Alien, the cult Sci Fi movie that incited fear into the hearts of millions, was first released almost thirty years ago in 1979, and director Ridley Scott has shown no sign of ending his continued franchise.Being the now sixth film in the series in the series, Alien: Covenant follows Prometheus (2012) and continues the prequel series that the English director has initiated in this modern era of film making. ‘Alien: Covenant’ repairs what many disliked about ‘Prometheus’ (not enough Xenomorphs) and manages to surpass as a satisfying summer blockbuster.

However, the film unfortunately lacks the suspense and characterization that made the original so memorable.

The story picks up a decade after the events of Prometheus, as a crew of married couples travel aboard a ship known as the Covenant on a colonization mission to a far away planet. The human-like android named Walter (Michael Fassbender) keeps watch of the vessel while the crew rests in hyper sleep. Alas, the members are awoken too early, a sequence we’re a bit too familiar with at this point. Upon seeing a closer planet with better vital signs than their initial destination, they decide to venture away from their programmed path and investigate a new course. Of course, once they land on this planet horrible things begin to happen and crew members begin to die.

It’s a pretty well-known formula by now. While on this planet, the crew also runs into David (also played by Michael Fassbender), the android from Prometheus who was seemingly repaired since the last time we saw his decapitated body.

Flawed, but positive outweighs negative

Ridley Scott has a lot to be praised for, even though Alien: Covenant is not a perfect film.

The visuals and atmosphere is near flawless, as well as the silent yet booming perfection of the sound design. Scott perfectly captures the isolation feel and creates stunning imagery of the planet and surrounding areas. The special effects, specifically those for the many aliens present in the film, are top notch and are well integrated with practical effects.

All the acting should be praised, especially Michael Fassbender, who, despite his enormous role in this film, steals every minute that he is on screen.

Where the film lacks, unfortunately, is in the tone and script. Ridley Scott’s attempt at creating a hybrid film that balances Prometheus with the terror of the original Alien generates lots of tone-related issues. Towards the beginning, the film felt more familiar to the classic Alien, with foreign lifeforms bursting from bodies and white-knuckled terror ejecting everywhere. Then, halfway through, the film shifts towards more of a Prometheus sequel and immediately unhooked my unwavering interest with long, expository scenes that leave you more confused if anything.

Then the third act suddenly returns to a more horror-suspense vibe with Xenomorphs and other action everywhere. These clashing tones make Alien: Covenant feel like two different movies smashed into one. Also, gone are the days of fast, quippy dialogue that made the originals so potently fresh. Alien: Covenant has extremely wooden dialogue that is filled to the brim with exposition. You usually don’t see and conjure things for yourself here, you’re instead told what you need to know.

Alien:Covenant, the verdict

The pacing inconsistencies are very prominent, and the dialogue often lackluster. However, the positives outweigh the negatives and allow this sixth installment in the Alien franchise to be a worthy one.

Verdict: 7/10