I like to watch movies, you guys, and I like to complain about them when they're bad, but one thing I try to avoid is questioning the basic premise. I don't like to go looking for plot holes, because I just don't think there's any value in that. Once you start asking "Why didn't the characters do x thing that I as the omniscient viewer have decided was the correct move?", the whole artifice of movie-making falls down. Why didn't Gandalf just ask the Eagles to fly over Mt Doom so he could slam dunk the Ring in there? Because then there'd be no movie, of course. Congratulations, your clever deduction has robbed the world of a beloved work of fiction, I hope you're happy. At a certain point you just have to accept that the movie is what it is, and then evaluate accordingly. By all means, tear this hypothetical movie to pieces for executing its premise badly, but digging too deep isn't going to get you anywhere.
However, sometimes a movie comes along that is so dumb as to be impossible to watch passively without being driven to despair. I suspect Prometheus was just that for a lot of people, but I found enough to like in that movie that I still really enjoyed it (at least until I watched it again at home). But then Ridley Scott went and made a sequel to Prometheus and inexplicably doubled down on every inscrutably stupid thing about the original, and oh my God I wanted to scream. Ladies and gentlemen, let's talk about Alien Covenant.
We start aboard a spaceship called... I don't know, the S.S. Bad Decisions, a big ol' floating fridge full of cryosleeping future settlers of a colony planet. Due to some random space explosions, some of the space gizmos break and the crew is thawed to solder things back together so they can go on with the journey. James Franco is in the movie for three seconds to burn up inside his sleep pod, for some reason. It's during the repairs that the crew pick up a mysterious signal coming from a nearby planet, which they realise is a human voice singing, and then make the first in a long line of inexplicably dumb, utterly unrelatable decisions in this movie: they go and investigate.
OK, so check it out. Colony ship. Thousands of frozen colonists on board, even more frozen embryos, all kinds of flora and fauna to populate the new planet with, and presumably the materials to build a bunch of stuff. The crew has repaired the damage to the ship, and all they have to do is pop back into their pods and sleep their way on to their destination planet. Presumably they are all absolutely forbidden from deviating from this plan in any way, both by whatever contracts they signed when accepting the job, and by, oh my God, the common sense they all share as human beings. You absolutely cannot risk thousands of lives to go and check out a signal in the middle of space! And let me clarify here that it isn't even a distress signal, it's a woman's voice singing a John Denver song. A recording, no less! Not even a live transmission! Yet not only do they deviate from the original plan, they straight up abandon it, on the grounds that if this planet can be the source of a recorded signal of a human woman, IT'S PROBABLY A BETTER PLANET FOR ALL THE COLONISTS TO LIVE ON THAN THE ONE THEY PLANNED TO LAND ON.
I am not joking. This happens ten minutes into the movie. A crew running a spaceship full of colonists decides, on a whim, to go and land on a different planet instead. One they've never seen or heard of before, and have no evidence is even remotely habitable. Because, sure, why not, right? I mean, the original goal planet was vetted and confirmed as an ideal home and all, but to get there they'd have to go through all the hassle of lying down in their pods and then getting up again without perceiving that any time had passed, and who can be bothered? Definitely a better idea to divert, again, THOUSANDS OF SLEEPING HUMAN BEINGS to check out this new planet that's, y'know, probably not a horrible nightmare world. I mean, what are the odds of it being a horrible nightmare world? Slim, right? Probably slim.
OH WAIT IT WAS A HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE WORLD. And, like, it doesn't even pretend not to be. As soon as they arrive they can see a giant, apocalyptic thunderstorm covering the whole planet, but our intrepid heroes don't even bat an eyelid. When they barely make it through the storm in their landing craft and find the terrain so harsh and rocky that they have to land in the water? Eh, that's probably fine, right? Before they even reach the source of the signal, one of the crew sets to work on an ecology report, so convinced are they that this is definitely their new home. Remember how stupid it was when the scientists in Prometheus popped their helmets off to breathe the air on their planet without even checking if there might be horrible pathogens everywhere? The crew in Covenant never even put helmets on. They just leap out of the ship, ready to go exploring; I'm pretty sure nobody ever even mentions the idea that this planet might not have breathable air.
So like five minutes in someone sucks down a nice lungful of evil spores, and then all the characters compete with eachother for the rest of the movie to see who can make the worst decisions. It turns out that this is the planet that Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace landed on after escaping at the end of Prometheus, and Fassbender has been conducting evil experiments with the evil goo in his spare time when he isn't bending fass. Noomi Rapace dies off-screen between movies, by the way, in case anyone was wondering. I think she's the only character with less screentime than James Franco. Fassbender lives in an evil castle, and he invites our heroes in to stay with him so he can trick them into getting killed by his alien concoctions. Well, I say 'tricked'; it's more like he just asks them nicely, and they comply because they're the worst-written characters in recent memory. He just tells one dude to touch a Facehugger egg, gently reassures him that it's perfectly safe when it opens menacingly, and then encourages him to stick his face right in it, and the guy just does it.
Up until this point, the big colony ship has been safe up in orbit while only a few of the crew went down to the planet, so at least these maniacs haven't actually killed every human being they were contracted to safeguard, right? Well, try this on for size: the crew of the S.S. Bad Decisions is entirely made up of married couples. I assume this was a company-wide mandate established by the CEO of Bad Decisions Corp, Chad L. Baddecisions Jr. Because, of course, there's a husband aboard the ship and his wife down on the planet, and despite repeated demands from his crewmates that he not do it, assurances from the ship's computer that the ship will literally fall apart if he does it, he does it anyway. Yep, let's just fly that puppy right down into the storm where its massive bulk can be torn apart by hurricane-force winds, all so you can get a clearer radio signal down to the surface to find out if your wife's OK. What could possibly go wrong?
I don't even know what to say any more. Usually the idea of an "everyone dies" horror movie is that the people were trying not to die, but every decision that every character makes in this movie is solely for the purpose of being gruesomely murdered. You can't possibly relate to any of these schmucks, not just because they're paper-thin stereotypes whose names you probably won't even catch, but because none of them even seem the slightest bit interested in staying alive. Why should I care about them if they don't care about themselves? Am I supposed to be pleased when a couple of them accidentally live until the end of the movie by sheer dumb luck? Katherine Waterston's character is the only one who makes anything approaching a wise choice, but the rest of these schmucks might as well have just walked out into space without suits on at the start of the movie.
What a stupid, stupid movie. Just absolute rubbish. I didn't even mention the excruciatingly long setpiece where they try and escape the planet on some kind of cargo lifter ship thing that can't fly properly for some reason and wobbles around insanely as if it can't produce enough lift to get off the ground (shouldn't a cargo lifter without any cargo on it be really powerful?), or the bit where they try and outdo the chestburster scene from the original Alien and somehow make it worse even with 38 years of technological progress in special effects. This movie made me genuinely upset. What a load of utter garbage.