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(68) Argent

I just rewatched the two most recent Alien films—Covenant and Prometheus. These are bad films, since for some reason writers no longer understand how humans act. The old hammy stereotype of a foppish actor centre stage calling out “What’s my motivation in this scene?” applies—the characters do things that make no sense from a human perspective, as if the writers have no idea why people even drink a glass of water. The only exception is the android David, since it’s easy enough to work out an android’s motivations. I suspect this has come about because our narcissism is so intense that people have forgotten what the basic human drives and desires are—they live in a construct made from fourth-hand responses to Netflix shows and Facebook. Hence only androids are comprehensible to us.

In conjunction with this narcissism, they also watched the original Alien films and then tried to create a homage—except a homage requires some original substance to be tweaked, like a tipped cap, to the original. In this case, the content is just clumsily ripped—I noticed a similar tendency in the latest Star Wars films where the director thought, “Yeah, like, they had Imperial bad guys in the original who were played by Brits, right? Let’s do all Brits this time. All bad guys are Brits.”

Partly, it’s ideology—women swear and kill with alacrity in these films, and that’s just unrealistic. In the original franchise, this was present to a degree but was acknowledged as a “transgression” (complete with butch lesbian marines) justified by the fact that in the future “huge social changes have occurred” (a progressive idea but I can buy the fictional conceit in science fiction). However, ultimately, these films are bad because the writers don’t understand what people are—they tell, never show. There is no mystery, and nothing the characters do makes any sense. Only Ridley Scott’s ambience—he is a master at ambience, per Blade Runner—provides any interest at all.


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