Someone (JMF, I think) recommended that I what Prometheus. But it was one of those “you should probably see this” rather than “this is really good” recommendations. It is a curious film. It is a prequel for Alien but uses a fanciful notion to get there. It uses the Prometheus myth, but in a surprisingly stupid and direct way. Basically, despite our sharing the vast majority of the DNA of most other mammals, we were created by some alien (who looks like he shares 99% of his DNA with chimps) who commits suicide. Or something.
The film deals with this by having one of the characters counter the nonsense of this argument by noting if the Engineers really did create us, it would mean that two centuries of science on natural selection was wrong. To this, the female scientist responds (as she does throughout the film), “I choose to believe.” Well then, I guess no more need be said! Perhaps a better ploy would have been to put up some blinking subtitles, “Begin suspension of disbelief now…”
The plot of the film also makes little sense. The robot infects the male doctor, which kills him and gets the female doctor pregnant with a creature, whose sole purpose is creating an alien in another host: you know, the double host procreation cycle that is so common in advanced organism. But that’s not even what’s confusing. Why did the robot infect the male doctor? We don’t know. He just did it because… I know! Robots in Ridley Scott films are evil while robots in James Cameron films are good. Or something.
There is one moment in the film when the writers seem to have awaken from their somnolent composing to realize that the whole film didn’t make sense. The robot asks the male scientist why he wants to meet his maker. It highlights the fact that the robot lives among his makers and he has no special insights because of it. The big issue here is that ontologically this quest is childish. Surly after meeting their maker the humans would then want to go on to meet their maker’s maker.
The film is little more than a muddle trying to make itself to an ending where the crew of the original Alien can find a crashed spaceship infested with alien eggs. It also makes numerous awkward allusions to the Alien film series. But it does manage to engage the viewer throughout. Scott is nothing if not a good painter of scenes. Unfortunately, the script doesn’t seem to even try to make sense the way the other films in the series did. (Note: I haven’t seen Alien vs. Predator and its sequel.)
If you ever have to kill me, I would prefer a bullet in the head. Please do not burn me alive as they seem to like to do in Alien films. You could also cut off my head. I understand that setting people on fire makes for great images, but can’t we at least agree that no one is going to beg to be burned to death—especially when other options are available?