Friday, June 15, 2012

A Note on Prometheus

Please note:  this post contains spoilers, so don't say you haven't been warned.

Ridley Scott's original Alien is of course a classic, in no small part because of the scene illustrated above, which is remarkable for the way it takes the classic female fear of the terror and pain of childbirth and reverses it by inflicting it on a male character.  Given the near-universal reverence in which childbearing is held, the scene even now has a subversive edge that resonates to this day.

All of which makes Scott's kinda-sorta-prequel, Prometheus, a bit of a disappointment.  Well, it's a disappointment on a number of counts, but I'm limiting myself to one in this case and that's this:  One of the main plot points is that the Noomi Rapace character, Elizabeth Shaw, is impregnated with an alien parasite that left to its own devices will almost certainly kill her if it is allowed to fully develop.  She demands that it be taken out of her, but David, the robot played by Michael Fassbender, refuses because being a stooge of the corporation that funded the mission, he presumably figures that the critter inside her may have some sort of potential as a bioweapon.

Okay, I can buy this so far, but the film now has Shaw undergo an extremely painful Caesarian to get the alien critter out of her.  Not an abortion, which would have been traumatic enough, even if her "child" were not a grotesque alien parasite, but a Caesarian, which means that she spends much of the rest of the film doing typical Action Girl stuff while presumably held together by nothing more than a row of staples, which doesn't help the believability of a film whose credibility is straining at the seams already.  But hey, at least she didn't have an abortion, right?  Because that would totally be worse than unleashing a hoard of alien parasites that would kill every living thing on earth.

And the sad thing is, is that ridiculous as that last sentence is, there are conservatives in this country that would totally believe it and liberals who would go along with it just to avoid offending anyone.

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