Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Music by||Jed Kurzel|
|Edited by||Pietro Scalia|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$46.7 million|
Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. The film is a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the second installment in the Alien prequel series, and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship who land on an uncharted planet and make a terrifying discovery.
Alien: Covenant premiered in London on May 4, 2017 and was released in the United States on May 19, 2017. The film received generally positive reviews, with most critics noting it as an improvement over Prometheus and a return to form for director Ridley Scott, and praising Fassbender’s performance.
In a prologue, Peter Weyland speaks with his newly-activated synthetic, who selects the name “David” after looking upon a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of the same name. Weyland tells David that one day they will search for mankind’s creator together.
In 2104, the crew of the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with some two-thousand colonists and a thousand embryos on-board, which are monitored by Walter, an upgraded synthetic resembling the earlier David. A neutrino burst hits the ship, killing some colonists; Walter orders the computer to wake the crew from stasis, but the captain dies when his pod malfunctions. As the crew repairs the damage, they intercept a human radio transmission from a nearby unknown planet. Against the objection of Daniels, who is the terraforming expert, acting captain Oram decides to investigate, as the planet appears to be even better for colonisation than Origae-6 and the crew is reluctant to return to their stasis pods, paranoid of another neutrino burst.
An expedition team descends to the surface, while Covenant remains in orbit. Karine conducts an ecological survey, while the others track the signal to the crashed Engineer ship, piloted by David and Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Two security team members, Ledward and Hallett, are inadvertently infected with an alien spore. Karine helps Ledward back to the landing vehicle, but Faris quarantines them both inside the med-bay. A Neomorph bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Faris tries to shoot the creature but hits various gas tanks, accidentally destroying the lander and herself. Outside the ship, another Neomorph bursts from Hallett’s throat and kills him.
As the remaining crew members attempt to radio Covenant for help, the Neomorphs attack them and kill Ankor. The crew kill a Neomorph, but Walter loses a hand saving Daniels from another. David, the sole survivor of the Prometheus mission, rescues the crew and leads them to an alien city full of corpses. In order to gain the confidence of the crew, David misinforms the crew that upon their arrival the Engineer ship accidentally released a bioweapon killing the native population. In the ensuing chaos, the ship crashed, killing Shaw. Inside the city the surviving Neomorph attacks and decapitates Rosenthal, who was separated from the main group. David attempts to communicate with the Neomorph, and is horrified when Oram kills it. At Oram’s demand, David reveals his activities on the planet: using the black liquid as a catalyst, he created the earliest Neomorphs after experimenting with a parasitic creature that laid eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out. David shows Oram a chamber he has used to further experiment upon and develop several eggs. David tricks Oram into observing one of the eggs as it opens, from which a facehugger emerges and implants Oram with an embryo. A Xenomorph later erupts from Oram’s chest, killing him.
As the crew search for Oram and Rosenthal, Walter confronts David after learning the truth of his experiments: David had deliberately unleashed the black liquid upon the Engineers, and murdered Shaw, whose corpse is shown severely mutated and dissected.
Picking up where the story left of, sort of, this installment lets us know what happened to the characters and ship that got away at the end of Prometheus, by way of a new crew on a settlement mission finding them ten years later. What happens next is typical Ridley Scott mayhem. My only complaint is that James Franco is in the movie for less that 45 seconds, but despite that marketing ploy, this movie is a fine addition to the Alien franchise. 4 stars and recommended – MR