Monday, May 29, 2017

The Girl With the Xenomorph Tattoo, or Thoughts on Prometheus

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012) suffered from an overabundance of movie stars, special effects, and a far-reaching mythology concerning the origin of life and the nature of humanity.  The movie was also released in 3D, in case you needed even more distraction, and sought to answer all the nagging questions left from the 1979 original, starting with the Space Jockey, and ending with what all those eggs were doing there in the first place.
Swedish actor Noomi Rapace, the original Lisbeth Salander, is space archeologist Elizabeth Shaw in this prequel to Alien (1979) and presumably the first to encounter the xenomorphs.  Charlize Theron is Merideth Vickers, a Weyland Corporation executive and probably an android, while Michael Fassbinder is David, the actual android the latest in a line that included Ian Holm as Ash, Lance Henriksen as Bishop and Winona Ryder as Call.  The self-surgery medical pod scene remains a highlight and personal favorite, but is still no match for the original chestburster spaghetti dinner.
Also with Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, and 7' 1" Ian Whyte, Wun Wun from Game of Thrones as the Engineer.  The movie also introduces the black goo/spores in addition to the eggs and face huggers as new infection sources that only serve to confuse the audience in new and less visceral ways.
David’s contempt for humanity seems more obvious upon a second viewing, especially when juxtaposed against his actions in  Alien: Covenant (2017).  His first scenes, alone on the ship and watching Lawrence of Arabia (1962) seems like a big clue (for a film entitled Prometheus); it’s a movie about a charismatic and rebellious British Army officer who unites the Arab tribes against the Turks (in David’s eyes, we’re the Turks).  Ridley Scott’s androids with a hidden agenda theme has always been overshadowed by the alien threat, but the malfunctioning androids, (or rebellious ones if you’re into synthetic human rights) are the real baddies in the Alien franchise, the xenomorphs are just following their nature, they’re no different than a pack of wolves.

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