Having a pretentious "message" doesn't make a movie good or enjoyable
I mean, I really enjoy Alien: Covenant. Not because of whatever "pretentious message" you're referring to, but because I found the ideas that the film was putting forth to be very fascinating, both on their own to feet and within the larger context of the Alien series.
What? My message was obviously pointed at you not wanting an alien movie but wanting a movie that "has something to say"
Not true. Prometheus began life as a direct Alien prequel and, while it started to distance itself from that structure during pre-production, it never pushed itself out of that franchise.
Ah yes, remember when the fossilized pilot was implied to be a tall human-like alien that created us? Remember when the franchise was about creating things? Well it never was. Prometheus stopped being an alien movie, Ridley himself says it's just in the same universe, barely counts as a prequel too, now he admits he is just making Alien movies in name only.
Androids (which have been prominent since the first film and have been a staple since), the nature of creation and lineage (which initially manifested with the parallels between Ripley and the Queen's presentations of motherhood in Aliens and was further expanded upon more directly in Alien: Resurrection with humans finally getting to meddle in affairs that they simply cannot control)
Amazing reaching here, nature of creation wasn't present in the movies, never was, playing god was never part of this franchise till Resurrection and even then that's debatable, this isn't Jurassic Park, playing God was never something present in the 3 first movies.
and the religious subtext (which drove Alien 3) all have roots in the original four films and expanding on them in the prequels feels like material ripe for the picking to me.
Ah yes, the subtle religious people in the movie, so subtle, it's not like it was on our face for most of the movie via dialogue and even a prayer montage during a funeral, right? The religion in Alien 3 wasn't a theme, it was a trait from the prisoners who had mostly lost hope, Religion WAS to be a major theme of the movie in it's earlier scripts, but it was scrapped.
But I don't think it is fair to say that Ridley's "take" on the material wasn't appropriate for the series or should have stayed out of it.
Ridley's take on the franchise is that he is bored with the main Theme(the Alien itself) and wants to make movies about a robot playing God while using the Alien name, that's literally it, he says so himself
every filmmaker that's come into the series has basically always glossed over whatever the previous films have done in order to put their own stamp on it and, essentially, start from scratch.
Extremely untrue, Alien and Aliens(and Alien 3 to some extent) don't "gloss over" the other movies, it was not until Resurrection that the movies of this brand started ignoring the others to be their own bellow average thing.