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shrubbery's avatar

Have you seen Prometheus yet? What did you think? (Alien fans and new-comers)

Asked by shrubbery (9833 points ) June 9th, 2012

This section will be spoiler free. I will post my spoilery thoughts below and give fair warning, if you want to respond to spoilers please do the same.

So.

There was so much hype about it, and I know in some cases that can be a bad thing, and apparently for some people it was, but for me, surprisingly, even though I was incredibly hyped up and excited and had high expectations, it pretty much met all of them and I came out of the cinemas feeling exhilarated.

First of all, I don’t think it was ever confirmed anywhere that this was a full on Alien prequel. In fact I think Ridley Scott said in an interview specifically that while set in the same universe at a previous time it wasn’t necessarily a prequel. I think we fans just thrust that expectation upon the film. I liked not knowing whether it was or not. It made it exciting and mysterious and made watching the trailer more interesting to try and see whether it was or not but not wanting to and not being able to know until the movie.

So. In saying that. I felt like, true to the neither confirming or denying it being a prequel, it was in my opinion both a prequel and not at the same time. And at first I personally think it worked. I have since thought more about it and realised some discontinuities on the prequel side of things. However the movie as a whole and the non prequel side of things were, though also flawed in some ways, visually stunning, exciting, terrifying, funny, engaging, shocking, thought-provoking… everything you’d want from a sci-fi movie, basically.

The build up was great and I know people are saying the second half or climax was messy but I didn’t think it was. I thought the pacing was great and it was exciting and just everything. I don’t know how else to put it. I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. I was clawing at the arms of the chair. I jumped. I laughed. I sort of screamed. I wanted to clap, though it wasn’t that kind of audience. I covered my eyes (though peeked through my fingers). It was just a fucking great movie experience.

It was just so intense but in a good way.

Michael Fassbender as David was fucking fantastic. I can’t really say that any other way but he was so good that I didn’t even see it as “Michael Fassbender as David”, I just saw it as “David”. He was witty and sassy and has morally unclear motives. It was just amazing to watch. I felt like Noomi Rapace’s “Elizabeth Shaw” had the spirit of Ellen Ripley in her.

It was deep and thinky but still had that typical Aliens horror to it, but it was a lot more graphic. Perhaps unnecessary and definitely not for the faint of heart but I’m not going to count it as a negative, just pointing it out. Some shit gets pretty intense.

As I said it’s visually stunning and I saw it in 3D at IMAX and while the previews and count down made my eyes feel funny they were absolutely fine for the entirety of the movie and it didn’t detract from my viewing experience at all. I’d like to go see it in 2D as well to see how it compares but I have no complaints in the 3D department just yet. I thought it worked really well for this movie.

I will post about those discontinuities I mentioned below with a spoiler warning.

So what did you think? Was it what you expected? Were you satisfied or disappointed? It seems to have really divided people in their reactions.

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14 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

More specific thoughts and the possible discontinuity:

* * * SPOILER WARNING * * *

So this is what I first thought on coming out of the cinemas:

We find out where our iconic Alien evolved from. It was made as biological warfare and got out of control, killing the engineers. It evolved into the perfect human killing life-form, which is what they wanted, but they just didn’t expect it to turn on them. This may have not been the same planet as Alien but obviously the same thing happened there. We see the same type of ship, we see an Engineer, or as it was nicknamed before Prometheus, the Space Jockey sitting in the position one was found in in Alien. It was that simple. That was the shout out to the Aliens movies. If that was how the writers and Ridley scott envisioned their beginning and wanted us to see it personally I’m happily satisfied in that sense.

But also, it’s a movie about finding our beginnings and about makers and there is a great parallel between the engineers making humans and humans making robots like David. These weren’t entirely new questions, I had wondered where the Alien came from and why it was supposedly the “perfect organism”, but I realise it was actually the perfect organism to kill humans because it was evolved that way by the same beings that made humans, apparently. But anyway, I’ll say it was the new side of the story since these questions hadn’t actually been explored by the Alien movies because they were more focused on killing the fucking things instead of asking where they came from, understandably.

So. We are introduced to the idea that the Engineers made us in their image and the burning question of why is the film’s main premise. We meet an Engineer and discover that it just wants to kill every human it sees, and apparently they wanted to kill all the humans they had created before their plan backfired on them. This question is not answered and I feel that any following film will go down this new route rather than the Alien/Xenomorph one, because as I said, to me that story is now done and finished with. Sure we only see a primitive early version of our well loved Alien, but what more do you need to know? It’s going to evolve into that by the time Alien is set. There. All done. We don’t need a whole ‘nother movie about it.I, for one, are fare more curious about the new stuff like these Engineers and what the writers and Ridley will do about these massive questions and even how it will relate to androids, because I find that stuff fascinating.

And I have no qualms with being left with these questions at the moment because in true Thor style: THIS MOVIE. I LIKE IT. ANOTHER.

However, upon further reflection and discussion, I have some problems:

If this wasn’t the same planet as in Alien (which apparently it’s not because the LV numbers are different)… the Xenomorph we see at the end is the product of David infecting Holloway impregnating Shaw and the giant vaginal facehugger “breeding”? with the Engineer. Unless that exact same scenario happened on the other planets such as the one where the Nostromo gets the signal from… then how did they get Xenomorphs too? Unless that was just one of a a few different ways to get a Xenomorph. Like maybe on the other planets the baby snake like facehuggers did the same thing to the Engineers and got a Xenomorph out of that scenario too. But in which case why did we need to see this all happening this way with Shaw if it didn’t need to to get a Xenomorph? And if it IS the same planet but maybe has been re-named or something, then it doesn’t fit in with Alien where the Xenomorph bursts out of the Engineers chest while it was sitting in the chair, rather than in the lifeboat pod.

And okay. If we needed to see it in this scenario with Shaw because of all the symbolism about makers and mothers and how she couldn’t give birth and it was possibly one of her driving motives to find the Engineers then why wasn’t that explored more? It’s like all these themes were brought up about women and their roles (of motherhood, as head of a corporation, as a daughter, the surgery thing not being compatible for female operations) and nothing was done with them. They got mixed in with the whole faith thing, which it also didn’t explore after making such a big point of it. what does Shaw believe in now? How does she still have faith after all of that? Also the parallels the engineers and humans and the humans and androids. It was brought up and scratched at by David and Fassbender’s stunning performance but I want more. Hopefully the next movie.

I hated when Shaw said “I deserve to know.” You don’t deserve fuck. It’s hard to explain why this rubbed me the wrong way, I’m not good with words. Maybe she thinks after the horror she has been through to get there and find them that’s why she deserves anything but what about all the people who suffer on earth who will never know their makers, does she deserve to know any more than they do? I just would have preferred if she’d said “I need to know” or “I have to know” rather than deserve or something.

Guy Pearce was pretty good as the creepy old Weyland but I’m left wondering at his “now I see” last words there. Does he just finally accept death now that he’s so close to it, or did he see something in the Engineer that we didn’t? Also would like to know why Vickers hates him so much? Is he her actual father or is she an android?

No one came after Shaw when she was doing the emergency c-section and no one asked her what had happened or went to check the pod or took the alien baby out or anything. I know they were focused on Weyland but yeah, still thought that was a little odd.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I’ll watch it on a Monday since there will be less people. Should I start watching the alien franchise again?

Also check out the newest shirt at teefury

partyrock's avatar

I LOVED IT….. But my boyfriend thought it was just “OK”. I thought the visuals were great, the story, the characters… I loved it all !!

BUT you do need to watch it on the big screen! Not a little one :) Much better experience :)

Going in there to see Prometheus was like having a movie experience! Totally in awe. A guy sitting close to us had his mouth open for the whole movie lol !

ragingloli's avatar

It was ok, I guess.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

We also saw it in IMAX 3-D and really liked it. We all agree on what we think is prequel and what we hope will spawn more offshoot storylines.

ragingloli's avatar

I only saw a torrented cam rip. blurry and dark.

shrubbery's avatar

@Michael_Huntington if you enjoy Alien then yeah watch it again before you see Prometheus, might as well :) but if you don’t and can’t remember much of it or whatever it doesn’t matter either.

@ragingloli well that might be your problem then. I’d definitely recommend seeing it on the big screen, or at least on blu-ray when it comes out or something.

@Neizvestnaya do you have any thoughts on the problems I brought up?

ucme's avatar

Saw it today, it was all I expected it to be, which was enjoyable.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@shrubbery: well… you asked :)

We find out where our iconic Alien evolved from. It was made as biological warfare and got out of control, killing the engineers.

That was by the crew but that’s not how I saw it. In the opening scenes, we see one of the humanoids ingesting the aliens and letting himself be transformed and dispersed through the water system, a ship eaving him behind to seed the planet with new life forms, using himself as a basic template.

You ask why the tension between Vickers and Weyland? Weyland is very clear the robot is closest thing he has to a son, a traditional human notion of achieving immortality. Vickers is jealous of the artificial man, again, traditional pitting of “siblings” of opposite sexes. Maybe this was put into the movie as much as Shaw’s wet-eyed revelations of not being able to procreate. This may have been served to us as markers of what we recognize as human to make contrast against the otherworld humanoids who are fine creating life from alien seedlings.

As for Shaw’s alien pregnancy, that did bug me that no one asked or investigated the removed creature. I think Weyland and David the robot knew but not Vickers.

mazingerz88's avatar

It was the tease that Scott put out there that tickled. This is not a prequel but maybe it is! What the heck does that mean anyway? Lol. Personally, I had to see it as a movie prequel because it offered and capitalized on elements the first Alien movie had and its got the same director. They capitalized on these elements. To sell it. It better worked.

[ SPOILER ALERT…]

For me it did not. I expected too much. I wanted the same feel I got as a 12 year old, when after I read the Dan O’Bannon(?) book in 1980, I saw the movie adaptation and I was just awed, dumbstruck. I never imagined a movie could do that. Transport me right there huddling with Ripley and the guys in that cold, low-lighted and in some parts, damp and rusty ship, Nostromo. I WAS there.

Was there no musical score? I can’t recall. I strongly remember that low humming sound inside the Nostromo. The pacing. The patient attention on dialogue between the characters. The oxygen giving yet tight space they have inside that ship in direct contrast to the vastness of it outside yet devoid of air humans need to survive. Talk about irony. I wanted those same things with Prometheus but to me, they’re absent.

It started great. Boy what a teaser! A humanoid alien killing himself to start life on Earth. ( That’s what happened right? Someone pls. correct me if I’m wrong. ) Next thing I knew, they landed on a newly discovered planet and on their first landing, they spotted the alien constructs right away? As in, yeah, hey, there it is, alien motel! And they did not even had to Google. ( Did I miss anything? In the dialogue maybe? Or Fassbender android’s preparations? Again, thanks if you could enlighten me. )

From then on, everything went too fast for me. There was no breathing room. There was no innovative filmaking/storytelling attempt. ( Oh great Scott, those half-baked movies with Russel Crowe, except Gladiator, ruined you. Lol. ) There was no build-up. For me.

mazingerz88's avatar

@shrubbery Also would like to know why Vickers hates him so much? Is he her actual father or is she an android?
[ SPOILER ALERT…]

I have this feeling the background story between Vickers and her father was deemed less important. What was relevant was the father’s disapproval of his child. Maybe the writers’ intention is to give us a glimpse of a possible answer as to why our alien maker wanted us destroyed. It happens. Humans sometimes ended up not loving, even hating their own children. Their “creation”.

( Plus, shhh…you know, jealous of the android “son”? Android made in the image of her brother maybe? Lol. )

But Shaw being human, as she herself told David, wants to know why. She might, depending on how much money this film makes, discover the answer in a sequel. Also, maybe it would have sounded a bit better if she said, “We deserve to know…” I do think she’s entitled. After all, at that point she knew she did not find what she was looking for, her hubby was marshmallowed and well, after that visit to that iSurgeon thingy? Quite ordinarily human.

shrubbery's avatar

@Michael_Huntington I wish shipping prices weren’t so annoying otherwise I’d get that t-shirt :(

nikipedia's avatar

Well, I hate to be such a spoilsport but I thought it was awful. The plot was inconsistent and had no real arc, there was no resolution of any plot element, the dialogue was forced and uncomfortable, the characters were totally flat, and the weird moralizing about faith (in spite of ample evidence undermining it) killed it for me. I spent most of the movie wishing they would just die already so we could go home. It seemed like a movie where the writers had a ton of movie for big effects, but forgot to include any real storyline.

And this is nitpicky but still bothered me—they couldn’t consult with any scientists to make sure they didn’t say anything completely stupid? At one point Charlize Theron says, “I didn’t travel half a billion miles to meet men,” or something—that puts them somewhere between Jupiter and Saturn.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Frankly, the best part of going to see this movie was watching the Django Unchained trailer. I wanted to squeal ‘ooooohoooo, that’s a binngggoooo!’ with delight.

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