R, 124 min.
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof, Dan O’Bannon (elements), Ronald Shusett (elements)
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Kate Dickie
I don’t think most people got what they expected to from this film. Being very familiar with the work of its director, Ridley Scott, I wasn’t that surprised that this film took such a different angle on our future exploits in alien contact than his 1979 film “Alien”, to which this film acts as a sort of prequel. In “Alien”, Scott’s focus was on why these people would’ve been exposed to the alien threat they didn’t necessarily stumble upon. The notion of the corporation using people as expendable commodities was what that movie was about. This one is more about why anything might have been created in the first place, be it the alien threat from the ’79 film or the human victims it feeds upon. Why are any of us here?
These are awfully deep thoughts for mainstream audiences to take on in a summer blockbuster. Fall might’ve been a better time to release this movie, as audiences often seem more willing to put thought into their film experiences during the autumn months.
Look to the film’s title to hint at what it is about. The Greek mythology of Prometheus tells the story of the creator who is destroyed by his own creation. Prometheus was a “Titan god” who was entrusted with the task of molding man out of clay. He tried to better his creation by stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to man. In punishment, Zeus created the woman Pandora to torment man and bound Prometheus to Mount Kaukasos to be fed upon by an eagle.
You can see how this mythology applies to the story of “Prometheus”. I find the use of woman in the film to be the most interesting. The women hold so much more power than the men. This comes from their sexuality and their ability to bare children. They are the bringers of life. One character uses her sexuality as a weapon against the most masculine man of the crew, the other cannot bare children and yet gives birth to the ultimate threat and her own ultimate salvation. In the end there are no men left at all except for a fake man. Even that man has been emasculated by his own brazen actions.
In the end, it’s clear that Prometheus really fucked up. Can woman fix what even man’s creator couldn’t get right? As the election approaches, it strikes me that we still don’t have a female president. What are we waiting for?