"Alien: Covenant" serves as a sequel to "Prometheus" and a prequel to the 1979 original "Alien."
The first and best thing I can say is that director Ridley Scott has made an exhilarating return to form that once again combines white-knuckle thrills, a foreboding atmosphere, intriguing characters, and a story filled with depth and intrigue.
Michael Fassbender returns as David, the android from "Prometheus" that survived the fatal attack on that ship by some of those nasty aliens. Noomi Rapace’s Dr. Elizabeth Shaw was killed in an accident featuring the ship, but not before repairing his body.
The captains of a new ship, known as the Covenant, discover David on the remote planet the ship crashed on, and begin investigating. Katharine Waterson and Billy Crudup star as the leaders of the Covenant.
It’s not long before the crew finds the inhabitants of this planet to be very hostile and aggressive for unknown reasons. There’s got to be a least half a dozen scenes of the aliens relentlessly chasing and eventually killing them off in very graphic ways. These aliens are about as cunning and bloodthirsty as the raptors in "Jurassic Park."
Fassbender also has a dual role as David’s twin, Walter, who serves as a more advanced model to David. When the two meet, they have one particularly memorable exchange involving a musical instrument, though it may inspire unintentional laughter.
Fans of "Alien" and even "Prometheus" will be satisfied as this cut-from-the-same-cloth entry provides those serviceable moments of gory attacks and a nonstop sense of pace to keep it on its toes. "Covenant" is looking to set itself up for a sequel and I for one will gladly welcome it.
It may not add anything new or profound to the franchise. It certainly doesn’t top the one-two punch of Scott’s original 1979 classic or James Cameron’s 1986 heart-pounding sequel. But as a standalone effort, "Covenant" gives fans what they expect and does it exceptionally well.
Scott still understands that in space no one can hear you scream.
Rated R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.