Some of the most horrifying creatures in movie history are back on the big screen at your local theater. The aliens from the “Alien” film franchise are back in “Alien: Covenant”, and I couldn’t be happier.
The new film is a sequel to the 2012 film “Prometheus”, and a prequel to the 1979 film “Alien”. Those familiar with the franchise know the creatures are terrifying and have extremely bad attitudes. Just imagine a land dwelling great white shark crossed with a pit viper and you will get the picture. The aliens have a special way of “breeding” that is certainly unforgettable. When they hatch from an egg as a facehugger, they will attach to the face of a host and gestate inside the host until they burst out of the hosts chest. Shocked audiences were first introduced to this chest busting in “Alien”.
The new film featuring the creatures begins 10 years after the ending in “Prometheus”, and introduces us to a newly-activated synthetic (an android) who names himself David (Michael Fassbender), who we first experienced in the film “Prometheus”. Flash forward to the year 2104, and David’s synthetic double, named Walter, is on board the colonization ship Covenant and headed to the remote planet Origae-6. Walter is in charge of watching after the hibernating crew and the ship during the long journey. During the flight the ship is hit by a neutrino burst that damages the ship and kills some of the colonists. As a result of the disaster, Walter must wake up the crew for assistance. As the crew is repairing the ship, they pick up a strange transmission from a nearby unknown planet and discover it appears even more suited for colonization. Sooner than you can say “Danger Will Robinson”, the crew is headed for the newly discovered planet. When they arrive at the planet they send down an exploration team which includes Walter, and soon the action kicks into high gear. Strangely enough, the beautiful planet appears to be void of life. Or is it? After two crew members suffer horrible deaths due to a mysterious spore infection, Walter and the others are rescued by…David! It should come as no surprise that David’s ship, last seen in “Prometheus” crashed on the planet with his co-pilot Elizabeth Shaw on board. However, what has happened on the planet since David and Elizabeth crashed there is a surprise.
I will not give any details away, other than to say we see the origin of the alien creatures, called Xenomorphs, and it was shocking. When the film moves to the newly discovered planet, the action kicks into high gear, and never stops. The humans, along with the two synthetics battle the creatures, but one character is not what he is pretending to be, and this aspect adds to the fun of the film. There are plenty of “gross out” moments typical of this series of films, and a strong female character, Daniels Branson (Katherine Waterston) is happily on hand to remind us of the character Ripley, one of the best female action heroines in movie history. Director Ridley Scott knows just how to handle the aliens and actors to perfection.
The film is intense and thrilling, and left me wanting to re-watch both “Prometheus” and “Alien”. The actors are all wonderful in their roles, with Fassbender having the joyous time of playing two character who get to fight in an amazing brawl. I am happy to report this film is on par with “Alien” and “Aliens”, and left me wanting more. For a frightening time at the movies, hop on board the thrilling cinematic flight that is “Aliens: Covenant”.
(Rated R) 4 Aliens (out of 4)