Film Review: Alien: Covenant

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
May 10th, 2017

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Alien: Covenant

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On May 10, 2017
Last modified:May 13, 2017

Summary:

Alien: Covenant (2017) while not the perfect revival, brings the franchise back to its roots - filled with solid additions that build the universe outside of Ellen Ripley's story.

Review of: Alien: Covenant

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On May 10, 2017
Last modified:May 13, 2017

Summary:

Alien: Covenant (2017) while not the perfect revival, brings the franchise back to its roots - filled with solid additions that build the universe outside of Ellen Ripley's story.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Prometheus disappointed many fans of Ridley Scott's beloved Alien franchise: throwing away the horror elements for cheap gore and bad characters. The second attempt at a prequel series Alien: Covenant (2017) is out this month. But how does the sequel improve on prior faults? Find out as ComiConverse film critic Jordan Samuel reviews the Alien revival.

Alien

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Director Ridley Scott brought a new spin to horror by blending the genre with sci-fi conventions. Alien (1979) changed the way people thought about science fiction movies. The film also shot Sigourney Weaver into Hollywood with her portrayal of Ellen Ripley, the heroine which changed genre roles in generally male trade. Ellen Ripley is an iconic heroine. She is a pillar.

Alien introduced one of the most horrifying and deadliest figures in horror: the Xenomorph, whose purpose is to populate and destroy anything that stands in its way. Scott made these creatures come alive on the screen.

Scott distanced himself from the sequels, dropping out the director chair and allowing James Cameron to make an excellent sequel with Aliens (1986). Aliens was a hard act to follow and both Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997) disappointed fans.

Several years after these entries, Scott returned with the franchise prequel Prometheus (2012) which was met with mixed reviews. Telling a story years before the one that began with Ellen Ripley and the USCSS Nostromo, the film concentrated on a new set of characters in the 21st Century. Many fans were upset with the departure from previous films in the franchise. Now Scott is helming another much anticipated sequel, Alien: Covenant.

Alien

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Covenant is the return home, Scott's franchise needs, but doesn't feel as fresh or gritty as the first two Alien films. Covenant focuses on horror, but fails in giving audiences a strong reason to care about these new characters. While being more engaging and visual interesting than the lesser entries in the Alien series, I cannot shake the feeling of wanting more from the characters.

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Scott's return to the director's chair results in a proper prequel. Relying on suspense and a horror theme instead of the cheap gore in Prometheus, Covenant is a more successful outing. Scott offers new characters in Covenant. Performances aren't not an issue with the actors doing a decent job. there is a lack of gravitas in the writing.

The plot is a retread of Prometheus and Alien with some twists thrown in. A colony crew find what they believe to be paradise but are instead faced with a race of monstrous creatures.

Alien

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) is Daniels, the terraforming expert aboard the Covenant - who is the main character throughout the movie and quite good in her role.

Daniels is a character who won’t top Ellen Ripley, but does deliver something not seen in the franchise for a while: personality and heart. Daniels' terror comes across in the performance, giving the audience someone to relate with when the action starts kicking in - an improvement over Noomi Rapace in Prometheus.

Micheal Fassbender (Assassin's Creed) plays Walter, an android who looks identical to David from the original Prometheus (2012) delivering a great performance. He is both more robotic and more mysterious than he was in the last outing. Balancing some strong themes about being human, Ridley Scott does a perfect job in getting the most out of a talented actor.

The Covenant Crew (Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo and Nathaniel Dean) are all couples who sign up to explore worlds in their vessel. This might seem like a gimmick, but Covenant develops the idea and uses it to provide more emotional grounding to the action.

Alien

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ridley Scott has made a horror treat, that is far from the best Alien film but which is still an improvement over its predecessor.

The plot is simple - lacking the intrigue found in Aliens and overall team synergy it succeeds in bringing back Alien to its horror roots. Dropping the summer blockbuster watered down vibe for a Rated-R horror epic; Ridley Scott needs to be rewarded for not removing the elements that made Alien so popular in the first place.

Alien: Covenant includes heartwarming visuals that celebrate the dark and gritty feeling seen in the original Alien.  Dark hallways and flickering lights give the viewer a sense of tension. Ridley Scott also did a perfect job at reviving his iconic color palette

Alien: Covenant while not the perfect revival, brings back the franchise to its roots - filled with solid additions that build up a universe outside of Ellen Ripley's story. Becoming the best sequel in the franchise since Aliens which is not saying much when you compare it to previous efforts.

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I recommend seeing this film in IMAX! You won't be disappointed.

Jordan Samuel is a film critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on twitter: @JordanESamuel

Alien: Covenant

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Alien: Covenant (2017) while not the perfect revival, brings the franchise back to its roots - filled with solid additions that build the universe outside of Ellen Ripley's story.

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