Of all the major films this year, PROMETHEUS was arguably the most anticipated. Thirty-three years in the making, it promised to return artistic integrity to one of cinema’s most beloved but consistently disappointing franchises. It mattered not that Ridley Scott hasn’t made a solid film for years, or that LOST ‘writer’ Damon Lindelof had penned the script – it was sure to be epic, terrifying, and most important of, a satisfying exploration of the most intriguing questions posed by ALIEN all those years before. What a crushing blow to discover that, in fact, PROMETHEUS sucked balls. Nice and shiny to look at perhaps, and aided by an absolutely sublime performance from The Fass, PROMETHEUS was an incoherent mess, the result of nonsensical plotting and delusions of grandeur and intelligence… And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the ALIEN movies. Apparently, the sequel PARADISE is already in the works, looking to answer the questions PROMETHEUS just point blank ignored. To ensure PARADISE doesn’t also suck major balls, THN has put together this wish list for Scott and Lindelof, who will take note if they know what’s good for them…
Make It One Thing Or The Other
‘ALIEN DNA,’ said Ridley Scott during production, emphasizing the fact PROMETHEUS was not a prequel, but was nevertheless set in the same universe. It turns out that the phrase had double meaning, as genetics played a major part on the story. Yes, Scott and Lindelof fancied his movie to be a cerebral piece about the nature of creation and the discovery of dangerous truths. But that didn’t stop them cramming as many horror conventions into middle act as humanly possible, which can be summarized thusly: characters wandering into places they shouldn’t and doing silly things that completely oppose commonsense or contradict earlier actions for the sake of being killed or chased. That’s fine for a horror B-movie, but for a film apparently looking to answer the meaning of life, something a bit more challenging is required. That doesn’t mean PARADISE can’t have sequences of high tension and horror, but for the love of god, think about what you’re writing. Isn’t this meant to be groundbreaking cinema? Then make it fucking groundbreaking and don’t wheel out every tired convention we’ve seen a thousand times. Any ambition of tackling weighty subject matter in PROMETHEUS was quickly undermined by the piss-poor plotting. We all love a bit of terror, but it’s much scarier when it makes sense.
Aliens, Aliens, Aliens, Aliens, Aliens, Aliens, Aliens… Did We Mention Aliens?
Despite Scott’s protests that PROMETHEUS was not an ALIEN movie, did anyone actually expect it to feature no Xenomorphs? Of course not. We were all hoping for some poncing around for 90 minutes before the alien turned up and murdered everyone to a chorus of cheers. But no, he had to be fucking difficult, didn’t he? And tacking that bit on the end during which the Xenomorph-in-the-making bursts out of the Space Jockey… sorry, Engineer’s chest was just rubbing the extra-salty spunk in the gaping wound of disappointment. This time, let’s have some sodding Xenomorphs. And failing that, let’s have a proper substitute. For instance: no big squidgy mandible vagina monsters – they are not interesting or scary; no wormy penis things that look like facehuggers but aren’t – they are also not interesting or scary; no rubbish interpretations of characters featured in the previous films that sparked imagination and debate for 30 years – see PROMETHEUS’ race of butched-up Richard O’Briens… sorry Engineers – they are especially not interesting or scary. Let’s make sure PARADISE has some proper monsters, ones that make sense and enhance the ALIEN universe – not water it down further than it has been already.
Make It… Erm, Make Sense
Why would the crew of PROMETHEUS travel all that way without knowing what their mission was? And why does Peter Weyland pretend to be dead? Why would you not be at least a little cautious when coming into contact with a little alien species that clearly look quite dangerous? Why does David infect what’s-his-face with the black goo? And what is the goo? And why does it affect what’s-his-face in one way but the other fella nobody cares about another way completely? And why’s that bloke suddenly a crab monster? How come Guy Pearce has been cast even though he’s meant to be old as shit? And why is no one relatively surprised when it turns out he’s alive? Or when he ventures out to find the meaning of life? And how come Shaw is running around even though a set of salad tongs has just performed an abortion on her? And why hasn’t she told anyone about the vagina monster she’s locked in the room and abandoned, like a wasp trapped in a pint glass waiting to hurt someone? AND WHY ON EARTH SHOULD WE GIVE A SHIT?! Whoever is in charge of PARADISE, please – make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Let Somebody Else ‘Engineer’ It
Time for some straight talking. Ridley Scott – this has apparently been a passion project of yours for 30 years, yet this is the best you can come up with. That, my friend, is worrying. But your films look nice and you can still amp up the tension when needed. But you need a trusty writer, someone who can meld the admittedly fascinating themes you’ve provided with a thoughtful and engaging story. Time for some even straighter talking. Damon Lindelof – your scripts are shit. I’m sorry, but they are, and you had no business writing a film with as much potential as PROMETHEUS. Basically, you’re off the team. And don’t give us that crap about the film not being complete without the sequel – all films should stand alone as a singular coherent piece of work. And it’s fine to leave questions in the ether, but not at the expense at answering absolutely nothing and not concluding your story properly. Also don’t start endorsing theories from random bloggers as if that’s what you secretly had in mind all along just because their ideas are better than yours. Make way for someone who knows what they’re doing, something who can ensure PARADISE is everything PROMETHEUS should have been but wasn’t. You’ve only got yourself to blame – you ballsed in right up.
PARADISE is set for release 2015. May god have mercy on us all.