My Turn - Prometheus (2012)

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://shows.acast.com/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episodes/my-turn-prometheus-2012

I’ll be the freak who defends COVENANT. As sort of alluded to by the crew both here and in the PREY episode, the big 80’s sci fi monsters suffered from diminishing returns and repetition - what can you do with Alien that’s not already been done before?

With PREY it felt like (and tbf it was stated) that the filmmakers were returning to an essence that other sequels had lost sight of, but with COVENANT it felt to me as though Ridley was doing something analogous to what J Cameron had done to keep ALIENS fresh, which was apply the setting to a different, unexpected form.

In the case of ALIENS it was going from straight horror to action-horror, and COVENANT makes two moves with the premise: it shifts the body horror more toward disease / infection (which PROMETHEUS gestures toward, but wasn’t built around) and builds an explicitly gothic horror story from it. David is Frankenstein and Dracula and Dr. Moreau all at once.

Is it absurd in a number of ways? Sure. Are there way too many characters, again? Yes. Is the final twist basically perfunctory and not at all surprising? Absolutely. But the movie knows what it has in David / Fassbender, and hangs the movie on him. And it works, imo!

I think it wasn’t so much that Scott resented Alien, as the WP crew argues. It was that he was more interested in exploring Ash than the xenomorph. So when Fox shot down the third prequel he just filed the numbers off the IP, took the xeno (mostly) out, injected a bunch of extremely ‘00s “rational skeptic” ideology, and renamed it RAISED BY WOLVES. I hope he got what he wanted out of it!

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(Admittedly, Scott remains as misanthropic and disinterested in his human characters as he was with PROMETHEUS, but my counterpoint is that there’s no better marriage of sci fi and the gothic than android clones engaged in symbolic incest!)

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having just watched prometheus for the first time recently i really enjoyed it. though i agree with what a friend said that thematically it’s much more in dialogue with blade runner than it necessarily is aliens. i do think it does a decent job as a prequel and it’s far enough back in the timeline that it doesn’t hit my bad continuity nerve and i can just go along with the ride. i would put my ease of liking it with the fact that i came into post hype with no expectations. i wonder if there’s something of grant morrison’s layers of creation in scotts work. i do think the initial cast was too big