Alien: Covenant Dir: Ridley Scott

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup 

Alien: Covenant is the much anticipated sequel to Prometheus. And I’m just going to say it. “I liked Prometheus”. I also really enjoyed the previous Alien films just to make that clear. A few of my friends are also Alien fans, and consider Prometheus to be the equivalent to ‘The Phantom Menace’ and have lost a little faith in Mr Scott. It’s very interesting, whenever I’ve met someone who is a huge fan of the Alien films they say they hate Prometheus. But when I’ve spoken to a general movie fan, they (for the most part) enjoyed it.

If you’re still reading. Well good. I know that earlier Prometheus comment may have turned some of you away. Hear me out.

Now if you’re someone who’s not fully up to date with the Alien saga. Check this clip out by the ‘Hybrid Network’. Their ’20 Things You Should Know Before Seeing Alien Covenant’ clip does a great job on filling you in. At the premiere, I didn’t actually met anyone that had seen the original Alien film in the last 5 years. So this video is good for almost everyone!

Firstly I’d like to acknowledge the viral marketing for this film. Just like Prometheus, it has been nothing but outstanding. If you’re deciding whether to check Covenant out, you need to see these two amazing pieces of viral marketing before you head to the cinema.


Both have been released by Fox, and both are brilliant. I’m wondering if the marketing people behind Deadpool were involved? So, back to Covenant. The hype was there, could the film live up to it?

The film opens up on a scene with android Walter (Michael Fassbender) and Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), and their exchange is brilliant. From the start the level of filmmaking is exceptional. The cinematography, acting, dialogue and absolutely everything blew me away. I sat in anticipation with my free M&M’s and popcorn and couldn’t wait to see the film unfold, and to be honest. I wasn’t disappointed.

This is why: Covenant feels like an Alien film, that’s right! It actually does. I honestly don’t think it’s because it’s the fan response to Prometheus. It feels like a sequel as well as a prequel, and it’s what it needs to be. It’s the perfect blend.

The film takes place a decade after Prometheus, and we pick up this journey with a space ship filled with couples heading for a new planet to colonise with the human race. Making the ship’s crew all couples was a brave move. Ultimately it helps add a little more emotional weight and context. It becomes a storytelling device that helps add jeopardy when the films needs it most. Knowing everyone on the ship has someone to lose makes for a more interesting watch.

Our mixed-bag of Colonists come across a distress call in deep space and have to make a decision. Travel for another 7 years to get to their original destination, or follow the distress call? They do the latter and upon arriving, they discover a Earth-like planet with human vegetation and seemingly no life. Until they discover David (Michael Fassbender). This is where the momentum kicks in.

The first hour is particularly good. Exposition and story unfolds in a non-cheesy way. The performances are constantly solid, and oh man there’s action, lots of it. For those hardcore Alien fans, there’s a lot you will like. Trust me. Katherine Waterston is a compelling lead, Billy Crudup is a conflicted man of God and everyone is written in an interesting meaningful way. Its good to know that Danny McBride isn’t just comedic relief, he gets a chance to shine and we really get to see the depth of his character.

The story discusses ‘creation’ (hence the name Prometheus) in a refreshing manner. Mankind (in the film) is somewhat obsessed with working out where we are from. Why do we exist? Who created us? The screenwriting involves this in an even smarter way. Having two androids in the film, essentially ‘human creation’s’ involved in an integral way is brilliant. We’re trying to find our creator while on a journey to create life, while our synthetic/robotic creations have their own stories and goals in the film. Very intelligent writing.

To be honest. This film is even better than I thought it would be. ‘But’. Yep there’s a but. The ‘Engineers’ in this film are actually rather intriguing and I wanted more of them. I wanted to understand them, why did they create us? And by the end of the film I was more interested by them than the actual Alien creatures that we fell in love with so long ago.

In saying that, I can’t wait for the next installment within this franchise. There’s some rumours that there will be an Alien film every year from now on, and they are going to release comic books and novels and create an expanded universe. Essentially what that means is that if someone dies in the novels, they remain dead in the films. Everything will be connected. Somewhat like the Star Wars canon. Right now, I can’t see how this formula is sustainable. Ultimately the franchise is built on people in space who are attacked by Aliens. How many times can you do this without it getting old? I want it to work, just can’t see how right now…

Just lastly. There’s been rumours of Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) directing Alien 5. Now, if you’re not up to play with it, in 2015 conceptual art work that Blomkamp had put together got released online. The internet went insane and for a while it looked likely that he was going to be directing the film. Even James Cameron came forward and said that he should be doing it. He officially said “Neil’s script is gangbusters’. Now anyone that can get James Cameron to say ‘gangbusters’ must be onto something.

Would a Blomkamp Alien film be something you would like to see? I would pay or that ticket, even before I saw the trailer, I know I’m in.

So to sum up, the film is great. So good in fact that I’m going to watch it again! See you at the movies!

Allan George