Review: Alien: Covenant is pale imitation of predecessors

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 22 June 2017

Alien: Covenant (15) is out in cinemas now.

Alien: Covenant (15) is out in cinemas now.

Archant

Alien: Covenant sees acclaimed director Ridley Scott return to the Alien franchise with a follow up to his divisive 2012 prequel Prometheus.

This film attempts to bridge the gap between that film and his original 1979 classic Alien.

After their ship is damaged by a solar flare, the crew of the colony ship Covenant are forced to land on a nearby planet where they discover Michael Fassbender’s android David, who has been stranded since the doomed Prometheus mission 10 years before.

However, the planet is not the paradise the crew are hoping for and they soon find themselves face to face with an aggressive alien species.

As the crew fight for their lives, the story becomes all the more familiar and unfortunately there is precious little in this film that isn’t regurgitated from a previous instalment.

Despite having its flaws Prometheus did at least introduce interesting new ideas, which appeared to take the franchise in a bold new direction. But those threads are only loosely referenced here and are soon dropped in favour of more aliens and gorier action scenes.

After a slow beginning, the pace becomes so frenetic it makes it difficult to keep track of which crew members are still alive and harder still to tell them apart.

Unlike its 1986 predecessor Aliens, which was chock full of great characters, here there are few that stick in the memory.

Katherine Waterson’s Daniels is a blander version of Sigourney Weavers Ripley and even Danny McBride fails to add his usual charisma to helmsman Tennessee.

The excellent Michael Fassbender is the one exception, excelling in his duel role as androids Walter and David, but he is the solitary high point.

Horror enthusiasts may take something away from the visceral and bloody nature of the film, but when compared to other instalments in the series this one doesn’t match up.

Just like the Neomorph creatures of the film, Alien: Covenant is a pale imitation of its predecessors.

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