So, who wants their homicidal, adaptive alien served up with a side of philosophy?  If you do, then you'll like Alien: Covenant a whole lot more than I did.   This entry in the Alien franchise tries for greater depth but proves boring.

After a discussion of creations and creators, we see the starship Covenant on its way to colonize a distant planet.  The trip is scheduled for seven years, with both passengers and crew in suspended animation, with synthetic Walter (Michael Fassbender) minding the systems.  But a cosmic event damages the ship, killing the captain and dozens of the passengers.  While conducting repairs, the crew picks up an automated message (actually a John Denver song), which leads them to a much closer, potentially inhabitable planet.

The new planet seems both perfect and mysterious: The environment is fine, but why is their Earth wheat growing there?  It turns out that this is where the ship from the movie Prometheus landed, and the only survivor is the synthetic David (also played by Michael Fassbender).  And worse, the members of the Covenant can get infected by the xenomorphs by spores, eggs, and other methods.  Who will survive?
The bigger question: Who cares?  All of the characters in Alien: Covenant have virtually no personality or characteristics, making them disposable and forgettable.  The xenomorphs are almost included as an afterthought, the killer ticking clock for the crew on the planet.  As for the issues of who creates life and what its purpose is, this movie spends a lot of time discussing this but won't be remembered for it.  This movie is a very weak entry in a generally strong franchise.

Overall grade: D
Reviewed by James Lynch

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