Prometheus Review with Spoilers
Best to avoid if you prefer your movies with less plot holes and more characterisation.
I just went to see Prometheus today and, wow, what a mess. This movie is the epitome of unnecessary sequels/prequels/reboots. I actually hoped this film would be good. I knew it was a muddy prequel/not-prequel, but given the very intriguing initial trailers, and the fact that it’s the first Ridley Scott scifi movie in 30 years, I was willing to overlook it.
Here’s what I couldn’t overlook: Awful, paper-thin characters. Honestly, I connected more with Michael Fassbender’s android David, than I did with most anybody else in the cast. Half the cast are just blatant red shirts. The other half seem to lack any clear motivation. For instance, while exploring this new planet and finding an alien structure, the geologist and the biologist decide to f&*k off back to the ship. Why? Isn’t this their forte? More so, isn’t this why they’re being paid? No. The whole point of that scene is so they are separated from the rest of the crew and become…. fodder.
Then we have one of the main scientists who managed to get this mission started in the first place- I’m not clear whether he is an archaeologist or an anthropologist, what I do know is that he turns into a drunken baby the minute it looks like the alien engineers they were hoping to meet are all dead. Um, first off, you have an entire moon to explore and you’ve mapped one small area and you’re gonna to give up? For another, given your line of work, shouldn’t you be used to dealing with dead civilisations by now?
Oh and let’s not forget the “evil android” moment when David decides to infect drunken baby scientist after conversing with his boss. Why? Beats me, it’s never answered. In Alien we know that the company has encountered these creatures before and needs Ash in order to break quarantine and get the xenomorph back to Earth. However, we have no reason to believe this is the case here. In fact, we get enough information to know that Weyland Industries knows nothing about these goo creatures, yet apparently we’re supposed to accept that David is acting logically by infecting one of the main scientists that brought them there.
Which brings me to another issue in this film: the poor science. This has to be the world’s worst scientific expedition. They land on the planet without bothering to survey it. They only decide where to land because Drunken Baby decides it looks like a good spot. They don’t wait to check their equipment. Instead, immediately after landing they race off in search of the engineers. Nothing is done in a scientific manner, so it should come as no surprise that David decides to infect a member of the crew while still in the middle of investigating the planet. What’s they hurry? This is a trillion dollar mission, maybe you could wait a few hours!
There’s plot holes galore in this movie, of which I’m not even sure where to begin. How many times exactly are the crew of the Prometheus going to break quarantine? How is the DNA of the engineers a 100% match, yet they look so different from us? Why would ancient drawings point to a military installation if they had ships programmed for Earth that could drop alien goo and take out the human race? How can Noomi Rapace survive in an alien ship if she has staples keeping her insides from spilling out? Oh the list goes on.
The pacing of this film is completely off. Admittedly, I hoped for some of the tension of Alien but even setting aside those expectations, the pacing is just wrong. One of the most badass and Alien-like moments is when Noomi Rapace’s Shaw is giving herself an abortion and she’s trapped in close quarters with the alien foetus. She’s done this by herself and her gaping stomach is sealed with metal staples. Just a few minutes later she runs into other characters, and not a single person makes mention of the alien creature that was growing inside her, or just, oh hey, “why are you almost naked and covered in blood?” It was as though that whole sequence happened in a vacuum. And after that, Rapace is just running around with the occasional wince.
Believe me, I could go on and on about the unanswered questions, but I won’t. I already knew that was an issue going into the film, and I had hoped that would be the only problem with Prometheus. It isn’t.
Are there any good things about it? The cinematography is what you would expect from Ridley Scott, i.e. exceptional. Also, Michael Fassbender is fantastic as the creepy David. And that’s about it. There’s no real surprises. In fact, it features rather heavy handed storytelling. The film is plagued with too many religious/philisophical references and the childbirth undertones that the Alien quadrology has always featured, became far more overt.
In many way, this is the type of movie I’ve come to expect nowadays, especially from scribe Damon Lindeloff: stuff happens really fast, and we’ll over explain/foreshadow because we don’t think the audience is smart enough to get it.
In all honesty, Prometheus is the worst film I’ve actually been to the cinema and watched in a long time (and I saw Snow White last week). Not “most disappointing” I mean “worst.” It’s bloated, grandiose and senseless. My suggestion is that unless you happen to be a fan of the Star Trek re-boot, the ending ofLost or poor storytelling, Prometheus is best avoided.