Ok. This one hurts to write.
As a kid, nothing scared me more than the xenomorph from Alien. It was the kind of scary that fascinated me, and the kind of movie I got in trouble for watching. As I got older, Ridley Scott continued to make movies that captivated me, many of them becoming locked into my list of favorites (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood), and he's made many other quality films.
I want that feeling of fear/fascination back, and I want that Ridley Scott back.
The more time goes by, the more Scott reveals himself to be an uneven director, or at least, he needs to pay more attention to the scripts he directs. In between the hits in Scott's filmography are several duds. Alien: Covenant is unfortunately one of them. And that's coming from someone who, while acknowledging its flaws, actually liked Prometheus quite a bit.
In this film we have a group of people who serve as the crew for the stereotypical Very Important Space Mission, who also happen to be some of the dumbest characters I've ever seen in a movie. In that way, the action in Covenant plays out like a typical horror flick, as the people try to run away from the monster and make the stupidest decisions possible.
The really disappointing thing is there are a few good ideas here which we saw the seeds of in Prometheus, big questions that we never really got answers to. The nature of creation, the relationship between God and man, between creator and creation, and humanity's place in the universe. Prometheus and Covenant both attempt to address these topics, and while many will say Prometheus failed, Covenant fails harder.
And to be fair, there is some good stuff here. David's story in particular is a strong point, and his philosophizing about creation and playing god is good. But unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good in this film by a large margin.
The twists in the plot are fairly predictable, except the ones that could never be predicted because they make no sense. And I think above all, that is Covenant's greatest fault: it violates the laws of its universe. There is very well-established lore in the Alien universe, especially regarding the life-cycle of the xenomorph, and a few times Covenant simply ignores that lore.
Covenant just feels like it bit off more than it could chew. Is it a Prometheus sequel? Is it an Alien prequel? I'm not sure it matters, because for me, it fails at both. It's fine for a scary space-monster movie, I guess, but not much else.
I wish I could recommend this movie, because I was excited for it and wanted it to be good. It's not terrible. I didn't hate it. But it's only fine, and for me, when it comes to the Alien franchise, fine isn't good enough. So a couple months down the road, if you're looking for something at Redbox, maybe give it a try then.