Not too long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, a towing ship carrying mineral ore came across a “distress” beacon and decided to investigate. What they found became cinematic sci-fi history – a movie called “Alien”. The movie with its claustrophobic environment and acid-bleeding aliens became the rare blend of sci-fi and horror that actually worked on the big screen.
Since then the original has spawned many sequels, many of which just capitalized on the “Alien” franchise rather than adding anything new to the mix.

So when Ridley Scott, the director of the original Alien series, announced that he was returning to the Alien universe, fans around the globe rejoiced. At last we will have the answers that we wanted, like what on earth were those “Space Jockeys” in Alien, they said. Sadly for them Ridley Scott had more lofty ambitions, more to do with answering the eternal question – the meaning of life, the universe and it all!!
The movie begins with a tall white alien being “sacrificing” himself to start life on a planet that could be “Earth”. Several thousands of years later, a group of enterprising scientists find evidence of “life” out there and convince a mega-corporation to fund their expedition to some distant moon called LV-223. Of course no good ever comes of such deals as we shortly learn. Reaching LV-223 they quickly discover an alien “installation” of sorts and horrors of the creepy kind. In the bargain, the all important question is left unanswered and the threat of a sequel unleashed on the unsuspecting viewer.
While detractors of the movie have slammed Ridley Scott, a small band of supporters have urged people that this is sci-fi done right and it abounds in symbolism.
They are right on the symbolism part because in my opinion that’s all the movie has – derivative symbolism. I’m sorry to say but it isn’t good sci-fi by any means – mainly because the science bit of sci-fi is sorely missing. Here are a few grouses I have with the movie:

  • Black liquid oozes from pretty much the start of the movie. What I haven’t got is why does every sci-fi movie have to have alien substances depicted as black oily liquid? Granted that the X-Files made the concept cool, but seriously have all the races in the universe color co-ordinated on black?
  • I’ve heard several theories from fans on what the black liquid could be, including suggestions that the liquid reacted to human emotion and thought and fed on our inherent corruption. This was cited as a reason why the liquid did not affect the android David. Guys, wouldn’t a more simpler reason be that its well, a biological weapon that reacts to well , you know, biological entities? After all you’d hardly expect David to catch the plague no?
  • The Characters are seemingly all brainless. The scientists prefer to run in head first into the alien “building” rather than doing the sensible thing and sending in some probes oh and maybe the android first. You know with it being an hostile alien environment and all. I thought that’s what androids were for. Then we have characters who can’t seem to run sideways. And lastly our heroine who wants to travel to the Alien Engineer’s home planet to ask them “Why ?”, when she should be doing a Ripley on them and giving them a taste of their own medicine.
  • Oh and then there is that utterly unnecessary “Alien bursting out of chest” scene

I could go on and on – but instead I’ll get to the title of this post.

Prometheus was a titan in Greek mythology credited with giving mankind fire. On seeing his act, the Greek Gods sentenced him to be bound to a rock for all eternity. An eagle then ate out his liver each day and Prometheus, being immortal, was doomed to suffer the same fate for all eternity. Just like the titular character, the movie does the same to its predecessor Alien and rips out its essence each time it’s shown somewhere. In the end the movie is just bogged down by the lack of a plot and rampant unnecessary symbolism, which just can’t be lifted by a superb performance by Michael Fassbender. Do avoid if you cherish your memories of Alien.

Did you like this? Share it: