Movie Reviews

“Alien: Covenant” Chills While It Thrills


Review overview

Review 6


6 tech score

“Alien: Covenant” (20th Century Fox)

Thirty eight years ago a film franchise was launched. “Alien” was released and the sci-fi world was jolted into a new era of man vs monster. Sigourney Weaver became a super woman of sorts as Ripley, a gun toting, monster slaying heroine. Sequels ensued. Then in 2012 a prequel was released titled “Prometheus” which told part of the story leading up to the events revealed in “Alien”. And now we have “Alien: Covenant” which is a sequel to the prequel. Still with me?

At the start of the film we are introduced to “David”, a synthetic android created to help his creator find out how the world came to be created. David was in “Prometheus” and returns for this film. Also in this film is Walter, a newer made android who is working with the crew of the ship “Covenant”, which is on a mission to a distant planet. The ship carries colonists and embryos that will continue humanity on that new planet.

But as the movie begins there is an “occurrence” that threatens the survival of the ship. This requires Walter to wake the crew to begin repairs of the ship. This is when we meet the “new” Captain (Billy Crudup) and members of his crew such as Branson (Katherine Waterston) and Tennessee (Danny McBride).

Waterston’s role is similar to Weaver’s in the original film, but with less grit and gusto. She comes across as more of a victim in this movie and Ripley was never a victim. To be fair Branson does not have as many scenes as Ripley had in “Alien” and therefore we do not get to understand her character as completely.

The central focus of the film is on Fassbender as he plays his dual roles. Both the characters pf Walter and David are emotionless and remote (they are androids!). To see Fassbender making the two characters distinct is a study in subtle gesturing. With the turn of a stare he can say words about what his character is doing or thinking.

The movie, as directed by Ridley Scott, has a coldness to it, a dampness that chills the body and the spirit. Most of the scenes are dark and bleak in look and in scope. The humans have to fight the aliens and also keep an eye on the androids around them. These situations of jeopardy make for the tension in the script.

The movie is rated R for profanity, violence and brief nudity.

“Alien: Covenant” does not break any new ground in this series but it does manage to maintain the chilling atmosphere of the other movies. That in and of itself is quite a feat, and a complement to the director and his cast. All of this is from the perspective of someone who has not studied the “Alien” series. Those who have probably got secret signals sent to them from the script. All of that was wasted on me. I was just a person watching a movie and in that sense I was entertained.

I scored “Alien: Covenant” a promised 6 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper –

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