Prometheus!

Well, what a shame! What a shame, Ridley Scott. Your triumphant return to the Alien franchise was, shall we say, not as good as the original Alien movie. Shall we say more than that? Shall we say it was kind of a disaster? Everyone else is saying it, so why not me?

– if all life on earth is here because one of those giant blue guys turned himself into DNA a billion years ago on our earth, then wouldn’t all animals on earth have the same DNA as humans, à la that part when what’s her face shows the drunk guy the little iPhone that proves the big blue guy corpse has the same DNA as humans?

– what kind of highly-trained space biologist sees a never-before-documented alien creature pop out of the primordial goo on an alien planet and then just immediately sticks his face down and reaches his hand out to, what, grab it? Is that what biologists do, they just sort of grab whatever pops up when they’re out on the job? This guy is like John Steinbeck or something, just hauling sea turtles up out of the ocean and chopping them up to see if they have livers. That’s good science!

– Why did Michael Fassbender infect the drunk guy with the alien crude oil? He had no motivation for doing so aside from that fact that the drunk guy was inexplicably cruel to him. It seemed like he just did it on a whim. Does this mean cyborgs have whims? Come on!

– Why was the drunk guy so inexplicably cruel to Michael Fassbender? Just so we could establish more muddy Creator/Creation tension?

– Why did Michael Fassbender make what’s her face stay pregnant in that one really malicious and terrifying scene? It was totally going to be a Rosemary’s Baby style pregnancy terror where he was like “oh I’m terribly sorry but you have to stay pregnant until the alien eats you–MWAH HA HA HA HA,” but then she just immediately gives herself a C-Section (note: best part of the film, stick with your wheelhouse, Ridley Scott and the Alien franchise) and then stumbles into the meeting with Fassbender and the old dude and everyone is like “ho hum.” Is Michael Fassbender just a motive-less psychopath?

– What were we supposed to think Charlize Theron’s motivations were, as a character? She was like one part corporate goon, one part crazy operatic madwoman, one part bitchy daughter, one part great hero. I mean, when she flame-throwered the drunk guy, that was actually an incredibly heroic, righteous act that would have saved the ship if they’d all paid better attention. But we were supposed to read it as her being a cold bitch. Ripley would have fucking torched that guy to the max, are you kidding me? He was turning into an alien! So was Theron supposed to be a villain or what? She was set up as a villain but then she did literally nothing for the rest of the film except heroically torch the drunk guy

– Why was the old dude played by a young person in old-face??? I just assumed that, because of the old-face, at some point he was going to be touched by an alien and would go back in time, Benjamin Button style, or at least that we’d get a flashback. But he was old all the way through. Why didn’t they just hire an old person? It was unbelievably distracting.

Some funnier questions we had:

– So they wake up the big blue guy who’s been in cryo sleep for 2,000 years, and he’s like “huh?” and then Fassbender says something to him in his language and then he immediately just kills everyone and starts revving his 2,000 year old space ship up to continue the mission to blow up the earth. Some hyper-intelligent god-like alien soldier he is! He doesn’t stop to be like “Hey is this mission still on, or what? Maybe I should radio back to base and see if I’m still supposed to blow up that entire planet from 2,000 years ago”?? He doesn’t stop to be like “why is this weird looking thing speaking to me in my language, that’s pretty interesting maybe?”

– So we are told that all this shit went down 2,000 years ago–that 2,000 years ago they were going to try to destroy earth by releasing WMD aliens upon us, à la God and the Flood, the famous part of Genesis where God admits he made a mistake. And Noah’s like “but what about me” and God’s like “oh yeah, you’re okay, you can live” and then later Noah’s son sees him naked and that’s why some people are slaves. ANYWAY, so 2,000 years ago, our Creators decided to kill us. WHY? There are two possible interpretations, given the very explicit “2,000 years ago” thing:

1. They somehow sent us Jesus to tell us how to do a good job in life, and we misinterpreted and crucified him instead, and they were like “ok that’s it with these people”

2. Jesus was just a human who was trying to change the course of culture and they DISAPPROVED OF HIM

Obviously I like option 2 a lot more.

I find the driving themes of the Alien franchise to be pretty compelling, although perhaps not always in the way they are meant to be compelling. I find it very interesting, the vagina/pregnancy terror of these films. Every time I re-watch an Alien movie I almost cry, wishing Freud were around to write about it. This terror of Creation, of wombs, of vaginas. It’s more explicit than ever, in Prometheus. When the alien gets its revenge on the giant blue guy and basically rapes him with its horrible tooth-vagina. Yeah, we get it! Pregnancy, sex, vaginas, parents = all sites of horror. Freud would be like “THATS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING THIS WHOLE TIME”

Killing your parents, killing your creator. Creator/Creation locked in hateful battle. The blue guys created humanity and now want to destroy us. They created the aliens who now want to destroy them. Humans gestate aliens in their bodies and then the aliens kill the humans in being born. Humans hate androids even though they created them. Fassbender wants to kill the drunk guy (a human) and also the old guy (his father). Theron wants her father to die. “It’s like Ridley Scott hates himself for creating the Alien franchise,” said my old man.

If the blue guys created us, and they created the titular aliens, then that means humans and aliens also must share DNA. We are the same. Brother against brother. The enemy within.

One thing I really do appreciate about Prometheus is that it’s another one of these movies that has such an incredibly hateful message about mankind. We live in the age of “Earth Fights Back” movies–natural disaster movies but also movies like Melancholia and Cabin in the Woods, which have ultimate messages of, like, “oh god, how we have fucked up” or “we all deserve to die” or even “thank god, we’re finally all going to die.” I love that Prometheus is all about these two dipshit scientists trying to find God to ask him a question and instead what they discover is that their God HATES THEIR GUTS and wants to MURDER THEM IMMEDIATELY because humanity is such an irredeemable piece of shit. I kind of think this is a great quality of this otherwise muddy and incomprehensible picture show.

Michael Fassbender for president, also Idris Elba! Elba/Fassbender 2012! Everyone else in that movie can eat a bag of tooth vaginas

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8 Responses to Prometheus!

  1. B C says:

    Sci-fi gender stuff in the C-section scene: when she goes to program the C-section it blips out and is like, “configured for a male body only” or something (?) and then she has to spend 5 more minutes figuring out how to program abdominal surgery or whatever. It was so sublte and/or “duh” I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be gender commentary, or if Scott was trying to say something about…something.

    • Yours Truly says:

      oh yeah, but I think it was programmed for a male body because it had been brought there specifically for the use of the old dude? Like it was his personal medical pod. That’s what I thought but maybe this wasn’t the case!

      medical pod = awesome. I love that there was a setting for “remove foreign body from abdominal area” a.k.a. an abortion

      • B C says:

        Oh yeah, I forgot about the old man’s crypto-life cling – I think you got that right. Speaking of old man face, why don’t they let Elba just be British? Some of the other crew weren’t American, so why is he?

        • Yours Truly says:

          GREAT QUESTION! Seriously! Maybe because British signals stuffy and/or some kind of a robot, and they wanted Elba to be real salt-o-the-earth working class warm-heart pilot guy? I have no idea. Maybe American audiences are uncomfortable with black dudes with British accents? I can hardly even think of a mainstream American movie that has a British-speaking black dude in it, can I? I will keep trying.

  2. M says:

    Yes to all of this! I can explain the young-guy-in-old-face bit, though. Apparently, there were promotional materials (and possibly deleted scenes?) which show him without the old age makeup, mock ads for his character’s company or somesuch. Which I never actually saw, despite hearing about this movie from EVERYONE pretty much from the time when it was announced. So… Terrible promotional plan along with a disaster of a movie, I think.

  3. dv says:

    My feelings about this movie improved over time after seeing it. I ended up feeling like “There was something special about that weird, flawed movie that I did really like.” Watching a bunch of YouTube “explanation” videos made by weirdos helped endear it to me.

    • Yours Truly says:

      I definitely enjoyed it and enjoyed aspects of it (C section! Idris Elba’s little concertina!). It was fun to watch just in all its messy glory.

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