Entertainment & Arts

Alien: Covenant thrills but maybe not enough

Alien: Covenant Image copyright Fox
Image caption Michael Fassbender stars in the outer space horror

Ridley Scott's return to directing a film in the Alien franchise has received mixed reviews ahead of its UK and US release.

Alien: Covenant, which is out in the UK on Friday, is the sequel to Scott's 2012 Prometheus and stars Michael Fassbender and Katherine Winterston.

The Guardian said the "parasitic space alien has returned for this watchable if unoriginal sci-fi thriller".

But The Telegraph said the film was "grandiose" and "exhilarating".

"To want more Alien after this... would be to want to see something very odd indeed," Robbie Collin continued. "But Covenant leaves the mythos feeling riper and more vitalised than ever."

Image copyright Fox

In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw went on to say: "The vu has never been so deja: It's a greatest-hits compilation of the other Alien films' freaky moments.

"The paradox is that though you are intended to recognise these touches, you won't really be impressed unless you happen to be seeing them for the first time."

The Independent described it as a "mightily impressive piece of cinematic engineering".

"Every second here is tinged with dark foreboding, with the relentless tension that marked the 1979 original," the paper's Clarisse Loughrey said.

Image copyright Reuters

The Mirror was equally effusive, saying: "Scott's final theatrical flourish sends the franchise spinning out in a new direction. This is screamingly great cinema."

In the US, where the movie comes out on 19 May, Variety magazine was firmly on the fence, saying the film was "more of the same, which is both a relief to fans and a letdown to those hoping it might pave new ground".

Image copyright Fox

Its reviewer Peter Debruge concluded: "As acts of creation go, Scott has made an Alien movie for that segment of the audience that has always rooted for the monster."

In the Hollywood Reporter, the verdict was considerably more enthusiastic, saying the film was "gripping through its full two hours and spiked with some real surprises".

"This beautifully made sci-fi thriller will immeasurably boost fan interest in the run of prequels which Scott has recently said will consist of at least two more films until the action catches up to the 1979 original," it said.

Image copyright Fox

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