ALIEN: COVENANT has landed and it is glorious! OK. Had to get that out. When PROMETHEUS came out many were amazed, some were disappointed, but everyone wanted more, even Ridley Scott. Those who wanted a proper ALIEN movie will be pleased to no end and the rest who loved PROMETHEUS will love this film even more.
Taking place 10 years after PROMETHEUS, ALIEN: COVENANT opens with David (Michael Fassbender) and Weyland (Guy Pearce) having an early conversation about life. The film then switches gears to the “present” and introduces Walter (also Fassbender) a new model synthetic that has had all human emotion stripped from him. Walter is on the Covenant, a colony ship transporting the first offworlders into deep space. While caught in a random solar flare episode, the ship sustains damage and also loses it’s Captain. During repairs, they intercept a radio transmission and alter course for the planet of origin. The goal, to see if this world might be suitable for colonization, thus shortening their trip. The crew is made up of couples to help start the new world. Tennessee (Danny McBride) and Faris (Amy Seimetz), Oram (Billy Crudup) and Karine (Carmen Ejogo), and Ricks (Jussie Smollett) and Upworth (Callie Hernandez). Daniels (Katherine Waterston), was married to the now deceased Captain and now has grown close to Walter. Setting down on the world, they explore the land but it isn’t long before they find the black dust that infects two crew members and begins the cycle of life and death.
To go any further into plot would spoil things and I refuse to do that, though you can count on an in depth analysis once the film has been out a couple of weeks. What I can tell you is that ALIEN: COVENANT sets a new standard for thrills. The initial bursting scene is re-imagined and provides maximum shock that is still with me. If you make it through that, their are two other new births that are equally powerful.
As for casting, Katherine Waterston is set up as the film’s lead early on but Danny McBride steals the show as Tennessee. McBride has always had a knack for owning his scenes but I’ll be damned if he didn’t almost turn this film into the Tennessee vs Alien show. Also impressive as usual is Michael Fassbender as both Walter and David. If you have wondered why the synthetics have a penchant for evil, this may answer some questions.
ALIEN: COVENANT is simply the scariest film of the year and 2nd only to the original Alien as far as perfection. Ridley Scott has opened up his world to give us something that is both closer and further away from ALIEN than ever before. This is the film ALIEN fans have been waiting for. Make sure you are there on May 19th. You won’t regret it.