On the endearingly ambitious Prometheus, and the silly little flaws that undermine its brilliance.
“Big things have small beginnings…”
The online vitriol’s always been a little harsh towards this one – but I get it. I really do. Some of these characters are idiots. Poorly conceived fools who’ll make your eyes roll with every stupid decision they make. Shaw has a nice character arc, tying into the film’s loftier themes of faith and the search for answers. Idris Elba is clearly having a whale of a time – he’s easily the most likeable presence. And Michael Fassbender’s David is utterly magnetic. The rest? Oh boy. And they certainly aren’t helped by Lindelof & Spaihts’ lazy, erratic writing.
But Prometheus is also wonderfully ambitious. It’s weird returning to this as a huge fan of Alien. Many of its greatest attributes come from those standalone sci-fi/horror elements. The big questions about life and our place in the cosmos. The traumatising cesarean sequence (that’s long since been burned into my memory). The connection to Scott’s beloved original is merely tangential. This stands on its own merits (and collapses under the weight of its own foolishness), and that’s what makes this prequel so endearing.
The ending is pretty damn great though – seeing the proto-Xenomorph sends shivers down my spine. I love Shaw’s final decision. There’s something so terrifying and romantic about her quest. I’m really hoping Covenant leans into answering a lot of the loftier ideas and plot threads presented here. I’d take that over an Alien re-hash any day of the week.
Pretty sure this was one of the first 15-rated films me and my friends went to see in cinemas. I went with three others – one of them refused to look at the screen once shit hit the fan, another put his headphones in and stared at the floor. I basically had a seizure watching that C-section scene for the first time. Good times, yo.