Alien Covenant is a new film from director Ridley Scott who some may know for his work on other films in the Alien franchise, such as Prometheus and the original Alien film in 1979, This film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollet, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England and Benjamin Rigby.
As a viewer going into this film, I had a certain idea of what to expect having seen Prometheus a few years ago, however, having not seen that film since, I’ve forgotten probably a lot of important points from it. If you’re a casual viewer of Alien films, such as myself, who has watched them, enjoyed them, but can’t remember Prometheus too well, I’d recommend re-watching it. While I was in the cinema watching Alien Covenant, it was obvious to me that it was pretty much a direct continuation of the story in Prometheus, of course, you don’t need to re-watch it, but it’ll probably help you out a bit.
Basically what’s going in this one is that a crew who are basically colonists are on their way to a planet, then suddenly, their ship picks up a signal, it’s weak, but still they pick it up. At this point in time, they decide to ditch their colonist mission and fly towards the dodgy signal which takes them to the planet where the events of Prometheus took place. The place is of course dangerous and is filled with Aliens lurking about and we go from there with a survival tale.
For everything that Alien Covenant is, the plot is nicely done. But my only criticism of the film as a whole. Is that it’s a bit slow, pacing is very, very slow. It takes characters a long time to get to that planet and even explore it and honestly it’s a good chunk of the screen time. Sure there’s some story in there, but actually not too much. I suppose the director was slowly trying to lure us into a world where things are unknown, but as a viewer who has been exposed to multiple Alien films, I know what’s out there, I know what the Alien can do, I’ve seen it a few times now. So the scary reveals, while good, aren’t as surprising to me.
One thing that I do like about the plot, slowness aside. Was that as a film in the franchise, there’s a lot in this one to help expand the lore of the Alien universe. As a person who is interested in the lore of a variety of franchises, I always like to see some additions to one, no matter what universe. I won’t go in and spoil anything, but for fans, there’s a lot in here for them to discuss and a lot of interesting plot points to debate about, I love that type of thing in a film franchise.
One of the things that I did really enjoy in the film was Michael Fassbender’s character, David. David is basically an AI with some very human characteristics. But at the same time, he’s very robotic and gazes and stands around in a eerie way. The character is very creepy and I found him to be more discomforting than the actual aliens. It’s a very interesting addition to the film and I felt that it really elevated the experience with a bit of mystery.
My favourite thing about the film was the special effects. I loved the look of the Aliens and adored the designs of the ships. The outer space scenes are very impressive on the cinema screen. From the gory Alien attacks to the explosions and gunfire, all of the effects are top quality. The music is very eerie and while it is a bit slow paced, the sounds really amplify the film’s tone.
Overall Alien Covenant is a decent film experience with nice special effects. It’s also got a story set in an interesting world with one of the most famous Alien monsters in cinema history. It is however a little slow at times, especially in the beginning with things taking a long time to get going. It was Michael Fassbender’s role as an AI that to me was the most interesting. It gives us all the question of can we really trust an AI that has the ability to think for itself or is it just as dangerous as the Alien or the other humans? The character is very unsettling and the film’s tone really did amplify that as things went on. If you like the Alien franchise, you’ll want to watch this, just keep in mind, even if you haven’t seen any of the films, it is a bit slow paced. But still okay and still watchable.