I watched “Prometheus” and found it amazing. I can’t enjoy a movie unless I can piece the plot together and understand the motivations of all the characters. A filmmaker really needs to exaggerate these things so I don’t miss little hints and thematic details that might clue me in because I’m a total idiot. That was the problem with “Alien,” but “Prometheus” really laid it on thick, so I could enjoy the two-dimensional characters more.
I was expecting a strong female lead like Ripley from “Alien,” but instead I got an “Ancient Aliens” kook with faith in Space Jesus or something. I’m an atheist, and the cross she wore offended me. Deeply. The lead female, played by Noomi Rapace, was too interesting and mysterious. I’m much more into female leads that act exactly like males and don’t heroically give themselves abortions on machines designed for men only. This was the only flaw in Prometheus.
When I go to a movie, I also expect extremely subtle attention to detail, especially scientific fact, because I know exactly what an interstellar spaceship would be like and the ship in “Alien” was NOT it. I could spend all day picking out the scientific inconsistencies of “Alien” and get more enjoyment from that than I did the movie itself. I don’t want to have to suspend my disbelief, it’s too much work. Nothing was scientifically wrong with “Prometheus!” Like every film made in 2012, it reflects the fact that this is the future and we know exactly how space travel would work.
When they discovered the alien life in “Prometheus,” I really enjoyed how everyone jumped around and yelled like maniacs, because that’s what people do when they make huge scientific discoveries. In “Alien,” when Ripley is running down the hallway, that was so fake. No one would ever do that when being chased by an alien! Ripley should have been screaming at the top of her lungs! The audience really needs to know what’s going on inside characters, and that means huge exaggeration because we’re idiots.
I really didn’t understand the deep themes in “Alien” because I was too busy trying to figure out what the characters’ motivations were. All the absurd over-the-top explaining that went on in “Prometheus” was great, because it gave me a window into the relationship between a creator whose creation has become more powerful. A lot of people say it didn’t make sense that the Engineers would want to destroy Earth after they created it, or that they’d leave hints about where their big stash of “weaponized” organisms were. To me, it couldn’t have been more obvious. The Engineers are so far above our level of intelligence that we can’t possibly understand their purpose and this theme was driven home with so little doubt left for interpretation that it was almost too obvious. But I’m glad the filmmakers made everything so easy to follow and more scientifically consistent than “Alien,” because that’s all I really care about.