Film review - Alien: Covenant & how Ridley Scott is still worth his weight in gold
To put things in perspective, Alien: Covenant is the sequel to Prometheus, the prequel that spawned the rest of the Alien trilogy.
And damn, Ridley Scott has not let us down. He and writers John Logan and Dante Harper have gracefully provided the missing pieces of the puzzle between Prometheus and the Alien series.
The ship, named The Covenant, is on a mission to colonise a new planet, but after being jarred awake by a solar storm, the crew must fix their ship. They get sidetracked along the way by a signal from a planet that looks even better – and it’s just a few weeks’ travel, rather than the torturous seven years to their original destination.
It’s almost as if their ship was called ‘The Enterprise’, because of course, they have to investigate. A small landing party explores this rugged land (which looks a lot like NZ’s very own Milford Sound). Could this be a good new planet for their colony?
From there, the story unfolds. We get an idea of how the android David (Michael Fassbender) became a better creator than his father – or worse, depending on your perspective; we get an idea of how Dr Elizabeth Shaw met her fate; and how this new crew will cope; we get an idea of why it’s really not a good idea to stray off course; and we get an idea why the original 1979 classic was just so damn good.
The ship’s crew is spearheaded by Daniels (Katherine Waterston), Oram (Billy Crudup), Tennessee (Danny McBride) and Walter (essentially David 4.0 by design). Between those four, they carry the weight of the mission on their shoulders
What I love is that this film has Scott’s name all over it. From the dark, greywashed shots to the silver and neon interiors; from the wide space shots to (quite literally) the pits of death; you couldn’t mistake this atmosphere for anyone other than Scott's own work.
This film can get pretty graphic at times – it doesn’t shy away from the blood, guts or the sheer explosiveness of how these creatures are born.
To all fans of the series: This film does answer some questions; and although it’s a touch involved with personal dramatics, this one is undoubtedly worth the watch.
We all need hugs from time to time, and you just might find one, colloquially known as a facehugger - at your local cinema.
Alien: Covenant is in cinemas from May 11.