In Review

Alien: Covenant – Ridley Scott divides the critics

Michael Fassbender leads the crew on another prequel, but the return of the franchise get a mixed reaction

Almost 40 years after Alien burst on to our screens, director Ridley Scott returns with the latest in the franchise - Alien: Covenant.

The second chapter of the prequels, which began with 2012's Alien: Prometheus, sees Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterson, Carmen Ejogo and Billy Crudup among the crew who make a terrible discovery after they land on an uncharted planet.

It may be a concept that first hit cinemas in 1979, but "there's life in the old bugger yet", says Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter.

Despite the series seeming to have "hit the rocks" with Prometheus"savvy old master Scott has resuscitated it, and then some", says the critic, and the latest offering is "gripping through its full two hours" with "some real surprises".

Covenant is "grandiose" and "exhilarating", with the director creating terror on a "towering scale", says Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph.

Elements from Scott's "unfairly scorned" Prometheus come lurching back into focus with a maniacal "this’ll show 'em' glint", he adds, giving the film a full five stars.

Ian Freer in Empire says it can be "really intense" and covers "all your favourite Alien tropes", from "crew bantz" and the return of the ship’s computer Mother, to "facehuggers, chestbursters and xenomorphs".

However, he also argues that Alien: Covenant is hampered by a lack of memorable crew members and while there are some "creepy kills", there's nothing to "recapture the imagination and design of the originals".

Similarly, Germain Lussier on Gizmodo thinks the film might be the "biggest disappointment of the summer". 

It's not terrible, says the critic and there are even "a few pockets of enjoyment", but it is too slow to get going, with an hour passing before the crew lands on the planet.

"It was good for a little bit, but not for long, and that’s just not good enough for a franchise with this history", he writes.

Alien: Covenant is out in the UK on 12 May.

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