That slimy, long-skulled, multi-jawed creature that’s been giving us all nightmares since 1979 is back. After delving deep into the mythology in Prometheus, Ridley Scott moves us forward 10 years and introduces us (again) to the human-spawned Xenomorph we all know and fear.
Carrying thousands of humans from earth, on a mission to colonise a faraway planet, the crew of the ship are diverted by a mysterious signal coming from an unknown world. All doesn’t go to plan, obviously.
Bringing the franchise into 2017, for the first time, the crew includes a same sex male couple played by Demian Bichir and Nathaniel Dean. Though there’s nothing specifically explicit in their relationship, it’s not a film about romance, it’s a film about survival.
As Binchir described it on Screenrant: “You know, it’s just a thing, they’re just two men who love each other and they’re happy to be bad-ass soldiers.”
It’s certainly more of a noticeable “gay moment” than the recently hyped but admittedly disappointing Beauty and the Beast and Power Rangers’ efforts. It’s important for Hollywood to continue to include these characters with no fuss and for them to be like: “Yep, we’re not really any different from the other characters”.
While there are further insights into the history of the alien species and the planet’s history, in comparison to Prometheus, Alien: Covenant feels in a way like it’s back to basics for Scott, as the story feels familiarly formulaic in terms of how the franchise’s events usually unfold. This isn’t always a negative, however, as, if you’re a fan of sci-fi horror, there’s little that won’t satisfy you.
There’s bloodshed, there’s elaborate action and genuine thrills. The tension still feels as fresh as it did in the original Alien, and the well-known Xenomorph is scarier than ever. Though you may experience some déjà vu, Covenant is a more than capable horror with strong performances, particularly from Fassbender.
And while the irritatingly predictable ending may rub some the wrong way, it could also open up exciting possibilities for a sequel.
Words: Joe Passmore