Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Devilish Sort Of Science Fiction Is THIS?

So last night Dr. Skull and I went to see Prometheus.

It's hard to even begin on how much fail exists in this movie -- which, BTW, I so much wanted to like. I loved Alien and Aliens, though I do my best to pretend the other sequels just don't exist; and Blade Runner is one of my top favorite movies of all times, so while I didn't have great expectations, due to all the bad press it had been getting, well. I had hopes.

But my shit.

First of all, doesn't Ridley Scott know any scientists? Or if he doesn't know any, couldn't he arrange to find a consultant who could talk to some? Because I will just tell you, Ridley, this is not how scientists talk, this is not how they act, and it is not how they react. And I am guessing these are supposed to be among the best scientists of their generation, given that they got hired to do this way-cool scientific expedition out among the stars?

But they act like guys we've hired off the street to move furniture. Our "geologist," who claims at one point to "love rocks" wakes up here, two thousand light years from home, or however the fuck far it is, I don't know, about to land on a new planet, where no one has ever been before, and is he going o cool, I can't wait to see what the rocks are like? Is he saying, A planet! We're the first ones ever to land on a planet that isn't Earth! We can learn so much about rock formation from this!

No. He's saying, dude, I just came out here to make bucks. Fuck this job.

And once on the planet? He never once takes a rock sample or even looks at any of the rocks. That's right. Not once.

Same for our biologist. (Who, by the way, calls evolution "Darwinism.") When our intrepid explorers encounter the remains of the space aliens -- this would be, remember, the very first sign of any sort of non-terrestrial life anyone has ever found anywhere -- does our biologist want to have a look at it?

No. He barely glances at it. Then he wants to go back to the ship. Because dead bodies are scary.

Nor does he, ever, except for one time when it is vital for the plot, ever look at any of the life which is around him on this planet -- the algae, the worms, the other crawly bits -- nope. Not interested. Because scientists are like that.

And our main scientists, Mrs. Shaw (okay, Dr. Shaw, except I don't believe for one shitting minute she's a doctor) and her sweetie boo Charlie, who have convinced the head of Wayland Industries that if he spends a BAZILLION TRILLION dollars to come out here he will be made immortal (gah fuck?), they are just not scientists.

First, Elizabeth Shaw tells us she "chooses to believe" that the "engineers," which is what she calls the aliens, have created mankind. (She's come all the way out here to meet them and ask them why they created us.) Does she have evidence that these "engineers" created us? No. None. (Or at least none we're told about, and none the movie presents us.) So -- she's operating on faith alone. Yeah. There's your scientist at work.

All through the movie, clutching her cross, she operates this way -- moving on faith, not evidence. At the end, for instance, why does she trust David? Who has, after all, done nothing but betray them all, over and over? Including that charming bit where he killed her husband (the movie clearly shows that she guessed that) and tried to force her to carry an alien fetus to term? I'm guessing it's faith. It can't be sense, because there is no rational reason behind it.

(While we're on it, when Elizabeth Shaw goes to have the med pod remove the alien fetus, WTF is with calling that a Caesarean, and not an abortion? I guess it just goes against her faith to say the A-word? My hell.)

Mind you, there were some good bits to the movie. The little mapping drones were very cool. And I liked some of the byplay among the crew. And the opening scenes, where David is minding the ship, those are fun.

Not enough to carry this crap of a movie, though, sadly.


Anonymous said...

Husband and son both have high praise for The Avengers and MIB III.

delagar said...

I'm looking forward to MIB.

Athena Andreadis said...

Your view is part of a consensus, so Prometheus is off the list. The Avengers has a lone non-XY protagonist amid an ocean of guys, so no thanks. And the MIB bromance was already creaky in II.

delagar said...

Yes, the women's roles are particularly annoying in Prometheus. I didn't even get into that. Dr. Elizabeth has apparently become obsessed with her Scientific Quest mainly because she can't make babies -- or, as she puts it, she can't "create life." Because, you know, that's what girls are *for*.

Athena Andreadis said...

Exactly. Which is the point of our anthology-to-be: women doing everything without the mommy hobble either within or without.

Paul said...

I've been contemplating a blog post titled "Prometheus and Fear of Science" -- some of the points I would have made (or will make) are the same as the very ones you've written about. It seems like the writers/filmmakers were afraid to do a story where scientists ask scientific questions about the origin of life. Can't have that. Have to throw religious bullcrap into the mix!

delagar said...

Paul -- Yes! I want THAT movie.