David Thomson on Films: The Inane Pomposity of 'Prometheus'
The New Republic - over 4 years
The cinema has always done hostility better than history. Perhaps that is a characteristic it shares with most of us. So, 33 years ago, the spaceship Nostromo was a beaten-up heap ready to be retired, but the engine of its story and the stealthy uncovering of its ultimate confrontation of raw hostility and Sigourney Weaver in her underwear might have been handled by a trio of Einstein, Heisenberg, and Ben Hecht (the latter a pro screenwriter, the first two theorists on larger matters of story). That was Alien (1979), made by Ridley Scott before his knighthood and “maturity,” when he trusted menace and dread to leave their own sticky residue in our minds. This was long before the inane pomposity of Prometheus, and its attempt to kid itself, as well as us, that we care a hoot about the obscure origin of our “stuff.” It’s our terminal finale that grips us these days, and which responds to a metaphor and a monster that waits for us to scream so it can scuttle into our open mouths.
The New Republic article