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Alien: Covenant  : Done In By Familiarity
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Friday, May 12, 2017
Thriller
Ridley Scott
Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

My sympathies are with Ridley Scott. Three months ago, director Daniel Espinosabeat him to it with Life, a film about a killer alien that a spaceship from earth must destroy. With a twist at the end.

 

Unfortunately, Ridley Scott’s new film has the very same plot, and pretty much the same sort of ending too. Additionally, Scott’s overblown efforts to scare don’t have the thriller moments to keep the viewer on the edge. Especially once the alien is aboard the ship which is like watching Life all over again.so  In fact, with the overcooking of the plot, it begins to plod so much that as the grotesque body count goes up, so do the yawns from the viewer.

 

Like the film Passenger, there are colonists from earth asleep and embryos in the lab aboard spaceship Covenant that’s headed for a new planet to settle down. But a detour costs them dearly.

 

Already, there’s heartache aboard the Covenant with Daniels having to give her husband a space burial which is heartrending.  When she as the second-in-command vetoes the Captain’s decision to take the detour and says, ‘There’s so much here that one doesn’t understand’, it sounds like what the viewer is saying. Why veer away from course?And why make a sequel to Prometheus that’s like déjà vu?

 

But being Ridley Scott, he has a way with spectacular visuals that are not schoolboy-level fascination for special effects. And he’s good with tender human bonds, both of which give Alien a boost. He even has moments like a flute-teaching session between man-created synthetic brothers Walter and David who have different missions.

 

Michael Fassbender as the android brothers and Katherine Waterston who’s brilliant as the courageous second-in-command, provide value addition. All these combine to give Scott an edge over other similarly-themed sci-fi adventures.

 

However, Alien would perhaps have been stunning if one hadn’t seen the creature in Life or the sleeping colonists in Passenger. So it’s really the similarity in thinking and the bad timing that sucks for Scott this time around.

 

For an efficiently made film that however has been seen too recently to really thrill, Alien gets a 2.5* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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