** This review will not contain major spoilers **
As someone who is a massive fan of the “Alien” franchise, I was no doubt excited for the latest instalment that is “Alien Covenant”. Although it’s predecessor got very mixed reviews, I was one of the people who actually really enjoyed “Prometheus”. It told a great science fiction story while sticking to some elements that make the Alien franchise great. It took massive risks and some of which paid off. I digress…
Alien Covenant follows the journey of a ship known as the “Covenant” which is on a colonisation mission to some planet many years away. The crew is made up of 2000 colonists and 15 crew members. These crew members are all married. The crew make a decision based on certain events to travel to another planet, away from their intended destination. Events transpire and we are soon passed from the Prometheus style of sci-fi and into the action/gory horror from alien.
Let me talk about the things I liked about this film:
- The visual cinematography, set design and locations are utterly stunning. The way Ridley Scott manages to show off these alien landscapes is something that not many people can do, his and his team’s creativity really does shine in this film.
- It gets the balance of gore and horror just right. About half way into the film we are introduced to the gore and horror that makes us feel sick in our mouths. It comes out of no where and takes you by surprise as your stomach turns at the ways the aliens are birthed from their hosts. Remember the famous chest burster? Well I can assure that you will find these new ways terrifyingly gruesome. There are some horror aspects and jump scares thrown in, but ultimately this is not a horror film.
- My favourite thing about the film is Michael Fassbender, hands down. His performance’s in this film are amazing, he plays the new android Walter and reprises his role as the previous android from Prometheus, David. When these characters interact on screen, it makes for some of the best sequences throughout the entire film.
Now let me talk about the things I didn’t like so much:
- For a start you know that all these characters are disposable. There aren’t any characters that I really felt sorry for or connected with other than Michael Fassbender’s characters and surprisingly, Danny McBride’s character, Tennessee. You don’t really feel sorry for these characters as they are getting picked off one by one by the aliens.
- I don’t know if it was just me but I was slightly put off when the alien was made entirely from CGI. As I am so used to seeing the alien as a practical effect, it was weird seeing it as a CGI model. It made it seem less believable at times and was slightly off-putting.
Overall I was very impressed with what Alien Covenant offered, it had great set design and looked visually stunning. Michael Fassbender blew me away with another fantastic performance and the film made me feel uneasy and ill at points due to its graphic horror and gore (which is a good thing). It made for a great sequel to Prometheus and served as a good bench mark for future instalments. Most characters were fairly disposable and didn’t serve a massive purpose to the film. The CGI at times seemed a little distracting but that might just be me.