Alien Covenant: Movie Review.



In which a young Michael Fassbender utters the immortal line to his older brother, also played by Michael Fassbender, as he teaches him how to play a penny whistle, “I’ll do the fingering.”


Stop right there.

That was silly right?

Alien:Covenant is Ridley Scott being let loose on his wildest fantasies and this time it’s almost all about religion.  He’s apparently in thrall with the notion that Aliens are gods or some such claptrap.

The name of the ship is ‘Covenant’, the name of the ‘Synthetic’ that was on Prometheus but has met its fate and who forms a big part of this movie’s plotline was David (Michael Fassbender) and David has lured his ten year the junior ‘brother’ Walter (also Fassbender) to Prometheus and to seek the fate of the 2,000 ‘covenanters’ on board ship.

Although Walter is a more advanced model he is more deeply flawed and has had his emotional intelligence reduced as it became apparent that David was too advanced.

Meanwhile, because this is 2017 rather than 1979 special effects, we get to see much more Alien action, which is in itself good (and creepy) but it’s OTT and the Aliens as organisms appear less developed because, remember, this is a prequel to Alien and in the time between the two movies the Aliens have evolved.

It starts great (but slow) the sets are miraculous and the acting largely decent (Katherine Waterston as Daniels is commendable) but the religious theme becomes more and more overbearing and the relationship between Fassbender and Fassbender is preposterous (although well acted).

Although the SFX are great they are just too much and the whole movie descends into a disappointing silly pet project that needs much more script supervision.

Not great I’m afraid.





“In space nobody can hear you scream” proclaimed the poster for Alien.

Even before you stepped into the cinema back in 1979 you knew, you’d read, you’d heard that you were going to be wincing with fear and disgust.  When John Hurt’s chest was ripped open by a baby monster you did scream.  It was, and still is, a monumental movie.

Fast forward 33 years and the “cinema event of the year” arrives with reel after reel of preview film but little in the way of proper reviews.  No talk about what the content was.  I feared it was a studio ploy.  Keeping the film away from the critics because it wasn’t that good.  And then, right at the last minute the reviews appeared.  “Hmmm”  that was the general consensus.  So I went to my local multiplex in a state of anxiety.  Could it possibly live up to the hype?

Right let’s get one thing out of the way right from the off.  3D does not make movies better, arguably the opposite, as directors strive to create set ups that allow them to show off the technique.  The only 3D movie I’ve seen that even remotely benefits from the exercise is Avatar.  Prometheus just doesn’t need it.

By now you’ll know the basic premise of the movie.  Say what they like, but it IS a prequal to Alien and the obsession Ridley Scott has with the creation of man, religion, Darwinism and all such borders on the insane.  It makes for some laboured moments and overblown plotting.  The movie overall is too long (a common mistake these days) and lacks both pace, at times, and screams.

This simply does not scare you like Alien did, but apart from those criticisms it is a fine theatical experience.  It looks astounding, it has good central performances from Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender and adequate back up from the rest (although Kate Dickie is hopelessly miscast).

It’s a good film.  Just not a patch on Alien.  There’s an obvious sequal standing in the wings but I guess we’ll have to see how this fares at the box office before taking the plunge because this ain’t a cheap exercise ($120m – which incidentally is only half what Avengers Assembled cost)