Esther McCarthy reviews the new Alien movie...
Alien: Covenant (16) **
The sixth overall film in the Alien series, with Ridley Scott directing is set following the circumstances of his last alien movie, Prometheus. Covenant introduces us to the crew of the Covenant, a colony ship that is heading towards a distant planet on a journey which will take seven years. They're led by Billy Crudup and Katherine Waterson.
On board are 2,000 souls, tucked up in their sleep pods, having signed up to become the first inhabitants of this benign planet.
Following an onboard accident which kills the ship’s captain and awakens its crew, they intercept a human voice transmitted from an unknown nearby planet. Convinced they have discovered an unchartered paradise that is suitable for human habitation, they change course and head for it.
The film concerns itself with what happened to Prometheus’s surviving characters, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and an artificial intelligence named David (Fassbender).
There are conflicts onboard. The new captain in command is a man of faith (Crudup) who feels his scientific team isn't totally onboard with him. But they've much more to deal with when they land.
As a horror movie it works very effectively, but the characters are really thinly drawn and the story far too familiar to deliver surprises. A disappointment.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (12A) ***
King Arthur gets the Guy Ritchie treatment and Charlie Hunnam takes a leading role in this take on the popular myth of Excalibur, Ritchie’s film tells how the young Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) is killed in suspicious circumstances, leaving his son growing up with no sense of his heritage or birthright.
These circumstances have allowed his uncle, Vortigern (a coolly maniacal Jude Law) to take control of the kingdom, but his quest for conflict and control have made him a deeply unpopular and dangerous leader.
But when a search for a man strong and powerful enough to pull a sword from a stone falls at Arthur’s feet, it changes his destiny and forces him to look at his family legacy whether he likes it or not.
Typically for Richie, there's little subtlety but plenty of action to be found in this forgettable but entertaining movie. Watch out for David Beckham in a cameo role.