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Alien: Covenant - 1979 classic minus the scare factor

 

By Damon Smith

The action initially unfolds on the vessel Covenant, which is bound for a remote planet with 15 crew and 2,000 colonists in cryogenic stasis.

Synthetic android Walter (Michael Fassbender) keeps watch until a neutrino burst from a star causes a "destructive event" that prematurely wakes the crew including devoutly religious first mate Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup) and his biologist wife Karine (Carmen Ejogo), chief pilot Tennessee (Danny McBride), head of security Lope (Demian Bichir) and the captain's plucky wife, Daniels (Katherine Waterston).

They stumble upon a distress signal containing a snippet of John Denver's classic Take Me Home, Country Roads, broadcast from a nearby planet that sensors reveal would make an idyllic new home.

Alien: Covenant joins the dots to the original trilogy with strong echoes of Sigourney Weaver's exploits as Ripley. Jump-out-of-your-seat scares have been eradicated and the script's sleight of hand is clumsy.

Three stars

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