Alien is one of the few movies that actually warrant a franchise because of its timeline, premise, and underlying themes. Unfortunately, this is no guarantee that the franchise will give us something spectacular with every reiteration.
In fairness, Alien: Covenant offers the same winning elements that have made its predecessor an iconic film – a badass lead heroine, nightmare-inducing births, ferocious extraterrestrial crustaceans, a doomed crew, and captivating visuals.
Cinematography, lighting, production design, and musical score all work together in creating a foreboding atmosphere and detailed worldbuilding. In space, the Covenant glides as a score of horns plays in the background. On the ground, you have gorgeous character lit scenes with detailed set pieces. The movie does not solely rely on digital visual effects as animatronics was used in its action sequences.
As a result, you know where the story is going but it still looks interesting enough to watch.
Micheal Fassbender returns as two similar but different synthetic. The movie makes the same conclusions like any other sci-fi when robots emulate their creators, but Fassbender delivers a nuanced performance that he’s actually scarier than the aliens. The rest of the crew did well, even though they had little to work with.
All of this will surely satisfy new audiences who know little about the franchise. But for fans who want something new or finally get some clues as to what the hell Prometheus was really about will be disappointed.
Prometheus – even though it’s a frustrating movie – posited an intriguing idea in the form of The Engineers. While mankind’s extraterrestrial origin is not a new concept it could still take the franchise into a new direction. Unfortunately Alien: Covenant has no intention of breaking new ground.
The new cast is underused. It’s easy to see that Oram’s religious beliefs are in conflict with David’s view of creation. It’s interesting to know what both think about the gay couple among the colonizers. But the movie has no time for any new ideas.
There are a variety of aliens here, but the movie throws whatever form is convenient for the plot.
In the end, well you know how it goes. More installments are to be made as the important questions are left floating in the air.
Alien: Covenant offers the same old scares of claustrophobic horror and close quarters alien terror. Ridley Scott recycles old scares and it still works. If you just wanna see some aliens bust through bodies, Alien: Covenant is still enjoyable enough.
Otherwise, it’s still the same old story. If you’re thinking that Prometheus’ ambitions are headed for something new, be prepared for a trip back to memory lane.
Alien: Covenant recycles old scares and offers no new insights to a much more interesting piece of the puzzle laid out by its predecessor.