Still nursing a comedown with The Martian, Ridley Scott wastes little time in delivering a third entry into the often fan-revered Alien franchise. Part sequel to Prometheus, Alien: Covenant proves a solid high-five to its sci-fi horror predecessors, but more so when talking imagery.
Having suffered a recent fatality on board, the crew of the USCSS Covenant falls into temptation by opting for a closer habitable planet upon which a 2,000 strong colony are being transported to.
In short the crew mission rogue, to a land filled with breathable air, wheat and Aliens or Facehuggers, Chestbursters and Xenomorphs, specifically.
Daniels (Katherine Waterson) as the grief-stricken heroine eventually leads a crew of mostly flat characters through a deadly silenced planet, almost all succumbing to an illogically blood-and-guts style death. Fears worsen when the remainder of the group meet’s David (Michael Fassbender), an android survivor of the Prometheus mission who of course has other agenda’s at hand. It’s mostly formula from here on in, but with a few emerging twists. Danny McBride’s cowboy-hat wearing, Tennessee makes an interesting alpha male alongside the brooding Daniels, sharing some unassuming chemistry towards the final act of the film were severed body parts and psycho-sexual references dominate the screen. Gulp.
Narratively, the nature of creation is explored here – it helps that the subject matter at hand straddles between scientific and fringe, ushering one’s suspended disbelief to ride out for a bit longer. With ample tension and unease throughout the film, some of the convoluted dialogue isn’t as dreary.
On screen, there is plenty to enamour. The filmmaking is rich, and the sound design, masterful. This is undoubtedly Ridley Scott. Some films are able to visually seduce from the very first frames, Alien: Covenant is one those. As a contemporary blockbuster, its standards are polished, even if some urgency is desired.
Alien: Covenant opens in cinemas, countrywide, tomorrow – 19 May, 2017.
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