Alien: Covenant

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Alien: Covenant

Even though we know what to expect long before it arrives, Ridley Scott's latest return to the Alien franchise does have its skin-deep pleasures

If just thinking about Michael Fassbender makes you want to strip off all your clothes, ‘Alien: Covenant’ has a cure for that. David the robot, his creepier-than-a-serial-killer android butler, was the breakout star of Ridley Scott’s 2012 ‘Alien’ prequel ‘Prometheus’. Scott, realising perhaps that David is scarier than a spaceship full of parasitic flesh-eaters, makes him the star of this sequel to the prequel. Just as well, because nothing else kicks quite enough ass.

Ok, so the plot. It’s 2104, ten years after the crew of the Prometheus ended up as alien meat on their mission to find the origins of human life. A colony ship, the Covenant, is gliding through space on a voyage to a distant planet. Its cargo is 2,000 people sleeping in hibernation pods and a job lot of human embryos to populate their new home.

Scott famously joked that nothing happened in the first 45 minutes of ‘Alien’. Not so here. When the Covenant runs into a storm, its computer – Mother – wakes up the crew of 15 from hyper-sleep, seven years too early. The weather front, it turns out, originated from a nearby planet that seems habitable, with a breathable atmosphere.

Too good to be true? Yes, says the ship’s scientist, Daniels, played by the terrific ‘Fantastic Beasts’ actress Katherine Waterston, who takes on the butt-kicking Ripley role. The rest of the crew is made up of a bunch of science geeks and low-tech dudes who operate the ship (you know, the ones who’ll end up as alien fodder in the second act). Also, on board, keeping things ticking over while everyone’s asleep is David the robot. Except on the Covenant, he's called Walter. Is he David rebooted? Or a newer model?

Really, this is David/Walter’s show. For reasons too spoilery to give away, Fassbender is electric, giving a spectacularly skin-crawling performance. ‘Covenant’ has the same beautiful design as ‘Prometheus’ and once again the script is being all clever and profound, asking the biggies: Who are we? Where do we came from? What's missing is one of the franchise’s unforgettable scenes that feed your nightmares for weeks – like Noomi Rapace’s do-it-yourself alien caesarian in 'Prometheus', or the chestbuster in ‘Alien’. And every time a crew member stiffened, an alien about to burst out of them like a blackhead being popped, my mind drifted back to the original.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 12 2017
Duration: 122 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Michael Fassbender
Billy Crudup
Katherine Waterston
Danny McBride

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Alien: Covenant is like the nerdy kid at school who one day shows up wearing all-black: a wannabe toughie that ultimately is a purring kitten on the inside.

Starting off with a bang, 30 minutes into the film you're already forgetting that you're supposed to be on the edge of your seat. I was in this exact position when suddenly I thought 'hang on, I'm bored'. I am also shocked that after making this many Alien films, there still hasn't been a half-decent script written for any of them, and the tradition is still that space crew must talk dirty and too-cool-for-school, and the baddie wants to rule the world.

You know what would be refreshing? If one crew member asked another if he was okay, and this latter crew member said 'no, I'm pretty sure I just caught some weird disease because I can't quite walk and am about to throw up.' But no, we still live in the era of 'yeah I'm fine' growling.

Explosions, karate, everything wet and dribbly and white aliens more or less sum up this film, which tries to play a lot more on the scary horror side (in the beginning at least) than its older, better counter parts. CGI is often laughable and the Fassbender on Fassbender action is hard to take seriously. BUT our main character is at least super cute (in a non-ironic way) although she's got nothing on Ripley.

Aaaand despite it seeming like I'm ripping Alien: Covenant apart, it still is a fun watch with some pizza and a handful of sarcastic comments at the ready.


I love a good space movie and although I haven't heard great things from Ridley Scott's next movie in the Alien saga, I really enjoyed it. As the spacecraft Covenant hurtles through space to colonize a new planet with it's human population of 2000, the crew are awoken from hypersleep by a solar flare. They then go in search of an intercepted distress signal and wind up on the planet where the crash landing occurs at the end of Prometheus. It's a slow start but if you're into sci-fi, you'll like the pace and setting. Then things go off with a bang as all hell breaks loose due to the fauna and flora being of a particular H R Giger variety! The variation of Aliens and the birth of the species is interesting to see unfold, and Fassbender does a good job of playing David and Walter, two synthetics built at different times, each with their own programming, strengths and weaknesses. The CGI alien isn't quite as convincing as actors in rubber suits in low flashing light but there are still some scary gruesome moments where the space crew realise they are absolutely screwed when up against the power of this biological weapon. A good sci-fi romp!


This is much better than its prequel, Prometheus, and goes some way to redeeming that film. The questions it brings up about duty and the creative impulse are genuinely interesting, and the Fassbender-on-Fassbender scenes are good fun. It takes a predictable course, but the journey there is well-told. 


This film is in its familiar territory, but well done, delivering the tension, scares and gut-busting gore you expect from an Alien movie. Michael Fassbender’s strong performance as two androids is central to the film’s success, adding a layer of uncertainty and menace. It also raises interesting questions about the nature of artificial intelligence. The twists keep you guessing up until the end and leave the way open for another welcome sequel. Not groundbreaking, but highly enjoyable!


Wasn't as great as expected.

Fassbender played the two roles brilliantly but their storyline once the two synthetics meet just becomes slightly odd.

Typical space thriller were there is a tragedy in the first half an hour and then not much excitement and action happens for the next hour.

Great visuals and effect but in all a disappointing film from Ridley Scott.


Watches this two days ago and I'm still buzzing off it. I really enjoyed the thrills of this movie. A lot more gory than I had expected I'll say that but very interesting. My only criticism would be that it ended too soon.... There's also a nice twist at the end too .. I'm sure there'll be more to come!

So disappointing...the entire point of the original "Alien" was suspense. Only one gut-burst from John Hurt and the nasty creature appearing late in the movie, 

Fassbender was great in "Prometheus" so here we gt two of him. Monsters bursting out of bodies all over the place and loud snarling squealing attacks after the crew land on the obviously dodgy planet

A few weak references to culture at the start and even robot nods to Byron and Shelley.

Confused load of cobblers frankly...Ridley, we know you're 80 soon but really!

Sumptuous visuals but the plot isn't half a bit of a mess. Fassbender steals the show - although this is helped by the fact that he plays two roles, often on screen at the same time, as David, the android of the Prometheus who survived those events, and as Walter, the android aboard the colony ship 'Covenant' that is at the centre of events in this movie. The alien creatures themselves, and yes there are lots of them, seem rather incidental to the laboured dialogue. It's enjoyable to watch and never dull - but far from being a classic.