starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride
screenplay by John Logan and Dante Harper
directed by Ridley Scott
by Walter Chaw When you call your film "Prometheus," you're borrowing centuries of critical thought, grafting yourself to the idea of the ascension of Christianity on the backs of vanquished pantheons and suggesting the mischief in stealing the light of Heaven (the better with which to build your own unholy automatons). Mary Shelley knew this when she subtitled Frankenstein "Or, the Modern Prometheus," and Ridley Scott knew this, too, when he partnered with everyone's favourite half-assed theologian/philosopher/one-eyed king Damon Lindelof to make a prequel to one of his two or three movies that are worth a damn, Alien. Not content to leave well enough alone, Scott is back with Alien: Covenant (hereafter Covenant), whose title invokes either a promise made by God as represented by Jesus's crucifixion in the Christian New Testament, or the promises God makes in the Old Testament to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David--each of which, Christians may tell you, predicts the New Covenant. The old ones were written in stone, you see, but the new one is written on your heart. Another Shelley, Percy, makes a cameo in this one as his "Ozymandias" is recited at some length, reminding mainly that it was used better, and more subtly, in "Breaking Bad". There, it was assumed the viewer knew the piece in question. The film narrates it. It's the difference between being respectful of your audience, and being a pretentious dick.