After recently watching Prometheus, my initial reaction was that it was a cool movie. It got me interested in watching the original Alien again, much of which I’d forgotten about, and in doing so realized there was a bit less going on in Prometheus than met the eye.

It’s one thing to be a prequel to a movie that shares a lot of common themes, but aspects of it felt formulaic. Room full of eggs, careless guy touches too much, one dude gets infected and the senior officer left on the ship seems reluctant to let him back aboard. In both cases the android on the ship is the “I’ve been secretly working another agenda that doesn’t turn out too well for you” guy. Then, after the android gets killed off, more or less, we decide we need to turn him back on because only he has information we need. In both cases the heroine is the sole survivor. These parts were almost copy/paste elements from the first, occurring even in roughly the same order.

Prometheus seemed very different when I didn’t remember much from Alien. It was still entertaining and definitely works as a prequel or almost a remake of sorts. Apparently it was supposed to be a different storyline altogether, though it reminds me of Trent Reznor forming How To Destroy Angels and insisting it would not be like another Nine Inch Nails album. That album struck me as exactly that, albeit a watered down one. In this case I wouldn’t call Prometheus watered down by any means, in fact in many ways I find it superior to its predecessor. But a totally different and only loosely related story was not the impression it seems most have gotten from it.

I wish Guy Pearce had been more than a background character, but Noomi Rapace was great just as she was in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Playing heroines that are surprisingly tough seems to come naturally to her. Elizabeth Shaw was every bit the survivor that Lisbeth Salander proved to be. I won’t say too much for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but there were some points where I imagined being in that position and wondered if I’d have the resolve to do what she did, but her actions were gritty and real as opposed to over the top and trite.

If Prometheus is indeed a plot heading in another direction, I look forward to seeing what Chapter 2 will entail.