Film Review: Alien: Covenant (2017).

© 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ – 3/5.

Author: Feargal Agard | Runtime: 122 min. | Director: Ridley Scott | Year: 2017.

Finally, actual alien xenomorphs! I had been awaiting this film for such a long time. I have been mesmerized with the mystery behind the engineers and the almost mythical insinuation that they have created the xenomorphs. And I desperately wanted to get answers on the big questions that had been posited in the previous film, Prometheus.

Alien: Covenant is the sequel of the film Prometheus (2012) which is the prequel to the original Alien (1979) film that starred Sigourney Weaver. In this film we meet the crew and people of one of earth’s colonization ships, called the Covenant. The ship harbors 2000 colonists and about 500 embryos. When their ship is in danger, Walter (Michael Fassbender) a human-like cyborg, decides to awaken the main crew, which includes Daniels (Katherine Waterston) to save the ship and to carry out reparations. When they receive a distress call and scan the solar system where it came from, they discover a habitable planet that they hadn’t seen before. They decide to check it out to possibly colonize the planet afterwards. When they arrive they meet, another human-like cyborg and last survivor from the Prometheus; David. The planet seems fit for colonization, but they quickly notice that there is something strange about this planet. They hear no birds, see no animals all the Humanoids in the capital city are dead and above all that they become sick and creepy alien creatures begin to attack them. Will they survive and continue their way to their original destination or will they never find a way to their new home?

–> !!!Please skip the following paragraph if you haven’t seen Prometheus!!! <–

Alien: Covenant was directed by Ridley Scott who started the Alien Franchise. The screenplay was written by John Logan and Dante Harper. The film Prometheus made a lot of people excited, but it also disappointed many. To make a long story short, the alien xenomorphs are a big part of the Alien world, if you hardly see them it’s not strange that audiences become disappointed. Of course there are many other reasons why people were disappointed with the film or even excited with it. Prometheus presented alien engineers as the possible creators of humankind on earth, but we also discovered that there is a connection between the alien xenomorphs and the engineers. All of this and more raised a lot confusion, but also questions. To many of us Alien: Covenant represents the film that will give answers to the questions raised in Prometheus. But I will be honest, that is not really what this film does. For the ones who aren’t up dated with the latest news to be found on the internet. It appears that Ridley Scott is planning to make about multiple films. Therefore it could take a while before we gain all the answers. You could feel inclined to say, “well, if I am not getting the answers that I expected, why should I watch this film?” If you want to see the xenomorphs, glimpses of a few answers and Michael Fassbender’s character performance. Then you should definitely watch the film and stay updated for the next film. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir.

The acting performances were satisfying to a certain degree. Michael Fassbender’s performance is magnificent, as expected and I’m used to see these perfected performances coming from him. Ironically, he is stealing the show while the Alien films are supposed to be about the female lead character, because that is the tone that this film franchise has established ever since the first film where we’ve seen Sigourney Weaver set an amazingly high standard. Even Noomi Rapace marked Prometheus as a film about a persistent and strong woman, but unfortunately this is not the case with Katherine Waterston. I know that everyone will say that it was mostly her not so present performance, but I do want to say that I believe it is mostly, because she was not even given the space to take over. It never felt like the film was about her, because we are immediately presented with Walter and later on David. When she is introduced she is not set apart from her crew she is just a part of the crew. It just wasn’t her p.o.v. that we were connecting to and next to that there weren’t many scenes to see her in. So how can we even see a strong performance coming from her? Even though we cannot expect any actress to be the next Sigourney Weaver, Daniels could have had a better presence in the film. Next to that I felt that we were never given the chance to connect to the entire crew, they are just there to be killed.

The camerawork, the cinematography and the mise-en-scene were on point! There are beautiful and stunning shots of landscapes, nature, space and even a grandiose city. The special effects were powerful and strong and fitting for the film and its huge space theme. It was amazing to see the ‘original’ alien xenomorph although I wished they could have used them to build a lot more suspense throughout the film, especially since they were killed too quickly. Besides that they introduced these new white-colored creepy xenomorphs (a.k.a Neomorphs), which was an interesting sight to see. I did miss the mystery that they brought up in Prometheus surrounding the alien engineers. I also missed the alien engineers themselves. They briefly showed other humanoid beings (why are almost all of them male?), but they did not really look like the engineer species, which led me to think that this might not even be their home world. Maybe it is just another planet they seeded? Apart from that I remember pretty unique music in Prometheus, but in this film I felt that the music was more like in films that I’ve seen before. Not bad music at all, just not how they made something different in Prometheus. Lastly, the suspense was kind of gone at the end of the film. It really had me in the beginning and it should have stayed as strong as it was in the beginning.

I am personally not really satisfied with the film. It is mostly because I had specific expectations and I wanted answers. Next to that I felt the film was kind of predictable. I could quickly figure out in which direction things would go. And if I think of Alien, Prometheus and compare it to Alien: Covenant. It feels like he started to create some sort of new generation, but with this film he goes into another direction again. It can be quiet confusing. But if you go in with a fresh mind and no expectations (To the fans, if you stop expecting this film to be very similar to the original Alien film) you can definitely enjoy this. It still remains to be a great blockbuster spectacle to watch.

In Dutch theatres as from the 18th of May 2017.

Genre: Horror, Sci-fi, thriller | Language: English | Dutch Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures International Holland

In regard of all pictures and trailer footage: © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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