review Bobby Blakey
In 1979 director Ridley Scott unleashed his science fiction horror classic Alien and terrified audiences like never before. The film and the imagery became iconic to fans around the world spawning numerous sequels before Scott returned for his 2012 film Prometheus. While saying this was not a sequel or prequel to the Alien series, but set in the same universe it became pretty clear that it was connected way more than Scott let on. Now he is returning to the famed franchise with his latest entry Alien: Covenant starring Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce returning from Prometheus and new cast including Katherine Waterson, James Franco, Billy Crudup, Damian Bichir and Danny McBride, but does the film offer up anything to help the film stand out in the franchise or will it fail to hatch anything new?
Alien: Covenant follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. I know Prometheus was met with mixed results, but I for one enjoyed it for what it was and what Scott was doing with the story. I am so glad that he has turned the corner and stated that these new films are all an actual prequel story that will lead directly into the original masterpiece. This new film offers up something a bit closer to the original film while still trying to maintain the mythology they set up in Prometheus. This story jumps ahead in the story to follow this all-new crew of the Covenant, but have no fear the story of David and Shaw is far from over. The first half of the film is a bit slow, but to me in a way that resembles the original. Some may not get that same feeling and just get annoyed while others will like seeing these characters being introduced in this way, but you can rest assured that it does not stay that way for long.
Once they hit the planet they are diverted due to circumstances then it goes all in to a full blown alien horror feature. There are plenty of kills and blood for the fans and the things the aliens due this time around are a bit different than what you have seen in the past, but also showcase many classic elements and things that old school fans will love. The true pleasure for me was seeing the journey of David go in this interesting direction. While this is very much an alien film, this is all about David’s journey that began in Prometheus and is driving towards Alien itself. I loved seeing these aliens and the varying styles they went with the designs while never fully changing anything. The cast all did a great job with bringing their characters to life with Danny McBride offering up his usual persona, but toned down and getting the chance to stretch his dramatic muscles more than he ever has.
Waterson makes for a great heroine here while having with a wide range of emotions from fear to sadness. She steps it up and never fully can be Ripley, but is still a strong female character to lead the charge. Billy Crudup steps into the unexpected leader role of the crew and has to manage the insanity around them and serves as a major development in the history of this new story in the best way possible. All of your love for this film will clearly be dependent on your passion for both Alien and Prometheus. For those that may not have enjoyed Prometheus may be swayed to what the film was trying to do with this entry, but it could go either way.
This latest entry into this prequel to this iconic franchise sets up something more questions and obviously another film should this one deliver the numbers they are hoping for. It will be interesting to see what fans think of the film, but I for one am looking forward to seeing it again.