Ross’s Reviews: Alien Covenant

To say I’ve been hyped for this movie is a bit of an understatement as I’m a big fan of the Alien franchise (well at least the first two movies) and seeing an Alien movie once again directed by the great Ridley Scott is enough to get me excited. Plus it is the first proper Alien standalone movie since the critically acclaimed Alien Resurrection, but after viewing this I’d call it the proper resurrection. So how does it hold up amongst the other movies in the series? Let’s take a look.

No spoilers here.

By the way I’ve now had a chance to see this twice so I feel like I have everything I need to give a proper review.

So the film follows the ship known as the Covenant which is heading to a new planet with over 2000 colonists on board made entirely of couples so that they can start a new life. Much like the first film, the Covenant intercepts a signal from a different planet and decides to investigate leading to the chaos that you expect.

A big question people have had about this film is whether it’s meant to be more of an Alien movie or a sequel to Prometheus and I have to say that it’s a bit of both. The movie does give us some answers for what happened after the events of that movie which I won’t mention as it’s a bit of a spoiler. I will say if you haven’t seen Prometheus you would be best watching that first, even if it’s not the most exciting movie. I’ll admit that I was perfectly happy with some of the revelations but I have had friends with more negative views on them so it’s really just a matter of opinion.

I will say with the second showing that I noticed that the first half hour of this movie is incredibly slow. At first I thought they were just trying to mimic what they did with the original Alien which has a very slow start, but at least that slow start gave you chance to get absorbed in that universe and get to know each individual crew member. You really don’t get that here as I felt that here as you only really get to know maybe 2, 3 at most, crew members and even then they’re all still pretty bland.

There was one crew member that stood out though, and that’s Danny McBride as Tennessee. He was surprisingly good and was the only really enjoyable member. Of course we have Michael Fassbender returning as a new synthetic called Walter. He was easily my favourite performance of the whole movie and I won’t say much more than that due to spoilers.

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But we all know why we came to see this movie, and that is the Aliens themselves and thankfully they themselves make the movie worth seeing for me. We have the introduction of the Neomorphs that seem like less evolved versions of the famous Xenomorphs and are pretty freaky in their own right. As shown in the image above they don’t screw around and will take the first chance they get to bite your head off. They aren’t shown all that much but I enjoyed what we got.

And finally everyone’s favourite: the Xenomorph. If you are coming to see the movie for just these guys you may be slightly disappointed as they aren’t featured all too often, but once they are on the screen it’s a guaranteed thrilling time. Good job guys, the Xeno is scary again.

Speaking of scary, this movie didn’t really bother me in terms of fear as I never really felt scared. There aren’t any cheap jumpscares either which is a godsend. Don’t get me wrong it can be incredibly, nail-bitingly tense at times and it’s got scenes of gore that will freak some people out, it’s just never cover your eyes level of fear. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because I’m happy with what we got.

Sadly, continuing on from Prometheus we also have the return of stupid characters. Why do people in this movie universe insist on putting their face right up to things they don’t understand? It always ends badly and happens more than once here. Also if someone is speaking to you in a creepy voice and you don’t trust, do not follow their freaking instructions. It’s almost hilarious.

Overall I had a good time with the movie here, and while it may have it’s flaws, there’s enough here to make up for it. It feels like the Alien universe got the shot in the arm it needed and feels like a return to form we’ve been waiting over two decades for (not counting the excellent Alien Isolation). I’d recommend this for sci-fi horror fans and anyone looking for a thrilling time at the cinema. I can’t wait for a sequel.

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