Out Now On-Demand
Directed by Ridley Scott and the follow-up to 2012's sci-fi thriller Prometheus. Stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup and Danny McBride.
Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the "synthetic" David (Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rating: R16 Violence, offensive language & horror
Ridley Scott makes it clear from Alien Covenant’s first scene, a dialogue between Michael Fassbender’s ‘synthetic’ David and his creator Peter Weyland, that it will continue Prometheus’ theme of gods and monsters. Scott revisiting a franchise he started 40 years ago to subvert its history is fascinating, but is it what viewers want from an Alien movie?
The best moments in Covenant are the ones involving Fassbender’s dual performance as David and his newer counterpart Walter. He’s great in both roles, and the scenes with the two synthetics alone are gripping, scary, and at times weirdly homoerotic.
In fact, the cast are uniformly great, using their varying degrees of screen time to build enjoyable characters, even when forced to lob around heavy-handed ideas about faith.
Plot details that were a bit woolly in Prometheus are clarified, but on the whole, Covenant is almost as disjointed that film. The weird pacing whips us off to the next thing before much of it can sink in.
It’s still thrilling to see Scott play with iconography like face-huggers again, and do it so effectively. He’s not afraid to let Alien Covenant descend into straight-up horror territory, with squirm-inducing moments and plenty of gore and slime.
The freaky stuff is so good you wish he would linger on it a bit longer, but in the end, nothing is lingered on. Covenant winds up being a fun digression in the Alien universe, but not much more.
Total Film (UK)
The Guardian (UK)
Village Voice (New York)
Newsroom.co.nz (Darren Bevan)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
Sydney Morning Herald
Stunning to look at but not a classic.
War of the Fassbender's
It feels odd reviewing this a week or so after seeing it. Must say it doesn't resonate long term but it was thrilling at the time, I'm pretty sure I came out satisfied. I love that they made a half-hearted attempt at creating characters that we might actually give a damn about when they are inevitably killed off. A salute to the face huggers and chest bursters of the beginning of this franchise was rewarding. Fassbender times two, I mean that's why I went to see it ("I'll do the fingering" that was 'smirk' classic and the audience laughed it was cute) the other reason was to explain 'Prometheus' because that was badly needed and they tried there too. Even though you could see that ending it was still shocking. If you're an Alien film you'd have to see this Right?
Possibly the biggest disappointment of 2017, but I feel so sure I'm wrong about this film. When I saw it I was bored. BORED? In an Alien film? NO WAY. I don't want to write a full review until I watch it again. I must be wrong, right? It took me 7 times to watch Blade Runner before I thought it was a masterpiece, the other 6 times I was bored. I don't think I could stomach Alien: Covenant seven more times but once more I can do. Can anyone tell me why the naming of the prequels only being named after the spaceship the crew are on? This is just lazy or am I missing the deeper meaning? Shouldn't Alien have been called Alien Nostromo???? Aliens have been called Aliens: USS Sulaco.
I know they didn't want to call it Alien Minus 2 and Minus 1 but still the only SciFi film to justify naming itself after the ship was Event Horizon. Right? Right?
If Ridley Scott is smart, and he is, he will hold Michael Fassbender close and cast him for however many sequels he plans on doing for the Alien prequel series. He is phenomenal as David who is a terrifying character, perhaps even more than the array of creatures seen in Alien: Covenant. The movie suffers a bit from trying to please fandom. It feels like a checklist is being ticked off as the movie progresses, instead of an organic story with some direction - Liam Maguren's critique of the film is accurate. All things aside, Ridley Scott achieves what he said he wanted to from the film, during all the press junkets, and that's to scare audiences. It does, with Fassbender surprisingly shouldering the creepy factor throughout.
Alien : Twelve-teen
Not sure what I was expecting but it was pretty good. Like ‘2001:Space Odyssey’ (mostly cos of HAL), ‘Prometheus’ , ‘A.I.’ , ‘Blade Runner’ , ‘iRobot’, ‘Alien’ series, mixed and matched together. I liked the way it flowed, crazy enough it was kind of action packed, not massive in the action side or scary, it’s just Alien-esk. Strangely predictable if you know what to look for, but otherwise it’s above average Sci-fi thriller.
Genre : Sci-fi, thriller, action, horror, splatter
3/5 : Maybe just not my cuppa tea, cos I was brought up on the early ‘Alien’ franchise, but it was pretty good. Long film but hardly noticeable.
Big dumb, gorgeous looking fun
Yeah, PROMETHEUS was kind of a mess script-wise. Full of dumb characters making even dumber decisions. Heck I wouldn’t remove my facemask in an Earth sewer, so why a scientist would remove their helmet on an alien planet, or say “Hi” to a space cobra-thing, or… anyway you get the point.
But oh boy, PROMETHEUS was gorgeous to look at. The design, the aesthetic, the sheer cinematic gorgeousness on display was stunning.
The 3D thrilled. The acting was top notch. Visually, Ridley Scott served up such a sumptuous feast that, even if the script and characters left a bad taste in the mouth, the eyes left the cinema sated.
COVENANT is pretty much the same again. Whilst Scott tries to ramp up the horror at times, the claustrophobic, shadowy scares of his first ALIEN are far, far behind him. Like PROMETHEUS, this Alien incarnation just ain’t that scary. But it is a gorgeously machined, visually rewarding delight.
The script is tighter and the action moves at a fair clip, and you’ll never be bored. The acting’s great, despite some clunky-as dialogue. The FX superb. But, we still get dumb-ass people doing dumb-ass stuff that feels more suited to a cliché-ridden, B-grade horror flick.
Katherine Waterston is great as our 2017 Ripley. Michael Fassbender rocks as both androids, David and Walter. Heck even Danny McBride is surprisingly great in his space trucker role.
There are a few stabs at answering some of the questions raised in PROMETHEUS, but as with any attempt to answer the big questions of Life, The Universe and Everything in sci-fi horror genre movies, they’re about as satisfying as Obi-Wan explaining the nature of The Force to Luke.
Horror fans will be rewarded with the occasional moment of body horror. Sci-Fi philosophers will be happy with the odd nugget of Engineeer’s lore. Fassbender fans will be delighted with two Michael’s. Movie fans will relish the visuals, the design, the “making of” and “art of” Blu-ray extras and books to come.
So, relax and let your eyes relish another cinematic feast. Think of COVENANT like a high-mileage, chrome-plastered Harley - it ain’t perfect by a long shot, but boy oh boy does it look great, and what a blast while it lasts.