Alien: Covenant

Rated 3.0

Ridley Scott’s third Alien film is an entertaining mashup of the overreaching but cool sensibilities from Prometheus and the old-school ick factor and dread that marked the original Alien as one of the best horror and science fiction films of the 20th Century. Alien: Covenant continues the ruminations about the origins of mankind birthed in Prometheus while injecting a few more Xenomorphs into the mix. It will please those fans of the first two films of the franchise who want the shit scared out of them, while also appeasing those who enjoyed the brainy—if somewhat confusing and slightly inconsistent—ways of Prometheus. While Scott has leaned harder on the horror elements for this one, his budget is over $30 million less than the one he had for Prometheus. That film constituted one of cinema’s all-time great uses of 3-D technology, with flawless special effects. Covenant totally abandons 3-D and features some CGI in the opening minutes that look befitting of a low budget Syfy channel offering. The film more than makes up for some shoddy computer work once the crew members of the Covenant, a stricken colony ship in danger of not reaching its destination, set down to scout out a new planet as a closer alternate. They encounter Prometheus survivor David (Michael Fassbender), who has basically been up to no good. Fassbender also plays a new android named Walter, and he more than capitalizes on the chance to do something weird with this acting opportunity. There’s plenty of old school scares and gore to go with the musings about Earth’s creation. Scott has promised that there will be more films leading up to the events of his original Alien. We’ll see.