“Alien: Covenant” was produced and directed by Ridley Scott who directed the 1979 original film. This film serves as a sequel to 2012’s “Prometheus” which was also directed by Scott. This is also the 6th film in the “Alien” franchise. The film stars Katherine Waterson, Danny McBride, Billy Crudup, Callie Hernandez, Jussie Smollet, Carmen Ejogo & Amy Seimetz. Michael Fassbender returns from “Prometheus” but plays a new character. Guy Pierce and Naomi Price also return but only to brief cameos. James Franco also appears in the film. In the theatrical version, he’s in a flashback and a photo but in the extended version he has brief scenes in the opening act.
10 years after the “Prometheus incident”, a new colonist mission has begun making way towards a new planet. The spaceship is run by an android, Walter (Fassbender) who is serves crew monitor. The ship is hit by an unknown shockwave that severely damages itself and awakens several of crew. The ship’s captain, Jake (Franco) dies in the damage while his wife, Daniels (Waterson), 2nd in command, Oram (Crudup) and others survive. As the crew try to fix the ship and assess the damage, they receive an radio transmission from a mysterious woman, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Price). Oram decides to follow the transmission to a nearby planet. Oram and Daniels take small group to planet while the ship’s pilot, Tennessee (McBride) and tech officials Upworth (Hernandez) and her husband, communication officer Ricks (Smollett) stay on the ship. On the planet, the crew discover plant life and other living things but suddenly 2 crewmen become infected with some sort of virus that seemed to be coming from the planet itself. Before the crewmen can analyzed, mysterious creatures emerge from their bodies and attack the rest of crew, killing a few of them including Oram’s wife (Ejogo) and Tennessee’s wife (Seimetz). The crew is saved when another android arrives, David (also played by Fassbender). While Daniels and Walter try to reach Tennessee by radio for an evacuation, Oram and the rest of the crew discover some dark secrets about David and the planet that makes them question if they should even be there. With time running out and trust beginning to wear thin, the crew are unsure if David can be trusted. Daniels must act quickly if she is to get the crew off this planet before David has a chance to bring harm upon them.
After “Prometheus” was a bit of a disappointment as an “Alien” prequel, this film heads more towards the original film much better and smoother. Both films are great but this one ties much more to Alien franchise and has more call backs than the previous one. The star of this film is Michael Fassbender. His performance here is incredible serving as both android with very different point of view and play out the main conflict of the film. Waterson also gives a great performance and reminds me of the Ellen Ripley character from the original film. Her performance come across as both sympathetic and heroic. Danny McBride gives a solid performance from being mostly known as a comedic actor. The visuals of the film match the dark tone give the film a grim look at the future of space travel. The only complaints I have with the film is lackluster supporting cast and the time jump from the previous film. If you didn’t see “Prometheus”, this was a pretty entertaining film. But following “Prometheus”, this was a bit underwhelming but a step in the right direction as far as a prequel goes.
After this film, Ridley Scott made the announcement that 2 more sequels were to follow “Alien: Covenant” and would eventually lead to the events of the first film. That was 5 years ago and several rewritten scripts, concept and director changes have plagued this franchise. The film rights were owned by Fox but after that studio was bought by Disney. Disney stated that they would keep the franchise going even keeping Ridley Scott as director. The Alien franchise has had 2 great films and a mediocre spinoff. The prequel are headed in the right direction despite getting off to a rocky start.