When Ridley Scott returned to the Alien franchise that he started with Prometheus, it resulted in a divisive prequel. Fans either loved or despised the prequel for many reasons. This is why many were not certain about Ridley Scott coming back again for a sequel to Prometheus.
The second prequel became Alien: Covenant, a movie that was equally divisive but for different reasons. While many defenders of the film can agree that Alien: Covenant does not hold a candle to the likes of Ridley Scott’s original Alien or James Cameron’s Aliens, it was far from the worst of the franchise.
10 Back To The Roots
One of many complaints fans had about Prometheus was its attempt to stray too far from what made Alien so great. Instead of suspense and terror, it was instead a sci-fi film about philosophy and religious commentary. Fine aspects to have but Prometheus went a tad too far with it.
Alien: Covenant on the other hand is a sci-fi horror film at its core. People on a hostile alien world trying to survive threat after threat. Yes, it still features elements of Prometheus but it feels balanced thus making it feel more of an Alien prequel.
9 Much More Focused
Since it returns to the old formula, the story is much more straightforward than Prometheus. Prometheus also tried its hardest to sweep the rug out from under the audience at every turn. There was a new twist every five to ten minutes which made Prometheus feel like a chore to get through.
The sequel still features strange twists in there, some even a little too strange. Overall, the plot remains focused and closer to Ridley Scott’s own Alien.
8 Neomorphs Are A Great Addition
Every movie introduces some new Xenomorph and Covenant features the Neomorph. They are small, fast, and deadly white-skinned monsters that burst outward from the spine. While still far from the best of the series, Neomorphs was a fine example of a flawed precursor to the Xenomorph.
Unfortunately, the Neomorphs are only briefly featured despite being one of the main selling points. Still, it’s to serve the story about David and his strange experiments.
7 Strange Origins
This is where fans were really divided on Alien: Covenant; the actual origins of the Xenomorph. It turns out that isolation has driven the already questionable David into a genocidal mad scientist. The android uses the pathogen from Prometheus to experiment and create the perfect organism.
Yes, it is odd and unexpected but that’s not entirely a bad thing. Why should the twist be predictable? It’s not what everyone was theorizing thus bringing something new to the table. Plus, the idea of the Xenomorph being a designed weapon of destruction makes sense considering its unnatural behavior in previous films.
6 Gorgeously Made
Even those who dislike Prometheus can agree: Ridley Scott has a great visual eye. The sets, the costumes, the digital scenery, and even the monsters themselves are all amazing to look at. Everything practical and computer-generated, Ridley Scott knows how to film. Even the sound and music are stellar.
This all goes for Alien: Covenant despite some rushed CGI in the climax. The mysterious planet is easily the best-looking planet of the franchise and the sets are even better than Prometheus. There is clearly care put into everything.
5 A Mix Of Old And New
This is not to say that Alien: Covenant completely denounces Prometheus. Sure, it definitely tries to backtrack but still retains the many themes and elements of Prometheus. David is still a creepy, philosophizing character and the movie still keeps the idea of the Engineer race at its core.
However, it balances out the Prometheus stuff by featuring flamethrowers, claustrophobic horror, and alien creatures stalking humans. It even tributes H.R. Giger in one scene featuring a character from Prometheus.
4 Better Characters
Speaking of humans, the characters in Covenant are actually competent and somewhat likable. They are far from great but at least they can function; unlike most of the Prometheus characters who felt like leftovers from a Friday The 13th film.
As always, Billy Crudup delivers alongside Katherine Waterston as the Ellen Ripley equivalent. A show-stealer is, surprisingly, Danny McBride as Tennesee giving his most dramatic performance. Sadly, there are still plenty of characters that are simply there to be killed.
3 The Goriest Film Yet
None of the sequels, even Aliens, never managed to capture that same visceral gore of when the chestburster was born in the original 1979 Alien. Ridley Scott brought that back in spades, creating some carnage candy for horror fans.
The Neomorph birth scenes are disgustingly gory and might shock some viewers. When the different alien types start killing, some of the kills get intense and some of them are the most brutal kills in the series.
2 An Actual Xenomorph
Finally delivering on the promise of an Alien origin story, the Xenomorph appears in the third act. Though it is still not the same Xenomorph type fans are used to. There are some differences in the design and how it acts due to it being a prototype, hence the nickname: Protomorph.
Even though the filmmakers made the odd choice of replacing all practical effects with digital effects that are not always good, there is a novelty to the Protomorph. It delivers an intense and action-packed climax that seems like a combination of Alien and Aliens; something Alien: Resurrection tried to do but failed.
1 David & Walter
If there is any reason to watch Alien: Covenant, it is for Michael Fassbender. He gives a dual performance as two androids of similar models: David and the new and more heroic Walter. Fassbender gives both characters distinct characteristics, voices, and personalities that make their scenes together awe-inspiring.
One could argue it’s Fassbender’s best performances he’s ever done. The ending of Covenant even sets up for the return of Fassbender for a third and final chapter of the prequels. Some hope that this is not the end of Fassbender in the Alien universe.
NEXT: 10 Best Michael Fassbender Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes
Harry Potter: 10 Book To Movie Differences Nobody Talks About