Monday, 11 June 2012

Are You Seeing This?

Sweet ride, shame about the script


By now the reviews are coming thick and fast for what should have been the cinematic Sci Fi event of the year. I am of course writing about Prometheus, the massively hyped cousin of the Alien franchise. Was it a sidequel, was it a prequel, was an entirely new entity? We paid our money and stumbled into the darkness of the Multiplex (where everyone can hear you scream), and stumbled out with more questions than we went in with.

The whole pretext of the film was to find out who the Space Jockey was, according to Sir Scott, anyway. The Space Jockey is that ossified corpse in the derelict ship from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien (the fact that you’ve read this far probably means you know this). So why then did Jon Spaihts or Damon Lindlof do anything but address who the Space Jockey was? We found out a lot about what the Engineers do, nothing of their motivations, and absolutely zero regarding why one ended up on Acheron LV426 (the planet in Aliens).

The biggest deal breaker for me, and it’s strange writing this about a science fiction film, was the glaring oversight regarding the emergency caesarean. I’m fairly certain that cutting through all the abdominal muscles impairs a person’s ability to stand, even if they are a proto-Ripley. No amount of staples could hold my suspension of disbelief together.

I got broken by space squid.

'At least I  wasn't in Aliens versus Predator: Requiem.'
The beauty of the Alien films was the life cycle of the alien itself. Egg, Facehugger, Chestburster and finally, everyone’s favourite acid-for-blood, phallic horror (complete with some ‘male fear of penetration’ extending teeth). Aliens upped the ante by showing us where the eggs came from. Common sense prevailed, James Cameron invented smart guns, and teenage boys everywhere couldn’t decide if they had a crush on Vasquez or not.

So what in the name of screaming blue fuckery happened this time out? The opening sequence sets up the ominous black goo as some kind of planet seeding miracle, admittedly with a sacrificial price. The audience thinks they know what to expect next time said black goo arrives on screen, right? Except it does anything but conform; rewiring, mutating, reanimating, creating according to the writers flights of fancy. This basic flaw serves as a metaphor for the whole film; there was an acute lack of consistency.

By the time David pulls Weyland out of cryo I’d stopped caring. Vickers seemed completely redundant through out the film, and Eldris Elba was given a woeful lack of screen time.

It’s tough not to sound bitter, but the more I think about Prometheus the less it makes sense. Perhaps, many centuries now, future generations of humans will unearth a directors cut that bears some coherent narrative. We can only hope. 


  1. I really am starting to believe that I am the only person that actually liked Prometheus... Yes it has flaws (quite a lot actually...) but there were some redeeming features! Perhaps I should enbloggen about it...

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  3. There are so many plot holes, too many to bother listing; and too many stupid gung-ho storytelling decisions in the latter half of the film that are intended to shock rather than move the plot forward in any coherent fashion. It looked great of course, and the cast are uniformly great and do what they can with the crap they're given - but what a shame that they didn't spend a little longer crafting a more viable narrative.