About a week ago I went to see Alien Covenant. A town a few miles away from Dundrum had sprouted a multi-screen cinema at some point, but I’d never noticed! It’s tucked out of sight down a hill, where even the signs are blocked by foliage, so unless I’d picked up their flyer like I did in the local shop, I’d still be totally unaware they were there. I remember a time when you had to wait almost a year to see new films after they came out in the States, and drive about 35 miles each way to Belfast!
So, the movie began and within a couple of minutes I had the sinking feeling that I’d seen it before. It turned out I hadn’t, fortunately. I was remembering the previous one, Prometheus, which I’d obviously found so unremarkable I’d totally forgotten it.
To my surprise, I was highly entertained by Covenant, expecting it to be ‘naff’ as they say over here. Admittedly, I laughed in a few places where it was supposed to be serious, and had a couple of moments where if I’d been at home in front of the television I’d have yelled, “What??? Highly trained team of scientists and experienced soldiers trek out onto a new world WITHOUT FILTERS OR MASKS OF ANY KIND????” Or “Don’t be stupid, only a moron would go in there!!!!” You know the kind of thing.
The special effects were great. With VFX technology as advanced as it is today, the aliens looked terrifyingly real. And ugly. And very, very nasty.
Throughout there were a few homages to the first Alien movie from 1979. One in particular, the entire audience chuckled and made eye contact with people sitting nearby.
It took me a while to realize the first scene was a prologue of sorts, but it made sense later on. The token sex scene was well … token. And rather silly. Just a device for something else, but I won’t spoil the plot for you. David the synthetic human, (á la Ash from the original) was quite hypnotizing in his role. A wee bit of eye candy too, which is always welcome.
All in all, I’d recommend going to see it while it’s still in cinemas. A good romp of a story with a nice dash of horror throughout.