Scotts sequel to the Prometheus prequel is capably made but plays like a greatest-hits compilation of the original films freakiest moments
Its back, with its vicious little fangs, squidgily formless body and nasty receding skull that swoops and tapers down the back of its neck, like the helmet of an Olympic cyclist. Ridley Scotts parasitic space alien has returned for this watchable if unoriginal sci-fi thriller though it doesnt grow all that much these days. Michael Fassbender is back, too, as the creepy deadpan robot who glides around in the style of a Jeeves/Lecter hybrid, wearing a tight-fitting outfit apparently made out of nylon, and in which he appears as flat-fronted in the trouser department as Barbies boyfriend Ken. And Scott himself has again returned to the helm of the Alien franchise he effectively created with the first film in 1979, before ceding directorial control to James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet for the sequels, and others for the novelty bouts with Predator.
This movie is a sequel to the prequel Prometheus, which Scott directed in 2012, a movie that was there supposedly to set up the events in the first film, all about a space quest for mankinds Dniken-esque origin on other planets. Prometheus was set in 2094; this is happening 10 years later, in 2104, with a colonist ship, called the Covenant, travelling for years through space, intended to set up a plantation on a distant world which appears to have the means to support human life. But the terrified crew encounter an awful truth about the Prometheus, as well as a sharp-toothed, uninvited little guest.
Of course, it is futile to concern yourself with the timeline of the Alien films when effectively they are happening in parallel, not in sequence. They are variations on the same theme. The one change is that Prometheus and Alien: Covenant take the legendary android reveal at the end of the first Alien, and matter-of-factly incorporate it into the prequels as part of the establishing premise.
This film inflates Fassbenders robot role hugely. He first appears in an eerie, interesting opening sequence which the rest of the film cannot really match: a huge white room, with a grand piano, a panorama-window showing some generic alpine landscape, a full-scale model of Michelangelos David, and other high-art objects. There we find Fassbenders robot being questioned by his testy scientist-creator Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) and invited to choose a name for himself, the robot hubristically says David, after the statue.
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