Alien Covenant is a movie I wanted to see very badly. Since the appearance of the terra-bioforming “engineer” race I was excited for the possibilities of the story. I went this week with Meg. What a putrid piece of work. I am admittedly physics ignorant so I will not touch on the physics. I will make some comments about logic and biology. Spoilers ahead. If you can’t figure out the plot of Alien covenant in 30 minutes please contact me in order to buy some magic beans.
Logic or lack there of. You have 2000 colonists, scores of human embryos (assumed acquired by donation), a 15 person crew, and the hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure required for an intergalactic colonization mission. You have a seven year long trip to the destination planet Origae-6. After a single near cataclysmic solar storm causing structural damage to your spaceship, death of the original captain and disruption of the intergalactic journey a new captain chosen. The captain is an idiot. But it would seem that in the year 2104 astronauts are all stupid (more on that later). The captain chooses to bypass the mission to Origae-6 by visiting a seemingly perfect planet that was never detected in a survey of the galaxy. This perfect planet is beaming a transmission of John Denver’s Take me home, country roads. Protocols are established for good reason. Space travel has narrow tolerances with respect to decision making: Energy, food, crew safety, route etc. Many things can go wrong in a well planned mission designed by many scientists and engineers. Yet, the captain decides to check this transmission out. Just decides to stop as though he were on a road trip and craved coffee. More puzzling, the atmosphere of the planet is stormy and the astronauts are so told by their on board computer “Mother.” The captain goes against this information as well. He has ‘faith’ he tells Daniels. Daniels is the only crew member with enough sense to call out the captain’s idiocy. Kudos to Ridley Scott for letting her survive the captain’s epic idiocy.
They arrive at this planet (John Denver planet) and take a smaller crew carrying shuttle to launch an expedition to trace the origin of Take me home, country roads. The sentient android, Walter, informs the captain that they have a 7-8 kilometer hike through hilly terrain (they land their shuttle in a valley surrounded by mountains). Preparations? No, no, no. The captain then decides there is no time to wait. No survey of the best route. Just go. I hiked through some mountain passes in Hawaii. I can tell you 7-8 kilometer hikes through mountains are not easy. Nor would they be easy on an alien planet with unknown life forms and carrying planet exploring gear. While this suicide hike is taking place, the wife of the captain decides to ‘do an ecology workup,’ of a given area, splitting away from the rest of the group She takes an assistant. The assistant contracts alien spores and becomes gravely ill.
During this expedition to find the source of the John Denver song the pilot of the ship, a fearless woman remains with the ship. The captain’s wife and assistant return to the ship in panic. The assistant is near death. A quarantine procedure is initiated. Apparently quarantine means get into your tank top, have blood vomited on your face, and enter then exit the quarantine environment without wearing protective gear. Ugh. It gets worse.
The assistant is infected with alien spores, bores an alien from his torso and dies. The alien chases the pilot and they end up at the rear hatch of the shuttle. This large exit is lined with barrel sized cylinders of liquid hydrogen. Liquid hydrogen is flammable. Yet cylinders of it are stored near the only obvious exit. To make matters worse the pilot shoots wildly at the alien jumping about the rear hatch and breaches the hydrogen cylinders incinerating the ship.
I thought we were to learn something about the Engineers. We do not. We only learn that they die. It is ridiculous that we learn nothing about the alleged creators of humanity. There would have been so much potential for a great story. But no. We learn that android David becomes unhinged after his trip to this planet with Dr. Elizabeth Shaw of the Prometheus movie.
Alien covenant is a groaner of a movie. It is going to have artificially inflated reviews because of the diehard Alien franchise fans out there. I am one of those diehard fans. I can tell you if Ripley had her way, she would have hunted down the crew members in Alien covenant and killed them off herself to save us from this putrid mess of a movie.