*** out of five stars

Ridley Scott’s follow-up to 2012’s Prometheus continues the saga of the Alien series in a story set 11 years after Prometheus and 18 years before the original 1979 Alien film.

A colonization spaceship takes a detour upon receiving a mysterious signal. The signal leads them to a planet that initially seems habitable and includes the soft-spoken android David (played by Michael Fassbender) as a resident. Things, however, aren’t quite what they seem.

Alien: Covenant is an entertaining but largely predictable and unoriginal entry in this beloved series. The carnage wrought, while fun, borrows much from the original, with precious few new twists. Thankfully, the cast gives it their all, even if the script does not flesh them all out. Intriguingly, Fassbender gets to play off himself, portraying both returning character David and a newer android named Walter. The special effects, utilizing CGI and some practical effects, are overall well done. The film’s atmosphere manages to successfully blend the eerie suspense of Alien with the mellower vibe of Prometheus. This is due, in large part, to the film’s score, which includes many cues from Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack for Alien.

While not a groundbreaking classic like the original Alien or James Cameron’s Aliens, Alien: Covenant is worth seeing if you’re a fan of the series. But beware, in movie theaters, everyone can hear you scream.


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