Waterston’s performance is solid, but given so little to do, her character is devoid of any kind of arc.
When she eventually does step up, she’s – much like Ripley’s clone in Resurrection when compared to the real thing – a falsely engineered insta-hero rather than one grown from a meaningful journey.
Over the course of Covenant’s running time the movie descends into an increasingly blunt series of mechanical fan-service shout-outs that eventually shatter the immersion they initially craft.
A man in a monster suit rather than the real deal, the impression only skin-deep.
Naturally, the expedition eventually goes very wrong indeed, resulting in the film’s most exciting, shocking sequence; a gruelling, extended, panic-addled introduction to the planet’s wildlife that, while echoing the series’ traditional, brutalist body-horror, shifts the tone towards something much more malicious.
Initially appearing to do a near-flawless job of re-establishing the tone and texture of the series’ uniquely doom-laden, industrial-gothic universe, Alien: Covenant rapidly sets out a very enticing stall.This theme of aborted potential typifies the spotty pacing and disconnected structure of Covenant’s lengthy, drawn-out middle act.