There’s always a killjoy:
There is no need for reviewers to be coy about the film’s basic plot, since that is also part of the implied contract. So, when the good starship Covenant, carrying a minimal crew and large population of hibernating colonists, gets an enigmatic message from a planet that seems ideal for human habitation, everyone in the theatre knows that they will land on its surface and promptly encounter the first of many homicidal grotesqueries that will proceed to kill off crew members one by one while the survivors strive to both slaughter the pesky aliens and ensure that they don’t get on board the ship and infest the entire galaxy. To be sure, Scott and his writers (Jack Paglen, Michael Green, John Logan, and Dante Harper), perhaps after finding Ezra Pound’s injunction to “Make it new” in one of the books of quotations they kept consulting while polishing the script (as discussed below), do endeavor to add a veneer of novelty to the tried-and-true pattern they were obliged to follow, but the results of their ruminations are less than inspiring. Hey, let’s make some of the xenomorphs look a little different – explaining that they are “hybrids” of the original species and the creatures they penetrated, cannibalized, and emerged from – but don’t make them look too different, because we don’t want to disappoint the fans. Of course, emulating the famous scene in the original Alien (1979), we have to show a baby alien erupting out of a man’s chest, but we can also have one come out of a man’s back and a man’s mouth. Remember how neat it was when the alien attacked Ellen Ripley in her underwear? Why not have an alien attack a naked woman and man taking a shower? And the first film employed the hoary horror-film device of making the characters believe that the monster has been destroyed, then bringing it back on the scene for a final shocker; so, this time, why don’t we do it not once, but twice? One already starts to dread what Scott and writer/director Neil Blomkamp might dream up for the next Alien film now being planned – an alien bursting out of a man’s buttocks?
Love how he spells it “Theatre”. If that wasn’t pretentious enough:
Consider my favorite part of the film – the opening, alien-free sequence when a huge starship, solely controlled by the robot Walter (Michael Fassbender), is suddenly beset by a “neutrino surge” that damages its systems and requires Walter to reawaken the ship’s fifteen-person crew, who must then decide whether to continue on to their original destination or “take a look” at the new world they have just discovered. Here is a story that Hollywood hasn’t told a thousand times before, and I think it would have been far more interesting to have the starship proceed on its planned journey, as in the sedate but nonetheless involving Czechoslovak film Ikarie XB-1, aka Voyage to the End of the Universe (1963).