I have been fascinated with H. R. Giger’s organic, metallic biomechanica art since the first Alien movie introduced me to his surreal interpretations of the dark interiors of the human soul. Prometheus was worth the ticket price just to see Giger-derived designs developed so beautifully.
At the conceptual level the prequel to the alien story is true to the mythos of the original theme of human destruction arising from within humanity, literally bursting forth from us. The concepts of origin, creation, birth, spirit or soul, and the lack of this essence are at the core of this new film as they were in the earlier films.
But this one fell short with ill developed, multiple plot lines and some rather trite devices. Motivation and character development also were rather hit and miss. The problems were at the script level not with the actors. The actors did a great job with flawed material.
Gaping holes in the motivation of “The Engineers” left huge holes in the audience’s understanding of plot. Actions without meaning are empty. The genetic engineers of humanity were completely opaque to interpretation. Having one main character venture off to get answers to questions as to why the engineers did what they did at the very end of the film is an empty act.
That said, some of the snippets of plot within the film were interesting bits. The trite bit of one of the characters being infertile was just that, trite. It was unnecessary to the plot. The “caesarean” scene, while necessary to the plot seemed to be unnecessarily open to meta-interpretation. There seemed to be quite a few plot elements that were supposed to be feminist or of interest to women. Apparently the producers forgot that the thing we loved about
Ripley was that she was human in that the role was written as though the character was a man but was cast as a woman. We liked that. Too many plot elements were simply thrown in to stand alone with no real reason for them to occur. Sex, seemingly evil actions by the robot, and the lack of tangible reason for “The Corporation” to back the expedition were just some of elements that did not hang together.
The project obviously had stops and starts and the entire production did not successfully integrate and smooth out the discontinuities in creation and writing.
Still, Giger or Alien fans will probably get enough out of the film to enjoy it even if they are a bit underwhelmed.
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