There is a battle raging in Alien: Covenant. Not betwixt man and Xenomorph, but between director and studio. One of the biggest issues with Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was that it always felt like the director was trying to get away from the Alien franchise, but 20th Century Fox was always over his shoulder asking to put more references to the series. With Alien: Covenant, it feels like Scott clearly wanted to do a direct sequel to Prometheus, but Fox would rather he make another Alien movie, hence why all the marketing is Xenomorph-centric. What you get is an odd amalgamation of both, with neither really working.
To discuss the true failings of Alien: Covenant is difficult without revealing spoilers. The villain of the piece (which oddly isn’t the titular creature) is revealed around the mid-point, and becomes the driving force for the rest of the movie. Their motives are clear, but uninteresting. It all ties back into this problem where Scott wanted to make one movie and Fox wanted something else. You spend a lot of time building towards one story, only for a new one to be dropped in during the third act.
Written for Flickering Myth. Read the full review here.