Film Corner: Prometheus


Alright, bitches, witches, good friends with stitches, and people with itches: the Alien marathon continues with Prometheus. Prometheus has a lot of emotions for me because I wanted to see it in theaters (a new alien movie! In my lifetime!) but I was instead in the hospital having surgery. Then I saw it on Bluray and was glad I didn't see it in theaters, lolsob.

In a sign of the high quality control that went into this release, I have to wrestle with the Bluray disc for 20 minutes in an attempt to get the damn thing to fucking play. I think the bluray is trying to cleverly "resume playing" from the last time and is instead just horking itself. The fact that we're gonna have to watch the DVD instead would almost be funny if I weren't so irritated, lol.

We pan over really lovely scenery and come to a waterfall. A ridiculously buff monk watches a space ship leave, then drinks a strange liquid. He seems surprised that it hurts? His body falls to pieces. This will NEVER be explained, which pisses me off because there's a fine line between leaving things vague and just jerking off in my face. I *think* this is supposed to be the origin of life on earth: his DNA broke apart and "seeded" the planet. The problem with this theory is *everything*; evolution doesn't work that way. Unfortunately, this movie doesn't understand evolution so that makes theorizing difficult.

We cut to a dig site in Scotland, 2089. Elizabeth and her boyfriend (husband?) have located some cave paintings which show a person pointing up at 6 stars. It's "the same configuration, but predates the others by a millennium". "I think they want us to come find them," Elizabeth whispers, blissfully happy. This is not how navigational charting works--you do need more than six uniformly sized dots.

In space, an android watches Elizabeth's dreams / memories. This is not how brains work, though admittedly I like the idea that someone invents a dreams-to-television device in the next 50 years or so. The android is learning languages the way humans do, but just better. And dying his hair the way humans do. I don't really understand why you would make an android like this; it feels like a step back from regular humans. I guess making a computer who learns languages slower than other computers is an intentional limitation designed to mimic human limitations? As for the dark roots growing out, I have no idea.

The computer begins waking the crew. Charlize Theron does push-ups like a badass and asks if anyone has died (no). David goes to tend to everyone else. Elizabeth is vomiting, because she's soft and sentimental and the weaker of the two women. (I dislike this; Ripley never vomited after cryo. Yes, it makes sense that the prequel technology would be less amazing, but given that Elizabeth will be the weakest of action chicks in this film, I notice this difference in the series treatment of cryo waking.)

The crew slouches around in hoodies drinking protein shakes. It's also Christmas, for some unknown reason. (Die Hard is still a much better Christmas movie than this one.) It comes out that this crew of expert scientists has no idea why they're here. They signed up to sleep for 2 years on a journey to the ass end of nowhere in space, and they don't know why. I can't get over this. The money must be impossibly good, like, bars of gold good.

How do careers even work in this future? You're at the top of your field so you sign up to a thing that can't be enticing (it's a secret) and can't go on your resume (again, secret) and will be dangerous and take you 4 years (round-trip) into the future from your loved ones. What, exactly, was the draw that got people to get on this ship? It doesn't make any kind of sense to me. The only possible motivation I can think of is huge amounts of money and you'd think that would raise a few eyebrows from applicants.

Vickers (Theron) shows them a video in which the elder Weyland tells them they're here to find god and proof of the immortal soul and intelligence design. Somehow, the scientists don't burst into laughter or tears. Elizabeth and her flip-flop wearing boyfriend (husband?) show off their pretty archaeological paintings. These ancient civilizations--with no known contact between one another!!--all had pictures of mankind pointing up at the stars. IT MUST MEAN SOMETHING. I weep.

This is how actual creationism "science" works, by the way. Lots of cultures, with no known contact between one another!!!!, have a story about a flood so therefore there MUST have been a global flood. Why else would different cultures have stories about a common phenomena?

The "six stars" in each picture are in different sizes and distances to one another each time so it really, REALLY does not make sense that they were able to narrow down these into some kind of navigational coordinates to travel to. Oh, lol, they're not even stars; they're supposed to be six planets in a faraway solar system. And there's a sun. Which you'd think would make 7 bodies in a painting, not 6, and it means their location/distance is meaningless because they're in constant orbital flux.

Elizabeth says "We call them Engineers; they engineered us". One of the scientists accuses her of discounting "three centuries of Darwinism", a term that only hardcore Creationists use. (Creationists like to rename "evolution" after Darwin because then it sounds less like science and more like a cult of personality.) Elizabeth is doing some kind of Serene Pixie Girl thing and blissfully informs the scientists that she chooses to believe. I want whatever she's on, because I have never seen anyone so tripped out as she is.

Vickers calls Elizabeth and her boyfriend to her rooms and dresses them down (rightfully) for being unprofessional rubes. Elizabeth (FORESHADOWING) gawps at a medical device that is the most rarest, expensive medical device ever. We're not supposed to like Vickers because she's a rich bitchy woman, but I adore her because she hates Elizabeth and her boyfriend and in that WE HAVE MUCH IN COMMON.

David has been learning "ancient languages" in order to find the root language the Engineers gave us, and that's not how anything works. Just a reminder that the idea that ancient cultures inherited all their knowledge from aliens is incredibly racist, even *before* you bleach the aliens white and also make one of them Jesus.

@Rook_Stone. Not having seen this movie: Odds that he learned any African languages other than Egyptian are pretty low, I'd wager, considering how racist this concept is to start.

The fact that he's watching Lawrence of Arabia for enjoyment in between all the language learning *feels* like a colonialist point that doesn't really stick the landing.

They land on a planet that is all nasty and stormy and has massive mountains. You'd think it would be difficult to find what they want, but suddenly visibility is clear and perfect and boom there's a landing path. That sure was easy! "God does not build in straight lines!" Elizabeth's husband Charlie says, causing me pain. I... I just. Here.

Like, it made sense in Alien that they went right to the ship because there was a *beacon*. Here they have an entire moon to search and instantly find what they want despite supposedly visibility being poor. Moons are very big places to search! Anyway, whatever, we soldier on into a bright blue sunny day despite the storm outside being legendarily massive only second before. Don't expect a lot of consistency from this film, ok?

The captain recommends everyone wait until tomorrow because there's not much daylight left but Charlie says "it's Christmas and I want to open my presents". He then calls David the Android "boy" and orders him around in a ham-handed racism metaphor. The ham-handed racism feels particularly icky because there's a Black actor standing right there in the scene and "boy" is a literal thing white men call Black men in order to be racist at them; I feel like there was a better way to do racism at the android than this.

Elizabeth blissfully tells the security guy not to bring his future-rifle and he politely tells her where she can shove her valium. I'm not a gun enthusiast but I'm on his side; ya'll don't know if this place is crawling with hungry space-tigers or whatever.

Charlie racistly asks why David is wearing a suit since he doesn't need to breathe; David says it makes humans more comfortable when he seems human. I say it might have something to do with not marinating him in toxic contaminants he would then track back inside. Christ. Like, hmm, he could wear a suit which could then be left in the airlock to have all the anthrax hosed off or we could just let him be a walking containment vector and track cholera all over the ship.

I'm not really sure what we're building up to with all this anti-android racism. Androids and their humanity have always been a theme of the series, to be sure, and have weathered racist reactions--notably Bishop and Call. But Call and Bishop were both fundamentally good people who were hampered by the narrow minds of the humans around them. David seems to be... driven to villainy because he's fed up with the humans around him? Which seems like a step backwards.

It's very odd to follow a movie like Aliens--where a theme was that androids are capable of good, no matter how evil their creators are--with Prometheus, which seems to be saying "psych! actually androids ARE unfeeling sociopaths after all, as Ripley once feared." You could argue that David isn't representative of his species and is just one Hannibal Lecter out of the group, but then it doesn't really make sense to subject him to racism since that reinforces his group identity over an individualistic psychosis. I think. But I'm just some asshole on the internet, what do I know.

If Elizabeth is on quaaludes, Charlie feels like he's been doing cocaine before leaving the ship.

They go inside a big hollow beehive structure. Micheletto from the Borgias has magic floating imaging balls and they zoom around the halls, creating an internal model of the place for the computer. He also makes wolf howls, god knows why. It's terribly unclear what kind of scientist he's supposed to be. Just a sort of generic techno-cyber-punk furry with cool gadgets, I guess. This is only supposed to be the most important First Contact in all of history; why should we know what types of scientists were brought along? Audiences enjoy movies better when we're completely in the dark.

@ScottMadin. I think at some point they say he's a geologist?

Bless you.

A cat is a cat,
so soft so fat,
and no one compares to a cat
that's fact,
that is of course
unless the cat
is the famous CRISPEN CAT.
Ok that's enough singing to the cat.

Outside the structure, the air is toxic. In here, it's "breathable" so Charlie opens his helmet. I hate this trope so much. He tells Elizabeth to "have faith" but breathable doesn't mean safe! You could catch a virus here and die. Hell, you could contaminate the atmosphere here and kill your precious Engineers. They don't have the same immunities you have! Again: This is a First Contact situation that warrants study into historical first contact fuckups. "Don't give the other side any communicable diseases" is just GOOD PRACTICE.

Charlie doesn't instantly die, so everyone else takes their helmets off. You all deserve your imminent deaths. David finds a panel on the wall and correctly intuits how to work it. (No, it makes no sense.) The hallway plays back a hologram recording of people running for a doorway. This, too, makes little sense. Why would you rig holographic cameras everywhere to replay the last time someone walked the hallway. The hologram trips and gets decapitated by a door (such advanced safety tech!) and then fades to reveal a decapitated corpse.

Hang on, I need a quick cat nap. Okay, I'm awake. Let me tell you: they don't tell you when you get kittens that you will carry a BONE-DEEP ENVY of their ability to effortlessly sleep whenever they want.

Back to the movie, David can read the Engineer's wall signage because the language they taught to Earthicans some 3,000 years ago has not significantly changed in the slightest. That, by the way, is not how language works. The geologist here reveals that he is indeed a geologist and sensibly rage-quits the entire expedition, rightfully pointing out that he "doesn't have much to contribute in the gigantic-dead-body arena" and I love him. Seriously, he was so good in The Borgias.

The biologist (?) who has a sort of cute boyfriend vibe with him nopes out as well. They deserve to live for this sensible act of nopery, but alas they will not.

@SnakewoodGames. I'm kinda curious why they brought a geologist at all.

Honestly, I don't understand either. I can see bring a materials scientist to look at, like, the cool metals and alloys the Engineers would have, but an Earth geologist? Does that make sense to any geologists out here? I would assume--PERHAPS WRONGLY--that an Earth geologist who doesn't have a specialization in other planets would not be super helpful on another planet? He seems to have been included for the cave-mapping tech they didn't know in advance they would need.

Keep in mind they were expecting to get here and find a *living* civilization. But instead of materials scientists, computer engineers, and diplomats, they brought the sort of people you would need to map a dead, animal-infested cave that they had no way of knowing they'd find. This is particularly vexing of an immersion breaker in THIS series, of all places, because the Alien movies up until now have universally been about "making do" with the expertise you had on hand when shit went unexpectedly sideways. And the fuckups that these scientists will soon be making would be more forgivable from, say, a metallurgist and a diplomat who are doing their best out of their element.

Anyway, the remaining people cluster around the dead body and Elizabeth's carbon reader says the body has been dead 2,000 years and I get to think about whether carbon would decay at different rates away from earth or not.

David opens the door in spite of Elizabeth's objections, and they find a... temple? With a statue of a head, the corpse's head (perfectly preserved after 2,000 years because fuck you I guess), and... weird... melty jars. There's a mural on the wall that *might* have aliens (well, "xenomorphs"; I guess I have to be specific and use that word now) or might not; the flashlights dance so quickly over it that it could be a bas relief of Scooby Doo for all I know. Another mural might be a xenomorph queen, hard to say. I feel like they thought they were giving off all these cool hints, but it's just a little TOO vague.

Best guess is that this place was a weapons development lab and this was the xenomorph goop storage room? Maybe? Though goodness knows why their contact with humanity included discussions about where their Department of Genocide was located.

Elizabeth--who is, I remind you, supposed to be a genius archaeologist--only just now realizes that breaking into a room that has been completely sealed for 2,000 years will *change things in the room* rushes to bag the preserved head they didn't bother to bag yet. Breaking into sealed rooms and gawking at things with flashlights is not how archaeology works.

Vickers informs them that a storm is coming and she'll be closing the ship doors in 15 minutes. "I sincerely hope you can make it," she says in that perfect bitch voice Theron does so well. I adore her even harder. Vickers isn't Ripley but she's the closest thing we got. Charlie comes down off his cocaine high and looks sad. "This is just another tomb," he says.

Elizabeth gets stuck in the storm because she runs after the head which they failed to secure in any way, and David has to save her and Charlie. This probably says something about the morality of saving people who were racist to robots, idk. Somehow, impossibly, the geologist with the mapping robots got lost with his boyfriend on the way out and they have to camp together, alone, until the storm passes. There is no heterosexual explanation for this.

Elizabeth and the Scottish woman who has a science degree in (*cough cough cough look over there a puppy*) decide to autopsy the head. In the open air. Without protective suits. What are contagions! Vickers reasonably asks if the Engineers are all dead. Elizabeth gets defensive and asks if Vickers even cares. "Weyland cared," she says. I maintain--and we'll see more of this later--that Weyland is why Vickers is here.

@liminalfruitbat. The language David will use to speak to the Engineer is reconstructed Proto-Indo-European. There are no known traces of any writing in PIE. David can just read alien alphabets by magic, I guess.

Good grief.

Rather than do something useful like calmly cut the head open the way you would dissect a frog in biology, they apply electricity to the brain (to "trick it into thinking it's alive") for some unholy reason and then it explodes. OKAY THEN.

@McNutcase. Given the general level of competence exhibited so far, they decided to turn it up to eleven and hope for the best.

This reads like a joke but it is 100% what happens.

David murbles into a helmet at someone and when he's done Vickers asks "what did he say". David demures twice and we see our first rise of real emotion from her: she shoves him into a wall. "I will find the cord that makes you run and I will cut it," she threatens, breathing heavily. David relents and says "he" said "try harder".

I'm just going to go ahead and spoil this now: Weyland Yutani is on board (rather than dead, as previously claimed) and Vickers is his daughter. Though she has been characterized with only broad sketches (as with everyone in this movie), I believe Theron is doing her best with bad material. I think she wants us to read Vickers as a genuinely loving daughter to a difficult and demanding father. We have seen pain in her face when Weyland previously said David is the closest thing he has to a son, and her blunt question about deaths when she wakes up ("and casualties?") seems designed to hide that she cares. She repeatedly is shown to not believe in this expedition, and yet she choose to come along. She could've stayed home and just inherited everything in Weyland's absence. That she came on a voyage she doesn't even believe in speaks volumes.

Does she want to be with him at the end? I don't think that's quite it. I think she wants to earn his approval, and if that means going along with this bullshit idea until it inevitably fails, she does what she must. I think she wants him to love her. This is... not great characterization for our strong female character, but I allow it here for two reasons. One, the previous movie was about MOTHERHOOD so it is kinda neat for the prequel to be about DAUGHTERHOOD. Two, and far more importantly, this is also David's and Elizabeth's motivations: they're all three seeking a father-figure who loves them and will say so, clearly and plainly. All three of them will be denied this before the movie ends. It is interesting and perhaps irritating that the two women choose subservience while the man chooses rebellion as means by which they seek to win over their father, but at least Elizabeth will take a late-stage change of heart into defiance.

Anyway, Elizabeth and the Scottish woman whose name I seriously do not think is ever said do Science. They process the DNA of the head and it's a match to humans. So... the Engineers didn't *make* humans, they *are* humans. This is not how DNA works. David, meanwhile, extracts slime from a vase and slips it into Charlie's drink. He seems to think this will do something other than kill him. God only knows how he can guess that.

Charlie is in a drunken stupor because the "Engineers are all gone". They've investigated ONE building on ONE moon of ONE solar system. They could be five miles down the road! This is like aliens visiting the pyramids of Giza and assuming humanity is all dead. This is also why you want to hire scientists who are in it for the scientific curiosity rather than a religious mania complex revolving around meeting god and getting belly rubs from him.

Incidentally, I have located a fan theory which explains everything in Prometheus as hallucinatory brain damage from a crew who had never been in cryogenic sleep before and the technology was not yet perfected.

Charlie and David talk about having "makers" and how disappointed David is at the answer that humans "made you because we could". I don't really follow why that's a disappointing answer, to be honest, but I'm also not a religious fanatic seeking approval from sky-daddy. If a god made me because they could, then I figure that puts me in the vast majority of artwork. Charlie downs the poisoned drink after saying he'd do "anything and everything" for answers and I guess this is supposed to justify David's murder except I don't really understand what questions David is seeking so again maybe this is just for Weyland's sake.

Back at the beehive, the geologist and biologist find a pile of bodies with exploded chests. Back at the ship, the captain tells them that a probe is reading a life form. I do note that their helmets are back on.

God, I want that hologram briefing table for D&D. *lusts*

Charlie says they've learned "there is nothing special about the creation of life; anyone can do it". His *infertile* girlfriend breaks down and honestly this is one reason why I'm glad I didn't see this in theaters. Really, a big problem with the movies after the first three (Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3) is that the writers/directors understood that there are themes of motherhood running through the series but they don't know how to do women well. So you get Resurrection where Ripley is hormonally imprinting on everything that she can mentally assign to the role of baby, and you get Prometheus where everything is Daddy Issues and infertility angst.

Coming back to the movie, I really want to know what Elizabeth sees in this man who constantly belittles and undermines her, drinks like a fish, and is an arrogant racist religious fanatic who thinks he rivals god. They bone in answer to that question, while Vickers and the captain make discreet plans to do the horizontal tango.

The geologist and biologist end up in the xenomorph room rather than just staying put in a damn hallway and hunkering down. The biologist sees something reptilian moving in the goop. A monster that manages to somehow be both a penis and a vagina makes cobra-esque "back off, motherfucker" movements at them and the biologist is like "OOH IT'S A WEE BABY I PET IT" and so the cryo-brain-damage theory is looking pretty good right now. (Like. It looks like an uncircumcised dick and then the head unfurls and opens up to have a mouth that is a vertical slit? I document this because the xenomorphs have always had genital overtones but this feels a little too anvilicious?)

The biologist tries TWICE to grab the "snake" and both times the snake makes very clear "BACK OFF" body language and he jerks back. On the third attempt to grab the snake, it bites. Gee, no one could've seen this coming! This death feels silly and unearned because it just doesn't make sense why this person, in this place, at this time, faced with this creature, would perform this sequence of actions.

@ScottMadin. I believe it's supposed to be the little worm that hitched a ride in on someone's boot earlier, mutated by the black goo.

 Oh! This makes sense and I did *see* the worm, but I wouldn't have put this together. Back on the ship, Charlie wakes up with a raging case of red-eye. Everyone suits up to go find the missing biologist and geologist. They find the bodies but Charlie is getting worse and they rush him back to the ship. Vickers reasonably wants to know what he's sick with. Meanwhile, David--alone--finds a panel of egg-shaped buttons and manages to work them without instruction.

Imagine how complicated something like your "primitive" car is to operate. Now imagine an alien being able to operate that with just a couple button presses. But it's fine because their ludicrous hologram memory technology kicks in and shows the last operation of the device, which lets David fill in the gaps. A flute is involved in operating the ship, which seems like a problem in space. What if there was a decompression of air? Sound waves don't travel in space and I know this series knows that because it *coined* the tagline "in space no one can hear you scream"!

Vickers refuses to open the door while people yell at her. I would die for her. She is CORRECT, dammit. Oh my god, she lets the crew open the door (they were conflicted over whether to obey her and the captain) and meets everyone on the gangplank with a FLAMETHROWER I AM IN LOVE. Charlie, looking like he got into the zombie makeup, tells Elizabeth goodbye and orders Vickers to flame him. Useless prick. Elizabeth is sedated because she's hysterical.

Why have we slowed down, Ana? Because I fucking hate this part, don't I? Okay, so here's the thing. Alien, the first one, was goddamn revolutionary because instead of a woman being raped and impregnated with a monster, a MAN was raped and impregnated with a monster. That was neat and cool and a subversion of established expectations. Prometheus wants to piss all over this, so now Elizabeth--an infertile woman--is "pregnant" with an alien because she and Charlie did the tango while he was poisoned. Does this make sense? No, it does not. But fuck you, I guess.

David's motivations here are strange and unclear; it's certainly possible that he poisoned Charlie as a test subject to see if the goo was a "cure", but it clearly was not so it doesn't make sense to further torture Elizabeth by forcing her to keep this cancerous growth. He wants to stick her in cryo so they can keep the creature and this is a thing that *later* Weyland wanted, sure, but it has nothing to do with their current goals and makes no sense. Elizabeth and Charlie were Weyland's best hope of meeting god. One of them is dead and one is about to be frozen, both courtesy of David's meddling. If he is trying to help Weyland, he choose his test subjects poorly.

Elizabeth breaks out of the medical bay and runs to Vicker's life boat which had the special surgical machine. She asks for a c-section (an abortion would've made more sense, surely?) and the machine says it's calibrated for "male patients only" which is stupid and transphobic. Despite Hollywood's insistence that men and women are two separate species, we have a tremendous number of medical things in common so it just doesn't make sense for a rare surgical machine to be "male only" as opposed to "I'm not programmed for abortions, Dave". Nor would it make sense why Vickers keeps a "male" surgical device on her lifeboat unless (a) it's for her dad or (b) Vickers is a trans woman, I guess? I don't know. It doesn't make sense. It would've just made more sense to say "I don't know how to do abortions" but that would've undermined the whole premise of future computers knowing everything, I guess. Elizabeth climbs in anyway.

Elizabeth is able to jury-rig an abortion by asking for removal of an abdominal foreign body, then takes an anesthetic orally. It's interesting that the device is designed to be operated from the inside, by a patient who would presumably be (a) sedated and (b) not a doctor. Surgery-porn occurs and it's gruesome and upsetting. For some reason the device doesn't just remove her entire uterus but instead only removes the alien. I don't know why. I'm pretty sure this is not how medicine works. Rather than *put* the removed foreign body somewhere, the device is apparently designed to just hold it dripping above the patient while the patient squirms out. And the pod tilts vertically, so a sedated patient would just flop to the floor. I am beginning to see *why* they only made a couple of these before they discontinued the model.

Elizabeth flees the room and nobody will ever think to do anything about the alien baby in the surgical bay. Foreshadowing, but badly. Outside the ship, zombie Michelletto attacks people and starts beating them to death for.........some reason. While they attack him with guns and a flamethrower, a bloody Elizabeth stumbles into Weyland's room and nearly passes out.

David is washing Weyland's feet because SYMBOLISM but David is not the messiah nor the anti-christ, so it doesn't really make any sense. David reveals that he found a cryogenically frozen Engineer and they're going to go ask him to save Weyland from death. Elizabeth sobs that "she was wrong" and they need to leave because the Engineers are evil, I guess.

It's always so weird when humans assume that a small group represents the entire alien race. Like, hell, maybe they landed on the Engineer version of Jonestown or something. Why assume ALL the Engineers are/were evil just because some of them invented a xenomorph facility? Anyway, Elizabeth suits up from sheer gumption and a bottle of Advil, despite having a million staples in her stomach. (Yes, humans are good at stereotyping, but these are supposed to be experts at First Contact. "What if the people we meet aren't representative of the whole" should have been considered.)

Vickers asks Weyland not to go down to the planet. "If you go down there, you will die." She kneels and touches his hand, but he rejects her once again. Her pain and anger are palpable and Theron did SO MUCH with SO LITTLE. David has turned openly evil and mocks Elizabeth because, I guess, he can. "Doesn't everyone want their parents dead?" he gloats at her, referencing the dying Weyland.

They work out that the beehive contains a ship, and the deadly black goo is its cargo, and it was destined for earth. This isn't explained why in the movie, but the canonical explanation is apparently because *checks notes* Jesus. You see, Jesus was an 8-foot tall blue-white alien and we killed him so the entire planet had to be purged with black goo. Obviously.

They wake up the Engineer from cryo and HE doesn't vomit because he isn't a weak human woman. He watches them as Elizabeth and Weyland talk, then watches David beat Elizabeth in the stomach to shut her up. Great first impression, guys. David says something in an alien language--we don't know what, which is unfathomably annoying given that he has been double crossing people all this time so we honestly don't *know* whether he obeys Weyland here--and gets a head pat and decapitation.

The alien kills everyone else (except Elizabeth, who runs) and presses a command which calls a massive chair out of the floor. It's the chair from the Alien ship, and this is absolutely enraging because it mucks with the originals even more. The ship in Alien was implied to be, like the humans, infected by the xenomorphs. They set up a "Do not come here!" beacon as a last act to keep innocents safe and to contain the threat. The last one was, like, Ripley, trying to do the right thing. Now they're just supposed to be the asshole murdery Engineers who got what they deserved. Well, I abjure this movie and declare it non-canon fanfic. What do you say to that.

The alien ship begins to take off. Elizabeth warns the crew that it's "carrying death and headed for earth". I really doubt that's the alien's priority at this point, 2000 years after his intended departure and after his crew died, but whatever. The captain decides to crash the ship into the alien ship and this is frustrating because, like, you have a lifeboat on your ship. Can't you eject THAT into the other ship? You don't need to completely destroy it, just make it not space-worthy! Hell, Elizabeth could set a goddamn fire from within the ship and probably fuck it up that way. Space is inherently REALLY HARD to navigate. It doesn't take much to fuck up a spaceship! I don't even really understand how it can get to earth with its entire crew dead. Were those HUNDREDS of bodies all optional crew members? Why? Why would you crew a ship with hundreds of people if they weren't necessary?

Then Vickers dies because instead of running a few feet to the left like Elizabeth does, she tries to outrun a rolling ring. I just. Now we see the REAL reason why Weyland's medical device was in Vickers' life raft instead of in his rooms: it's so Elizabeth can be menaced by the alien when she boards the life raft. David contacts her to say the Engineer is coming for her. We don't know his motivation, so I like to think that HE thinks Elizabeth killed his crew, blew up his ship, and tried to murder him, so he thinks she's a monster. She opens up a pit from hell and summons a tentacle beast to kill him, by which I mean she opens the medical bay and lets the alien she birthed grab him and pull him in.

Elizabeth goes to collect David's head and decides they'll find another ship and go to the Engineer's home to demand answers. All in a day's work for a woman with staples in her stomach. In the life boat, a xenomorph of the more familiar looking kind bursts from the corpse of the Engineer after Elizabeth sets a "stay away" beacon. Are we supposed to assume this is where Ripley's ship investigated? Gods, I hope not. That would be ridiculous.

Covenant is next, but I need some food and we may not be able to do it all in one night.

Fundamentally, I think Prometheus fails because it doesn't feel like an Aliens movie. The previous 4 all had their flaws, of course, but you could boil them all down to a shared core concept: Everywoman protagonist protects humanity from Xenomorphs.

Elizabeth isn't an everywoman; she is a specialized scientist who signed up for an alien first contact mission. You don't get LESS "everywoman" than that, actually. And there's no xenomorphs in this movie, not really. Nor does Elizabeth protect anyone. She *tells* the crew to sacrifice themselves to protect earth, but her own goals are purely selfish: she wants answers. "Humanity's Most Unusual Person seeks selfish goals" is a premise but it's not an ALIENS plot. A lot of silly science can be excused if the plot is there. But it wasn't.

Sometimes I like to play a little game called "fix this with the fewest changes possible" so I'm going to play that here. Remember that the goal is the FEWEST changes possible; the idea is that you were called on at the last minute to polish this turd. My attempts at a fix would be to downgrade Vickers to a private aide. Not the heir, not in charge. Maybe Weyland's bastard daughter or something. Someone he hired to take care of him. A blue collar worker among the scientists. Now SHE is our everywoman. I'd have the two dead crewmen (the biologist and the geologist) spawn xenomorphs. Now you have an everywoman + xenomorphs.

From there, things can be tweaked and nudged into shape until you get back to that core concept: Everywoman protagonist protects humanity from xenomorphs. So far, Ripley has protected a cat, a surrogate daughter, humanity in general, and an android, so having an ALIENS movie in which the Everywoman protects her father would actually be new territory. And he's not just her father, he's THE Weyland of Weyland-Yutani. The source of all the sin in the series. You could do a *lot* with that theme. The idea that maybe some things shouldn't be protected, perhaps. What an interesting exploration that could've been.


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