MOVIE REVIEW: Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant is a carnage of visual and aesthetic feast with a freakshow production and uncanny elements from Prometheus and the previous Alien films, all wrapped in a signature Ridley Scott bow of chills and unabashed action.

The goal of Alien: Covenant is for the audience to recognize familiar themes of interplanetary expeditions and Frankenstein-ish Freudian elements meant to basically pay tribute to Scott’s filmography. While it stirs a great deal of curiosity and satisfaction for the fans of the abovementioned referential films, viewers who aren’t familiar with Scott’s previous works would eventually find themselves stuck in periphery as to where the film would go, what it tries to prove, and what the characters actually stand for. It is a sequel that doesn’t commit to be an actual sequel, which happens to be the main problem. It plays safe in marketing itself as an obvious conversational piece in response to Scott’s platter of films, but tries to be an independent cinema all together.

Nevertheless, the film doesn’t fail in bringing action and excitement with bizarre themes of alien vs. predator violence. However, the film comes off oftentimes tedious and overwrought, making the pacing so slow and unnecessarily long, messing a momentum that could’ve been extraordinarily non-stop. Furthermore, it doesn’t add anything new to an overly-prolonged conversation of human versus aliens; it overemphasizes a nostalgia that has since became old and weary. Nonetheless, the action and bloody thrills are there — are they enough to withstand the mundane topic that has been too often discussed? That’s the question.

Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston gave such committed performances amidst a chaotic, underdeveloped narrative of characters. Waterston certainly has the potent energy of the female psyche, embodying strength and resilience while balancing vulnerability — a perfect Ridley Scott muse, resonating to that of Sigourney Weaver in the original film.

Overall, Alien: Covenant is a visual satisfaction, though doesn’t quite live up to the monumental achievements recent space epics have made (Gravity, The Martian, Arrival). Nevertheless, it passes on an above average scale, just enough to flicker the eyes with an expedition worth watching.

As the film ends, I remain curious — but I wasn’t hungry for a “what’s next”.


3.75 out of 5 stars


Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror ‘Alien: Covenant’ offers terrifying cinematic event

Director Ridley Scott brings another yet unforgettable cinematic event in “Alien: Covenant” starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Guy Pearce, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and James Franco.

“Alien: Covenant” takes place ten years after the events of Prometheus and follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant, which has discovered a promising new planet. Also on board the colony ship Covenant is humanoid Walter (Fassbender) who is in charge of managing the ship’s safe journey until it’s time for the mission crew to wake from years of cryo-slumber. Once awake, the team finds a planet just like earth and soon comes in contact with David (Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The uncharted world that looks like paradise at first soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

A visual spectacle, “Alien: Covenant” will bring the audience to an immersive world where humans have nowhere to run and hide from the monstrous creatures who wreak of nothing but carnage.

Fassbender plays dual role as humanoids David and Walter, both made to be the ideal hassle-free companion in all of man’s most ambitious expedition in space. Fassbender as Walter is the latest humanoid creation, an extremely efficient modification with unrivalled data processing and is free of emotions. When the ship Covenant Walter mans makes an unscheduled stop at the nearest planet, they didn’t realize that they have descended into hell’s path finding themselves trapped and helpless in a world full of hostile alien life forms.

“I think Walter’s a real different kettle of fish. David was definitely a work-in-progress, somewhat of a prototype I suppose. The elements of him that were the human elements I think people found a little disturbing, so Walter’s more of a straightforward robot. Pretty logical and more of a servant without the ego. So Walter is really just a very straightforward, logical synthetic really. He’s just more like a Dr. Spock type character, whereas David—it’s 10 years since we last saw him without any maintenance. So those human qualities have gathered some momentum I suppose or they’re as much a part of him now as synthetic qualities. Walter’s just really there to serve the ship and its crew,” says Fassbender of his dual role.

“Alien: Covenant” opens May 10, 2017 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox as distributed by Warner Bros.

Latest colonization mission lands in hostile terrain in Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’

The largest colonization mission takes off in Ridley Scott’s latest sci-fi horror-thriller “Alien: Covenant” starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, James Franco, Billy Crudup, Jussie Smollett, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez and Danny McBride.

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in “Alien” with “Alien: Covenant”, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with “Prometheus” and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. 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.

In recent interviews, Ridley Scott revealed that in “Alien: Covenant”, he explored into the origins of the xenomorphs, and that the movie touches on mortality, immortality and the higher power who created humans and the universe. “We did Prometheus – that heaved it off the ground, and Covenant is a follow-through to Prometheus. We now know who created this, and why, and the next one’s a joining up of the storyline,” says Scott.

Both Prometheus and Covenant are inspired by Scott’s personal beliefs about where we came from: “We’re not just a random biological accident, for you and I to be sitting here right now [by accident] would take trillions of correct decisions made randomly by nature, which of course is ridiculous. I think there’s some kind of decision being made. I believe in a higher force – if we want to call it God, then it’s God.”

Scott further revealed in his Vanity Fair interview about the opening scene in “Alien: Covenant”, “We start Covenant with a really clever prologue that settles—once and for all—who David really is.” The sequence begins on a “big beautiful blue eye—you see every vein” and over that shot audiences will hear footsteps approach. “How do you feel?” a voice asks. “Alive,” the owner of the eye responds. Scott explains that the prologue reveals Guy Pearce’s Prometheus character, Peter Weyland, as a younger, 40-year-old man whom the newly-born David calls “father.” Scott promises this sequence will “really get people going because it’s fucking smart for a change.”

“Alien: Covenant” opens May 10, 2017 in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Experience fan-focused ‘Alien: Covenant’ activities on ‘Alien Day’ at Trinoma cinema

In anticipation of the year’s most terrifying film by Ridley Scott “Alien: Covenant” that will open on May 10 in Phils. cinemas, fans and enthusiasts are in for a treat dubbed as “Alien Day” on April 26 as the groundbreaking franchise offers 24 hours of fan-focused activities worldwide.

“Alien Day” on April 26 is a nod to planet LV-426 from the iconic Alien films, as the countdown continues for the highly anticipated new chapter in Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking sci-fi thriller, “Alien: Covenant,” releasing in theaters worldwide beginning May 10. Cast members from “Alien: Covenant” will join fan-focused festivities including a live streaming event, an interactive trivia challenge, worldwide screenings, all-new product launches, special reveals and more.

The worldwide Alien Day fan activities include livestreaming event at Fox Studios in Los Angeles on all Alien social channels and on the newly launched ALIEN Universe Hub (www.AlienUniverse.com), fans can interact with the cast via a question and answer session as well as view multiple behind-the-scenes segments highlighting the making of “Alien: Covenant” and for the hardcore nerds there’s the “MU/TH/UR of all ALIEN Trivia Challenges” – available for only 24 hours on http://www.AlienUniverse.com, Fox will unveil a new quiz every 4 hours and 26 minutes.

On the local scene, in Metro Manila, experience the alien in you in the “Alien: Covenant” Utero, a photo exhibit at Ayala Malls Cinemas’ Trinoma Cinema lobby wherein one can experience firsthand via VR (virtual reality) being borne as an alien starting April 26, Wednesday (7:00pm). Early birds will also get a chance to take home a limited collectible “Alien: Covenant” poster at the kick-off of Alien Day in Trinoma Cinema.

This is something you have never seen and experienced before! Step into the “Alien: Covenant” VR experience at Trinoma where participants will be immersed into a living nightmare and offer an experience that will feel like the first memory of an alien neomorph at the time of its birth. The virtual reality puts you in the first person’s POV (point-of-view) as if you were a neomorph fetus being borne and ends up bursting from a person’s back. Experience it all – visual and auditory as the “Alien: Covenant” Utero brings you a womb-like environment created with extreme level of detail and realism.

“Alien: Covenant” is set ten years after the events depicted in Ridley Scott’s 2012 hit “Prometheus.” Now, “Alien: Covenant” returns to the roots of the director’s groundbreaking saga with a uniquely terrifying tale filled with white-knuckle adventure and monstrous new creatures. With this, the sixth installment in the blockbuster series, the visionary director edges ever closer toward revealing the mysterious origins of the mother of all aliens, the lethal Xenomorph from the original film.

Brace for inescapable terror when “Alien: Covenant” opens in Philippine cinemas on May 10, 2017 – from 20th Century Fox distributed by Warner Bros.