New Release Review: Alien: Covenant
The Alien franchise is truly one of ups and downs. Ridley Scott’s 1979 original, conceived as a haunted house movie in space, is a bona fide classic that transcends the genre. James Cameron’s Aliens cranked everything to 11 for a big action spectacle in 1986. The first two movies are both excellent in their own right and complement one another well; I would argue their place among the best back-to-back films in any series. Studio meddling is often cited for the decrease in quality in the next two installments in the saga, despite 1992’s Alien 3 having David Fincher in the director’s chair and 1997’s Alien: Resurrection having a script by Joss Whedon.
With the Alien universe dormant as star Sigourney Weaver moved on, the franchise devolved further with 2004’s Alien vs. Predator and 2007’s Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Scott returned to the world he created more than three decades earlier with Prometheus in 2012. Rather than retconning the other filmmakers’ work, he opted to make a film that serves as a prequel to Alien but that can also stand on its own merits. With fan reaction divided, Scott attempts to right his wrongs with Alien: Covenant, a direct sequel to Prometheus that bridges the gap to Alien.