For those keeping score, I was not one of the people who hated Prometheus, in fact, I rather liked it a lot. Anytime a film delves into the mythology of a storied franchise there’s always a risk to alienate parts of a fan base, but what I thought director Ridley Scott set out to achieve was something bigger, he was trying to expand the mythology in ways that transformed the way you looked at his original films and therein lies the dilemma. Alien: Covenant looks to continue that mythological backstory and add another piece in to the Alien franchise puzzle.
It’s the year 2104, the crew of the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with thousands of colonists in stow. All are deep in hypersleep being watched over by Walter (Michael Fassbender), a synthetic charged with piloting the ship during travel. When an unexpected burst hits the ship, the crew are awoken to assess the damage and help reset the ship for the rest of it’s journey. During the repairs, they intercept a human radio transmission from a nearby unknown planet and acting crew chief Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup) makes the call to set a course for the planet. Daniels (Katherine Waterston) exercises her opinion as first mate against the move, electing to continue on to Origae-6, but reluctantly agrees to be part of a landing party to inspect the planet.
Upon landing, the team splits off to explore the new world while the core team searches for the signal to the transmission. Ultimately, they track the signal to a crashed Engineer ship and more questions than answers. Two crew members are mysteriously infected with an alien spore and the team is forced to defend itself against the unknown foe. Unable to contact the Covenant, Daniels and the remaining survivors must rely on the help of a stranger to lead them to safety and help them understand the impending threat. What will be unearthed will be like nothing this crew has ever faced. One thing’s for sure, for Daniels, the protection of the Covenant and its passengers must be protected at all cost.
Ridley Scott’s vision for the Alien franchise has turned a necessary corner here in Alien: Covenant. The film that bridges the gap between Prometheus and what’s to come in the original film is shocking in it’s telling, it’ll take some time to process, but it will leave you with anticipation for the next chapter in this saga. Michael Fassbender is chilling in his duel roles. He has morphed from secondary character into the true face of the prequel franchise. Katherine Waterston is tremendous as the reluctant heroine and provides a compelling, emotional story arc. Waterston’s rational portrayal provides remnants of Ripley but not overpowering to the point of redundancy.
Overall, Alien: Covenant is slow out of the gate, but gets moving pretty fast. A lot more action and gore this time around, electing for more shock than story. It’ll be a film that Alien fans will be debating for quite some time.
3 out of 5
After credit scene?