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Alien: Covenant

Cover Media logo Cover Media 12/05/2017 covermg.com
© Provided by Cover Media

In the year 2103, a decade after the events of 2012's Prometheus, the crew of colony ship Covenant are woken up from stasis seven years early after their vessel is struck by a solar flare.

While fixing the ship, Tennessee (Danny McBride) receives a seemingly human transmission from a nearby planet that is closer and as hospitable as their original destination. Captain Oram (Billy Crudup) orders his crew to go there instead, despite protests from his second in command Daniels (Katherine Waterston), who thinks the new information is too good to be true.

The team - which includes an android Walter (Michael Fassbender) - land and discover what they believe to be an uncharted paradise until they discover the crashed ship from Prometheus, many mutated alien lifeforms and the android David (also Fassbender), who is the only survivor.

The film is certainly gruesome, with many bloody deaths, but these are less effective than in previous Alien outings due to the obviously computer-generated appearance of the alien mutations.

It is also less scary and this is possibly because audiences have seen most alien encounters in some form before, so it is difficult to make them original. Most deaths can be seen coming and some are very stupid indeed.

Alien: Covenant takes a while to get going because there a lot of crew members to meet but once they reach the planet, it doesn't take long for the action to kick off. The first alien sequence is violent, bloody and shocking, so it is a shame all aren't up to that standard. Some deaths are so incredibly silly and predictable that there's more of an impulse to laugh than be scared, so it’s genius move to make David a creepy psychopath to give the team more adversaries than just the aliens.

Fassbender is fantastic in these dual roles - he plays a very convincing and subtly menacing villain who has many exchanges with himself, playing the more measured and subservient Walter. While Fassbender steals the show, Waterston is also excellent as the strong female lead, who is exactly like Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in the 1979 original Alien.

She can be emotional, also kicks butt when needed and really comes into her own in the last half hour, when the film returns to form after an unimpressive middle section.

Prometheus was a very divisive movie, with many criticising it for the lack of xenomorphs and the scientists’ dumb decisions, and while the follow-up pleases on the first front, Alien: Covenant is just as guilty on the second.

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