Alien: Covenant is a science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and stars Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Michael Fassbender. This film serves as a sequel to Prometheus and as a prequel to Alien. It is the sixth instalment in the Alien franchise. The story follows the crew of the Covenant in the year 2104 who are embarking on a colonising expedition to Origae-6. Yet, they find a different planet which seems ripe for colonisation. However, they find David (Michael Fassbender), the android from Prometheus, who is the sole inhabitant of a world which is not the uncharted paradise the crew hoped it would be.
My Knowledge and Expectation of Alien: Covenant
I would be lying if I said that I was expecting Alien: Covenant to be good. Honestly, Prometheus was a huge disappoint for me and, even after The Martian, I did not have confidence in Ridley Scott to recapture the quality of Alien. As I said in my review of Get Out, horror is not my favourite genre of film but I make exceptions. Alien and Aliens are exceptions. These are two films which I hold in high regard.
Yet, they are the only films that I like in this franchise. I do not like Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection is terrible and Prometheus was a very underwhelming film which did not feel like it belonged in the franchise. Consequently, I had no idea what to expect from Alien: Covenant. Still, I wanted to see what this film would be like and, at the very least, I expected some good performances from the likes of Michael Fassbender and Billy Crudup who are very talented actors.
My Thoughts on Alien: Covenant
Alien: Covenant has its flaws but, overall, it is a good film and a considerable improvement over Prometheus. One of the elements of the film that worked for me was the ensemble cast. All of them give good performances with Michael Fassbender probably standing out the most. This was simply because he played two different characters in David and Walter. He excelled in both roles though Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride were good too.
The cinematography in Alien: Covenant was stunning. Indeed, every Ridley Scott film is beautiful to look at and he continues that trait in this film. Yet, the thing that impressed me most in the way Scott directed and shot this film was the fact that Alien: Covenant has a gritty feel. This was something that Prometheus lacked. That film felt too clean and pristine but Ridley Scott remedies this in Alien: Covenant. The aesthetic felt more like Alien and Aliens and it was little things such as the lighting and the characters sweating which helped the film succeed in this regard.
The Flaws of Alien: Covenant
Still, why Alien: Covenant succeeds on some levels, it fails on others. It has flaws. For instance, this film has severe pacing issues. The first act was unnecessarily slow while the final 10-15 minutes felt too fast. Indeed, the last moments of the film were an homage to Alien. However, Alien was patient and suspenseful. The homage to this film in Alien: Covenant felt rushed and, to be honest, a bit convenient and easy. Alien was neither of these things.
Alien: Covenant also feels like two films meshed together and the blend is not smooth. Obviously, the film is designed to be a bridge between Prometheus and Alien but it could have done a better job at being this. Additionally, some of the dialogue in the film is a bit stiff and the ending is very predictable. Despite this, I want to see more after seeing this film which is more than I could say after I watched Prometheus. Alien: Covenant does not reach the same levels as Alien or Aliens but there are enough things in the film to make it good, worth your time and one of the better entries in this franchise.