Dir: Ridley Scott
The Alien franchise is quite a special one. So far there have been four ‘Alien’ films, each helmed by a different Oscar-winning director, plus two ‘AvP’ spin-offs, that really can be almost entirely disregarded. However in all these films, Ridley Scott found that a question he raised in the original 1979 sci-fi classic, had somehow been overlooked, and was yet to be answered… thus arose his way back into the much-loved universe he created decades ago.
I first saw Alien about 9 years ago as part of my A-level Media Studies course, and honestly, for a sci-fi/horror, the pacing at first had me nodding off to sleep, I couldn’t quite see what all the fuss was about as it got so far into the film with hardly a line uttered, no enthralling action, and then I’m watching people sitting down for dinner… and BAM! It nearly put me off salad for life!
I then later watched Aliens with my elder brother, and left it at that, with the consensus view that the two films were enough and the best of the bunch.
Fast forward less than two years, and one of the first films studied as part of my Film & TV degree is Alien. We were set it as a text to see the depth of film analysis and criticism, with the task of looking at a cross-section of essays written on it. Did this increase my appreciation for the film, yes, somewhat, but it also proved to me that some film academics are idiots! I vowed then to never read another essay that postulated the alien is a metaphor for… lady bits… and that the whole film is about the fear of the “monstrous feminine” Women are crazy and scary enough as it is, without making them into acid-blooded extraterrestrials!
Anyhoo, I digress…
Prometheus neatly side-steps the many sequels and spin-offs by setting itself before the ill-fated Nostromo ever came into contact with Xenomorphs, and neatly adds to the detail of that universe, the Weyland Corporation, and attempts to answer the biggest questions posed by mankind. I wasn’t looking for those answers, just a good sci-fi, and sure enough, it delivered that!
My biggest gripe, was the muddling of everyones accents, British actors with American accents, but Swedish actresses with ‘British’ accents, why couldn’t everyone just be from their own countries, for a company like Weyland to hire people from anywhere for an expedition that affects all mankind wouldn’t have been any stretch of the imagination for a science fiction crowd!
However, I enjoyed, especially when there was running, jumping, and even when it got icky… and after all, running, jumping and icky is what Alien always did very well!