Thanks to 20th Century Fox we had the chance to see Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant at its Australian Cast & Crew premiere. This is our review, but as usual, we suggest you to go and check the film, because there is no better critic than yourself!
10 years after the events of Prometheus, a new exploration mission is sent into space to seek a planet capable of sustaining a human colony. Things go wrong when the ship (The Covenant) is damaged, interrupting the hibernation of its crew and killing the captain.
To make matters worse, the remaining crew detect a weird audio message that will take them a far off their programmed path to a planet that seems suitable for human life, with no idea they might not escape it alive.
Director Ridley Scott is well-known for the vast scale of his films, featuring huge sets, strong narrative and beautiful attention to detail. With Prometheus, the acclaimed director followed all the rules, and despite the mixed reviews he was delivered a product that was pure sci-fi. Prometheus reintroduced us to the Alien universe and to the architects behind it, all with its own rich mythology.
Covenant tries to tread the same path but, despite an amazing cast led by Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston, it lacks both the depth of its predecessor and the creepiness of the original trilogy. Moreover, the film follows almost exactly the same sequence of events as Prometheus, in which a space team goes to an unknown planet, find an alien ship, explore it and are attacked by creatures, forcing them to fight to survive and escape the planet. This makes the end extremely predictable. The architects’ mythology gets mostly brushed away, as the film shifts to an Isaac Asimov-type sci-fi drama involving rogue artificial intelligence. It touches on complex topics like religion and creationism but these are sadly never fully developed.
On the positive side, Covenant features a relatable leading character, Daniels (Waterston), who feels like a vulnerable version of Sigouney Weaver‘s Ellen Ripley. And as a bonus, the excellent Fassbender delivers more than one solid performances by playing multiple characters.
The Australian cast also deserves special praise, with Tess Haubrich, Uli Latukefu and Alexander England all thoroughly owning their roles.
As always, the main star is the infamous yet beloved Alien xenomorph, which steals the spotlight every time it’s on screen. Despite not being as scary as it was as back in the ‘70s and 80’s, just seeing it return to the big screen is more than enough to make fans tear up with nostalgia.
Alien: Covenant might not be the best of the series, and lacks the spookiness and impact of the other films of the Alien franchise, but still manages to deliver a good 120 minutes of fun, gory sci-fi.
Alien: Covenant – In cinemas 11 May 2017