THERE BE SPOILERS HERE. BE WARNED. BE WARNED. SPOILERS.
Ridley Scott and his creation that "isn't a prequel" to itself.
Damon Lindeloff is full of it--along with his cohorts on the "Lost" TV show; lied for seasons saying the island wasn't purgatory and everyone was dead, he does it again with Prometheus:
PROMETHEUS IS A PREQUEL TO ALIEN. Period. If you refuse to believe it, you did not see the original 1979 film or you don't know half as much about it as you thought you did. None of that fanboy studio parroting "now wait...there are strands of Alien's DNA in it but..."
There's so much Alien DNA it's a alien porn facial.
- The film uses the exact same HR Giger bio-mechanical/sexual art design:
HR Giger's concept art for the 1979 film, Alien.
- The company financing the exploration is Weyland. It will become known as Weyland-Yutani in the subsequent Alien films, with the second film, Aliens creating the "Building Better Worlds" company tagline
- The horseshoe shaped alien ship is the exact model in the 1979 film:
- The Space Jockey(s), known in Prometheus as "Engineers" are the same discovered in the derelict spaceship in the 1979 Alien film
Top: Prometheus. Bottom: Alien
- The alien creatures morph with each victim closer to the original 1979 Alien design and if you watch to the end credits you are either in serious denial or did not see the 1979 Alien to see what is birthed in that crashed craft. The creature that attacks the "Engineer" in the final moments of the film is a giant precursor to the "Facehugger" that will become so famous in 1979. Oh yeah...the eel-like creatures in the derelict ship wrap tighter when removing them and they bleed acid when cut. Sound familiar? Wait! They also enter the mouth and incubate embryos inside. Still not a prequel, huh?
Above: The wormy creature entering the mouth to do its business Bottom: Nah, that has NO resemblance to the alien from the 1979 film. The creature appears in the closing minutes of Prometheus.
These are the most obvious. Throw in the filmmakers either subtle Easter eggs or outright treats with dialogue like: "Are you seeing this?" This line is said when the alien pyramids are discovered by the explorers back to the ship. This same line was the same used in the 1979 film spoken by Captain Dallas back to Ash on the ship when they see the derelict craft for the first time. The film ends as both Alien and Alien 3 ended with the lead female survivor signing off to the ship's log.
Enough of all of that. If you don't believe it is a prequel by now, stop reading and go rant on your own blog. Fanboys go away, you've done enough to wreck movies.
Charlize Theron perhaps wondering what she's doing in this movie. Many in the audience were.
The advance press and back story of this film's inception being a prequel and then merging into something different is half correct. There's a a civil war of scripts going on in this film and it lessens the impact of what could have been a revolutionary classic in the science fiction genre.
Noomi Rapace setting the stage for Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley in Prometheus.
The original Alien was a horror film. It succeeds because it's pure. Alien, in this writer's opinion, is close to perfect. Like the android Ash says in the 1979 classic, he admired the alien's purity--the best reason to admire the original Sigourney Weaver classic.
Where the original Alien was pitched as "Jaws in Space" this prequel could easily be pitched as "Frankenstein Meets The Wizard of Oz." Everyone's looking for something in this one: a robot is looking for a heart, a scientist wants courage, another wants eternal life and Charlize Theron just wants to go home. They've all come a long way to meet the Wizard and indeed they find that there's something very different behind the curtain.
There's a lot going on in Prometheus but it doesn't always click well together.
Michael Fassbender as David, setting the stage for Ash and Bishop with a little HAL thrown in.
When Prometheus is busy evoking wonder, it works beautifully and that's the right word: it is beautiful. However, this is a cynical age, far more so than in 1979. "The Company" (the studio) wants profits, much like "The Company" in the Alien films so sacrifices must be made. Audiences want their big screen scares and heaven forbid they sit through a truly high concept motion picture without someone in a cape or doing a mighty CGI flyby these days.
So a conscious effort was made to connect this film to a series of films that waned into the same flaccid goo that is discovered in the derelict ship canisters. Most critics and fans will agree that the series should have stopped at Aliens. While the third film is not a "bad" one, it is a mess, with even its director, David Fincher disowning it; citing studio interference as making the production a living hell. On top of it Alien 3 is downright depressing, nihilistic and nullifies everything that the second film worked so hard for.
It was downhill from there with the ridiculous graphic novel come to life Alien Resurrection (Joss Whedon gets credit for the script but he says they butchered his screenplay). That's okay, Whedon gets his revenge this summer as his film The Avengers will pummel the aliens anyway. The ridiculous and "let's make a buck" Alien vs. Predator series knocked Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott away from the series for awhile, as they rightly said going in that fanboy mashup direction would kill the series and whatever dignity it had left.
Now it's full circle. Alien returns to meet its maker and it left me and from what I could hear of the people exiting around me, wanting more and wishing it wasn't so Alien heavy. To this day, Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind still leaves me with a genuine sense of wonder--a real "what's out there beyond us?" kind of feeling. There were parts of Prometheus that had me starting to feel this way and then: cut to monster stuff or worse yet, a cheesy 1950's bad guy plot that has become a science fiction cliche and was before the 1979 film.
As reviews have said, the technical aspects of the film are magnificent. It looks real and Rapace and Fassbender indeed deserve the accolades they are getting for their performances (although I think Fassbender's praise is a little over exuberant. Lance Henrickson and Ian Holm did much better android turns).
When Prometheus is challenging you to think, it's on its 'A' Game. However it cowtows to an ever dumbed down audience that, right now, most prefer their films heavy on the action, less on the story and thinking.
And maybe, that's the answer to the ultimate question Noomi Rapace asks: "What happened to make them hate us?" What IF we were created by other world beings? What WOULD they think if they came to visit and saw how we are running things--if they read our tweets, watched E News, reality TV and looked at our political and legal systems?
Hell, all they have to see are the comments sections under any news article and we might have the answer to Rapace's question.