Prometheus REvisited

I’ve been rewatching Ridley Scott’s Prometheus recently and while his reported weariness of dealing with the Alien is fairly obvious, what bears mentioning is that there are few directors with an eye as all-encompassing, as acute, as Scott’s.

From the way its shot to the casting, special effects, prop design and costumes, everything just works (and speaking of special effects, as good as they are in Prometheus, Alien: Covenant and virtually every movie he’s done, if he were rushing the technicians it’s among the best kept secrets).

In fact, Prometheus so attractive that it’s easy to miss the thematic elements that work to undermine the narrative.

I’ve already mentioned his dislike of Aliens (Prometheus was originally written by Jon Spaiths though Damon Lindelof came in later and excised much of the Alien-ness from the screenplay) which might be a good reason for Scott to maybe not direct Alien-based movies though I’m referring to how the movie never explains why Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) so dislikes David (Michael Fassbender) for being an android.

And this is not an insignificant question because an entire section of the movie revolves around this dislike, and could be said to have something to do with David exposing him to the alien mutagen.

This aspect of Holloway’s behavior feels not unlike Ripley from the Alien movies though there’s a huge difference, namely the latter feels as she does because an android tried to stuff a rolled-up magazine down her throat (which to be fair was perhaps the oddest way possible to kill someone because I’d imagine it would be somewhat difficult to explain the ‘how’ of her death away) in Alien (1979).

Unlike in the case of David, who did nothing – that is, till he did – to him to warrant his disdain.

And sure, maybe Holloway just didn’t like androids, but that dislike needed to be somehow established.

And can someone please tell me why it is that Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) felt the need to fake his own death to be a part of a mission he financed to the tune of a trillion dollars?

Let’s just say for argument’s sake that everyone aboard the craft knew that Weyland was alive?

So what? The reveal would change nothing, as far as I can tell.

As I said, Ridley Scott has a fantastic eye for detail but he’s a bit sloppy in areas that aren’t always so apparent, like aspects of the story (and I understand that Scott did not write the screenplay, but seeing that he has enough pull to excise entire elements that weren’t to his liking that’s virtually a moot point.

And don’t get me started on Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) running in straight line when the Engineer’s ship crashed, which has to be possibly one of the dumbest scenes ever put to film.


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