Ridley Scott returned to his famous franchise with Prometheus back in 2012. If you were anything like myself, you could not wait for the next instalment in the Alien franchise. So fast-forward five years and Scott has followed up the whirlwind piece of Prometheus with Alien: Covenant.
Now while it’s not important to have seen the original Alien films, it’s pretty important to have seen Prometheus as the events of Alien: Covenant takes place ten years after Prometheus and both prominently features the character of David. (Michael Fassbender)
This caught me off-guard a little bit, because after the events of Prometheus, I was confused as to how Fassbender’s David managed to make it safely onto the Covenant ship, practically unscathed. This comes down to the testament of Fassbender’s android performance in Prometheus and the feeling that David is all-too real. However on the covenant ship he takes on the role of Walter, a new and improved android.
Walter assumes a practically identical role to David, caring for the ship whilst the crew are in cryosleep, as the crew head to a planet that is perfect for terraforming whilst Walter tends to the colonists and embryos ready to start a new world. The ship is struck by a neutrino blast that causes the now-awoken crew to question Walter’s commanding of the ship and by chance, due to this blast, they stumble on a seemingly perfect planet to begin their new life.
I thought the music was perfect for Alien: Covenant, and was really extenuated by the mysterious and tense setting of the mysterious planet they land on. From the wide-open spaces that Ridley Scott is incredibly good at, to the small-enclosed spaces of the Covenant ship, the film was made even tenser with that claustrophobic feeling.
(And that use of Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla was gorgeous)
With Prometheus being the origin story for the Xenomorphs that plagued Ripley and co throughout Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant is continuing that trend and peeling away more of those layers. But Ridley Scott continued to tie in attitudes to religion and strongly conveys the messages of creation and meeting your maker throughout Alien: Covenant.
The themes throughout the 120 minutes really worked and were not piled too heavily onto the story. Otherwise there may have been an overconsumption of this, which would have led to it ruining the story. I thought the narrative structure was brilliant, especially as it builds up around the newly found David and his story of the Prometheus ship and crew.
The great thing about Alien was the terrifying xenomorph that plagued the crew and that there wasn’t much gore used throughout, rather it relied on the closed space and tense battle between it and Ripley. Alien: Covenant has decided to use an abundance of gore through the xenomorph attacks, which is fine, but I feel as though it sometimes it overused and lets the film down in areas.
The casting was electric for the lead roles of Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterson and Danny McBride but I felt everyone else was kind of subpar and throwaway characters. McBride’s Tennessee was an interesting character and worlds away from the comedic background that he has become known for. Waterson seemed to be channeling the headstrong Ripley in this film, but not before showing emotion in the opening scenes that seemed to be devoid of Ripley in Alien.
(That was also different, as the crew were made up of couples in charge of safely navigating to Origae-6)
Fassbender was electric as he channelled two different characters, the companionist Walter and the vengeful and conniving David. The difference between the characters was excellent and was really effective for the different moods they were conveying and I feel as though that is testament to Ridley’s direction through the film.
I was really impressed, and feel as though Ridley Scott’s prequels are currently going strength to strength. I thought the narrative structure on the film was apt, considering what was revealed in the first instalment and was perfectly played out on the screen with the help of David. However, the clear winner is the world building that Ridley Scott is just renown for, from the mysterious planet expanse, to the closed-off spaces that add to the tense scenes within the film.
The planet that the Covenant crew descend on it, is just incredible. Although the film does falter in certain sections, those feelings are soon washed away with the incredibly scenery and intriguing characters throughout Alien: Covenant.
Just like Prometheus, I want to see the next instalment. Now.