How To Fix “Prometheus”

18Jun12

One word: streamlining.

The key problem facing this movie comes from a place of too much logic. Sure, on a ship and mission this big, you would need a crew of about 20 people to do everything. But that’s too many characters to care about in the span of 2 hours, and it actually ends up taking away valuable we-care-about-THIS-LEAD-character time, therefore hurting your emotional climax(es).

WARNING: Lots of spoilers ahead. BWOOP! BWOOP! BWOOP! BWOOP!

I enjoyed “Prometheus” for what it was, and thought it was interesting and well shot, but the one piece it’s missing is an emotional connection with the characters. If I had gotten to know the Captain better, or his relationship with his ship, I might have had a bigger response to his ultimate decision. As it was, it just kind of made sense and I hoped they’d succeed, which I was sure they would.

So the first thing I would have done would be to cut the punk scientist and his nerdy non-friend who was obviously in love with him, aka, the first two guys to die. It seems like they only exist as plot bait: they get lost, get left in the pyramid, get attacked by monsters, and then don’t respond the next day, forcing the rest of the crew to go after them.

It’s a repeated beat that adds nothing to the story. We, the audience, know what killed those two, so it’s not that interesting to see the rest of the crew go out and investigate.

So like I said, streamlining. Without them, the story could have gone this way:

  • Get to the planet, launch an investigation.
  • Check out this pyramid!
  • Something bit me, but I’m not gonna tell anyone about it.
  • A storm’s coming. Get back to the ship before we can finish investigating.
  • I’m sick… with monster juice!
  • Let’s have sex, Noomi Rapace.
  • Terror on the ship. Monster-man and monsters go through the crew a bit.
  • Noomi Rapace is pregnant.
  • Noomi Rapace makes herself “unpregnant.”
  • There’s something still out in the pyramid.
  • “I have to see what’s out there,” says the old zillionaire.
  • Go back to the pyramid.
  • Activate the giant guy.
  • Fight-fight-fight.
  • Take down the ship.
  • End of movie.

I also don’t know what’s gained by hiding Guy Pearce’s involvement in the story, other than just keeping us away from his crappy aging makeup (seriously, why not hire an old man? The reason you would make a young guy look old is so you could show him as his younger self. If you’re not gonna do that…). Why not just make it clear from the get-go that he’s on the ship and he wants to see this stuff, and have that tension working throughout? You’d cut out Charlize Theoron’s character entirely, and make David a direct surrogate with an in-camera relationship.
Guy Pearce’s make-up is symbolic of the needless complication in this movie.

Other thoughts:

1.) The titular aliens of the “Alien” series are basically space zombies. They exist only to kill people. As “smart” as this sci-fi series is, I’ve never quite understood how there could exist a race of creatures who’s sole purpose seems to be killing humans. I mean, their blood is acid? What do these advanced species do in their downtime? Hunt Predators, I suppose. Which reminds me…

2.) How funny would it have been for that final shot to have been a baby Predator?

3.) I’ve always had a problem with movie characters running away from large rolling things when it seems just as easy to run to the side. If I’m ever chased by a giant rolling spaceship (or boulder, for that matter) the first thing I’m doing is running to the left or right and watching that thing keep rolling away.

4.) They should have parked the ship closer to the pyramid. They were like a mile away. Why not park right up there? It would save on rover fuel alone.

5.) This was a smart way to do a prequel in that it wasn’t a linear link-up to “Alien.” There’s no reason to do a lead-up. More than one space ship can exist, so more than one planet can exist. It was just an “Alien”-ish story that took place in years prior to the events of “Alien.” So good for them.

6.) If they do a sequel to this, it’s gonna be a weird one, with the sutured Noomi Rapace carrying a robot head in a bag, flying a spaceship in search of the meaning of life.

7.) I laughed a little at how everyone in the future — Earthlings and otherwise — had developed Convenient Exposition Machines. David can watch Noomi’s dreams, which were conveniently appropriate for the story at hand. And the aliens (though they’re not aliens exactly, ’cause they’re from that planet, but who cares) had recorded holograms of themselves doing whatever it was they were doing just before they died. The weird thing is, I kind of justified these things in my head by the fact that we, as a culture, use Facebook and Twitter to log every step of our mundane lives now. I video record my son all the time. I justified this as a story-aiding next step in social media.

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5 Responses to “How To Fix “Prometheus””

  1. i think they are planing to bring back a young guy: http://youtu.be/hUxdAWrsag8

    but it’s all totally stupid in light of the fact we will have reverse aging technologies in way less than 50 years to risking going out into space in 2089 when you could just stay home and inject yourself with a telomere repair kit packaged in a bio-engineered nano virus makes the whole “i spent trillions to be immortal” plot kinda stupid.

    wyland should have watched this ted talk but i guess he was just too busy growing old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iYpxRXlboQ

    this is interesting though and most likely why the streamlining option was off the table: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Prometheus-Explained-Unraveling-Unanswered-Questions-31317.html?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_24023

    “Donovan Glass • 10 days ago

    To give some historical/mythological background that may shed some light, Ridley stated the SJ culture was based on Persian Myths. This would be Sumerian/Akkadian/Hindu. Ill just use Sumerian since its the oldest. This is all taken from the Atra Hasis.

    Creators – “G”ods- Annunaki – Dragon Humanoids (Naga, Dragon Kings,)
    Helpers – “g”ods – Igigi – Engineers. (Android like living beings….BIOmechanical humanoid. Key features- Pale skin and large black eyes. Also known as watchers, Grigori, and Archons) (in many summerian texts they are actually referred to as “Pilots”. Pretty much the Annunaki Air Force.)

    When the Annunaki began terraforming the earth, they had the Igigi do the work for them. After a few thousand years the Igigi revolted and went on strike. The Annunaki then decided to create humans to do the work for them.

    They sacrificed one of the rebel Igigi named Geshtu to use his blood and dna to make human beings, by mixing it with elements native to the earth.

    Even though the humans were created and did the work, 1/3 of the Igigi still werent satisfied and sought revenge for Geshtu, so they rebelled again against the Annunaki Lords and began breeding/mixing with the human females creating Nephelim. This is what sparked the Prime Lord Enlil to flood the earth. Some humans were saved by Enki, the Lord responsible for the sacrifice of Geshtu and the creation of humans. Enlil and the rest of the annunaki decide to return home and let the humans develop on their own. Enki and his family stay behind. The Igigi are forced to leave earth as well. The remaining rebel Igigi are imprisoned on a planet on the way back to the homeworld and it is said as punishment and as a mark they are altered into a demonic appearance, no longer retaining the Angelic appearance.

    Enki and his crew are probably the ones leaving the maps for humans to find, along with the ones helping humans advance throughout time.

    The sacrfice engineer is Geshtu

    The lone engineer is most likely Marduk or a servant/worshipper of Marduk.

    The xeno is Mushussu, a creature Marduk fashioned and used as his pet.

    The “Engineers” we see are trying to destroy Earth are of the Igigi rebels who view earth as their own. They have always despised humans because the Annunaki saw us as more in their likeness than them. ITs possible that the Igigi have long since destroyed or taken over the annunaki and the homeworld, and Earth was like going to claim the prize or spoils.

    They mustve used to the Xeno’s to win this war and through its perfection it has began to destroy and infect the Igigi who manufacture and transport it, creating more Mushussu.

    the xeno in Alien is most likely an older pilot igigi birthed Mushussu egg crossed with human or a future Annunaki birthed one which would explain the size difference in hosts.

    It is mentioned in several lesser stories that Marduk created the Mushussu out of using the essence of the Gods’ (Annunaki) he killed as a symbol of his conquering and being able to control them… ie the mural.”

  2. 8) In your first walk on Alien planet, keep your helmet on. Even if the air is good inside the pyramid, you may have to run out in a hurry, to the place where you know the air is no good…

  3. Nice writeup. I agree wholeheartedly, and think you’re actually being generous with your praise.

    9) The alien impregnation scene to was completely ridiculous and superfluous – and the fact Noomi was running around after having her abdomen ripped apart moments before was mind bogglingly inane. As was the requisite scene establishing the fact she couldn’t be pregnant. Oh what? I conveniently forgot you can’t form life when I awkwardly chose the sentiment “How easy it is to create life?” That scientist prick might as well have stated “These engineers are like, totally fertile in a pregnant sort of way.”

    10) Speaking of which, the Holloway character might have been the most unsympathetic character in recent memory. I hated him so much I wanted the crew to be like, this dude’s a jerk – let’s turn the ship around.

    11) What’s wrong with the original mythology as is: face huggers and aliens taking the shape of the organisms what chest-burst them? Why do we need these new “mouth tunnelers” and an elaborate explanation of how the first recognizable alien came to be? This essentially made the entire movie a justification and reach for that one final image – that landed with the same limp thud as all the other ridiculous dramatic moments (i.e. Charlize stating “yes father”, etc.)

    12) Prometheus : Phantom Menace
    Black goo : Midi-chlorians

    The whole thing felt to me more like the last 2 seasons of LOST than the first 2 Alien movies.

    Blergh

  4. I agree with Leonardo. My great-great grandmother is an Ellen Ripley clone and she was shocked to see that!


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