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REVISITING PROMETHEUS
gogoschka-111 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
It appears many film fans - particularly fans of the ALIEN franchise - dislike PROMETHEUS with a passion, and some of the criticism the film gets is certainly justified. My own issues with PROMETHEUS are mostly script related; several characters seem surprisingly bland or underwritten, which could be due to the many rewrites the script went through, or because some scenes and dialogue that would have been important for the audience to understand the characters' motivations were cut from the final film for time. So PROMETHEUS undoubtedly has its share of problems, but I'm not interested in listing those; there are already whole blogs and even websites dedicated to PROMETHEUS' flaws. Instead, I would like to try to make a case for the things the film does well, because I believe there are some really nice ideas and concepts in PROMETHEUS that deserve to be appreciated. Once you disregard the science aspects (which are presented in such an annoyingly over-simplified way that they appear laughable), and instead approach PROMETHEUS as a sci-fi/mystery/monster movie - which, by the way, is how I view all ALIEN films - with some smarter than average twists, it delivers. Now before you start yelling at me, please hear me out.

The first thing I would like to talk about - also because it's the aspect I love the most about PROMETHEUS - is how the ancient Greek saga about the creation and evolution of humankind is woven into the story. I've often wondered why so many people who dislike the film claim to do so on the grounds of it not giving any answers, when it so clearly does: they may not be spelled out in detail, but in broad strokes, they are (nearly) all there in the title. In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the titan who created (or "engineered") mankind. But he did much more than that; he became mankind's greatest benefactor and protector; he visited his creation again and again and helped the humans evolve by bringing them knowledge (which he did against the will of the gods) - and he ultimately even stole the secret of fire from the gods and gave it to humankind, which is the moment in their mythology/history that the ancient Greeks saw as the dawn of civilization.

In the ancient tale, Zeus was so enraged by Prometheus' betrayal - and mankind's greatest gain in knowledge - that he subsequently wanted to wipe Prometheus' creation from the face of the earth. His elaborate plan on how to achieve that goal involved sending a certain box to the humans - the infamous Pandora's Box - which, once opened, would unleash hell upon humankind. In the film PROMETHEUS it is implied that the creation of humankind is something the "engineers" (aka the gods) also regret - most likely because in a similar story beat as in the Prometheus saga, the engineer "monks" we witness at the beginning of the film help mankind attain too much knowledge (which, as our species' shockingly violent history proves, we humans ultimately always end up using to build weapons to murder one another in ever greater numbers). So consequently, for reasons Zeus would probably understand, the engineers end up declaring humankind as a failed experiment that needs to be terminated: and what better way to do that than with bio-weapons sent to Earth that function like little "Pandora's boxes"?

Another strong similarity between PROMETHEUS' engineers and the ancient Greek gods - in addition to the fact that the engineers obviously look very much like Greek statues of Greek gods - is that both are portrayed as being just as flawed as the humans. The gods in Greek mythology have all the character traits of ordinary people: they fight, they lust, they hate - and they make mistakes. What I absolutely loved in PROMETHEUS (because I found it darkly funny too) is that the engineers ultimately are no better than we are. They create bio-weapons they don't really know how to control: and they eff up big time before they get to destroy the humans, and they get wiped out by their own weapons. Their technology may be very advanced, but they haven't exactly reached a state of wisdom and transcendence, and the big question doctors Shaw and Holloway want to ask them will not get a satisfying answer for that very reason. This is something the android David instantly understands (which is another smart idea in the film), because he was created by humankind, and HE certainly never got a satisfying answer from us why HE was created, which is something he remarks upon to Holloway.

And David is also very aware that the humans don't treat him, their creation, as their equal; they are either condescending towards him or treat him with contempt: so why should the engineers feel and behave any different towards the humans? And knowing his human creators doesn't seem to have inspired a lot of respect for them in David, and he clearly isn't in awe of them - on the contrary; David actually sees himself as the superior being. This is hinted at when Holloway insensitively remarks: "They're making you guys pretty close (to humans), huh?" to which David responds with an icy smile: "Not too close, I hope." And yet, because David was created in the image of the humans (just like the humans were created in the image of the gods aka "the engineers"), he is so very much like them. David may lack human empathy and a conscience, but we learn early in the film that he is every bit as curious in his own way as Shaw and Holloway are. Only where Shaw is naive, he is reckless; like a child exploring the world around him, he wants to know how everything functions, but his quest for knowledge is not hindered by ethics or a strong moral compass. So it shouldn't surprise us that in the next darkly ironic twist, David, very much like the humans who created him and the engineers who created the humans, conducts his own little experiment. He too wants to create something new "just because he can".

And in the last (and perhaps meanest) twist of the film, we learn how right David was in his assessment of the engineers' probable mindset regarding humankind, when the last surviving engineer is revealed to have nothing but contempt for the "things" his kind has created. Instead of giving them answers, he just swipes them away like bothersome flies. So, upon closer inspection, the film is actually almost beat for beat a retelling (or darkly funny modern continuation) of the Prometheus saga, - as well as a clever exploration of the dynamics between creator and creation - and in that regard the film works surprisingly well.

On a side note, there's another story element in the film that is worth mentioning (although it will probably only be appreciated by film geeks and sci-fi nerds such as myself), because it's one that's virtually identical to a very important part of the narrative in another sci-fi film by Ridley Scott. In PROMETHEUS, Peter Weyland's life-span is nearing its end, and so he's travelling through space in a desperate attempt to find his creator and ask him for more life. Sound familiar? Of course it does: in Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER (1982), a group of androids (in the film they are called "replicants") who are used as slaves off-world, manage to escape to Earth. They're led by Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) whose life is about to end. By design, the life-span of replicants is limited to only a couple of years, so Roy Batty is desperate to find his creator, Eldon Tyrell, to ask him for more life. Now in PROMETHEUS, Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof cleverly reverse the situation and put the human character in the unfortunate position the replicants from BLADE RUNNER find themselves in. And it's not just any human character who has to share the fate of the androids from the earlier film: Weyland is a creator of artificial life much in the same way Eldon Tyrell is in BLADE RUNNER: he is his exact counterpart in the ALIEN franchise. That story element seems to be a clear nod to Scott's cyberpunk classic, which is another little detail I liked in the film.

So, to conclude my musings in defense of this often derided film: the way I see it, PROMETHEUS' biggest mistake (apart from the uneven character work in the script) is pretending to be straight "hard" sci-fi, which it clearly isn't. What it is, though, is a beautiful looking sci-fi/mystery movie which plays with some very clever concepts, but remembers a little late in the story that it also wants to be a monster movie. And while it may be a flawed film, it's full of interesting ideas and certainly more original than 95% of the sci-fi/mystery/monster films that came out over the last 25 years - plus on a purely visual level, it's a feast. As far as I'm concerned, it deserves another look.

P.S. For those who are interested, this review was a much abbreviated version of an in-depth look at the film (which also provides answers to its most prominent questions), and you can find the full piece here: reelhounds.com/prometheus-revisited

More reviews and lists:

Favorite films: IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: imdb.com/list/ls075552387/

Lesser-Known Masterpieces: imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: imdb.com/list/ls054808375/
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1/10
Where no idiot has gone before
BJBatimdb5 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Prometheus is the story of a trillion-dollar mission to discover the origins of human life on a distant planet. Basically, this is supposed to be the greatest exploration undertaken in the history of mankind.

So who do they send? A gaggle of fractious goons whose collective scientific nous is rivalled only by that of the Three Stooges. Within minutes of touching down (conveniently beside the only 'man-made' structures on the planet, a'la 1960s Star Trek) the 'scientists' are yanking off their helmets, on the basis of 'it seems fine to me', dipping their fingers into strange organic ooze, and lugging a severed alien head back to an unquarantined spaceship in a sandwich bag.

Once there, they speedily discover the meaning of life. Then, while one of them gets a bit drunk, his two female companions decide it would be useful to stimulate the head electrically to reanimate it. They don't say why. They give it a bit too much juice, then too little,then dither over too much or too little like a couple of schoolgirls fiddling with a dicky bunsen burner, while the most important scientific discovery in human history waggles its ears and rolls its eyes - before eventually blowing up like a frog in a microwave.

Are the scientists abashed? Is the man angry? Do they all calm down and remember they have degrees in clever things, not diplomas in macramé? Do they heck.

The WHOLE MOVIE is a litany of ludicrous so-called science, schoolboy errors, and pseudo-profundity about the origin of species. Ironic really, when none of the crew would have a chance in hell in any sort of contest governed by Darwinian rules.

Crass stupidity is rampant in every department. Hi-tech helmets record every heartbeat - apparently until anything worth recording happens; stranded crewmates are abandoned to their fate in favour of a quick shag, and the spaceship door is opened to anyone who comes a-knocking. Although, after hitting the 'welcome' button, Idris Elba does do a double take and go 'Hold on a second!' but that might have just been an involuntary ad lib at his own character's baffling idiocy.

There is spectacular cinematography and effects, but not one iota of originality has been squandered on plot, subtext, tension or characters - which are as shallow as the Prometheus's muddy little gene pool.

Ridley Scott is a hero of mine, but Prometheus is not the intelligent, emotionally satisfying prequel that Alien deserves. It's a derisory, empty experience - and anyone who loved Alien is surely too old and too smart to be fobbed off with something this bad just because it's shiny.
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7/10
Prometheus (2012)
SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain13 September 2012
Prometheus seems to have disappointed many viewers. Luckily for me I had no expectations, despite being a Scott film set in the same universe as the Alien franchise. The ship Prometheus goes looking for the beginning of mankind and what created us. It's a rather ambitious idea and the film should be given credit for trying to have some kind of theological and scientific debate. Unfortunately, the script also feels as though it has to give us the scares and frights that we associate with the Alien films. The majority of the film is intriguing but for every positive there is a negative. We get fascinating characters such as David, Vickers, and Janek. But they are mostly pushed aside to focus on the stupid scientist characters. Did the writers not realise how bad their work was? Rapace refuses to let one character take weapons on an expedition because it is a "scientific" mission. I call BS on that. No scientist would be so stupid as to explore a new planet, with no information on said planet, without a bit of protection. Characters decide to do stupid stuff, such as approach viscous looking new species etc. and it is here where the film annoyed me. The set design was beautiful, and I enjoyed the quieter moments the film had to offer, such as David's trying to understand emotions etc. The most interesting ideas the film has are delivered in single lines of dialogue, but are never explored. It's head and shoulders above many science fiction films of late, but it also needs a few sequels to clear things up. Unfortunately, that means it wasn't so great as a stand alone film.
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6/10
Random and Confused
Hitchcoc18 April 2022
Most of what I would say has already been said. I especially agree with the fact that a crew trained in intergalactic travel probably couldn't tie their own shoes. They do so many stupid thing that could have terminated the voyage in a heartbeat. There is no caution, no restraint. I'm not sure we are ever very clear on the mission itself. And what's in it for some of these guys? By the way, did it seem odd that a guy is wearing glasses when this voyage was made?
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3/10
Ridley Scott forgot everything about great movies except for the craft
michael-albertsen31 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm really sorry, but this a major disappointment.

No, I didn't expect miracles or something close to the original Alien. I've been following Scott for 30 years - and it's clear that he has been on the decline since Gladiator and Black Hawk Down.

I liked a few of his later movies like A Good Year - but most have been rather flat and uninspired.

One thing I've noticed, is that he's gotten increasingly complacent with his own "point of view" in terms of historical facts and how things work in reality. It's like he has a complete disregard for plausible motivations or factual information about how things work.

Case in point - there's a scene in the movie where a certain character has to have an operation performed on her body - and it involves slicing directly through the skin and muscle-tissue of her abdomen. After the procedure, she's simply "stitched together" by metal clips in like 3 seconds - and with a bit of local anesthetic, she continues to move and jump about with some moaning. Ehm, you CAN'T have any kind of normal movement with your muscle tissue completely severed - and there was absolutely no healing involved. Just one of a series of ridiculous events.

The plot is entirely juvenile and cliché stuff with "profound" questions like who created us. For some reason, the beings who created us also want to kill us - and it seems to involve incredibly elaborate genetic engineering that also happened to kill most of them in their remote "lab facility". They're CLEARLY much more powerful than we are - and they could just bomb the hell out of us, or do it in a thousand simpler ways. But no, they seem to want to utilize excessively elaborate and dangerous genetic modification or infestation - that they can't even control.

They also like to record recent events with some kind of holographic recorder device that is unable to render clear images, only some cool ghostly images that I bet Scott loved to play with. But they're quite flexible in how they let you play recordings of their security procedure - so you can access their systems without effort.

Characters are void of personality and growth, they're REALLY stupid - and they like to freak out for no reason, and they like to stay calm and playful when there IS a reason - like when encountering a nasty looking cobra-worm - an alien - for the first time in history.

Among these faceless people - we have some willing to gleefully commit suicide by ramming an alien ship, because they like their captain, and they're required to do so because he "can't fly worth a damn" - despite him being the primary pilot hired by a billionaire to do nothing but fly the ship.

We have a religious scientist who concludes that she's found our creators, based on: "It's what I choose to believe".

Then we have the very same religious scientist look at an alien "head" they brought back - and she notices some strange growth on it. She then spends 2 seconds thinking and concludes that this is obviously some kind of "foreign cells" (impressive deduction, I must say) - and she decides to stimulate the cells with electricity - just to see what happens. No research - no caution - no nothing.

We have people who decide to open the door to their ship, seemingly with no thought process, despite having just faced complete chaos by extremely hostile alien forces - because one of their crew mates seems to be lying in front of the door. This while other crew mates have just been taken over by some kind of alien infestation.

Then we have the boyfriend of said religious scientist (a douche) who decides that the air in an alien environment is safe to breathe because his device tells him it is - and he immediately removes his helmet. A classic Hollywood scientist moment, and clearly there's no need to worry about biological contaminants in a place like that.

This movie is FULL of this kind of utterly implausible behavior and random decisions.

It has a couple of "for effect" gore scenes - but Scott manages to include ZERO tension along with them. As a result, they're mildly disgusting - but they have no lasting effect whatsoever.

The "aliens" that are a part of this movie all look like plastic - because of overly smooth and pale skin. They look like Lovecraft creatures without a much-needed paint-job.

We have a horribly predictable, pointless and wasted twist involving Guy Pearce and a certain other cast member.

We have an android, well-acted by Fassbender, who seems to be fully random in his decisions and motivations. Few actions made sense in any context - not to me anyway.

The music was overwrought and didn't fit with the mood of the film, and it seemed like one theme being repeated endlessly. A surprise, given Scott's usual flair for good music.

I think Lindelof is a complete and total hack - who only got the job because he was the "yes-man" who could match Scott's ego. This is pretty obvious in interviews - where Lindelof always manages to publicly kiss Scott's behind.

1 Star for Fassbender's performance.

1 Star for the amazingly detailed visuals.

1 Star for how the above combine to form the excellent beginning.

Now, it's just a matter of leaning back - musing over a thousand different people coming up with a thousand different explanations - each being the "correct" interpretation of this deep and thought-provoking masterpiece.

Going by the IMDb rating, I can do nothing but stay mesmerized by how efficient it is to rely on the "Emperor's New Clothes" effect and let hype do the rest. Stay real Scott, Lindelof and Hollywood.
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1/10
You too, Ridley?
yogsottoth3 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
SUCKED BIG TIME! The story was all over the place, most of the characters were completely unnecessary and underdeveloped, and there were no creatures to talk about really. I wasn't even tensed up for a second, let alone being scared.

Can you imagine a biologist guy, signed up for a mission to explore a different race, shitting his pants and literally leaving the scene at the first sight of an alien body that's been dead for 2000 years? Well, Ridley Scott could. However, the same guy goes ape schit over a real, moving alien cobra-thing and wants to cuddle her! Perfectly consistent character writing! And what the hell was that android guy trying to do with his plots and schemes? What was your plan? Who actually did you serve? And Shaw who did nothing to fill in Ripley's shoes... She attacks the crew, performs a surgery -I'm not even gonna touch that one- that probably overthrows a plan in motion, comes out covered in blood and no one even says "Hey! What the heck?" and they go on another expedition together? And what was that space jockey's problem!? Relax, dude!! I mean you have to be a really mean bastard, consumed with rage to come out of a crashed ship and go after a woman you missed the chance to beat up before.

The final suicide mission could easily be completed with 1 guy.

I will never understand what Shaw hoped to achieve by going after "our creators" to "find the answers". What answer are you gonna find with a beheaded android by your side from a race that clearly thrives on rage and hostility? And finally, this was the most UNNECESSARY use of Guy Pearce ever in a movie.

Making fun of a Ridley Scott movie... Wow, I thought THAT would never happen.
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6/10
Plot Spoiler review. I tell you why....I think.
nogodnomasters27 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The writers intended this to be an "Alien" prequel by incorporating "Chariots of Gods" into the film, although some might question the timeline. They concentrated on creating a special effects film, putting science facts on the back burner. It's basically 60's science fiction with great special effects.

Earth has been visited by aliens who created us, and leave a calling card. Instead of traveling to a moon of Jupiter like in 2001, we travel to a distant "galactic system" to a moon of a planet that looks like Saturn. The year is 2091, the crew is placed in suspended animation for a trip that takes 3 years, nearest star is 4.5 light years away. Sirius is the star frequently indicated as that "ancient" alien connection. It is 11 light years away. The writers needed to do the math.

In this "2091: A Space Odyssey" tale, HAL is replaced by an android named David (Michael Fassbender) who like HAL has his own orders. When they get to the planet it turns into a special effects sci-fi horror as man tries to find his "creator." Noomi Rapace provides us the only decent human performance in this film. In fact she was so good at one point they called her character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, "Noomi" in the film. They are either paying tribute to the famous Carrie Fischer "Star Wars" blooper, or their film editor is Ed Wood.

The dialogue was written in such a way that it lacked entertainment value. It needed to be lighter. The theme of creating life, so that it is not special, bogged down the film. In case you are unaware, the earliest common human language was believed to be a form of "click" language. I waited for Fassbender to start clicking when he spoke the alien language to show me the extensive research the writers did. It didn't happen.

Why is there always some idiot who takes off his helmet to test the air in these films? It's not the oxygen, its the foreign microbes, stupid!

Great movie to let the teens go see. Yes, I liked the film, but the writers were a let down. The good news is we can gut part of the voice track and do over the text and make it science fiction presentable without any re-shooting. Heck we might even add a joke or two... "These two earthlings, one an android, land on this alien planet and say, "Why did you create us?"....

SPOILER: And if you haven't figured it out from watching 3 movies...the reason why we were created is to generate a species genetically similar to the "creators" so they could test their biological weapons out on us, i.e. those alien critters.

Parental Guide: 1 f-bomb, 2 people in bed, near sex, no nudity, brief hot chicks. This would easy have been a 5 star movie had the writers did their homework. BTW, I just removed my own appendix, I am going out now to do some dirt biking.
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7/10
It's official....scientists of the future are stupid!
Rob_Taylor4 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I had high hopes for this movie. Ridley Scott, Alien, yada yada. It all seemed so promising. Perhaps the highlight of the scifi movie calender this year.

Oh well, more hopes dashed.

First, the good things. The cinematography, acting, special effects and everything to do with the film-making process are all better than average or excellent.

The writing, however, is entirely another matter. Those who have read even a few of my reviews know I hate one thing above all else. Insulting the intelligence of the audience.

Prometheus, sadly, does this again and again.

Having been sent off into space on an expedition (which most of the crew and scientists don't even know the purpose of - how did they sell that to them? Sign on for this expedition without knowing what you're getting into!) our heroes are briefed on arrival in a scene that was almost a copy of the marines briefing from Aliens, right down to the barracking and disbelief of the listeners.

I don't know about you, but being told I might find the creators of our own species would get me excited, not lead to pour scorn on the speaker. But anyway, our scientist heroes duly land on the planet and find an alien structure. On going in and finding the air breathable, the first thing a supposed intelligent scientist does (on an alien world, remember.) is take their helmet off. FAIL!

After having mapped the majority of the structure remotely, two scientists then get lost on their way back to the ship and never once think to ask for directions, or call out for assistance, even though their comms devices are working just fine. EPIC FAIL!

Later on these two discover a small alien creature. Their first reaction. To go up and prod at it with their hands. DARWIN AWARD FAIL!

You see where I'm going with this? All of the above takes place within forty minutes or so. And it doesn't get much better for the rest of the film.

Remember, these aren't clueless freighter jocks as in Alien. They aren't dumb grunts as in Aliens. They aren't dumb-enough-to-get-caught criminals as in Alien 3 and they aren't gung-ho pseudo-mercs as in Alien Resurrection. They are supposed to be intelligent scientists.

I'm not saying the writing is bad. I'm saying it is pitiful! It's like when you watch a horror movie of the slasher variety. You know the characters are going to do dumb-ass stuff like this. But you don't expect it in a scifi movie to this extent. Especially not one helmed by Ridley Scott.

It's a shame, because everything else about the film is beautifully done. But the writing is inept and insulting, forcing characters to do ridiculous actions for the sake of the plot. Here's an idea Damon Lindelof.... how about you write the plot around the actions of the characters, and not the other way around! Thanks for taking a somewhat off-the-wall franchise and tarring it mercilessly with the Hollywood action-blockbuster brush of sloppiness! As far as the franchise goes, I'd actually rate this below both Alien 3 AND AVP, though not below AVP2, which remains the shitty mud at the bottom of the celluloid rain-barrel.

In short then, a wasted opportunity ruined by abysmal writing and characterization. Watch it for the pretties and try REALLY hard not to think about it too much.
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4/10
It's like they deliberately screwed up the science
Scrooge-317 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I can forgive the unanswered questions about the motives and biology of the aliens in Prometheus. After all, they're aliens! What I can't forgive is the awful, awful protocols shown by the human scientists, technicians, and spaceship crew throughout the movie.

To begin with, a legitimate scientific expedition would have started by releasing weather and observation satellites to orbit the planetoid for weeks, perhaps months before Prometheus ever landed. This would determine the most likely places to hunt for aliens, rather than just luckily finding alien structures. Then, the small, remote-controlled probes would be sent into the alien installations to map them thoroughly and take air and soil samples. When pictures of the dead aliens came back, the scientist would spend many hours determining likely scenarios and procedures to avoid a similar fate before setting a foot inside.

The biggest mistake the movie makes, though, is something I haven't seen discussed anywhere. People have written about the folly of the crew taking off their space suit helmets without checking for microbes or other contaminants. It's not just the air quality that could cause illness or injury. What hasn't been mentioned is the danger of the humans contaminating the alien environment. Good scientists are concerned to the point of paranoia about destroying a pristine environment and invalidating their results. This is why Mars rovers are sterilized before they leave Earth. Once an alien planet is contaminated, there's no way to know what's alien and what's not. The crew of Prometheus would have to undergo rigorous decontamination procedures both when exiting the ship and on their return.

Another question that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere is why would an expedition as well-financed and equipped as Prometheus not have more than one robot? Weyland would want to have as much redundancy as possible to maximize success. Moreover, the humans would need to be cross trained, just as astronauts are now, so that in case of injury or illness there would be someone to fill in the gaps. This goes for the scientists, flight crew, security, and every other function.

Wouldn't Prometheus be crewed with the absolute best people in every role? People who knew what the mission was and who had trained together for months before leaving Earth. There is no excuse for second-best in a first-contact mission that's exploring a dangerous alien world.

It's one thing to have a haunted-house movie filled with naïve teenagers, but it's quite another to see supposed top scientists do dumb things. With a little more thought, Prometheus could have addressed the plot holes I and others have noted, and as a result been a tighter film with more tension and surprises.
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5/10
Looks great but the plot is a mess
dbborroughs4 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Visually stunning but completely ludicrous tale of scientists going to look for god or at least man's creator on a far off planet.

Shades of Wizard of Mars and Star Trek 5. Of course there are monsters, but mostly there are some really stupid people doing some really stupid things in order to drive the plot.No one behaves like a normal person anywhere in this film with the result being that the film is driven forward simply because people refuse to do the rational thing.

I saw this at a sneak preview at Lincoln Center and at no point did anyone jump. The only reaction were applause at references to Ridley Scott's Alien and laughter in the final half hour as things got more and more silly.

That the film works at all is thanks to a some odd set pieces that seem to be operating in a vacuum and to an incredible visual style that keeps the audience interested even when any rational person would have walked out.

A huge miss by Scott.
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1/10
Bad film
harryplinkett143 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The irony is that while 'Alien' was a film with a modest budget that desperately tried to use the available resources to pull off the look of an A-film, 'Prometheus' is a film with a monstrous budget that doesn't even seem to aspire to rise above the B-movie level - with the exception of special effects.

Alas, 3-D glasses can never compensate for one-dimensional characters, and an experienced director cannot fix a poorly written script that makes every screen writing error imaginable.

I guess what it comes down to is that god is a bald bodybuilder who never says anything but instead punches everyone he meets straight in the face. Don't mess with him!

By the way, the aliens in this film verge on silly. You don't want that in a horror film, much less in a film that wants to explain human origins. Can anyone explain the stupidity of the characters?
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4/10
Amateur hour
jhem_m2 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Lindelhoffed /'LinDelHôfd/

Verb:

1 a : Similar to a "Rick Roll", when one is conned into viewing a series of moving pictures with no conclusive finale, despite the viewer investing a lot of emotion and time in the story.

b (1) : a bottom feeder (2) : to Lindelhoff, much like a cock tease, when a sexual partner brings the other to the point of climax but then bails just before reaching orgasm.

PROMETHEUS Plot holes AND IRRITATIONS ***SPOILERS***

1. The dreams sequence. David can watch Shaw's dreams. Amazingly this technology also cuts from scene to scene like a movie camera...Please. No one dreams like that.

2. How did they randomly find the temple so quick? This is an entire planet surface!

3. Why was the landing so soft and easy?

4. Why does Fifield start screaming at Shaw like that? Calm down mate..jeez..And later on with an Alien cobra he is cool as ice.

5. Why does that moron Buddy Holly scientist try and touch the cobra alien? not once....not twice...but 3 TIMES!!!

6. Why on earth would a scientist remove their helmets in a possibly infected temple? I am just a civilian and even I understand the concept of VIRUS CONTAMINATION ON AN ALIEN FRIGGIN PLANET. They then have the cheek to talk about Shaw's strict quarantine fail-safe procedures...please

7. What does this Black Goo do exactly? Accelerate worm growth? Infect crew members? Cause pregnancies? Create life? Pick one and stick to it please

8. Why does Ford straight away start giving the head electricity for kicks? Do they not have procedures? What is this fun with Frankenstein?

9. Why does the head explode?

10. Why are the medical staff so damn careless with a possibly disease ridden and bacteria infested decapitated head? I swear they didn't even wear plastic gloves.

11. How did Shaw know the Jockey was heading to Earth to destroy it? Pretty big assumption from a couple of punches thrown.

12. How does David know the Space Jockey is heading to kill Shaw on the Medical Bay?

13. How does Shaw know her baby will attack the Jockey?

14. i was really amazed that Shaw has this 'baby' but fails to mention the horrific and super extraordinary situation she had just been through. ''oh hey guys, ha ha, nearly forgot. FYI, you won't believe what just happened to me on the way here''....''i just gave birth to an alien..'' ''yeah, i know CRAZY right, considering i had sex only 10 BLOODY HRS AGO!!''

15. -The whole Vickers' Star Wars 'Father' line...

16. -The 'bet' between the co-pilots was cringe-worthy

17. HUGE ONE…How the hell does Shaw walk after abdominal surgery? If abdominal muscle is cut you can NOT walk, the muscle needs to be sewn back…But no, a few staples and she is good to go…

18. Why does the tentacle creature have tentacles from the evil Planet X?

19. Why do the space jockeys allow any old tramp to walk in an use their security systems?

20. Why does the space jockey want to kill, kill and kill…You'd think an advanced race would be a little civilised?

21. What was the point of Guy Pearce as Weyland? Why was he even there? So he just assumed this temple would contain a fountain of life…..right….I guess he 'chose to believe' too…f**k me…

Honestly there are so many more I can't even write them all…But this movie has more plot-holes than the Iraqi Navy
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10/10
IMDb members – you're such a jaded lot!
j-mparkin15 September 2013
Where's your sense of wonder,adventure, excitement, innocence?? I feel I have to respond the deluge of haters on IMDb for this film, and no, I'm not trolling, I genuinely LOVED this film – and find no fault with it whatsoever! I can't believe such negative opinion and vitriol for this film! I've read and re-read the same criticisms over and over again, and for me they don't hold water.

It looks like 99.9% of people have made their minds up, but he's my thoughts on the film, and if you'll indulge me, I'd like to try and change the world.

The Prometheus mission is classified TOP SECRET. Even the development of the ship would be done without publicity of any kind. Potentially, they are onto the discovery of a lifetime – like Howard Carter didn't broadcast to his competitors that he was going to go looking for Tutankhamun and where he was going to go looking for it. Weyland would not risk allowing their main rival Yutani to get there first. The "Magic Eye" viral posted prior to the film's release supports this, and suggests that Yutani, are constantly using covert means to spy on their competitor, stealing secrets, poaching technology – so as well as this mission being secret, the crew of scientists would NOT be briefed on mission specifics beforehand, or introduced to each other prior to the mission in order to maintain secrecy. Consequently, Weyland would probably not go directly to the scientific community, but rather hire people who could be sworn to secrecy, and their silence bought. Fifield's attitude confirms this, remember the 'scientific mission' is only a smoke screen. This mission is primarily to extend Weyland's life. Period. Science is secondary, it's just that Shaw and Holloway don't know that. That's why the 'scientists' are such a motley crew. Even beyond Weyland's motives, this is a commercial venture, first and foremost – Vickers pretty much spells this out to Shaw and Holloway.

In no particular order… The nature of panic. When Vickers and Shaw are fleeing the Juggernaut, they are in BLIND PANIC – like when you are running away from a foe and likely run straight towards it. They don't have time to look at the orientation, they see the thing falling, see the huge shadow (remember the Jugernaut is B I G! and blindly run. Even if they ran to the side, that thing is falling heavily, they still might not get out of the way cos it's the size of two football fields!

Modern instrumentation in the 21st century When everyone takes their helmets off, they have A LOT of correlating info to support the absence of pathogens, and the presence of oxygen. That's how airline pilots don't need to see out of the window to fly planes. YOU RELY ON YOUR INSTRUMENTS!! So they know they can safely remove their helmets, because the area has been terraformed using engineer technology. Same thing with the head – the instruments indicate no pathogens, and the re-animating procedure would have been successful, but unbeknown to Shaw and Ford, it's the presence of the mutation that causes the head to be in distress and the molecular implosion is the result.

And the Pauling Medi Pod is expensive for a reason – don't compare it to a human surgeon, as well as the cutting being ultra fine and precise, besides the staples the machine sprays several fast-healing/flesh-bonding chemicals into the wound, Shaw does stagger for a few hours, but you're up and walking in a matter of hours.

Ridley decided to use Guy Pierce in old man makeup rather than hire an old actor in order to maintain continuity with the TED Talk Viral. Everyone says how terrible the makeup is, but I think it's because Weyland is VERY old so his appearance will be that more exaggerated.

When Milburn 'pets the snake' he's frightened to death – an analogy would be like when you chance upon a Doberman – you might say outstretch your hands, say "nice doggy" – fruitless, but you're trying to handle a difficult situation under extreme duress.

And this business with accelerated growth. In the original A L I E N –accelerated growth is shown right from the alien birthing from John Hurt, a few hours later it's "the size of a man", so it follows that the Progenitor(s) have this same characteristic. It's also possible that the black goo causes this acceleration/mutation.

And David's motives are for the most part not ambiguous, but rather pretty clear – he is first and foremost programmed to work towards the objective of Peter Weyland, all other considerations are secondary. His deliberate poisoning of Holloway is to use him as a guinea pig to observe the effects of the black goo before he advises Weyland on whether to ingest it or not, what exposure to it does etc.

And the Pauling Med Pod is programmed for the one person on the ship who might need a heart op bypass, this person is likely to be old - there is only one person who fits the bill, (and he's male!), so it's OBVIOUS the unit is set up for Weyland - the notion that it's for Vickers is laughable – she's shown to be tip-top fit with the push ups. It's just happens to be located in her room.

I think Weyland is on Prometheus in secret because no-one would insure a man of his age and condition to go into space, in fact the shareholders would probably forbid it, he would never pass the medical, so the only solution would be to go there in secret.

99.9% of people wanted a retread of Alien or Aliens – I didn't, so I wasn't disappointed.

And for those of you who want to bash Lindelof – read Jon Spaight's original script – everything that you blame Lindleof for is in Spaight's original script!
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9/10
eminently rewatchable film that provides new layers of meaning with each repeat visit
tarekali-1990928 February 2021
Prometheus is an eminently rewatchable film that provides new layers of meaning with each repeat visit. How often does a master filmmaker get to revisit their original oeuvre and recreate an even bigger world around and about it? The myth of the engineers and their world changing experimentation is absolutely romantic, compelling and terrifying at the same time. It hurts even more to see how badly utilized this new mythos was in the follow up Covenant. The true mark of success that Ridley Scott achieved was igniting years of debate around the origin and nature of the engineers and their creations. Deep connections to established historical finds on earth make this origin story even more personal - the myth of alien astronauts, benevolent or cruel giants from the stars with incredible, magical technology - creators and destroyers of worlds. Getting back to the film itself - such gorgeous cinematography and production values. I recently rewatched in 4k format and developed a greater appreciation for small clues hitherto unseen - for example navigation hologram destinations in a reactivated ship of mass destruction. David is himself a conundrum and a polarizing figure. Was his programming to blame, or the algorithmic output of his treatment at the hand of cruel masters. The android is a central theme in the alien mythos, an expression of creation and self awareness. The only criticism I have of Prometheus and the sequel Covenant is the proliferation of human stupidity. Predecessor films did not showcase human hubris and blundering to such a great extent - protagonists always took calculated risks. If anything the buffoonery of crews almost seems to justify their fate and reduces sympathy accordingly. Ridley Scott may still have time to catapult his mythos to legendarium, if his subsequent sequels after Covenant retain purity of spirit with his expanded universe. I for one look forward to seeing more of this wondrous unravelling and exposition.
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6/10
Not in the same league as 'Alien' and 'Aliens', while heavily flawed it was still better than expected
TheLittleSongbird10 June 2017
'Alien' is still to this day a tense, shocking suspenseful and frightening masterpiece, one of my favourites of the genre. The bigger and bolder 'Aliens' is one of those rare sequels that is every bit as good as its predecessor. Both are two of my favourite films and the character of Ripley is one of the most iconic female characters in film.

To be honest, there were initial doubts about 'Prometheus'. Ridley Scott, as especially proved with 'Alien', 'Blade Runner' and 'Thelma and Louise' has shown that he has a lot of talent as a director, though his filmography is hit and miss. So that he was back on board as director and that there is a great cast promised much. There were worries however as well, due to some negative reception amongst audiences who criticised the script, story and notorious "plot holes".

Watching 'Prometheus' finally, it was a better film than expected though nowhere near in the same league as 'Alien' and 'Aliens'. That said, it was heavily flawed and there are criticised personally agreed with, though it doesn't deserve the 1/2/10 ratings which indicate that the film had no redeeming qualities at all which is not the case.

'Prometheus' best asset is the visuals. The settings look tremendous, of sheer beauty and with a real eeriness, the cinematography complements it perfectly and often powerfully arresting and the special effects are a feast for the eye. Scott's direction has moments where it is superb, if more in the visuals and spectacle than the narrative.

More than up to the level of the quality of the visuals is the cast. Noomi Rapace is an authoritative lead, and Michael Fassbender is even better in one of his best performances to date. Charlize Theron and Idris Elba also prove how talented they are as performers. Most of the rest are more than up to their level.

While the story is very problematic, it does have its moments. There is some tension, especially in the last act, parts are thought-provoking and there are some thrills. The music is suitably haunting.

However, there is a good deal that doesn't work. The script is often very weak, often rambling, clichéd and not very logical with some stupid decision making. The story does suffer from too many concepts not explored enough, some leaden pacing and at times a lack of cohesiveness.

Characters are also not particularly well-written, they seemed underdeveloped and there are too many of them, the decision making of some are a cause for extreme frustration. Not to mention lapses in logic, ridiculous science and parts that don't make as much sense as ought.

In conclusion, better than expected but heavily flawed and one may question the point of it. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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6/10
It Is not What I Expected
claudio_carvalho30 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In December 2093, after two years of hibernation of the seventeen crew members, the scientific spaceship Prometheus arrives in an unknown planet expecting to find the Enginners that have created mankind on Earth.

The scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) are sponsored by the corporation of the millionaire Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) and travel with a team including the android David (Michael Fassbender) and Weyland's daughter Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). Sonn they find that their discovery is not what they expected and the human race may be destroyed by their creators.

I had the greatest expectations with "Prometheus" based on the hype around it, but I found it an overrated and flawed mess. Despite of that, if the viewer turns off his or her brain, he or she may like it despite the confused and boring story with silly existentialistic questions; stupid characters and unreasonable situations, but excellent cinematography and special effects.

The writers could have worked a little harder and avoid imbecilities in the plot such as: (a) How could a trillion-dollar scientific expedition be supported by a thesis based on what the scientist has chosen to believe? (b) How could a scientist tell to the member responsible for the security to bring no weapons with him in an unknown environment since they are a scientific expedition? (c) How could scientists remove a helmet from a being without wearing masks despite the device has been submitted to a decontamination procedure? (d) Why should a scientist stay drinking in a room where an important research is carried out? (e) How could two scientists act like morons with an unknown creature with a snake form? (f) How could a woman be submitted to a cesarean procedure run and jump stapled pretty after the surgery? (g) Why the crew members open the spaceship gate to a member assumed dead without any previous investigation? (h) Why sometimes to create it is necessary to destroy? (i) The heroic act of the captain's officers is typical from Hollywood movies. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Prometheus"
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7/10
I sort of enjoyed it
Misss259 February 2022
The movie tells upon a story about a group of curious people who wanted to know their origin or can say what created them. They collected all the signs which showed them a way to follow and to find out. As they planned, they reached their desired destination. They found a breathable environment and source of life too .But everything doesn't go according to their plan. The more deep they are exploring the planet, the more they are getting killed. Something is killing them. David which is a robot design to go along with the mission found something in the cave and surprisingly it was turned out to be an alien which was alive but was in pod and David tried to communicate with it.

Were they able to communicate with the alien?

What was killing them?

Who left signals for them?

Were they able to complete the mission?

At last, it will keep you wondering and you can not but watching the 2nd part of this movie.

I love alien movies that why I choose to watch it. And it comes out to be thrilling for me. The visuals are awesome, though the alien looked bit creepy :3 I have to watch the 2nd part now ''Alien: covenant'' to understand the entire story.
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1/10
Incompetent as both story-telling and film-making
onepotato211 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Alien was a game changer when it came out. The reason you would want the director of that movie to resume after 30 years, is that he would being his extremely high standards to what has become a pretty bad franchise. Aggravatingly, all we see on every front (score, narrative, structure, imagination) is the lowest of low standards. Prometheus is not a game-changer. It's even worse than the lesser Alien movies, which makes it something like "Attack of the Laser Squids from Planet Terror!!!"

The two good entries in the Alien series did thoughtful things with the form (Alien, Aliens). The others had no idea what to do, so they just threw things at the screen (Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, AvP, Alien goes to the Suburbs). Having abandoned the high quality of his youth, Ridley Scott now embraces half-assed scripts like those later titles. Scott cashed in - all his effort for Prometheus went into becoming a showman; working the pre-release ballyhoo to generate a big payday. The short vids that were made to promote this suggested something unusual. Instead it's desperately 'usual.' It's his George Lucas self-destruct moment. This hackneyed dreck was not even worth filming.

The title spaceship is not interesting. The threat here is not interesting. It has the most laughable aging make-up I've seen in 50 years. The characters are a complete slate of bellicose dopes. And the climax is the usual "We don't have a climax so why don't we just film nine rotten clichés in a row?" I can't believe Scott thinks viewers waited 33 years for answers this feeble. Geiger's alien was elegant / thoughtful. For the first time, when a movie finally showed the alien, it was awesomely horrible and did not disappoint. Here we're back to stupid aliens from 1950s throwaway drive-in date movies. The alien gestation makes no sense anymore (as with Alien 3). A snake, apparently issuing from drops of black oil will attack you and kill you, and then you grow larger, gain superhuman powers and become aggressive (!) . If you ingest a drop of the black oil you will become the host of an alien that bursts out your head (!!!). If you make love to a human who is symptomatic, you will get knocked up with an alien squid. That alien squid will grow into a tentacled dumb thing that has nine mouths on the underside, which in turn gives birth to sharkhead (!!!!!). There is no reason to spend any more time describing the lousy, cut-rate path this horrible movie takes. Every answer it provides is a dumb one.

Having no good ideas on where to take the series, Ridley Scott steals ideas from the X Files movie, Species, Splice, AVP and Contact. It's big idea, seen in countless movies since 2001, is now being thoroughly exhausted on the laughable TV show, Ancient Aliens. A father/daughter shocker is lifted straight from an Angela Lansbury movie from 1948 (State of the Union). The horny and dumb level of the proceedings is like watching "Temptation Island" the gutter level reality show. And Laurence of Arabia is included for no reason whatsoever.

Prometheus does not summon up the quality of Alien in any way. Instead it reminds a viewer mostly of two rotten pieces of low-grade schlock: Event Horizon (1997) and Super Nova (2000), movies that started by asking interesting questions, but then retreated into asinine developments, due to terrible writers looking for cop-outs.

Prometheus deserves to be as little known as those two clunkers. The test of whether this is a worthy product to associate with Scott's original alien film, lies in asking the question: On its own, could this movie have ever generated as much buzz/response as the original? The answer is a resounding No. This rotten, rotten movie will influence nothing. Put Scott out to pasture where he can graze on his greenbacks. The best thing you can say about this irritating, stupid movie is that it will be gone from theaters in 3 weeks.
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6/10
Don't Let Fanboys Convince You That You're Stupid if You Don't Like This Movie
evanston_dad27 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Wow, over 1300 user comments makes it seem almost pointless to add one more, but here are my thoughts (I'll keep them brief).

To anyone who's a fan of the "Alien" series, "Prometheus" will probably supply some at least modest fun, as there are enough tie-ins to the earlier films to keep you engaged. To others, it might seem like an esoteric and obscure sci-fi film that fades instantly from memory after it's over.

The slavering fanboys will have you believe this is the most profound movie ever made. It's not. The fact that it tries to be and fails is only one of its problems. It would have been much better if it had not tried quite so hard; the beauty of the first two "Alien" movies is that neither had great ambitions to be anything other than fiendishly entertaining horror/action movies, and they both succeed tremendously on their terms. "Prometheus" wants to be something more, but it plays like something conceived in great detail in Ridley Scott's head but only put down on film in vague outlines. There are all sorts of questions the movie raises that it doesn't answer. Fanboys will tell you that that's the sign of a brilliant movie and that you're a dolt if you can't answer the questions on your own. But there's a difference between purposeful ambiguity that serves a narrative purpose and ambiguity that results from bad writing. When you ask the audience to fill in too many blanks on their own, you're just being lazy.

"Prometheus" seems like a good movie while you're watching it (though even then it really starts to fall apart in its second half), but the more you think about it later, the worse and worse it seems.

Grade: B
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8/10
An Intriguing Incomplete Story
billygoat10716 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Prometheus was meant to be another great Sci-Fi film by Ridley Scott, but this one is trying to be grander than Alien. It does succeed to be grand, but it doesn't reach its greatness. There is a good concept in this film. Everything looks beautiful and the world is quite fascinating. But it stumbles when we go to the script, storyline, and the characters. It's still worth watching and quite intriguing, but I don't think it will be as classic as his other Sci-Fi film.

There is an interesting story behind Prometheus. The plot is indeed intriguing. The visuals look beautiful and it will spellbind you. Unfortunately, the script is not as fascinating as the visuals and the expected plot. It's disappointing because instead of answering the film's main question, it rather ends with a ridiculous climax and opened it for a sequel. It also suffers with weak character development. It looks like the soulless character of the film, Android David, has more soul than the human characters.

It may not be a classic, but it still had some great memorable moments. Like the scenes with David. Michael Fassbender once again shines in a splendid role. All of his scenes made the film much more interesting. The violence can be somewhat fun and completely terrifying. Also the planet that is set in looks magnificent. These are the element that keeps the viewers entertained. It helps the film for being worth a watch.

Prometheus can still be pretty good, but it could have been much more than great visuals and ridiculous suspense. It ends questionable. The characters are not that appealing, except David. It's definitely not as superior as Ridley Scott's classic Alien movie. Scott sure did a well job directing this but he's muddled with this script and this incomplete story. But like I said, it's worth watching for the visuals and the interesting concept, but in the end, it will make you wait for the possible sequels. It's still fascinating and recommendable.
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1/10
I don't have the words for how bad this is...
Marta21 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Yet I'm going to try. The script was a complete mess; I would think Ridley Scott would have been embarrassed to release a film with so many plot holes. Who writes major scripts like this and worse, who would green-light such a disjointed piece of garbage? I literally felt like every other scene had been removed or thrown out, because of the way the story jumped ahead with no coherence.

I found nothing to care about in any character in the film; they had no compelling dialog and were not presented to us as real people. They were stock characters put in place to build the story around, what there was of it. You could have gotten rid of 99% of them and still had the same film.

What the characters did do made no sense. Seasoned space travelers freak out at the site of a decapitated body, yet they wander around inside a completely unknown space for hours. They find an unknown life form and practically pick it up and cuddle it. People seem to teem in the background, yet we have no idea of their character or motivation and are given no idea of their place in the story.

Noomi Rapace has zero charisma, as did her fiancé, whomever he was. Anyone could have played Guy Pearce's role, since he wasn't allowed to act behind all that makeup. I suspect someone fell in love with the idea of a robot fascinated by Lawrence of Arabia, because there was no other reason to include it in the script; it was a completely extraneous bit of business. Michael Fassbender is a great actor but even he can't carry an entire film, though it might have been better if he had tried. Charlize Theron hardly had more than seven or eight lines.

The effects were good, but without a story to support them it was all smoke and mirrors. I was upset that I'd wasted 2+ hours that I'll never get back. I certainly didn't think that after "Alien" or "Gladiator." I think if Scott is going to make a sequel to this, he'd better focus on the script first and worry about the effects later, because I'm not wasting more money or time if this is the best he can do today. I definitely don't recommend anyone see this film.
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3/10
Prometheus has landed with a plop
rooee2 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I just came out of the cinema and then watched the trailer for Prometheus for the first time and I can safely say that you might as well stick with the trailer. It's the entire film in fast-forward.

This is an origin story in the most fundamental sense, claiming to offer profound insight regarding our distant beginnings. But rather than raising questions about the meaning of existence and the notion of creation, you'll be asking some searching questions about the quality of what you just saw.

The Alien universe has been hijacked in recent years by twaddle like AVP and its execrable sequel. The seams began to fray back in 1993 when a rookie David Fincher was hired to direct a script that came across like a clone gone wrong, and it was followed by the woefully misguided comedy-horror Alien Resurrection. So upon hearing that Ridley Scott, director of the original Alien – a B-movie elevated to art – was planning a return to the series, I was genuinely excited.

The result is a narrative disaster with an embarrassing script, which is further undone by some irrational casting choices.

The Prometheus mission must represent the most reckless, impatient, unprofessional scientific expedition in the history of mankind. Biologists prod and poke with gay abandon while geologists go wandering like they're kids exploring an abandoned farmhouse. Why not perform a meteorological survey before leaving the ship, so that you aren't cut off by a biblical storm? Why are you getting blazing drunk just after making the most important discovery in the history of mankind? Why are you, captain, allowing this crew-member, pronounced dead moments earlier, back onto the ship without the merest whisper of quarantine? All sense of wonder or intrigue is stolen by baffling motivations, incongruent characterisation, and infuriating plot holes.

Ridley Scott, even at his worst, usually makes movies that are undeniably his own, with distinctive production design. But Prometheus, sadly, could have been envisioned by any talented hack. It looks more like Brian De Palma's garish flop Mission to Mars; a far cry from the artistic gleam of JJ Abrams' Star Trek or the convincing grubbiness of Duncan Jones' Moon. Perhaps it's the over-reliance on CG, or the insistence upon 3D, but Prometheus is tainted by that uniquely modern sheen: a blandly precise computerised look, like an uncanny aura that surrounds all the human beings and steals any sense of immersion, locking us out of the frame.

For some reason Noomi Rapace was chosen to play the part of Englishwoman Elizabeth Shaw, and while she's fine for the physical stuff (including a brilliantly conceived operation-from-hell) she delivers her lines poorly. Charlize Theron is eminently watchable but like many of the characters she often acts in a somewhat contradictory manner. Guy Pearce was presumably chosen for the part of the extremely elderly Weyland for the sake of his viral promo – he simply looks like a young man in make- up. Michael Fassbender, as the robot David, is the star of the show, building on the sinister twitches that made Bishop (Lance Henrikson) and Ash (Ian Holm) so subtly menacing in the first two films.

I'm struggling to find positives. There is the occasional effective set- piece, such as the storm sequence, some icky first encounters, and the aforementioned invasive operation, but the characters are so inconsistent and/or underdeveloped that all sense of threat is undone by audience indifference.

Now I'm going to watch Alien and Aliens, back-to-back, and then perhaps, grudgingly, Alien 3. I'm starting to think that's all we ever needed.
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1/10
Trash of the Titan
jacklmauro27 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
For over 30 years, I've believed that no worse movie could be made than 'Can't Stop the Music'. I was wrong. And it breaks my 'Alien'-loving heart. WHO WROTE THIS GARBAGE, and what were they smoking? Listen up: I'm perfectly ready to suspend disbelief, esp. when it comes to sci-fi. I was also not wanting or expecting another 'Alien', as superb as it was. But this thing is, to quote Dorothy Parker, not just bad. This is fancy. A huge, huge problem is borrowing 'Alien' motifs when they do not at all apply. For instance, the crew of motley, disgruntled folks of Prometheus. Such a crew was perfect for a mining ship coming back from a dull and long job; when it's mankind's first, trillion-dollar search for life in the universe, a team seemingly pulled out of a Hooter's Happy Hour seems inappropriate. Similarly, we get the 'Alien' captain, here bad-ass but still just out to earn a paycheck. On THIS mission? It's as though Scott so valued these elements, he had to re-use them even when they utterly do not belong. Then. There's the helmets-off idiocy on the alien moon, prompted by a computer reading that the air is OK, nicely ignoring that maybe scientists would nonetheless by wary in so unknown an environment/atmosphere. There's the wretched cliché of the ancient trillionaire. There's about an hour of exposition featuring the evil gay robot who, after plainly sabotaging the womb of Dr. Shaw, is buddied up to by her not long after. Best of all are the oddly redneck two scientists, stranded, and a coaxing of an alien cobra-like creature as though it were a kitten. This is so ghastly, I felt sorry for the actor, as I did for the geologist, setting foot on a new moon and angry that he's expected to take any interest in the proceedings. This goes to an even larger flaw, in that, aside from a few, requisite gasps, everyone is reacting to this extraordinary find as though they stumbled into a funky part of town. To that end, and more horrifying than the scientist-kitten, is Holloway's pouty, drunken angst because, gee, there weren't no daddy aliens to explain why man exists. He has found an incredible alien civilization and proof of humanoid life but, like a true scientist, he can't get past not getting his boyish dream fulfilled. Also; he awakes to discover a creeping worm in his freaking eye, tells no one, and simply goes off on the day's mission? Who wrote this garbage? Last issue: there is NO momentum. There is no tension or suspense. There isn't even a second- rate 'Alien' prequel, because this thing would have to work real hard to be second-rate.
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6/10
Not bad, but surprisingly superficial
Leofwine_draca15 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Who would have thought that, after all the endless hype and speculation, PROMETHEUS would turn out to be run-of-the-mill? It turns out to be nothing more than a completely traditional, paint-by-numbers sci-fi movie with crew members of a spaceship getting killed off messily by some nasty parasitic alien things. As this is a prequel, there are few ties to the original Alien other than some slavish moments where things have to be set up ready to tie in to the beginning of that movie (same with THE THING prequel).

Ridley Scott seems to be impossible to gauge sometimes. He can make genuinely amazing movies, like GLADIATOR , and badly flawed movies like this and ROBIN HOOD. Sure, these latter films are entertaining on a superficial level, but they're the kind of work that a journeyman director would produce, not a supposed visionary like Scott. The best thing about PROMETHEUS isn't the direction, which is nondescript, but the calibre of the special effects, which truly are special. There are SFX here we've never seen the likes of before, with some of the best use of CGI I've witnessed.

A shame, then, that the aliens are so mundane, a simple riff on a thematic alien enemy that popped up on THE X-FILES fairly regularly over a decade ago. Surely with all the effects and imaginative minds involved they could have gone for something genuinely startling, instead of a type that's been done to death? The script is nothing to write home about either, with character models too obviously based on successful types in earlier movies and a general lack of depth for everyone involved. All too often the characters act in stupid ways that hasten their deaths, just the same as in a cheesy slasher sequel.

Noomi Rapace feels particularly awkward, especially given the effectiveness of her work in the MILLENNIUM trilogy. She stumbles and stammers her way through the film, too busy trying to enunciate to give us to time to sympathise or even like her. A particularly uninteresting Ripley clone, then. Michael Fassbender, unsurprisingly, gives the best turn as an android, and cast-wise that's as good as you're going to get. I did like Idris Elba, but why Guy Pearce is wandering around in some distracting old-man makeup I have no idea. As with many things in PROMETHEUS, it's a bit of a mystery!
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10/10
Hopefully, there's much more on the Blu-ray...
sarastro729 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I caught one of the earliest press screenings of Prometheus, which was a grand experience, as I am a complete and utter sci-fi nut. Prometheus was one of my two most anticipated movies of the year (the other being The Avengers), and there is not much doubt that it will go down as one of the, if not the, best science fiction movie of 2012.

Prometheus is a bona-fide and direct prequel to the original 1979 Alien movie, giving us a portion of the story behind the space jockey; the alien pilot of the derelict spaceship that contained the alien eggs.

Are the classic Giger aliens actually in this movie? No, but their precursors are. The aliens, after all, have always been evolving, taking on new shapes almost every time they incubate in a new host.

Effectswise, action-wise, technically, visually and in terms of sense-of- wonder, this is exactly the movie we all hoped it would be. The whole set-up for the Weyland company is perfect and serves the first two original Alien movies (the good ones) extremely well. I would love to mention more, but it would be spoiling.

The movie does have imperfections, though. Some salient points of the plot are never revealed (but left for a sequel, which, again, I hope gets made, as it will make a big difference as to how much sense this movie ends up making), and the motivation of the robot also remains enigmatic. The part I found most disappointing, however, is that there isn't much depth to the characters. The onslaught of the action doesn't leave them the necessary time to become properly human to us, and their various beliefs are not at all described in sufficient detail - although we do hear a bit about Shaw (Rapace's character). Besides her, and David, Idris Elba's captain is the best character; he is human, he has failings (yes, I count smoking as a failing!), he's a charmer, he can think and he understands sacrifice. Most of the other significant characters are scientists (finally, a sci-fi movie with more than one of those!), but, sadly they don't act like it. One is depressed and drinking for no good reason, one is just obnoxious, and one is apparently not interested in his own field of science. But, of course, they are all punished for their bad attitudes - which is something, I guess.

But, I am hoping that various extra bits and bops on the disc release will rectify many of these little shortcomings, because, as it is in the movie's theatrical release, none of the characters live up to those of the first two Alien movies.

It's still a great and brilliant movie, though, and one I know I will be going back to the cinema for, and get on Blu-ray as soon as it comes out, and rewatch many times. Most definitely a classic of the genre.

(EDIT: The Blu-ray is out, and it has lots of extras, including some that make the salient points of the story more clear. I am very satisfied!)

(EDIT II: Half a decade on, I think this movie holds up as one of the most distinctive and thought-provoking science fiction movies of the 2010s. It has so many beautifully filmed scenes, and so many amazing and mysterious ideas that I have upped my rating of it from 9 to 10 stars.)

10 stars out of 10.
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