Some say that Aliens is a better movie, but I think the original Alien is the best film of the franchise. The phallic symbols added depth to the metaphor of sexual assault, and the intelligent, passive-aggresive dialogue spoke volumes about the hierarchy some people feel about the two sexes. The aliens were very unique, and the robot that could pass as a human contributed to the movie’s ghastly theme. The silence also separated it from the other films. Aliens was an action movie, full of loud guns, explosions, and exciting music. However, Alien was more of a science fiction/horror movie, with isolation and quiet trepidation. The sequels didn’t venture too far away from the original concept of Alien, and while they added their own action theme to the movies, they weren’t very innovative. Don’t get me wrong, I like Aliens, but it has pretty much the exact same plot as Alien.
Prometheus had the same problem. Watching it felt just like watching Alien, only with different actors and better special effects. Some scenes were almost completely replicated from the original, like the decision of whether or not to let an infected member aboard the ship. The aspect of religion was supposed to be the new inclusion into the series, but the whole concept felt utterly underwhelming and silly.
The actors did a decent job. If any part of the movie was a success, it would be Michael Fassbender’s performance as David, the life-like robot aboard Prometheus. Fassbender has the inspiring ability to portray emotion through his eyes. Together, his eyes and the stillness of his motor functions created an eerie prototype that was believable as a machine, but uncomfortably close to human. However, the obvious betrayal by the non-human inevitably occured, which only added to the predictable plot. Noomi Rapace was great as Elizabeth, but her likeness to Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley forced comparison, which set her up for failure. Charlize Theron’s character Meredith simply didn’t have enough layers. It seemed that the writers forgot to give her a human side, and at times, she felt more like a robot than David did. Because there was no emotion attached to Meredith at all, her fate seemed insignificant and unimportant.
Another problem with the film was the advanced technology that was supposed to pre-date the entire Alien franchise. How was the equipment on the ship so much more improved than the rest of the films? Some call it the “Star Wars syndrome”, meaning that because the movies were made out of order, the earlier films display better electronics because they were created in a later time, when the directors had more sophisticated special effects to work with. Although this was bound to happen, the movie could’ve held back to create a more fluent timeline.
Prometheus was undeniably beautiful, which made it somewhat enjoyable to watch, but the plot, the dialogue, and the sudden input of religion into the Alien movies lowered the feature’s dignity. It didn’t add anything to the franchise, and gave it a tone that true fans of the series won’t favor. It felt like an unnecessary extension to an already fantastic set of films. The movie carried a pretentious air about it, and believed itself to be deeper and more methodical than it actually was. Prometheus could’ve been an interesting addition to the Alien flicks, but overall, it was a tremendous let down.