Alien: Covenant follows the crew of a ship called the Covenant headed to Origae-6 on a colonization mission. The ship is carrying around two-thousand colonists and a thousand embryos on-board and the synthetic Walter (Michael Fassbender). A tragic accident strikes the ship, causing damage to the ship and killing their captain. While repairing the damage a crew member picks up a message from another planet that happens to be a closer and maybe even more habitable for them than Origae-6. The acting captain Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup) decides to take the chance to check out the new planet while Daniels (Katherine Waterston) the wife of the now dead captain vehemently disagrees with the decision. When the crew arrives on the planet, they shortly come in contact with the dangers that inhabit the planet brought there by another synthetic named David (Fassbender).
This film truly gets back to the roots of the original 1979 Alien. The gruesome scenes of horror, the slow build up to action and even the score of the original is used at times. Like most Ridley Scott sci-fi films it is gorgeous looking. Whether green screen or on location, there are so many beautiful shots in the film. All of the acting is top-notch. Waterson is great as Daniels, a tough Ripley-like woman. She even has a couple of lines in the film that are so reminiscent of Ripley. Danny McBride is fantastic as Tennessee, the chief pilot of the Covenant. He not only works in his few comical moments, but also succeeds in more emotional parts of the film. The true standout here though is Fassbender as both Walter and David. Every scene with those two in it is remarkable. He brings to life a sinister villain in David, but also plays the complete opposite character in Walter. He gives a truly masterful performance through the entire film and is deserving of an Oscar nomination. He is arguably the best part of the film.
The visual effects of the film look amazing including the two creatures. The new type of alien called the Neomorph looked well. The creature is basically a less developed version of the original alien. The Xenomorph gloriously returns in a truly terrifying and intimidating fashion. The CGI Xenomorph didn’t disappoint in any way and brought the creature to life in a way audiences haven’t seen yet. The best the Xenomorph has looked since the two original films.
The film isn’t perfect, mostly suffering from what a lot of films deal with trying to fit so much into two-hours. The film juggles explaining the happenings after Prometheus while building to the return of the Xenomorph, but comes through with an exhilarating last 30-minutes. Most of the characters felt disposable and some could have been explored more, including Daniels and Oram. Despite the minor flaws, the film does a terrific job of bringing the Alien franchise back to its root and provides something different to the summer movie season.
Written by: James Howey