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What's all this BS about " dumb scientists and huge plot holes?"

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Raven

May-25-2017 6:15 AM

I find the "dumb scientist,huge plot holes" rather perplexing.

 

It seems like this took hold in Prometheus and just continues now with reviews and some fans conclusions.

Full disclosure ,I think some of this is valid in Prometheus,the getting lost in the caves,trying to touch the hammerpede....etc.

IMO I believe Covenant stradeled the line rather nicely between Prometheus and Alien.Here are a few of my assessments of the movie and some odd takes reviewers and fans have.

1.Which is it?Reviewers and fans are dissapointed things aren't left to mystery yet are also mad things didn't get answered?( IMO most of these will be addressed in future prolonges and sequels,as Covenant did.)

2.The whole plot hole and dumb scientist,dumb decision thing.Why are people so focused on this now but not in ALIEN nor ALIENS.( huge fan of ALIEN) Ive seen both at least 30 times and here are just a few things off the top of my head.

In ALIEN ,why was quarantine broken just because the facehugger was gone?Obviously it was still in the Med Bay.Any contaminant would still be present,no?

Also,why did Dallas say"we better grab the weapons" when leaving to explore the Derilect but no weapons were on board  to fight the xenomorph?

Why couldn't the crew isolate the ALIEN by just closing down sections of the Nostromo?They cut off corridors and vent shafts when Dallas was looking for it.

 

In Aliens,the Colonial Marines didn't know or access you can't fire a weapon inside a reactor?

BTW,no be of that bothers me.Lets all remember it's a movie.

 

 

 

 

 

34 Responses to What's all this BS about " dumb scientists and huge plot holes?"

Ingeniero

May-25-2017 6:58 AM

I believe that most of those that scream "plot holes" and "dumb scientists" have never managed a group of people larger than three persons for more than a day.

I myself have set mighty standards in stupid activity in my lifetime but "some" that I have had the pleasure to be in charge of during work activity make the idiots shown in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant look like Einstein clones.

As far as plot holes...a lot of those can be explained by paying attention.

Raven

May-25-2017 7:02 AM

I'll give you a example.

Crudup looks into the egg opening.

Some say he's stupid.

But,he isn't doing that until David reassures him it's ok.

Crudup at this time has his suspicions of David but it's unthinkable for him to think a AI is going to intentionally put him in harms way,he only has Walter as reference.

 

 

TheFred

May-25-2017 7:10 AM

Smart people doing dumb stuff is a hallmark of the genre.  It's really a question of economy.  Most actors cannot do what Marlon Brando was capable of doing - you know how many guys at drama school mumble like Brando in "On the Waterfront" because they think that's "acting".  Good actors cost more money.   It's economical to write a goofy charactor doing dumb stuff.  It also helps the audience defuse tension.

 

It seems in the post-9/11 society we live in, audiences want nonstop tension in their movies with the payoff discarded in favor of a twist ending.

Neomorph

May-25-2017 7:17 AM

With a clear recollection of the complete  and unforgivable idiocy in Prometheus - (we go there because belief, biologist trying to cuddle with an aggresive unknown serpent lifeform, geologist afraid of a harmless corpse and and a temple, and these comic relief dumbasses get lost (!) while the rest of the crew seemingly don't give AF, the complete lack of understanding how to run to the side to evade a rolling object, and they even looked back while running to see the direction of the rolling object. That's pure idiocy in its finest form) - I think people were extra alert to spot dumb decisions or moves made by the characters.

Personally I don't get the "no helmets" criticism in A:C, because they made it clear that the atmosphere was fine for humans before landing on the surface.

After the solar burst incident, it would take a couple of weeks to reach this new promising candidate of a planet and they said that they would examine it further. My take is that they probably did a lot of offscreen research that- if shown in the film- would halt the pacing and wouldn't be interesting to the general audience in Ridley's opinion. 

Then we have the bearded guy touching a spore pod while leaning close to it. Now while it was relevant to the topic, they could've executed this event a little smarter imo. It wasn't as stupid as "Milburn Wants To Kill Himself", but why not have Mr. Beard lean back against a wall in sheer exhaustion from all the walking, and hit a small partially hidden spore plant in the darkness that floats up and finds its way into his nose? 

Ledward accidentaly stepping on the pods that where hidden in the tall grass was a brilliant idea. 

We've got Oram putting his head closer to the egg. It would be a more convincing decision if it wasn't for the fact that Oram started doubting David to the point where he even aimed his rifle at David, threatening him. 

If the facehugger luring event would happen right after they arrived at the workshop after being saved by David, I would more easily understand Oram's decision to trust David and have a look at this organic-like "plant" (egg).

Oram putting his head close to the egg is probably my only criticism.

Raven

May-25-2017 7:25 AM

Like I said I don't think the Oram thing is a problem because it probably didn't even cross his mind David would intentionally put him in harms way.Walter is his only reference as to how a AI acts......to serve.

PickleBack

May-25-2017 7:26 AM

And as an audience, we've seen enough movies now to know whats going to happen so we kind of get a sense on what we think characters should do in movies. I think the reason people didn't talk about plot holes in the first Alien was because it was the first of its kind. Now that we've seen Xenomorphs chasing people through tight corridors many times, it becomes boring. People keep asking "Well why do they keep putting their face near the eggs?" Because no one survived to tell others what to do! And as the audience we've already seen the facehugger scene and we automatically assume they're dumb. 

I also found it interesting that many were let down that we didn't get to see xenomorphs in Prometheus. Now that we got them in Covenant, many are let down that we didn't get to see Engineers.

Oh and the whole running in a straight line thing in Prometheus. Yeah she could have ran left or right. She would then have to dodge falling debris which makes it even harder.

I think the answers are all there. No one sets out to make a bad film on purpose.

Raven

May-25-2017 7:29 AM

I think in time Covenant will replace Aliens as the second best in the franchise.

Neomorph

May-25-2017 8:07 AM

Sorry Raven I was still writing my message while you had already posted your initial reply.

Yes that's not a bad point at all, I think it says in some Alien lore that "violence is contrary to android programming" or something like that. 

@PickleBack to be fair, it depends on what people expected from the xenomorph. While we've seen them running through corridors and crawling through ventilation shafts, it's also one of the only references fans have based on the previous films, and maybe fans further expect the xenomorphs to follow the same behavioural pattern of surprise attacking from the darkness.

I like a change every now and then, but I personally didn't like the pacing of the later acts in which the xenos were included. These scenes were swiftly shot like the toxic avenger Fifield on speed from Prometheus, and rendered the Xenomorph a bit too straightforwardly aggressive as opposed to the smarter adaptable xenos in Alien and Aliens.

I fully understand the criticism regarding the lack of engineers, as they were (in this new storyline) the beings in a suit that used to be called "space jockey", and Ridley wanted to tell a story about them in Prometheus. 

Well we didn't get much of a story about the engineers in Prometheus, so how about expanding their lore a bit further in A:C? Nope, let's just straight up kill them and focus on David instead. David is interesting, but what's the purpose of the engineers considering the marketing pictures of them on Prometheus posters, film covers and marketing stills? Are they not relevant anymore?

As for the rolling juggernaut, debris was falling all over the place, not just on the sides. Add funny music and those two idiots attempting to outrun a gigantic rolling horseshoe in the same direction is unintentional comedy. 

SenseOfDoubt

May-25-2017 9:43 AM

I thought it was a great movie, almost everything I expected -  especially after a second viewing.

The book explains some of the "daft" actions of the crew.

SPOILERS for anyone considering reading it.

Oram was given a Lavender smelling balm to reduce the stench of the underground egg silo - It also had a slight narcotic effect on him, so there was no fear of looking into the egg.

The crew thoroughly surveyed the planet for pathogens before leaving - The motes in the "Puff Balls" are completely inert and undetectable until a life-form is in range. Muther as well as the crew considered the planet safe.

As for the Eggs - They we're left behind by the Engineers... David did not create them or the Xeno

Plenty of other interesting things in the novel too - I presume it's considered canon?

BigDave

May-25-2017 9:54 AM

Very Good Points...

Seems people are more picky with things with Alien Resurrection, Prometheus and Alien Covenant...  

But did not really look bad on other flaws with the first 3 movies.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Farlander

May-25-2017 10:08 AM

@Raven  Upvoted.

----

"This mighty city shows the wonders of my hand."

deftones1986

May-25-2017 10:15 AM

I think its because movies try to give an overall feel and then contradict themselves.

In AC you get a distress call and everyone is nervous, but agrees to go to the planet, you have the higher-ups arguing and wondering how a human got to a planet nobody knew existed. So there's all this alertness and unease. Then you get to the planet and hop out right away, and smell the flowers without quadruple checking if its safe first.

 

Same with Milburn. The movie lets you know him and Fifield are scared out of their minds by giant dead bodies, but then they turn around and get close to a snake like creature. Instead of just having it sneak up on him or a million other ways to get the same result.

Grinning & Dropping Linen

May-25-2017 10:20 AM

@ BigDave ,First of all you dont have to be picky to find flaws with Alien Resurrection...that is a film that if horrible, tone, acting, dialog, cheese...i can keep going but it would cut into my weekend to list all of the wince inducing items wrong with Alien Resurrection and none of it has anything to do with dumb choices the characters made. Just the horrid things they say and what the  terrible scripts called for. The man below touches on a lot of the issues with the trash heap that was AR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttUQKMccXGQ

 

@Raven I feel you are correct and upvote to you...i think when all is said and done, Aliens, while a fun amazing movie will not be considered canon and i am fine with that as i in the long run the queen and the aliens being hive creatures does not serve the Ridley original, as well as his latest prequels or the intended themes in the best way

Neomorph

May-25-2017 12:34 PM

Oram was given a Lavender smelling balm to reduce the stench of the underground egg silo - It also had a slight narcotic effect on him, so there was no fear of looking into the egg.

Was this shown in the film as well? It certainly explains why Oram wakes up calm yet dazed. 

Raven

May-25-2017 1:32 PM

Yes,good replies all.I just think especially in the critics reviews they should look at WHAT Ridley is trying to convey,nit what they want conveyed.

Watch the movie,talk about the intent.

Seems like many closed minded opinions.Those who wanted a action movie didn't get one and are angry,dissapointed......

 

 

Raven

May-25-2017 1:35 PM

I would be interested in a poll also.

Which is a better film,ALIEN or ALIENS

Which do you enjoy more?

 

I think the ones who would choose aliens would be more inclined to not like Covenant.

The ALIEN franchise,specifically the first two are very polarizing.

Two very almost completely different films sans ALIEN.

Ones basically a B horror movie ,while the other is a formula driven Summer Blockbuster action flick.

 

BigDave

May-25-2017 1:45 PM

@Grinning & Dropping Linen

Yeah i meant as far as various flaws... not so much about some stupid decisions... so maybe i should have been a bit more clearer... sorry ;)

But i think my point also was about all sorts of things that people have picked on in the last 3 Franchise movies, that they never pick on with the first 3 and especially the first 2.

As always though its the other ideas and drafts and novels that actually explain things a bit better than we see on screen, a lot of the Dumb Stuff in Prometheus was not so Dumb in the Drafts.... seems Alien Covenant is likewise as it explains it a bit better in the ADF Novel, that the crew simply never just went down to the surface without any homework being done..

But again it would have been better if they wore Space Suits in case and they removed them latter, but this would just be a re-hash of Prometheus and i guess RS wanted to have them not walking around in Space Suits all movie as this Place was at One Point supposed to be a very very Earth-like World

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

joylitt

May-25-2017 2:28 PM

Raven I guess you are forgetting the Nostromo crew cannot use any weapons because of the xenomorph's acid blood. Also there is no indication they can seal sections of the ship (luckily enough because the scene where they do that in Covenant is totally anticlimactic) Splitting for no reason, not paying attention to the activities of a robot that is identical to their own, not taking possession of that robot who is property of the company, chasing a facehugger when all you have to do is get out of the room, all that is blatantly stupid though.

Tom

May-25-2017 2:42 PM

Well, all I know is that as a human being (which I am) - After landing on a totally unknown planet, then being attached by f*cked up monsters that exploded out of my crew mates, then led away by some stranger that seems to be a man on this alien planet through a gigantic field of charred humanoid corpses, I think I would not drop my rifle from his forehead until he explained ALL of wtf was going on here. The explanation they got was not sufficient, moreover only brought up more questions for a normal person. The MAJOR plot holes that everyone is bitching about are basically those types of things. Accepting any of that stuff and relaxing for even a second is contrary to realistic, logical thinking. 

drop your linen

May-25-2017 3:10 PM

I just didn't like AC because I felt like I'd seen most of this before - crew woken up early, interception of a strange signal, change of course, touch down on an alien planet, crashed ship, crew get infected, alien gets on board ship, let's blow it out of the airlock, unhinged android etc. It felt like a template rather than original work of art, a greatest hits rather than an amazing debut album.

I really wanted to like this film, I'd been looking forward to seeing it for ages, but I just didn't get blown away by it. I even went to see it again to try and 'get it', I enjoyed it a little more but still didn't really feel the love. And I thought the CGI on the 'big chap' sucked. 

There were bits I liked though, like seeing the storms in the planet's atmosphere from above and little genius touches like that..

But I just don't think it's in the same league as Alien or Aliens, in fact I think it felt more like one of the AVP films more than anything else..

John D.

May-25-2017 3:22 PM

Just to throw my hat into this particular crowd:

As one of the people on this forum who is old enough to have seen the original Alien when it first came out in '79 (yeah, I'm that old, lol) as well as all the sequels, I can also add a few things that some people who have never seen the original cut might not be aware of:

1. In Alien, any 'quarantine' went out the window the moment Ash opened the airlock and let Dallas, Lambert & Kane back into the ship w/the facehugger. Ripley makes a very big deal out of the need for "24 hours for de-contamination" in that scene, and Dallas also specifically states later that Kane will have to go into quarantine - to which Ripley replies "Yes and so will we." But they're not in quarantine yet, because they've all already been exposed...and Ripley does in fact confront Ash about this face-to-face in his lab. So it's a plot point that's addressed several times... of course, we don't actually find out why Ash did such a "stupid" thing until later, when we learn that he wanted the thing on board.  

 

2. There's no talk of weapons in the original theatrical release of Alien, other than the flame-unit (flamethrower) and the cattle-prod that Brett puts together. You never hear Dallas say "break out the weapons," nor do you ever see John Hurt with the pistol/gun in his hand when he's examining the egg in the derelict. Those bits were added into the 2003 re-release, along with a bunch of other little bits. 

Interestingly in the original script (the one that the Heavy Metal "Alien' comic adaptation was based on) there is a line where the crew is discussing ways to kill the alien and one of them says "shooting it won't help; It's self-regenerating. And the amount of acid in it now..." But that line was never in the movie.

3. As far as them just isolating the alien by closing off sections of the Nostromo...remember that they still had 10 months of cryosleep ahead of them before they would be back at earth, so that would mean they would all basically be asleep whilst this huge, nasty, murderous, completely unknown thing was lurking on the ship... probably not the smartest plan of action, given that they knew nothing about it's capabilities or whether or not it could find a way to break out of whatever trap they might set for it. 

Some of the things they did (like sending Brett off to retrieve Jonesy alone) were foolish, for sure; but a lot of the things that the supposedly highly trained, professional scientists did in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant really stretch credulity to the extreme.

Neomorph

May-25-2017 3:23 PM

@Tom

First and foremost; David looks like Walter = a face that indicates safety and trustworthiness. 

Walter is an android that was trusted by the crewmembers who spent a long time with him, so of course they're going to trust David as well. He's just an android (first impression)

Furthermore, David's explanation was short and concise, and he also said it was perfectly safe where they were, with a kind and soothing voice. We as an audience don't trust him, but the crewmembers initially do and I can't blame them considering that he saved their lives. 

Raven

May-25-2017 3:42 PM

Oh he absolutely says "break out the weapons"or something to that effect before leaving the Nostromo.

joylitt

May-25-2017 3:48 PM

Neomorph Someone who is horse whispering a monster that just severed some lady's head is obviously not safe nor trustworthy. 

Neomorph

May-25-2017 5:22 PM

jollitt I'm not sure but I think Tom was referring to their initial meeting with David, so I referred to that specific moment. I wrote first impression and initially, not what happens afterwards. 

joylitt

May-25-2017 5:36 PM

It was being implied that it was not dumb of Oram to look into the egg because David appeared to be so safe and trustworthy. Nothing further from the truth. Oram looked apprehensive while looking at David's experiments and nonetheless he follows him into a dark basement. The way characters behave is incoherent.

BigDave

May-25-2017 5:40 PM

Indeed they should have had some of the crew quiz David more and have him come up with a explanation that would make them feel at ease.

@John.D

Good way to cover what some would consider plot holes/flaws, i think again this is a bit like AC as to what i said above, in that ideally it would have been better to had added some dialog from Ash about Kane to say he appears well i examined him, and Kane saying he feels fine.... As otherwise yes they would had been wise to keep him Qaurantined... but as you pointed out they could Qaurantine him in Cryo-sleep which they would all be doing and so Kane just wanted some break-fast before they all go into Cryo-sleep

You raised a point about Parker going after the Alien, but we have to remember at this point if my memory serves me correct none of the Crew suspected the small thing that burst out of Kane would now be a 7ft Monster.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

samalematina

Jul-09-2017 2:02 AM

@Raven, I think you are confusing the 80s / 90s movie going audience with the current movie going audience. The original AlienAliens worked well even with their flaws because of the audience and movies made in that era (I loved those movies) But you cannot have such dumb decisions being made by your film characters in this day and age and expect to get away with it. The viewers are to a large extent more sophisticated with the quality of cinema available now. Alien Covenant couldn't cut it with asking audience to take it seriously with some mind boggling plot holes and insane actions of the covenant crew.  

Thoughts_Dreams

Jul-09-2017 3:36 AM

One thing that counts to me is how likable the character is in general. If a character is alright but do some small mistakes here and there then I don’t think that is a problem. With Prometheus I found most of the characters to be boring and when they do one mistake after another then I just dislike the characters so that would add to the “dumb scientist doing silly stuff”. Petting a space snake is for example one of the things that I dislike about the movie but if they could have done Fifield and Milburn into better characters then I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem with it. There is a deleted scene where they find a small space worm and it isn’t a problem so when they find the space cobra they have less of a reason to find it deadly. Sure, it doesn’t totally solve it but it makes it less dumb.

 

Yes Alien had some dumb stuff too but the characters were relatable and also it was the first of its kind. Remember that Alien has reached somewhat of a cult status so people might tend to ignore the problems in that movie. For example, you could expect Kane to be more careful before looking into the Egg or Dallas going alone in the bottom of the ship before he gets killed (don’t walk alone in deadly situations). It is not a movie without flaws but it works in general for me.

MonsterZero

Jul-09-2017 6:43 AM

 

I love space suits, but it adds another layer of complexity. The characters are going to get infected, Suit or not. 

What's the last time a Star Trek character was beamed down in a space suit?! 

Send the Capt. and some red shirts, wearing nothing but some cloth and silk underwear, to the surface of a unknown planet??! No problem. lol.

Star Wars , Star Trek all get a free pass.

 

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