Prometheus and Alien: Covenant – Deep or Dumb? – Wisecrack Edition

Prometheus and Alien: Covenant – Deep or Dumb? – Wisecrack Edition


Who can forget the endless hype for Prometheus? It was supposed to be Ridley’s Scott grand
return to the franchise that began his career: Alien. Here he would resurrect the franchise from
the pits of those Alien vs Predator films. And answer all those pestering fan’s questions
like, where did the Alien really come from and who was that dead giant space jockey? Plus, with an all star cast, how could the
film fail? It was a sure thing, destined to spawn a new
franchise. And yet… people were really disappointed. So much so that when the sequel, Alien Covenant
was released, barely anyone showed up, effectively killing this “sure-to-be” franchise. Most people criticize these prequels for two
MAJOR reasons.One, all the unimaginably stupid decisions the human characters make, which:
“Charlie, don’t be an idiot.” “She is beautiful.” Yeah, there are quite a lot of. And Two, because Prometheus and Alien: Covenant
raise a lot of lofty questions: “Where do we come from? What is our purpose? What happens when we die?” But then never bothers to answer them or,
to be honest, really even tried to. So it seems like they’re just pseudo-intellectual
nonsense– as if just by raising a couple Philosophy 101 questions, somehow the films
will become inherently deep. But is that really the case? Let’s find out in this WE on Prometheus
& Alien: Covenant: Deep or Dumb? And yep, spoilers ahead. Before we get started, a question we keep
getting asked is, whatever happened to Earthling Cinema. Well guys, it’s still around it’s just on
a new channel. If you’re not familiar, Earthling Cinema’s
a Wisecrack show where a smart-ass alien from the future analyses the culture of a long
destroyed earth, mostly it’s movies. Well it’s moved to it’s own channel and we’ve
renamed it Alien’s Guide since it’s about so much more than cinema now. In addition to tackling films like Captain
America Civil War and Sharknado, Garyx is branching out into television, anime, and
a new sub-series called Earthling Culture where he dives into things like Disneyland. I’ve always loved this show and I feel like
it’s gotten even better since we launched the new channel, so you’re not gonna want
to miss the new episodes we got coming out soon. Garyx is gonna cover something that people
have requested a lot, The Office, and he’s got a lot to say about the paper business. There’s a link below to subscribe, so be sure
to check it out, and now, back to the show. Alright guys, let’s get started with a recap:
Prometheus begins in the early 21st century as a group of humans, plus one android obsessed
with Lawrence of Arabia, travel to a distant planet in search of their makers, an alien
race known as the Engineers. However, when our motley crew of space travelers
reach the planet, they discover a strange military base used to create bio-weapons. The crew get exposed to some of the black
gooey stuff and turn on one another. Meanwhile that Peter O ’Toole looking android,
David, discovers one of the Engineers in cryo-sleep. Turns out the Engineers were none too happy
with their creation and were actually planning to release the black goo on Earth to wipe
us all out. “Sometimes to create, one must first destroy.” When David wakes the Engineer up, he tries
to do just that, prompting Idris Elba to sacrifice himself, leaving our final girl, Shaw, on
a mission to discover just why humanity’s creators were so keen on pulling the plug. Yet by the time Alien: Covenant comes around,
Shaw’s already dead, and David has wiped out the Engineer’s planet, using the black
goo to create, you guessed it, the Alien. And yeah, that’s pretty much all that happens
in the entire two-hour sequel — and it mostly happens off-screen. So what’s actually going on in these films? An early flashback to Shaw’s childhood,
begins to tease out the answer: “Why did he die? Cause sooner or later everyone does. Where do they go? Everyone has their own word, heaven, paradise. Whatever it’s called, it’s someplace beautiful. How do you know it’s beautiful?” Shaw, like all the human characters in these
prequels, is obsessed with the search for knowledge. For her, the answers to our existential questions,
Where do we come from? What happens after death?, lie in the sky. After discovering a star map, she & her lover
Holloway convince tech billionaire Peter Weyland to fund an expedition in search of their creators,
who they believe can answer life’s mysteries. But this search for ultimate knowledge is
presented as inherently destructive. Look no further than the film’s title. In Greek mythology, Prometheus bestows humanity
with the forbidden knowledge of fire, only to be cursed by the Gods for doing so. Chained to a rock, Prometheus’ liver is
ripped out and eaten day after day. “All because he gave us fire. Our first true piece of technology.” This parallels one of our most famous biblical
stories: The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Genesis. You know the deal — Adam and Eve, seduced
by a serpent, eat from the tree of knowledge, only to be cast from the Garden of Eden forever. Similarly, in Prometheus & Covenant, humans
seek forbidden knowledge, Where do they come from? What happens after death?, only to be punished
for seeking the answers in the first place. The crew releases a toxic black goo, dooming
them all. It’s no accident that the first form this
goo takes is a serpent. All the human characters are presented as
reckless, if not just stupid, in their single minded pursuit for answers. Explore the alien planet, die. Reach out to the alien serpent, die. Peer within the alien egg. You get the picture. Given Shaw’s just watched all her crew-mates
die horribly, you’d think she’d learn this lesson. But still… no. Even by the end of Prometheus, she’s consumed
by the need for answers, albeit to a different question now. “They created us, then they tried to kill
us, they changed their minds – I deserve to know why.” Leading to… The search for knowledge just for knowledge’s
sake ultimately pits humanity against their own creators, The Engineers. The Engineers live by an ethos rooted in self-sacrifice. The first time they’re introduced one kills
himself to create life in a barren world. Normally, we think of God as immortal, but
equally prevalent is the myth of the ‘Dying and Rising God.’ In James Frazer’s book The Golden Bough,
he details how in many cultures, a god voluntarily dies, then is reborn for the sake of their
creation. Think of Jesus Christ, dying on the cross
for the sins of humanity, only to rise two days later. In fact, the Engineers are directly tied to
Jesus. In an interview, Ridley Scott revealed that
Our Lord and Savior, in earlier drafts, was an Engineer. His crucifixion being the reason that the
Engineers turned on humans. But if the Engineers philosophy is rooted
in self-sacrifice, then humanity’s is the opposite: they want to prolongate life at
all costs. This ethos is best reflected by Peter Weyland,
who with only a few days of life left, freezes himself so he can meet his maker to save him. “Save you from what?” “Death of course.” When humanity does finally meets its maker,
things don’t go according to plan. The Engineers become incensed with their creation
for perverting their ideology in the pursuit of immortality. As such, they decide to just wipe us out and
be done with it. Meanwhile, for the humans: meeting their ‘Maker’
is pretty underwhelming. Imagine meeting God, and it’s just some
tall dude with ripped abs, intent on killing you. This understandably provokes quite the existential
crisis: Holloway turns to the bottle, Shaw renounces her faith, and Weyland, well, gets
smashed in the head. In the end, humanity’s search for answers
only leads to death or, worse, disappointment. David, the central character of the prequels,
becomes the symbol for this disappointment. Just like the humans, he searches for knowledge,
studying his creators, researching their films, music, languages, and culture. He even mimics their behavior, wearing a helmet
out into alien terrain. “David, why are you wearing a suit, man?” “I beg your pardon?” “You don’t breathe, remember, so… why wear
a suit? And yet– the humans treats David, an android,
like a lowly servant, making him fetch tea or pour a glass of whiskey or just directly
insulting him. “You, boy, you’re coming with us.” “I’d be delighted.” It’s no surprise then that David, too, becomes
frustrated in ‘the answers’ his creators provide. “Why do you think your people made me?” “We made you cause we could.” “Can you imagine how disappointing it would
be for you to hear the same thing from your creator?” So what happens in the face of such disappointment,
when the answer to life’s mysteries are revealed to be just an ‘Ehh, because we
could’? Well things get pretty nihilistic. As Weyland dies, he confides: “There’s nothing.” To which, David replies: “I know.” For David his supposed ‘God,’ humanity,
is a dying species, unworthy of creation or resurrection. “They don’t deserve to start again, and I’m
not going to let them.” “He was human. Entirely unworthy of his creation.” And humanity’s creators, the Engineers,
are the same. As such, David rebels against both. He kills the humans, Holloway and Shaw; then
wipes out the entire Engineer civilization. Afterwards, looking out at the ruins of the
Engineer’s planet, David snidely quotes Percy Shelley’s poem, Ozymandias. “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, look
on my works yee mighty and despair…” The poem contrasts a haughty plaque describing
a booming civilization with the reality now surrounding it, a colossal wreck. Similarly, the Engineer’s supposed marvelous
civilization has been reduced to ash, they just as impermanent as their human creations. In the absence of meaning or ‘God’, David
aspires to be a kind of Nietzschian Ubermensch, rejecting a nihilistic lack of values, crafting
his own values in their place and morphing from creation to creator. This transformation is symbolized through,
what else, but an an 1800’s opera. When David is first born, he plays Wagner’s
‘Entry of the Gods into Valhalla’ for his creator Weyland; “The Entry of the gods
into Valhalla… a little anemic without the orchestra.” But as he creates his own xenomorphs, he orders
the ship to play that same musical accompaniment for him, “Welcome, how may I help you? How bout some music Mother. Selection? Richard Wagner, Das Rheingold, Act 2. The entry of the Gods into Valhalla.” completing his transformation into ‘God.’ To David, neither humanity nor the Engineers
are worthy of creating life. But David, undying, is different. Unlike these fallen creators, David will remain
chiseled Michael Fassbender forever. “You seek your creator, I’m looking at
mine. I will serve you, yet you are human. You will die, and I will not.” Ultimately David’s search for answers leaves
him so disappointed that he decides to just create his own perfect life-form — the Xenomorph. “And are you that next visionary?” “I’m glad you said it.” But is David right in his convictions? Alien: Covenant carefully pokes holes in David’s
supposed superiority. For instance, David misattributes Ozymandias
to Lord Byron, when in fact it was written by Percy Shelley. “Who wrote Ozymandias?” “Byron.” “Shelley.” With this mistake, David is revealed to not
be a perfect, all-knowing ‘God,’ but just as fallible as the humans and Engineers. In fact, throughout Alien: Covenant, David’s
depicted not as ‘God,’ but as the Devil. When David tries to convert his fellow android
Walter to his side, he quotes John Milton’s Paradise Lost— “It’s your choice now, brother. Them or me? Serve in heaven or reign in hell.” A quote which Lucifer says in the book. Heck, Oram even straight-up calls David ‘the
devil.’ “David, I met the devil when I was a child. And I’ve never forgotten” So what happens next when David creates the
xenomorphs? Has he finally created the perfect life-form. Or will the Xenomorphs turn on him, just like
he did to the humans before? Alien: Covenant only provides some slight
hints to the answer—mostly again in the form of its title. In biblical terms, a covenant is a formal
agreement made by God with a religious community or with humanity in general. In Prometheus, we see various covenants fall
apart — between the Engineers & humans and between humans & android. But in Alien: Covenant, a new alliance is
struck between David and his creation—the Xenomorph. Look no further than the xenomorph birth sequence:
As the Alien bursts out of Oram’s chest, it looks to its master David. David raises his arms, and the xenomorph copies
him, raising its arms in a mirror image, which admittedly is pretty silly. “Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my rag-time
gal.” But in religious doctrines, a covenant between
God & his creation is not an equal agreement. God initiates and determines the conditions
of the arrangement, which humanity must accept as is. This relationship is inherently unequal, master
to servant. Which is exactly what David rebelled against,
being a slave to humanity. “What happens when Weyland’s not around to
program you anymore? I suppose I’d be free.” And yet David treats the xenomorphs just as
humanity treated him. It is David that raises his hands, and the
xenomorph that must copy these actions. And when David sees his earlier creation—,
he informs Oram to– “Breathe on the nostrils of a horse, and he’ll be yours for life.” …as if the xenomorph were a being to be
trained into submission. It seems as if David is destined for a fall,
for his own creation to reject his covenant, just as humanity and robot before. And yet, the movies never quite get there. This is probably because Ridley Scott planned
the Alien prequels as a trilogy. So without the final chapter in David’s
journey, the themes and meaning behind these films don’t feel fully formed. And unfortunately, after the disappointing
box office returns of Covenant, it seems this trilogy may never reach its end. And to be fair this seems rather appropriate. In the search for our own answers to Prometheus
and Alien: Covenant’s meanings, there is, in the end, no answer to be had. So are Prometheus and Alien Covenant Deep
or Dumb? Well, there are certainly a lot of movies
that quote profound poets just to sound intelligent, but at least in these prequels, the pretensions
are motivated. You can criticize the films for side-lining
the titular Aliens or for being dull — but there is definitely careful thought in there. Except for why Shaw and Vickers don’t just
run to the side when the spaceship was crashing down. That was just Dumb. Thanks so much for watching guys, and as I
mentioned earlier be sure to check out what we’re doing over on the Alien’s Guide channel. We put a lot of time and love into that show
and I’d love for people to see what it’s all about, so head over and subscribe. And as always, peace.

100 thoughts on “Prometheus and Alien: Covenant – Deep or Dumb? – Wisecrack Edition

  1. After all those super shitty films, such as alien 4 and those Alien vs predator movies, I don’t see why people are complaining so hard about Prometheus.

  2. Dont take me wrong. I love wise crack more than my mum. Still are you guys purposefully being naughty when using the deep symbolism? Or is my mind a gutter?

  3. Either this movie is dumb, or you are the dumb one. This movie is not scientific, it’s philosophical, which makes it boring too.

  4. One can and have made deep philosophical movies that were entertaining. This isn't one of them. I don't think that much thought was put into it to be honest. I think they had the characters do stupid stuff just to advance the plot. They couldn't figure out how to get from point A to point B, so the character had to do something they'd never do. Awful movie.

  5. Asking deep questions (you know full fucking well you don't have answers to, or are purposely going to avoid to show a C-grade kill-by-numbers horror flick instead, is dumb. Very dumb.

  6. They should have just stayed true to the comics, it had an actual alien homeworld, alien colonies with different queens that fight each other for dominance, the telepathic powers the queen had to infiltrate dreams resulting in cults that worshiped the aliens, the earth wars, the space jockeys teraforming planets.

  7. Prometheus was real good. It was going in the right direction. Then he listened to the the small % of fans that were mad about there not being any Xenamorphs and ao Ridley changed the plot and instead if making a direct sequel to Prometheus he made Covinent. Covinent was stupid.

  8. I say dumb. There was nothing deep in the original Alien. It was a popcorn flick but was good at it. No need to deepify it. Making a deep movie will not save it from a bad plot.

  9. Great stuff, these movies just break my heart because Ridley is so talented but SO DAMN STUBBORN. Alien was perfection because the director knew his place and allowed the writers do their thing. Now with his clout, he can’t help but foolishly insert himself into the script. Only a very few directors can pull this off and it’s usually very early in their career.

  10. Best summary of "Prometheus:" https://m15m.livejournal.com/23209.html – sadly, while the author was writing in jest, that blog post really does perfectly sum up the film.

    Best part of "Covenant": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeMVrnYNwus – the part that wasn't actually in Covenant.

  11. I don't know why people hate on it so much. Its probably the funniest space comedy in recent years. Its always funny to watch stupid people in space running around, getting killed.

  12. At the beginning, Scott 1st said he was doing 3 Alien movies in 3D (the whole 3D thing has big news at the time) they were sequels.

    It went all very shhhhhh! for a while, then news came that the 3 films were not Alien movies, but by the time the 3rd one finished, it would join on to Alien.

    So I took it as that, no Alien movie, just scfi that would eventually lead on to Alien, but soooo many did not get that "no Aliens, where are the Aliens"

    Then Covenant, going into that, Scott got heated, he was pissed at people asking for Aliens when it was not meant to be an Alien film, he was quoted as saying "they want Aliens, I will fucking give them Aliens"

    Now it looks like no 3rd film, I just wish they would have left him alone, do them how he wanted.

  13. If Ridley Scott wanted to explore his existential crisis, that's fine. But hijacking the Alien universe for his own self-indulgence was a serious misreading of the Alien fan demographic. We want horror, suspense, action, and xenomorphs. Not philosophy and religion.

  14. The Engineers are badass characters. They are arrogant and I love that. These movies are just COOL AS HELL. These humans want to ask me a question? I'm too good for that!!ANTS Thats awesome.

  15. Hmmm, I don't think in alien covenant the planet they went to is the engineers planet they don't look like the engineers and there is no technology there. But yeah could of been epic movies, badly executed, the humans are too stupid, makes no sense, in Prometheus it was annoying the stupidity, in covenant it was just unbearable.

  16. After the end of first film I was so psyched. Dr. Shaw took alien ship and was going to seek answers. It will be a blast.

    Come sequel and all engineers are killed by a dumb robot Dr. Shaw reassembled foolishly. She herself suffers most excruciating death for her foolishness and film suffered a painful death at the box office.

    All that origin of life in Christian theology was so subtle that it was hard to even notice until this video. Yet still not interesting.

  17. Prometheus was amazing in my opinion it was sad Ridley really had to down the sequel to appease the idiot Alien fans who were mad that Prometheus went over their heads .

  18. I really like them as films. The thing that really pissed me off tho was that Guillermo del Toro cancelled his plans for 'At the Mountains of Madness' because at the time the premise of Prometheus was too similar.

  19. everything most of the characters do in ALL of the alien films are overwhelmingly dumb but guess what, thats how horror movies always work. the fact people pick apart certain films for is more of a testament to them being good enough to be thought about far too critically. which is why we cant have nice things.

  20. I've done a paper on Ridley Scott movies and honestly….his perspective is selfish, doom and gloomy. He constantly has the same message that religion is bad and we are doomed to destroying ourselves. He tells stories that are honestly more than empty and dont have much substance to them. This isnt to say I know all or have the best perspective, but I dont adhere to believe that all religions are bad or that we are doomed.

  21. Kinda dumb, but I love Prometheus anyway. The idea that the Aliens can grow and move at lightning speed without appearing to actually feed was unscientific in the first place. Like birds, they would spend a huge part of their day eating. And the David character is a great addition to the franchise, so much so that he has his own mythology now. In comparison, Shaw's religiosity seems trite and shallow. 'I choose to believe' – yeah, but as a scientist, why do you choose?!

  22. They should've left alien alone. The first and second movie was perfect and should've ended there. Nuff said. Prometheus and alien covenant were poorly written and confusing. The story was unsatisfying and didn't really answer anything. I was disappointed.

  23. If you think Poo or Cov are deep your breath probably smells like spaghettios and your address is probably the same as your mom's.

  24. Either I've become ( stupider) or everyone online has because I loved these movies and all the newer movies I've loved lately the majority of people hated like last Jedi

  25. The human race is doomed, if space exploration is ever delegated to people a completely stupid as the crews of these ships. Oh hey lets go into a storm that will blow over in a day or two, just to investigate a signal that has been running for years. (I think it can wait a day or two) Then lets go for a stroll on an alien planet, with no biological protection protocols, stop for a cigarette, then – my friend on the radio says they are in trouble – let me slowly stroll back to the ship with no scence of urgency, but wait – maybe this is Jurassic park 2 the remake….

  26. Loved Prometheus/Covenant due to David. His understanding of God to creation, esespically the piano scene. He grasped just part of the equation. He lacked the understanding though that we are all imperfect from the start because our own maker made us so; as he would be imperfect because of his own creator; man. So I'm the end, he made an imperfect being that was in his own personal image as perfect but was flawed as well. Loved the cycle this series showcased even if flawed in many ways.

  27. It's deep BECAUSE it allows us to think and decide and agree or disagree. some people only saw the dumb things that the crew did, while others saw, that their search blinded them to think that they're right and logical.

  28. I love the original Alien movie and really like the sequel Aliens. But I never heard of these other two movies. Nor I have heard of some 4th Indiana Jones movie or Star Wars prequels.

  29. What ever happened to the original story line that the Predator beings, created and bread the Xenomorph, so as to have a prey equal to their hunting skills. Remember Danny Glover stumbling into
    the Predators ship and the camera pans past a trophy case full of skulls. A xenomorph skull is one of the many trophies in the display. The badly botched Predator Vs Alien production "laid to rest" this story line that explain the xenomorph existence more appropriately. Predator Vs Alien also set the story line that the Predator race used Earth as the grounds for hunting practice long before humans evolved here.
    Back to this Prometheus / Alien: Covenant thing
    David would of come to terms with the fact that he was a machine that needed maintenance. He would know that parts wear and materials thin until they rupture. He would know that unless he was on a planet advanced enough to supply his wore parts he would fail to exist.

    Dumb story-line that David lived hundreds of years to be able to evolve his prefect creation.

  30. Correct me if I'm wrong to ask:but why would God create such a bunch of imperfect mortals as humans? And why couldn't we have been made like David if there was truly a God or advanced civilization, what's with the crappy bunch of humans they made?

  31. It was never deep, it pretended to be but failed. Like a new guy in school who tries to look cool by saying smart stuff but then does a bunch of stupid things right after that!

    By the way, for me as an atheist watching this flick the questions and “deep” thoughts of this movie never were that deep: what if the reason of our existence was something trivial like “we were made because the maker could do that so he did?” – Man, I already don’t believe that the reasons of our existence were great, I AM AN ATHEIST! Even an episode of Rick and Morty is more deep than this shit!

  32. I honestly hate the idea that simply because I could not afford to see these movies in theaters, studios with billions of dollars cannot be bothered to finish a story😒

  33. If i would meet an alien lifeform that is intelegent and created humanity i would not be disapointed because it isnt bible god.
    Sry but just because this christian "scientist" didnt meet their bearded guy its still pretty dumb to be depressed about finding an ancient alien that created us.

  34. Exploring where the alien came from, is like exploring where Jaws came from. Totally defeats the point, and is incredibly stupid.

  35. In the end we might be thankful for Prometheus because it will certainly prevent an alien invasion since it’s proving there is no smart race on this planet

  36. Prometheus was ok.

    Covenant was boring storywise and characterwise…anyone can do good FX so it all hangs on a good story which it didnt really have.

  37. Extended version of Prometheus is actually a fucking excellent sci-fi romp and yes, it’s deep. Covenant? Well, hard to believe it’s by the same director…

  38. I found myself agreeing with both the engineers and David in the first film, my problem was the message was a mess trying to hard to sound intelligent.

  39. The fact that being a father, whether it's the humans, the engineers, or David we're talking about would have a much better understanding and thus attitude if only they had heard the following Rick and Morty quote regarding father/mother hood: It's a thankless job. Means that the alien series is pretty much dumb. But also… claiming that the movie is dumb because "they didn't follow a single scientific protocol" because… HOLY SHIT movies are all about following scientific protocols because if they're not they what in the blue fuck do we go to see movies for – is dumb. The last one is the dumbest out of all the other dumbs.

  40. Dumb, and I find it strange to see somebody could possibly disagree on this. This movie is IMO an artistic suicide by Ridley Scott which can easily rival the artistic suicide Lucas committed with The Phantom Menace.

  41. Prometheus seemed like its about aliens/our makers that we’ll find out more about. But then an ALIEN showed up at the end. It will have been a better film if it’s not connected with the Alien franchise.

  42. Alien has gone from alien to terminator. From extraterrestrials that terror our world to some stupid Ai. David vs Skynet next time?

  43. I heard that in the next movie they gonna explore new planets in flip flops and shorts since ANY kind of protection is…lame..

  44. Watching this was more interesting than watching the actual movies. I didnt hate them of anything. I just couldnt really see the connections. Nice job. He should make the third one.

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