The Seans take on Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel
For whatever reason, we’ve employed a number of Seans over the past couple of years. Two of our favorites—Sean Clancy, our Calendar Czar, and Sean McCabe, resident Grimes superfan/overall stellar A+E contributor—went to the Prometheus screening, and this is what they thought of the movie.
McCabe: Prometheus is a sci-fi film intertwined with horror elements, taking place in the same universe as-
Clancy: It’s fucking Aliens.
M: Hold on. Scott does draw heavily from his Alien franchise, but Prometheus is a reboot that still aims to be its own entity.
C: It’s an Alien prequel trying hard not to be about Alien, even though it’s all about Alien.
M: Of course it’s about Alien! The point is it’s not about Alien. Right?!
M: Our titular ship, full of photogenic archaeologists (spearheaded by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw), sets out to find mankind’s origins.
C: What they find is a butt-ton of “OH SHIT!”
M: (Ahem) And they don’t much like what they find.
C: Me neither.
C: The problem with Prometheus is that it hews too close to the myth from which it takes its name. People look for knowledge, and that knowledge ends up biting them in the ass. Probably with some sort of xenomorphic proboscis.
C: But in retelling that classic tale of hubris, Prometheus bites the audience in the ass with a bunch of back-story we don’t need, like the fact that humans and the series’ staple aliens were actually genetically engineered by-
M: Wait, n-nnnonono, you are not spoiling this before I’ve had my say. Look, I think that Alien fans have a lot to gain from Prometheus; it answers questions from the films’ universe without beating you over the head with it. Dude does get beat over the head with a head, though.
C: Truly excellent. But I don’t want those questions answered! The series only worked as horror when the alien was an unknown, and it only worked as action when we all agreed to enjoy space marines and robo-suits over plot. Here, the only real thrills come when Scott plays with our expectations in regards to the other Alien films.
M: But Prometheus is more sci-fi than anything else. It fills in some big cracks, mythos-wise, and makes the Alien-verse feel more complete. The first two Alien films (i.e. The Ones That Matter) remain unscathed.
C: And to be fair, Michael Fassbender is excellent as the cheeky-yet-ominous android David. The film impresses visually, using 3-D to just enough effect. And gore-hounds won’t be disappointed, either.
M: Agreed all around. It helps considering some characters are strictly two-dimensional. I wasn’t a fan of the pseudo religious/paternal themes, though, which felt pretty unnecessary.
C: You could read the whole thing as a meta-commentary by Scott on his “fathering” the Alien series. If you were an asshole, that is.
M: An “asshole” is someone who paid to see Alien Resurrection.
M: We’re of two camps: I, like Dr. Shaw and the mythic Prometheus, have a thirst for knowledge.
C: And I, like David, would rather be watching Lawrence of Arabia.
OPENS | 6.8.12
RATED | R