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June 18th, 2012

by Patrick | Posted in video | No Comments » |
June 18th, 2012

musings on prometheus

in general, prometheus was a disappointment.  it wasn’t a bad movie, but it could have been so much more.  there were numerous plot holes, character development was poor, and concept execution was barely executed at all.  besides an interesting core concept, dazzling visuals, and thought-provoking unanswered questions, the movie does not shine alongside its glorious alien quadrilogy counterparts (yes, even alien resurrection).

in many ways, prometheus was a confusing mess.  to me, the most confusing aspect of prometheus was the black liquid.  while it is clear that the substance was engineered as a weapon against the human race, what is not clear is how this black liquid is connected to the xenomorphs of the other alien films.  the more i think about it, the more it seems the engineers did not truly understand the black liquid and the various outcomes of its use.  i’m guessing that xenomorphs were created accidentally.  i have a few questions about this mysterious substance.

- in the opening scene, a humanoid creature with white skin stands next to a waterfall (dettifoss, iceland) and peers up at a huge flying saucer.  he drinks something and we see him disintegrate, even down to his DNA.  he falls into the water and we see the molecules of his disintegrated DNA recombine into some kind of new DNA.  is this the birth of a new species?  is this supposed to be earth?  is it some other planet?  what is this thing that he drinks?  is it the same black liquid that we see later on LV-223?  there is no obvious connection between this scene and the rest of the film.

- david the android slips the black liquid into charles holloway’s drink.  The next morning holloway notices a tiny creature moving in his right eye.  later, he becomes ill in the pyramid and goes through a painful, quick, and somewhat grotesque transformation.  meredith vickers refuses him entry back into the prometheus spaceship, threatening to burn him alive with a flamethrower.  holloway insists that vickers kill him, and as he approaches prometheus, vickers is “forced” to burn him to death.  what was holloway transforming into?  was anything gestating inside of him?  what was the thing inside of his eye?  why did holloway insist on being killed?  did he somehow know that his transformation was dangerous to the others?

- the previous evening holloway and elizabeth shaw have sex.  soon after holloway is killed, shaw discovers that she is pregnant.  she is incredulous, as it is implied that she is barren.  a scan of her abdomen shows that the “fetus” is already three months old and that it is not human.  (how does anyone know this thing is three months old if no one has ever seen one before?)  shaw removes the fetus herself in a horrific and graphic scene in which we see that the fetus is some sort of tentacled alien that looks nothing like the alien “xenomorph” from the other four alien films.  we can assume that the black liquid affected holloway’s sperm almost immediately, in addition to creating the thing in his eye and changing his physical appearance.  so what was the intended effect of the black liquid on humans?  was it to change them morphologically into something else?  was it to turn a human in an incubator for another alien?  was it to hi-jack the human reproductive system for the creation of alien creatures?  was the black liquid a multi-purpose weapon?  it seems quite possible that the engineers did not fully understand the effects of the black liquid.

- lost in the pyramid tunnels, milburn, the staff biologist, and fifield, the staff geologist, find themselves in a room with a giant stone head, surrounded by pods containing the black liquid.  david, shaw, and holloway have already explored this room, without incident.  now, the floor of the room is covered with dark liquid, as the pods — previously clean and apparently dormant — have now begun to profusely “leak” their contents.  milburn and fifield notice movement in the black liquid on the floor, and a white, snake-like creature surfaces.  it pauses for a few moments before it attacks milburn’s arm, penetrates his suit, and forces its way down milburn’s throat.  fifield cuts into the snake alien as he tries to remove it from milburn’s arm.  the blood sprays onto fifield and burns his suit, which is an obvious connection to the xenomorphs in the alien series.  fifield falls face first into the black liquid, which appears to melt his helmet, causing it to collapse onto his face.  fifield falls to the floor and writhes in agony.  later, the crew discover milburn’s body with the snake alien still inside.  since the crew do not attempt to bring him back to prometheus for medical attention, one can assume he is indeed dead.  fifield later appears in front of prometheus with his helmet broken and his face transformed.  he begins killing the members of the prometheus crew until he himself is killed.  so what the hell?  what was the snake alien?  where did it come from?  is it somehow related to the black liquid?  is the snake alien a primordial xenomorph?  did it enter milburn to merely kill him or was it supposed to lay an egg inside of milburn, like a facehugger?  and was holloway transforming into what fifield became?  is that why holloway insisted on getting killed?  did he know that the black liquid would turn him against the crew?

- at the end of the movie, the alien removed from shaw overcomes the surviving engineer and “impregnates” him with an alien that later bursts out of the engineer’s chest.  it appears to be the first xenomorph.  so it seems that the black liquid changes a human into a killing machine, but also alters a human’s sperm, resulting in a strange alien “baby” via shaw.  is this how the xenomorph came about?  was it accidental?  it appears that the black liquid was the engineers’ bioweapon, and that the xenomorph resulted because of an unforeseen chain of events.  so where do the xenomorph eggs seen in alien come from?  is there a connection between the ship leaving LV-223 (with shaw and david) and the derelict ship that crashed on LV-426, which contained the thousands of xenomorph eggs?  is the first xenomorph left behind on LV-223 to be forever forgotten or is there some kind of connection between this first xenomorph and the eggs on the derelict and the dead space jockey with the gaping chest hole on LV-426?  a prometheus sequel may provide more answers (or more confusion).

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |

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