Alien: Covenant

Alien and its sequel Aliens remain as two of the best horror and science fiction films of all time. They’re brilliant because of their simplicity and interesting characters; an alien monster stalking the entire crew aboard a spaceship they cannot escape. Prometheus ended up being a jumbled mess because of its confusingly complex story that focused more on the origins of humanity rather than the origins of the xenomorph. Alien: Covenant is an improvement, but the film still suffers from a lack of direction. It’s attempts to be both a sequel to Prometheus and a prequel to Alien, and ends up excelling at neither.


10 years after the events of Prometheus, the colony ship Covenant is well into its trip to a new habitable planet when a malfunction occurs, causing the crew to awaken from their stasis pods to see what’s wrong. After repairing the damage, the crew discover that there is an uncharted planet nearby that has near perfect conditions to support life. Rather than travel the remaining years to their planned destination planet, the crew decides to investigate the one closer to see if it would make a suitable new home. After landing planetside, the crew discover the destroyed remains of the spaceship that Dr. Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David (Michael Fassbender) took off in at the end of Prometheus. Furthermore, the alien virus that was aboard the ship still remains and has had plenty of time in the last decade to evolve into something much more deadlier. One thing’s for sure, this is not the paradise the Covenant crew was expecting.


Alien: Covenant struggles with what type of film it wants to be. The film does a better job a expanding the whole creation of humanity story that Prometheus so desperately tried to establish but it does so at the cost of its characters. With the exception of Michael Fassbender, who plays both David and the new updated android Walter, everyone on the crew is a bumbling buffoon who is sacrificed, both literally and metaphorically, in order to drive the film’s story forward regardless of how illogical their actions may be.


Katherine Waterston does an okay job at Daniels, the Ripley-surrogate of the film, but even her decisions seem idiotic. In Covenant, everyone is simply fodder for the xenomorph. Their actions drive the film from one kill to the next, and it doesn’t matter how stupid they may be so long as someone ends up on the receiving end of a xenomorph tail. That being said, the Alien aspects of the film are pretty spectacular. This is without a doubt the goriest film of the franchise yet, and it doesn’t hold back on delivering great alien moments, from chest and even spine bursters to neophyte xenomorphs taking down each crew member in bloody fashion. It’s these moments that the film felt closest to the original franchise.


Fassbender’s performance as both David and Walter is the highlight of the film. He manages to bring a completely different persona to these two characters, who are both robotic in nature yet still have this humanity deep within them. It does get weird in a couple of scenes in which we see Fassbender playing opposite himself, though. No one loves Fassbender more than Fassbender, apparently.


Alien: Covenant is better than Prometheus, although that isn’t saying much. It has plenty of the terror and death of the first two films but lacks the creativity and intelligence that made them so great. As we continue to inch closer and closer to the timeline of the original Alien, I still have hopes that Ridley Scott will be able to deliver the proper Aliens film we’ve all been waiting for. Unfortunately, Covenant isn’t it.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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