A review of the new sci-fi movie “Alien: Covenant”

“Alien” (1979) and “Aliens” (1986) were absolute classics that set the bar impossibly high for any further sequels – but the sequels keep on coming. “Alien 3” (1992) was disappointing and “Alien Resurrection” (1997) rather good. Then came “Prometheus” (2012) with the return of original director Ridley Scott. This was not as scary as the original or as exciting as the first sequel but it represented a genuine development of the narrative in its almost philosophical approach.

Now Scott (approaching 80) is back with a work, set a decade after “Prometheues”, which is not classic but certainly entertaining and moderately scary.

Visually “Convenant” is trademark Scott with wonderfully atmospheric sets. There are plenty of aliens in different forms emerging from different parts of different bodies and we are introduced to the Neomorph. And there are some good action sequences especially as the transporter is leaving the planet (actually Milford Sound in New Zealand which I have visited). A weakness is the cast: there are too many – 15 (compared to seven plus a cat first time round), mostly married couples – so that we do not get to know many of the characters sufficiently to care that much about whether they live or die.

The exceptions are Daniels (Katherine Waterston) – who has the now traditional kick-ass female role – and the two synthetics, David and Walter, both played by Michael Fassbender who rather steals the show.


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