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Lauren Beukes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE


I saw Prometheus on the weekend. It was great.

There was so much good stuff happening, interesting characters, great dialogue, beautiful moments, creepy as hell, and it just needed a little nudge to carry those ideas through to pure awesome.

And of course it’s easy to see that in hindsight as an outsider who was not in the story trenches.

I had some problems and one big suggestion

It’s just opened in South Africa and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.


(The text was originally in white, but that seemed like a mission that was preventing people from being able to read it at all.)

Seriously. Do not scroll down if you do not want to know anything about the movie.




Are you sure you want to be here?



Okay then…




So there were logic issues.

Not very sciencey scientists.

Guys who got lost when they had a 3D scan of the structure.

Gratuitous helmet removal.

Not seeing Charlize and Idra get it on (not a plot hole, although irritating that he left his post, but wasted opportunity for sure)

Why David infected sandal-wearing science guy with the ooze. 

And the biggie: a heroine who kinda fails to mention that she just had to self-abort an octobeast growing inside her and no-one asks why she’s covered in blood and her stomach is staple-gunned together. 

I can live with all that stuff. (Okay, maybe not the last one.) 

But what would have changed the entire movie for me was Charlize Theron as Vickers.

She should have been Portia de Rossi’s character in Better Off Ted

ie. Vickers should have been the charmingly amoral dark corporate heart of Weyland.

She said she wanted to be king. So be the fucking king.

She should have agreed to let her dad come on his grand altruistic philosophic mission, knowing that he would die, that she would take over, and use what they found to make weapons or new energy sources or other diabolical get-rich-rape-and-plunder-at-any-cost corporate greed that runs through the rest of the series. 

SHE is the start of everything, of wanting to use the aliens for weapons. 

In fact, she should have planned it so that she would infect her dad with the black goop. “You want to meet your maker, daddy, here.” Then locked him in the pod and studied him and watched him die horribly and used the findings to synthesize weapons. 

And David could have watched with cool android disinterest. Or helped her with cool android disinterest. Or he could have tried to stop her because he turns out to be more human than human in the ways that count. 

 And it all goes horribly wrong.

And she realizes what she’s done when it’s too late to stop it – and also, that there will be others who will come after her.

Forget Prometheus. It should have been Electra.


Chuck Wendig also had some great stuff to say on the film: Plot is like Soylent Green: it’s made of people.” 


And I thought City of Tongues’ review was very interesting too.




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