012, director Ridley Scott promised answers in an upcoming sequel. Now, five years later, answers have arrived in the excellently made Alien: Covenant, which attempts to return the long-running sci-fi series to its horror roots.
The film follows the crew of the space ship Covenant, a colonisation vessel on a mission to set up a new world for humans. After intercepting and following a distress call, however, the Covenant is diverted to a previously uncharted nearby habitable planet. Hoping to shorten the mission and set up a colony on this world, the crew instead stumble upon a new terror that threatens the life of everyone on board.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that Alien: Covenant is an exceptionally well-made film. Ridley Scott has gained a reputation for his precise attention to detail in his films over the years and Covenant proves to be no different with an authentic feeling world and some stunning cinematography.
Covenant brings back the horror, as well as the terrifying Xenomorph, but this is not always a good thing. Although the more intense sequences are effective by themselves, Covenant suffers getting caught between being an Alien prequel and a Prometheus sequel. The continuation of some of the events from Prometheus make up the bulk of the plot, but then towards the end, we follow a more horror-focused, Alien-like structure. This leaves some parts feeling tonally off.
Covenant is made up of an impressive cast, all of whom perform well in their respective roles. Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup, as Daniels and Oram respectively, are the best of the Covenant’s crew, with Danny McBride also being surprisingly good. Michael Fassbender is by far the standout performer though, stealing every scene he’s in with his dual roles of the unsettling androids David and Walter.
Overall, despite tonal issues hindering it at times, Alien: Covenant is a very well made film and marks another solid entry into the long running franchise.
Alien: Covenant, directed by Ridley Scott, is released on Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK through 20th Century Fox on the 18th September, Certificate 15