ALIEN: COVENANT (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Run. Hide. Pray’

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott (Alien; Blade Runner; Hannibal) from a screenplay written by Jack Paglen (Transcendence) and Michael Green (Green Lantern).

The film’s soundtrack score was composed by Jed Kurzel (The Babadook).


Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition…


Alien: Covenant is not a bad movie, it’s just not a particularly memorable one […] It has all of the pieces of a good Alien film (and to be clear, it is entertaining), but it cobbles them together in an enjoyable but hollow film that lacks inspiration and exists solely to set up the next installment which, based on the setup at the end of the film, sounds awesome.” Bloody Disgusting

“There is plenty to admire here. The sound design is masterful – the deadly silence on this petrified planet crackles with icy dread. Fassbender’s performance is an elegant pas de deux that effortlessly delineates between the two identical androids. But the film is laboriously talky, filled with expository dialogue as stale as the recycled air on a spaceship.” The Observer

“A lot of Covenant is Scott on autopilot, cribbing notions and set-pieces here and there from older movies (mostly his own) and showing only a workmanlike interest in the proceedings. Prometheus is deeply flawed, but it has a palpable energy and drive that makes it clear an inquisitive filmmaker is at the helm. Covenant is just a schlocky B-movie that went to Metaphysics 101 for a semester.”

Look, it’s not perfect by any means—the xenos are a bit underwhelming, plot mechanisms feel very loose at times, and it’s becoming even more difficult to figure out how all of this ties into 1979’s Alien—and yet it’s still a gloriously weird, nihilistic slice of sci-fi horror that has expanded a decades-old franchise in ways we never expected.” The Missing Reel


Alien: Covenant may continue the Prometheus storyline, but it doesn’t share that film’s spirit — or else the characters might pause to show some interest in the extinct population that at one time inhabited the moon they’re exploring. As acts of creation go, Scott has made an Alien movie for that segment of the audience that has always rooted for the monster.” Variety

“When it is intense, Covenant is really intense. The first encounter with the nascent dome heads is a full-on onslaught, from uncomfortable scenes of uncontrollable shaking to moments of dark absurdity (slipping on blood at a key moment) to the beasties revealing a hitherto unknown skill at head-butting. Yet once the hunt is on, Scott can’t muster the sustained tension of Alien (or the relentless ride of Aliens).” Empire

Alien: Covenant was clearly designed with the intention of addressing the criticisms of Prometheus, but continuing to develop the plot threads and themes of that movie at the same time. The outcome is a worthwhile addition to the larger Alien franchise that stands on its own as an engaging sci-fi/horror flick… even if it does play out like the “Greatest Hits” collection of the Alien series’ tropes, at certain times.” Screen Rant

“The best sequences (in particular the spore infestation that brings us inside an ear canal, the first attack in the grass, the flute scene, the flashback revealing the city’s destruction, and the escape from the planet) put nearly everything else being done in science fiction or fantasy at this budget level to shame. It’s rare to see such a combination of technical mastery and wicked joy in a film by a director who’s been working as long as Scott.”

Alien: Covenant lacks the grandeur of Prometheus and the intimacy of the original Alien, often struggling to find a middle ground. Its obedience to the established tropes occasionally makes it feel more like a reboot than a continuation. It’s clear that Scott listened to the criticisms Prometheus received, but he relegates himself to giving the people what they want – the crowd-pleasing bursts of Alien nostalgia – at the sacrifice of his true passions.” Broke Horror Fan

“There is carnage, the pseudo-spiritual pretentiousness of Prometheus, then an ending that announces itself, loudly, midway through the picture, the moment all the planet’s inhabitants are fully accounted for. There is no way to miss the arc of this Covenant. Scott plans more of these, but this retcon job has gone on long enough.” Philadelphia Enquirer

The film was produced by Scott Free Productions and Twentieth Century-Fox Film. It was formerly titled Alien: Paradise Lost and Prometheus 2.

Cast and characters:

Michael Fassbender … David / Walter
Katherine Waterston … Daniels
Billy Crudup … Oram
Danny McBride … Tennessee
Demián Bichir … Lope (as Demian Bichir)
Carmen Ejogo … Karine
Jussie Smollett … Ricks
Callie Hernandez … Upworth
Amy Seimetz … Faris
Nathaniel Dean … Hallett
Alexander England … Ankor
Benjamin Rigby … Ledward
Uli Latukefu … Cole
Tess Haubrich … Rosenthal
Lorelei King … Voice of ‘Mother’ (voice)

Box office:

The film took $232,312,741 worldwide against an estimated budget of $97 million, plus “marketing costs.”

Filming locations:

Te Anau region of South New Zealand

Technical details:

123 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1


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