Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
ActorsStarring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Alexander England, James Franco, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Uli Latukefu, Goran D. Kleut, Tess Haubrich, Javier Botet, Lorelei King, Benjamin Rigby, Nathaniel Dean, Andrew Crawford, Matt Scaletti
Ridley Scott returned to the Alien franchise that he started with “Prometheus” (2012), a prequel to the original movie “Alien” (1979). Covenant takes up the story at the end of Prometheus, with a spaceship full of human colonists in stasis en route to an alien planet; a small crew is also in stasis and the ship is run by its computer and an android, Walter. An incident forces Walter to wake the crew early into the journey, and a signal is detected that may be of human origin from a nearby planet. When the crew land on the planet they discover the relics of a dead civilisation and some familiar life forms.
Covenant feels more satisfying than Prometheus since it is less ponderous in its plot development, and mostly cuts out the extended and stilted philosophical discussion that marred the earlier film. The cast of relative unknowns (other than Michael Fassbender as the android) are given time to develop a little back-story, much as the crew of the Nostromo did in the original “Alien”. The special effects are good, and the audience is given more time to see the aliens themselves, another improvement on Prometheus. We get to understand the origin of the alien species, and its relationship with humanity and The Engineers, the species revealed to have brought life to planet Earth in Prometheus.
There are a few scary moments, and the action sequences work quite well. However the movie never develops the tension and genuine fear that the original “Alien” created, nor the relentless excitement of “Aliens” (1986). The film does attempt to close some of the plot holes thrown up by Prometheus, though only ardent fans of the franchise need trouble themselves too much with that. As a stand-alone movie it works well enough, though always suffers by comparison with the brilliance of the classic original film.