A sequel to a prequel but still a prequel to the first film in the franchise – Alien seems to be going the same direction as Star Wars.
Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien: Covenant is the sequel to Prometheus. Looking to see more of the Engineers? You can forget about it, we see them for less than a minute and then they’re all dead. Covenant is about the evolution of the Xenomorph, from the Trilobite and Deacon we saw in Prometheus to the Bloodburster and Neomorph, over to (what appears to be) the first true Xenomorph.
Some of you may be thinking: “What is the trilobite?” and “What the hell is a deacon?”. Remember the alien in Prometheus? Little thing with a second jaw and a pointed skull? That’s a Deacon. The Trilobite is that tentacled monster that was growing inside of Elizabeth, an earlier incarnation of the Facehugger; the Deacon is basically a Chestburster.
The film itself takes place ten years after Prometheus, the Covenant is a colony ship, carrying over two thousand colonists (all in hypersleep). A random solar flare damages parts of the ship, forcing the onboard android, Walter, to wake up the crew and begin repairs. They scan the nearby star systems to find the cause of the flare, instead finding a perfectly habitable planet which is much closer to the one they were originally on course for. A few of the crew members get infected by our wondrous pathogen and all hell breaks loose.
Alien: Covenant was interesting, to say the least, but it wasn’t a horror movie, a genre I wish the franchise would return to – let’s be honest, it stopped being a horror franchise after Aliens. A little bit of gore, some guts on the floor, a decapitated head and a jump scare or two later, I left the cinema feeling more than just a little disappointed.
David is back and… well to say anything about him would give away literally the entire plot so I’ll just stop right there.
The cinematography was pretty good, could have been better but the camerawork for each scene fitted each, well, scene. I didn’t pay much attention to the musical score, was a little too focused on the gigantic pathogens running around, but I get the feeling it won’t be getting any awards anytime soon.
Between the characters, I found the interplay between the crew members to be interesting, considering each was in a relationship with another crew member and that the captain dies at the start of the film, sending a group of friends who have to work together into disarray. Then there is the interaction between David and Walter, both are androids, they look the same; one is convinced that he has emotions and the other just wants to serve his crew as he was programmed to; then there is the fact that Walter is effectively a better version of David, something that comes into play later in the film.
The biggest problem that Alien: Covenant faces is that we see too much of each alien, there isn’t much mystery because everything is explained to us by the end of the first hour of the film.
Although the twist at the end was perfect, I’d love to see how that plays out in another sequel/prequel-thingy.
Image courtesy of the AvP Wikia.