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A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Put the camera down, Ridley

Step away from the edit suite, please cease and desist from the Alien universe, where you're making prequels-that-aren't-prequels.

Alien. Blade Runner. Gladiator. Black Hawk Down. Thelma and Louise. These are movies that will (and have) stand the test of time as classic, great movie-making. There are nine Oscars associated with his films. Even the likes of Legend, GI Jane, Black Rain and Kingdom of Heaven weren't that bad. The point I'm trying to make there is that Ridley Scott is not a bad filmmaker.

Unless you've only seen Prometheus.

Prometheus contains the usual strong female characters and multiple daddy issues that are Ridley's usual hallmarks. It even touches on aspects of religion in a more overt fashion than usual (save Kingdom of Heaven, one would imagine). There are a couple of tense bits, a couple of gruesome bits and some nice music and sound effects.

There's a fairly directionless story, with more threads running through it than need be. Everyone has their own agenda, or double-agenda, which is never fully explained by anyone. Inception - or rather Christopher Nolan - proved that it is not a bad thing if you're confused during a film. Prometheus demonstrates that if you don't tell us anything that we actually want to know, the whole thing lacks a point. Two hours and a pointless movie is not what we're after. If Gran Torino didn't hammer that point home, this is further evidence.

The acting is also awful. Yes, one of them is supposed to be a robot. They're not all supposed to be acting like robots. Idris Elba's portrayal of the Captain is probably the only consistently well-acted character who refrains from doing too many stupid things (though there's at least one time when you have the standard horror movie reaction of "Why are you doing that, you idiot?!").

They're a team of hand-picked scientists who act more like teenagers at a spooky summer camp. I blame the future education system of this universe.

Oh, and the universe. It's not an Alien prequel, they say.

There is only one way that suggestion can possibly have merit. If it's not a prequel, then it can't tarnish our love for the original Alien, or Aliens. Or even Alien vs Predator. But not Alien 3 or Resurrection, they're tarnished enough.

Had this been a prequel, then it would have been different. Dots could have been joined, future plot lines, written and completed over thirty years ago, could have been formulated. From Space Jockeys to WMDs to Weyland-Yutani and the origins of it all.

But no. We get almost the set-up that you'd want for Alien, but it isn't. Different planet, different ship, different Space Jockey, but so very, very similar. If you're going to do something so similar to a prequel to the film you originally made, why not just do it properly? Not the 'same DNA' or the 'same universe' or whatever the hell the explanation is.

Ridley, you made Alien. It was brilliant. You've made Prometheus. Why?

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