When one thinks of the Alien franchise, it’s either the Ridley Scott 1979 Alien or James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens. Here in the latest instalment of the franchise Ridley Scott is back at the helm and you maybe wondering why do we need another film? Then again you may say Ridley Scott the director of Blade Runner and Thelma & Louise or the dud director of Hannibal and Matchstick Men?
Which director will step up to the plate and direct Alien Covenant? The answer,a mix of both.
The film follows the formula within the franchise of a colony ship on route to a planet to hopefully set up base. Nothing ever goes according to plan though and the ship goes off course and the crew are made aware of a new planet that is calling out a distress signal. The captain (Billy Crudup) takes a step of faith and seizes on the opportunity to head towards it. Disgruntled crew don’t like that idea.
The crew which includes scientist Daniels in the “Ripley” role find themselves on the new planet and sense something is wrong. No animals, not a single sound and their minds start to analyse the situation.
The key players in the film are Katherine Waterson who plays Daniels, Michael Fassbender playing a dual role of David and Walter and Billy Crudup as the stand in Captain.
Other crew members exist and yes some become Alien food as expected. There’s plenty of action in the film for the action buff, plenty of Sci-Fi talk for the geeks, good use of camera shots for the film geek but where the film elevates itself is watching Michael Fassbender unravel himself in the dual role that he has and waiting to see what he will bring next. Alien action unfolds and we see the creatures do what they are good at meanwhile in the background the android David and Walter become the real show.
At times the film lacks in pace, Alien die hards will say it’s the way the films are made, a built up plot then an explosion of Alien and tyranny. Ridley Scott focus on story in this film more than the effects but the setup of some plot points are left unresolved or maybe resolved and left on the cutting room floor.
Watch it for Fassbender. He plays his cards right in this film.
The verdict. 3/5
Michael Fassbender as David/ Walter
Katherine Waterson as Daniels
Billy Crudup as Oram