I watched my dvd of Prometheus for the second time last night. I purchased it as soon as it became available on dvd and was excited to see it. After the first viewing I was a bit disappointed and discovered that the general opinion ‘out there’ in cyber space was similar to my own. I’d been led to believe that Prometheus was a sort of ‘prequel’ to the Alien series but my first viewing didn’t really seem to give me what I’d expected – an explanation of what happened before Alien 1.
So yesterday I was bored and decided to watch it again and I have to say, I enjoyed it much more the second time around and I ‘got’ the clues that link it to Alien.
The first big clue comes when the crew of the Prometheus enter a large chamber and find this:-
As soon as I saw it, and in fact even when I first watched it I recognised this scene, I realised that this was in the first Alien movie. See this pic, taken from Alien 1.
As the story in Prometheus unfolds, we find out that the tunnels and chambers the crew have found is actually a spaceship, piloted by giant but surprisingly human-like aliens who go around the galaxy seeding worlds with the building blocks of life. They discover that these beings were responsible for creating life on Earth. These being also take it upon themselves to revisit the worlds they’ve previously seeded with life, to destroy their creations. We are given no explanation as to why they should choose to do this, but it may be so that they can start over with improved ‘life stuff’ or they may have run out of uninhabited worlds to seed, or any number of other reasons. We are left to presume that the ‘life stuff’ they use to seed worlds is different than the ‘stuff’ they use to destroy life.
Without giving too much away, it seems that the destructive ‘stuff’ sometimes gets out and destroys the beings themselves, hence the mummified remains of what has become known as the ‘space jockey’ from Alien 1 in the shot above.
In Prometheus, we get a similar shot to the iconic scene in Alien 1 with all the alien eggs basking in the mist, only in Prometheus it’s ceramic jars of a black tar-like substance rather than eggs. Remember that Prometheus pre-dates Alien and the creature we all know and love from the Alien series, hasn’t evolved from this original black substance yet.
The crew of the Prometheus discover that this particular alien spaceship was intending to revisit Earth with the intention of wiping out life and when they find one of the original beings still alive in cryo sleep and wake him up, he tries to continue with his plan. It is then up to the remaining crew members to prevent this from happening.
We are also treated to another ‘evil android’ in Prometheus like the one in Alien. This time he’s called David and seems a bit more human in his understanding of emotions but still there’s always something creepy about him that screams “I’m a bad guy, don’t for fuck’s sake trust me,” only the crew do trust him, of course.
Charlize Theron’s character Meredith Vickers is, in my own personal view, totally unnecessary to the movie. Whenever the character appeared I found myself groaning with irritation and twice used the opportunity to go and make a cup of coffee. I was so glad her character died, thereby ensuring she doesn’t return in any future prequel sequels.
Another tie to Alien is the sole surviving female at the end of the movie who, carrying the severed head of David, the android who has informed her that this planet has other alien spacecraft waiting to be discovered, decides to take off in one of them and head for wherever it is the giant humanoid beings originated from, which leaves the way nicely open for a sequel to the prequel.
The dynamic between the crew members is a bit hammy and we have the stereotypical testosterone fuelled arguments between the males and the secret evil doings of David the android and Meredith Vickers, all of which are completely predictable. There are two crew members who are supposed to be highly educated scientists but both behave like 15 year old chavs on cannabis. I would expect more of Ridley Scott. This seems to be a recurring thing in today’s high budget American made movies – little attention to plausible dynamic between characters and dependence upon expensive effects.
If you watched Prometheus when it came out and didn’t like it. Give it another go and watch a bit more closely. You might very well enjoy it much more, I did.
One more thing – if this wasn’t connected to the Alien series, I would very probably still hate it. As a movie in its own right, it sucks cock but as a prequel to Alien with answers to some of the questions we all have about the origins, it’s not bad.