Movie Review: ‘Prometheus’ (Spoilers)

Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus

20th Century Fox

Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Jon Spaihts & Damon Lindelof

Starring: Noomi Rapace (Elizabeth Shaw), Michael Fassbender (David), Guy Pearce (Peter Weyland),Idris Elba (Janek), Logan Marshall-Green (Charlie Holloway), Charlize Theron (Meredith Vickers), Rafe Spall (Milburn), Sean Harris (Fiefield), Kate Dickie (Ford), Emun Elliot (Chance), Benedict Wong (Ravel)

 

Whether we’ve looked to God as inventor, invention or confluence, humanity has long been wary of her role in the relationship. None can agree who or what shaped us, if the signs and sigils we ourselves shape lead back to our true origins or propagate old fictions. Did We make him or did He make us? The hum of that old Ouroboros has propelled great thinkers toward progress and tumult alike for thousands of years. People die trying to unhinge those jaws for a peek inside, often not for themselves but to disprove others. Some want to touch the face of God, either to caress or to pop. Plenty more just want to stay away from those teeth, from that tail. They know what happened to Prometheus when Prometheus wanted to warm his hands over real flame, then came back for s’more. Is seeing the light of heavenly fire worth getting burnt?

That’s the kind of fire Ridley Scott plays with in Prometheus, a return to a world he hasn’t visited since 1979. Just as explorers Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway attempt a cosmic homecoming in this new story, Scott is meeting his maker here as well. The original Alien wasn’t just a breakthrough for science fiction films and progenitor to so much that came later; it also birthed Ridley Scott. It wasn’t the first feature he made, but it was certainly the one that made him. Space Jockey DNA streams through the director just as star residue streams through us. Prometheus is a study not just in origins, but in confronting parentage head-on. It just so happens that this well-spring is also the primordial pool from which all things spawned. To beleaguer the metaphor, Scott dives right in, head first.

The result is a film as beautiful as we have ever seen. Reverential, really. Shot in 3D and offered up on an IMAX canvas, Prometheus is a beatific vision befitting the gravity of its themes. Scott takes us to the origin of our species. It’s a grand and otherworldly event, our creation tainted by bleak beginnings. Writers Spaiht and Lindelof have essentially doomed us to a haunting from our conception. Contrary to any of our expectations, Prometheus isn’t just the riddle of the xenomorph solved. In fact it manages to sidestep that one. This is about us, where we came from, and whether or not we should follow the bread crumbs back.

Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassebender and a big ol' head in Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' (2012)

Shaw and Holloway reside at the heart of Prometheus, two young lovers eager to unravel life’s greatest mystery through exploration. They starts in the deepest crevices of the wide world. As they unearth a series of cave paintings from remote locations throughout the globe, Shaw registers a remarkable pattern. The uncannily similar markings point both to humanity’s extraterrestrial origin and an invitation to a reunion between humans and their long-lost Engineers. Seventy years from tomorrow, they take their findings to the decrepit tycoon Peter Weyland, who agrees to facilitate the scientists’ journey to stars. It takes years to complete this interstellar homecoming, fueled by an impossible investment and led by a hugely theoretical carrot. As it turns out, Shaw and Holloway were right. At least partially. There was once something on this strange moon and something may yet remain. For as many answers as they find on this world, a dozen new questions arise from the muck. Which is why Prometheus emerges as a worthy prequel to something so iconic and game-changing as Alien.

The problem with many prequels is that their engineers become so concerned with presenting solutions that they deflate their source material of all its mystery. One film can never truly ruin another, but a franchise can certainly be corrupted by one false move. Here, the creators of Prometheus entice with a number of visual and thematic references to the films that came before (your H.R. Giger counter will start wailing in places and at frequencies you least suspect), but they only zoom out just enough to  suggest a wider world without defining it. Some viewers might be frustrated that the story doesn’t present the kind of connections we’ve come to expect. If you’re anything like this reviewer, however, you’ll be glad that romance doesn’t just linger in the Space Jockey mythos, it abounds. I’m heartened that the film ends where it does, presenting an even more enticing call to adventure. Ripley’s story may have ended around 15 years ago, but the survivors of the Prometheus expedition live on. The promise of a forked story is a welcome one, as this particular world is rife with opportunity.

As is probably apparent, Prometheus is most closely related to the original Alien in style and tone and has little to do with its 1986 sequel Aliens.  This is not a thriller or action vehicle, though it certainly has its share of graphic violence and explosive set-pieces. Just not to the extent that many viewers would probably like. In terms of structure, the best comparison might be Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, a movie with similarly (space) operatic beginnings which eventually ratchets up to cosmic slasher. One might also take issue with the baldness of the film’s theme. Just as the original Alien series continually returned to its examination of maternal instinct and other psychosexual motifs, this one’s got whole heaps of mommy and daddy issues. The subtext often bubbles too close to the top, as with Shaw’s struggle with infertility and Vicker’s rivalry with David over Weyland’s affection and respect. The lack of subtlety in these exchanges are at odds with the sheer eloquence of Scott’s visual storytelling and the performances delivered by an astonishingly gifted ensemble. By and large, it’s a film as well shot and acted as Alien with the scope and grandeur of Cameron’s Avatar.

Once again, the android steals the show. Though briefly marred by a weirdly menacing turn, Fassbender’s David is a fascinating prototype. While his human companions slumber in their pods, David wanders about the ship learning new languages and engaging in terrific fetes of athletic prowess. With no electric sheep about, he monitors the crewmen’s dreams. Neither as cold as Ian Holm’s Ash or as deluded about his identity as Winona Ryder’s Call, he enjoys some wide-ranging relationships with the other characters. Once we see him develop a fascination with 1962′s Lawrence of Arabia, it’s impossible to shake his eery resemblance to Peter O’Toole.

When Fassbender isn’t on screen, it likely belongs to Idris Elba as ship’s captain Janek. As always, a rich presence. Here, he also provides some much needed levity, untethering some sandbags from a dauntingly heavy film.

Noomi Rapace makes for an ideal successor to Sigourney Weaver as torchbearer for the saga, still determined, but possessing a wholly different temperament. Ripley very reluctantly assumed maternal roles, always protective but rarely warm. Shaw wants to be a mother and derives great pain in her inability to conceive. Which makes her frantic self-guided surgery at the climax of the film all the more traumatic. Shaw’s journey is an excruciating one, but I’m heartened that her dire circumstances are ultimately unable to defeat her. Ripley just wanted to go home. Shaw wants to figure out what home means. She’s an explorer. Maybe that’s what Scott figured out. It’s not about going home again. It’s about figuring out what makes you great, makes you you, and then allowing that to propel you towards what’s next.

4.5 Stars

(Out of 5)

For more of Paul’s thoughts on the Alien film franchise, check out some recent episodes of his storytelling podcast Fuzzy Typewriter:

Fuzzy Typewriter: Alien
Fuzzy Typewriter: Aliens (with an s)
Fuzzy Typewriter: Alien 3 and What Could Have Been
Fuzzy Typewriter: Alien Resurrection
Fuzzy Typewriter: Aliens: The Drippings (AVP, toys, comics and more)
Fuzzy Typewriter: Prometheus

 

And stay tuned to iFanboy for a special edition podcast devoted to Prometheus.

 

Comments

  1. cornflakes cornflakes says:

    Went to the midnight showing last night and really enjoyed it! Definitely left room for Prometheus 2 (or whatever it’d be called) and I’m all for it.

  2. Jacen Chris JCB (@jcbhatestweeter) says:

    I’m just glad you enjoyed it Paul. I was worried after everyone else giving it a thrashing.

  3. dgazzuolo dgazzuolo says:

    Prometheus 2: A HEAD Home

    Also, i enjoyed it as well, but why did they have Guy Pierce play an old guy (no pun intended)? The make-up job wasn’t very good and they could have just…hired an old…person.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Yeah…I don’t disagree. It’s interesting though. He plays a younger version of the character without makeup in some viral videos floating around.

    • dgazzuolo dgazzuolo says:

      The inside story (I have a real source!) is that there were some scenes filmed where his character is younger. It’s when David is by his hibernation chamber. He views his memories in the same way he viewed Shaw’s memories early in the film. Unfortunately, the scenes were cut and they are just left with an old Guy. Literally. I love the Guy jokes, btw.

    • Branagin77 Branagin77 says:

      Ridley probably thought he’d get love because it worked for Gary Oldman in Hannibal, but agreed old guy make up kind of cheesy. Except for the part he get nailed by the big guy and he’s laying there with a huge knot on his head.
      IMAX 3D No Better way to see this Movie!!

  4. MaxPower MaxPower says:

    Judging from the clip above, I’d say someone owes DC a check for stealing the design of The Sandman’s (Gaiman’s) helmet. Like, it straight up is the same helmet.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Not sure if you’re serious. The still image from the video above is the Space Jockey, first seen in 1979′s ALIEN. Gaimain’s SANDMAN debuted in 1989.

    • MaxPower MaxPower says:

      @Paul Sadly, I was being serious. Now I feel foolish and I’ll-informed. It’s been over a decade since I’ve watched Alien apparently, but if it helps, I have listened to every one of the retrospectives on FuzzyTypewriter and thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing you and Dave talk about Prometheus.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      In fairness, the Space Jockey is seen only briefly in ALIEN. I’m probably overestimating its legend as I’ve been living in those movies for the past two months.

      Quite glad you’re getting a kick out of the shows. The Prometheus discussion should be up on Sunday evening.

    • MaxPower MaxPower says:

      Paul, I know this isn’t the forum for it, but I’ll make it quick, during one of the podcasts (Alien3) you and Dave briefly touched on The Name of the Rose, and I personally would love to hear you guys spend at least an hour on that. Also, as always, the review above is wonderfully written, thanks for all the quality work you do here.

  5. I saw it last Saturday (UK Dweller) and was blown away by it.

    With The Avengers and now Prometheus, this Summer is shaping up to possibly even beat ’08.

    I loved the retro feel it had, and the sequence *SPOILERS* with Fassbender cabling out to rescue Rapace, Marshall-Green and a big head, really made me think of 2001. There was a tangibility to the ship and moon that was very satisfying. Also the surgery scene. Woah!

    The last little scene with the Alien alien being born definitely felt like the kind of closing that suggests a sequel. Whether or not that is just a little wink to series fans, y’know: here’s-where-this-creature-started-and-you-know-Alien-happens-next-chronologically, or a, like cornflakes mentioned; Prometheus 2, I don’t know.

    It should be a beautiful BD come the time, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again. Plus any others we may see in the future. (Fingers Crossed).

    P.S. Theron’s character: Android, or not?

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Re: your P.S., I’d say “not.”

    • itsbecca itsbecca says:

      To PS – I’d say not, but I personally thought the resemblance between the two was a very purposeful choice, and not just by the director to make people ask that question. I think it was a decision by Weyland. Which is based on nothing, but I liked the thought.

  6. CaeuZokul CaeuZokul says:

    Thanks for the (not so spoiler-ish) review, Paul. I can’t see it this weekend, but plan to soon. Your thoughts on the film leave me yearning to see this more than ever.

    I was a ‘first-nighter’ in ’79, and I can remember waiting in line for the next screening in Time Square, when halfway through the wait, a middle aged couple stumbled out, long before the rest of the crow. The wife bent over and lost everything she had eaten that day in front of the NY souvenir shop next door! From that cay forward, the movie’s tag line for me has been “In Space No One Can Hear You Puke.”

  7. SteenAR SteenAR says:

    Such a fantastic movie. I spent the majority of it just saying “What the hell?”, “Holy shit!”, and “Oh my god…”. There was a ton of excellent connective tissue explained in this without feeling like a contrived prequel. It was it’s own story that simply connected to the Alien movies really well.

    Quick question though. How was the 3D? I only saw it in 2D but I can’t remember if this was filmed in 3D or just converted.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      It was filmed in 3D. I’m not typically a proponent for live action 3D films, but I think it really added something here. It’s especially cool with all the HUDs and projections on screen through so much of the movie. I’d recommend 3D or IMAX 3D screenings to anyone willing to pay the premium.

    • dgazzuolo dgazzuolo says:

      Supposedly Ridley Scott actually directed with 3D glasses on…when directing through his monitors.

    • SteenAR SteenAR says:

      That’s awesome to hear! I’ve seen it twice in 2D now. I think I’ll make my next viewing a 3D one. :)

  8. mrcozdude mrcozdude (@mrcozdude) says:

    Reading comics at the mo, So I will have to come back to read this properl,y but a 4.5 is high! I was bitterly disappointed by the film and so will look forward to reading this propely later.

  9. Mono0521 Mono0521 says:

    I have seen and read everything in the Alien franchise. So to me the movie was just ok. The movie looked fantastic though. I just didn’t care for the story so much. Space Jockey and his plan is some what true to the books. So I enjoyed that. I found myself laughing more then anything at the people in the movie and never really care for any of the characters or what happened to them. Maybe it was the script or editing. So all in all it was a ok movie.

    • Burritoclock Burritoclock says:

      You sir are exactly right. Bland, idiot characters. The dumbest “scientists” in existence. Forced symbolism and themes… Sure did look purty though!

  10. BoneMachine BoneMachine says:

    This was my most anticipated movie going into Summer but as I left the cinema, I realised that the sinking feeling in my stomach that was present for most of the movie wasn’t fear or dread but bitter disappointment. No doubt it may be one of the best looking films of the year but the characters and script are simply piss poor bar David (a great performance that proves why The Fass is one of the best actors today).
    I felt the problem was it was stuck in a halfway house between being an Alien prequel and tackling the larger themes Scott is so clearly fascinated about. It shuns a lot of the Alien mythology in an attempt to meditate on where life began. Such a fresh take on a franchise is laudable and I was completely open to a film that explored non-xenomorph areas of the alien Universe but the problem is that the script simply doesn’t have enough depth or substance to keep me captivated, bar a couple of ominous scenes of dialogue. Which basically means that in a movie meant to explore our beginnings I’m left just wanting to see Aliens fuck shit up.

    SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT:
    It’s made worse by the blatant sequel baiting that denies us an answer to one of the key questions the movie raises (aka: why the fuck did the engineers create us only to try and wipe us out?). Since all the characters bar David are so trite, that central mystery was one of the only things I had to hold on to, and instead the movie just shrugs its’ shoulders and ends.
    I totally get that the point may be that some things we will never know about the universe,etc. but since all the character arcs and development are so poor, all it managed to do was leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

    • BoneMachine BoneMachine says:

      Apologies for the rant but none of my friends have seen it and I needed to air my discontent some way!

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Here’s my thing about the characters. We know as much or more about these people as we did the cast of ALIEN. Or any of those films.

      I’m willing to give Scott and company time to answer the Engineer questions in future films. If others aren’t as willing, I get that. But personally, I like the lingering questions.

    • Mono0521 Mono0521 says:

      I felt the same way. Went home and watch Alien and getting ready to watch Aliens now.

      So many plot-holes in the movie. But you ranted enough and I don’t want to spoil the movie for others.

    • BoneMachine BoneMachine says:

      See I’m in a minority because I way prefer Aliens over Alien. Cameron’s film is my revered xeno movie, not Scott’s original. And one of the things that had that Alien didn’t is a cast of characters that were far more engaging than anyone on the Nostromos. Yes Ripley was the only one to go through any real development (although are perceptions do change of characters like Burke and Bishop) but at least Cameron gives the rest of his one-note grunts memorable lines and entertaining banter.
      I felt in the face of such a dour, mysterious plot, Lindelof missed an opportunity to have any interesting interplay between the crew

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Understood. I’m not a big space marine fan, honestly. I find a lot of that stuff grating.

      I think we’re going to start looking at ALIEN as a fork in the road. You can follow Ripley and the xenomorphs to ALIENS or track back with the space jockey to PROMETHEUS and follow this other path. Not that I dislike the xenomorph stuff–I love it–but there’s more to that world that I want to explore.

    • BoneMachine BoneMachine says:

      See, I went into this movie willing to follow the path Spaihts, Scott and Lindelof took us and like you, I do think there’s still a lot of fascinating non-xeno material to be mined from the franchise. But I just didn’t think what Prometheus had to offer was very captivating and I hope that if Prometheus 2 comes along, there’s more depth involved. But hey different strokes n all that. Very well written review as always. I find your stuff comes across more as personal essays than reviews which is way more interesting than “Actor X was good. Scene Y was awesome, etc.”

    • tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

      Yeah, this film is beautiful, but the script has serious flaws. There are so many logic defying decisions by characters that I gave up trying to suspend my disbelief. What makes Alien a classic is that it has a simple and elegant premise and is executed with grace and style. Prometheus has style, but little ability to communicate its ideas clearly and effectively. I’m sorry, but poor storytelling does not make a film profound or mysterious.

    • ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

      It’s been a while since I saw “Aliens,” but I truthfully thought the amount of character development in this movie was about equal to that one.

    • markavo markavo says:

      SPOILERS:
      *
      *
      *
      *
      *
      My take on the theme and the sequel was that it hinted, through David, that there is a mistaken assumption that the Space Jokey’s were humanities engineers. David clearly wanted nothing for his creator and was even hurt to be told he was “created because we could”. Without any more meaning to life he both hated and cared for his “engineer”. In the end he wanted Weyland to take from his life what David considered his life boiled down to – and that was “nothing”.

      I can only assume what it was that David said to the one remaining “giant” that caused him to violently kill everyone but I think David go the exact reaction he wanted. When all was said and done, David knew that Shaw, with her “great survival instinct”, would be his best chance at survival. Shaw has something in her character that David connects with and between that “creator/creation/based on “previous life” theme will be interesting to watch if there is a sequel.

      My guess is that, if there is a sequel to Prometheus, it will play with the idea that the Jockey’s mistake Earth for the birth place of their engineers and want some corrupted end to Earth as revenge/etc.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      @markavo: But the opening scene shows the Engineer drinking the black liquid on Earth and disintegrating into the water. That clearly implies they created life on Earth. How could they then mistake Earth for their creators homeworld?

  11. Mono0521 Mono0521 says:

    Paul I think your right on the Alien/Aliens fork in the road. I’m on the side of Aliens. Xenomorphs and Cameron just hard to beat IMO. Also I have to say Aliens was the first movie as a teen that I watched over and over agian.

    • 1aurien 1aurien says:

      I don’t think it’s necessary to choose one or the other. I loved “Aliens” and will watch it many times in the future, I’m sure. I’m also looking forward to a possible Prometheus sequel as its own story, still connected to the Alien universe. It’s not an X vs Y scenario for me.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I didn’t mean it as a one-or-the-other scenario.

    • Mono0521 Mono0521 says:

      I’m saying I liked the movie. I just didn’t love it. I might pick it up on Blu-ray. But I can wait for it to go on sale. Sadly I have all the movies from the Alien franchise in my collection. Even the crappy AVP movies and Prometheus is so much better then those movies.

  12. Branagin77 Branagin77 says:

    HARDCORE SCI-FI!! I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!

    Only wish was that they left the guy in the chair when alien pops out that way it would have totally tied in with Alien…

    GO SEEEE IT!!!

  13. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    I saw it this afternoon and really enjoyed it. I’m not certain I loved it though. I kind of want to see it again to solidify my feelings. This film is beautiful to look at, some great visuals and tones throughout. I was most impressed though by the performances. Fassbender just delivers every damn second he’s on the screen. I had a nagging suspicion that he looked familiar for some reason and once that Lawrence of Arabia scene played, recognition dawned. The appearance is uncanny and the mood that that evokes throughout the film adds to the eeriness. Rapace does an excellent job, and as you said, is a worthy successor to Sigourney Weaver. I thought Theron was excellent too and her”was she/wasn’t” she portrayal added some nice subtext. I can’t even say enough things about Idris Elba and his scene stealing awesomeness. It was really well cast. I felt, though, that Guy Pearce was underused and ultimately didn’t give the strong performance I’ve come to expect. (I was kind of hoping for a Lance Hendriksen cameo in the role, but alas.)

    That said, I felt the scripting was the weakest aspect. There are some absolute clunker lines and some poorly written exposition. In particular, and SPOILER, I felt that the scene between Theron and Guy Pearce was fumbled in the script (aside from an excellent line) but was redeemed by the performances and Scott’s homaging of himself. As well, the reveal that Dr. Shaw gives us at the midpoint of the film just sort of hangs there, even Rapace’s acting couldn’t make up for the heavy-handedness.

    I want to see it again. I think I could love it, but it’s certainly a strong film and a welcome addition to the franchise. I’d still rate the original and Aliens over this, but it’s at least in the same league unlike Alien Cubed or Resurrection.

  14. Scrawl Scrawl says:

    I really enjoyed it, but found it to be very compressed. I look forward to seeing the 3 hour long director’s cut this xmas. If anyone has seen the theatrical vs director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven, you know what I mean.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I imagine we are in the extreme minority on this one, but I’m right there with you. I want more of this!

    • I think or at least hope you guys, including me, are in the majority. I was disappointed because it felt trimmed. Very similar to the theatrical cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Didnt like theatrical cut of that either but i loved the extended.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      I totally agree with this. I really did not like Prometheus but I’d love to see the 3 hour cut. It felt like a lot was left out of this version. Kingdom of Heaven is a great example because the theatrical cut was a by the numbers historical epic but the directors cut was a great film.

  15. BronxRonin BronxRonin says:

    Loved it !

  16. itsbecca itsbecca says:

    Man I feel really alone in being quite disappointed by the film. It seems to be getting very good reviews and it’s making me feel like I’m just a bit crazy. I suppose disappointed is the wrong word, because I didn’t get caught up in the hype leading up to it. I heard Ridley Scott back to directing and Damon Lindelof taking over the script and realized I wanted to see it, then spent the rest of the time with my fingers in my ears singing “La la la” at the top of my voice. Didn’t even watch a preview.

    Perhaps I was… unimpressed? Uninvolved? Basically, I still feel very much grounded for a movie that should be taking me to the stars.

    Perhaps it’s my fault, because I went in expecting to get a new story from the Alien mythos that would provide me with a quickened pulse for two hours straight. There was almost no suspense for me. Every time a problem came up it resolved itself, quickly and relatively cleanly. It lacked the crescendo of a great thriller. Problem comes, then it’s over. Problem comes, then it’s over. Mystery revealed, then it’s nullified. Big problem comes, then it’s over. Oh wait it’s not quite over, oh but yes now it is.

    On the plus side, I thought the mythos was compelling and the performances of Fassbender and Rapace were truly fantastic. Although, I will say I never at any point, including at the end of the film, understood the motivations of David. Is he just blatantly destructive because he feels no connection to humans and he has nothing to lose? Or is it just the deadly curiosity of an amoral being? Or does he actively despise the others because of their humanity? It was never clear, he mostly just seemed to serve as a catalyst to meet the expected horror quotient. So strange.

    Also, and this is a SPOILER, it annoyed me that the only people to die at the hands of the aliens were red shirts. The people we cared about ALL died at their own hands. Once is a heroic sacrifice, twice starts to become a pattern and is a bit of a disappointment.

    • tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

      You’re not alone. This is getting a lot of qualified and mediocre reviews. Pretty much everyone thinks it looks amazing and starts off with promise, but many (including me) felt like you did, unengaged and held at arms length by the storytelling.

    • peekay peekay says:

      Agree with you really :) wanted to love it, didn’t watch previews, hated the script, loved the visuals. Nobody acted in character.

      I think David was enjoying the mischief of it all, or he was in thrall of his father/creator. Or he felt he was the middle step in evolution. Or something else. I liked him, but felt he was as consequent less as everyone around him.

  17. lifesend lifesend says:

    I really liked Prometheus until the first death scene. From then on it collapsed into cliches, being only intermittently interesting. There’s a lot of fantastic imagery and I generally like the ideas it attempts to explore, it just does them poorly with boring characters. And it’s a shame this had to tie into Alien. I think it’s largely responsible for why the film fails in the end. This film is worthy of all the boos it got at my screening, not because it sucked, but because there was so much wasted potential.

  18. Slammaster23 Slammaster23 (@greenemachine3) says:

    Please, someone tell me how the ship goes from Lv-223 to Lv-426?

    • peekay peekay says:

      Sir Riddled has said in a couple of interviews that he has two sequels planned and that the next one (I think) is set on the Engineers home world (although I could be mistaken on the second point. Infered rather than quotable. Can’t even find that interview now think it was the lovefilm one…)

  19. tomistommy tomistommy says:

    This was my most anticipated movie this year and it was terrible in my opinion. Like, I would rather watch Alien: Resurrection, terrible. I was really bummed out by the whole experience. It had plot holes, some stuff was completely unexplained, characters do things that make no sense and were overall pretty bland, Besides David, who’s potential is pretty much wasted. also, *SPOILERS, I guess?* the alien space ship is turned on by a fucking flute. Really lame. overall, I thought it was a really gorgeous looking movie that was really poorly written.

  20. peekay peekay says:

    Don’t disagree with the review but do disagree with the score. So much of Prometheud worked yet on a shallow, gaudy, merely beautiful level and, as a movie related to one of the very best committed to film and memory it falls short on key areas. What was good about Alien? Simplicity and believability, the suspension of disbelief was wafer theen. In Woemetheus is there a single character with the believability or like ability of Brett, Dallas, Lambert and the rest? The bet wanted to be the non-prequels version of the revenue share but felt like it had been written by a computer who couldn’t write dialogue to save lives….

    Apart from this site I’m a fan of a fab games/media site and the difference between the Avengers and Promethwtf threads could not be more stark. In the Avengers thread fans were sharing favourite moments, ideas, one liners etc. in the whodidtheis thread it’s almost all ‘why did this happen?’ comments. So much In the film makes no sense, so many characters acted out of character in the next but one scene, a trillion dollar ship is staffed by cardboard misfits. A pod for a woman (?) only works on a man and so on. Bad old man makeup for no reason. So many things we have to ignore, which is a trait of a bad sequel, not what we expected from this.

    My main gripe? Script. Loved the rest. I almost facepalmed when Noomy and not Lambert were scanning the head and not Lambert said exactly the same thing that was projected on the screen. Ugly dialogue and bearing in mind how lovingly every thing else was done its heartbreaking to see such an integral thing so poorly executed.

    Someone please tell me that hasselhoff isn’t writing Bladerunner 2.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Pretty sure that pod wasn’t actually meant for Vickers. Maybe she thought that, but considering who was also on the ship…

    • peekay peekay says:

      Well, yeah but if so why was the pod where it was rather than where It could have been. To be honest it was there. Ecause the plot needed it to be which was a little bit Russell T Davies (euphemism for lazy plotting).

      There was so much in the film that happened because the film needed it to happen rather than any form of organic revealing of events which just feels like a huge shame.

    • androidmoser androidmoser says:

      I have the same problem with the pod (or Magic Medicine Box, as I like to think of it)! If the M.M.B. was for Weyland, why wasn’t it in his secret chamber? The only reason for it be in Vicker’s chamber is so that Shaw knows of its existence and can use it later. The whole man-only thing screams screenwriting 101 complication to me: don’t make it too easy for the protagonist! Yet no one comes after Shaw or tries to stop her, even though she basically escaped custody? What?!? David was willing to kill a person to see what a dot of black goo would do, so I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t leave Shaw’s side when she had a fetus growing that quickly. His “dad” would have kept in cryo for a few more hours just fine…

    • angeltheone says:

      I think David was trying to prove that he could create life when he gave the guy the drink. After all the jibber the guy gave David that humans could do it, we created you cause we can. I think David knew what would happen.

  21. JDC JDC says:

    I thought it was a decent sci-fi, existential horror movie, but nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is. Fassbender, Rapace, Theron, and, to a lesser extent, Elba (merely because of less screentime) all seemed to think they were in a better movie.

    SPOILERS

    Some of the dialogue was utterly terrible; the script felt like a first draft. Vickers’ really blunt “FATHER” actually made me cringe.

    Holloway, the boyfriend of Rapace’s character? What did he actually do? He was completely useless. And I know it’s sci-fi cliche tradition by this point, but removing your helmets? Seriously? For one thing, you’re in an Alien movie — you need to protect your faces!

    The geologist and biologist were pretty dumb too. Flip-flopping between being typical redshirts and being genre-savvy. Bascially just whatever the story needed them to be without any substance of their own.

    I did like that it left the central questions (who made us and why?) unaswered, and that it was mostly seperate from the Alien franchise. As Paul said, “linking” films have become really trite. We don’t want another third act rush to fill in the blanks like in Episode III. In fact, if you try and reconcile it with the other movies, it makes LESS sense.

    But overall, I liked it. I’ve even seen it twice. I’d give it a solid 3/5. I just don’t think it’s a masterpiece.

    • vadamowens vadamowens says:

      You spent additional money on a 3/5 movie? You must have more money than I do.

    • JDC JDC says:

      I saw it with friends first, then my dad treated me to a second viewing. I wouldn’t see a 3/5 movie twice normally either.

    • peekay peekay says:

      I want to see it again, just to work out if my dislike is fair (and also I saw it in 2d and wanted to see it in 3).

      That said: 3/5 seems fair as a score.

  22. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    ah

  23. sunhero sunhero says:

    great fun, looked fantastic. fassbender was scary and compelling.

  24. azrael1981 azrael1981 says:

    i loved it! cant think of anything else that will come close to making me feel the way this film did.i know theres alot of us who dont really care for the 3d trend thats going on but prometheus in 3d imax etx sound is an absolute must. i cant wait to go see it again(and again).

  25. Dialogue aside, I found the movie to be a wonderful antidote to the post-Apocalyptic sci-fi/horror we’ve seen so much of lately. I’m sick of the Quest to Survive, and I welcome the heroism of people like Shaw, who remind us of the importance of the Search for Truth and Knowledge. Good stuff.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Well said.

    • peekay peekay says:

      Agreed. That said:dialogue is fairly important to a film.,,

    • angeltheone says:

      I just had a hard time unless I missed it. Why does Shaw think they made us? She never showed any proof any data, just drawings in caves showing guys looking up to taller guys pointing to something. That doesn’t really tell me they created us. Her point just comes out of nowhere with no explanation then the fact she wants to be right.

  26. wulfstone wulfstone says:

    Scott clearly spent a lot of time on the visuals I wish he’d spent a bit more on the script.

  27. It was okay. I have no complaints about the first half, great tension, just where it ended up going I didn’t find that intriguing.

  28. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    I was completely drawn in by this movie and enjoyed it a hell of a lot (I’ll be honest — as soon as David dyed his hair to look more like Peter O’Toole as ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ I was a goner). I’m even a little reluctant to analyze it after enjoying it so much, because I don’t want to get hung on the parts that inevitably didn’t quite hang together. Basically, loved the cast, loved the visuals, loved the pacing.

    I did wonder if Shaw’s pro-active, no-nonsense approach to the alien pregnancy was in part Scott’s rebuttal of what happened to Ripley in 3. . .like, “If that had been my movie I wouldn’t have let that happen to her!”

  29. HEAVY SPOILERS!!!!
    I thought it was completely disappointing but after asking my friends how they felt I’m of the belief that it brings up an important question about certain films “Are themes more important than the narrative?” I thought overall many great themes and presented to us, but the actual story was weak. The engineers are inherently interesting but after the initial questions they bring out in the viewer we see that in terms of plot they are completely devoid of motivation. Why did the engineers put life on Earth? Why did they want to kill humans? Why did they want humans to find them? These are the questions the characters and myself were asking the plot to answer. None of them were answered. The film asks many questions and brings up a great deal of themes but it doesnt answer or explore them. I’m not really looking for a movie that asks itself questions that I can ask. I want a movie that offers interesting answers.

    • That being said, the scene where Shaw extracts the alien from herself is great.

    • TurdSandwich TurdSandwich says:

      I think David somewhat answers your questions during the movie.
      *******SPOILER ALERT********

      Question 1: Why did they put life on Earth? Holloway and David ponder why the Space jockeys would create humans, and David asks “Well,why did your kind create me?” Holloways responds “Because we could”. I’m not sure it’s the answer you’re looking for, but I think it’s the closest you’ll get.

      Question 2: Why do they want to kill humans? David’s response to Shaw when she asks is “Any answer is irrelevant” but later he states, “Sometimes in order to create, you have to destroy” maybe we were only the betas, and they wanted to move on to phase two.

      I don’t know why they wanted Humans to find them, but I think it was just Shaw and Holloway’s theory, and after all the shit hits the fan Shaw says, “We were wrong about coming here”

      I hope that helps, I don’t know if I’m absolutely correct, but that is what I gather from the film at least.

    • Actually now that ive had some time to cool down. im starting to come around on it. @turdsandwich, good points and yes it does help. I also didnt know sequels were planned (ive been on media blackout for this one.) sorry if my initial reactions came off as gripe-y. I had this way too hyped (my fault). The characters to me still feel a little flat (not including the awesome David). At this stage it is a flawed masterpiece.

    • NathanNicdao NathanNicdao says:

      Question 1:

      They didn’t mean to.
      They were exploring Earth then the alien died and one strand of DNA survived. This one, I think is where we as humans started evolving from cells, then getting bigger as water creatures. Still Darwinian in a way.

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      The visiting engineer didn’t just die – he intentionally drank something that looked a lot like the contents of the urns, which caused him to degenerate and die. His reaction to ingesting it was not unlike Charlie’s, only much faster. The manner in which he did it was almost like a sacrament, very ceremonial.

      So, if his consumption of the liquid was intentional, was his death and the subsequent spreading of his DNA intentional as well, or an accident? It depends on whether or not the engineers knew what would happen if the material were ingested.

      If they knew what the result would be, there are two possibilities: he knew that would happen and did it willingly; or he was told to do it, did not know what would happen, and did it willingly. Maybe he was a reckless rebel acting on his own, truly a Prometheus who stole the gift of life from these space gods. Or maybe the other engineers selected him to be the sacrificial guinea pig, sort of an Adam figure whose progeny would become humanity. In either of these cases, the creation of life was intentional.

      Another possibility is that none of them knew what would happen when he drank it. Whether he did it on his own, or again was chosen to test out the liquid, he died, his DNA was scattered, and we came into being.

      All this brings us to the “why” – why would they want to wipe out humanity? Whether they knew about us or not, it’s quite possible that in coming to look for them, we called attention to ourselves. Once we presented a threat, once we got their attention, we needed to be culled. Sort of like “First Contact” but without a happy ending. Or, if they knew about us, the engineers could have been planning a return to simply “clean up their mess” – the mess being humanity.

      I think a lot of Ridley Scott’s films, especially his sci-fi ones, have been less about providing answers and more about making the audience ask questions and find the answers themselves. This movie is definitely in that category, along with Blade Runner.

    • peekay peekay says:

      I’m in no way against a film that ask questions and lets the audience argue over the truth or the outcomes. In fact if Prometheus had delivered this I would have been delighted… As it was most of my questions stem from the idiocies of poor script execution (covered to death here and in a hundred other sites/forums, not to mention Red letter medians excellent questions video…)

      Also, let’s be honest, the questions Prometheus asked were neither that well executed nor described. Who made us, well, other films and books have done it better and the film never asked it in a satisfying manner. If the Engineers made us and then got cross as we killed space Jesus… Well…. That just sounds like a sixties stage show in spandex. If it had been an examination of us as lab rat experiments, built as part of a more extreme and violent ecosystem? Well, no point mulling over what might have been.

  30. rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

    Paul please mention why is it the lv thing is different, Alien LV-426 prometheu LV-223, i gave this movie 5 out of 5

  31. rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

    as you said its not the same jockey since david said there a more ships like the one that almost went to earth doi to me, right?

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Yeah, we presumably haven’t met the Jockey from ALIEN yet. Scott has said it will take two more movies to get to that point.

  32. rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

    Prometheus the year 2089 Alien the year 2122 aliens the year 2179 alien 3 the year 2179 alien 4 2381, wow

  33. rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

    thank you Paul, when will the podcast be out? i know its sunday but what time?

  34. rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

    i will be waiting since as far as i know your the only podcast that will be talking about it

  35. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    My problems are not necessarily with the story but whether or not this can be seen to completion. Two more movies is a lot of time and work and even the risk of it not being completed would make me, as a director, want to make one movie with a definitive ending answering most questions. I have more questions than answers now.

  36. TurdSandwich TurdSandwich says:

    Great review Paul. I just saw this tonight, and I thought it was fantastic. The set and costume design were perfect, the cinematography was gorgeous, and Fassbender was amazing. Some very intriguing questions about creation, life and reason are raised. I personally don’t mind so much when things are left for interpretation by the audience, it makes for some great post-movie discussions. I may have to see it again in 3D.

  37. SpiderTitan SpiderTitan says:

    Finally a sci-fi flm that rivals Inception! This was beyond brilliance! I truly believe it to be better than Alien & am seriously considering whether or not its better than Blade Runner. Possibly Ridley Scott’s best work ever? Perhaps, but for my money, this is sure to be regarded as a truly magnificent classic of Science Fiction in the years to come, IMO.

  38. USPUNX USPUNX says:

    I seem to be in the minority here but I was amazingly let down by this film. Almost no plot, tons of interesting questions with no even attempt to answer them. Trained scientists (presumably at the absolute apex of their respective fields since they were selected to be a part of a trillion dollar expedition to at alien world) who act like idiot tourists. Seriously? You first professional instinct is to poke the black alien goo? To poke the aggressive, hissing alien reptile thing? If a biologist on Earth found a new species his or her first instinct would NEVER be to touch it but this guy wants to poke the alien reptile. That just illustrates the overall problem with this film, none of it makes sense. There is little to no plot or character development, and much of the individual character’s behavior seems unmotivated or even non-sensical. My wife and I spent at least half an hour this afternoon after watching this complianong about the amount of plot holes. And worst of all the space jockeys. We’ve been waiting over thirty years to see one on screen and learn it secrets and the most interesting thing Scott, Lindelof, an company can think to do with it is have it go on a killing spree like a generic movie monster. I was excited about this film for probably close to two years. Honestly can’t think of a time I have been more let down by a film.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      Oh, I should say visually I found it stunning. Great cinematography, set design, and special effects; but sadly they couldn’t cover up the myriad of other gaping flaws.

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      If you’re expecting answers in a Ridley Scott sci-fi film, you’re gonna be disappointed!

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      I guess that’s kind of true! I feel like the questions raised in Blade Runner were much more existential and thematic compared to the very specific unanswered plot questions in Prometheus. That’s what I disliked.

  39. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Update: The Fuzzy Typewriter podcast discussion of Prometheus is now available.

    http://fuzzytypewriter.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/ft-podcast-episode-prometheus/

  40. USPUNX USPUNX says:

    If you’ve seen the film this is hysterical. I know nothing about the site but I stumbled across this and think its great. http://enchantedmitten.blogspot.com/2003/12/reading-previous-entries-in-this-series.html

  41. tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

    Here’s the best point by point takedown of the film I’ve read yet by two science fiction authors, Howard Waldrop and Lawrence Person.

    http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2012/06/howard-waldrop-and-lawrence-person-review-prometheus/

    Just one of their many good lines, “Ridley Scott only made one mistake: He chose to film this script.”

    • smo5000 smo5000 says:

      lol, over-speculation abound.

      “An exegetical problem (caused by filmmaking itself, not just this script): The movie is set in 2094. The technology is more advanced than the technology in Alien (1979), which comes later, chronologically.” -Nostromo = commercial towing spaceship. Prometheus = Exploratory spaceship….they are not the same thing.

      Learn-2-Sci-Fi.

  42. TomiH TomiH says:

    No! No, there might be enough oxygen in the air, but there might also be airborne alien spores and other stuff we scientists know about. Guys, we have enough oxygen in these tanks, we don’t need to take the helmets off! Stop it, I mean what is the advantage? The helmets have these cool view screens and shit and the glass is super clean and it’s actually very roomy for a space helmet! We spent 2 years and a trillion dollars on this mission and one foreign bacterium can… Aw… aw why? Why? WE’RE ON AN ALIEN PLANET WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS?!?

  43. http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html#cutid1

    Really interesting article that I’ve seen spreading around. Good read on analyzing the allegories and themes of the film.

  44. peekay peekay says:

    Just listened to the podcast. Good fun as always.

    Paul you mentioned the idea of bringing Jesus into the mix are you aware of this interview?

    http://m.movies.com/movie-news/ridley-scott-prometheus-interview/8232

    Anyhow, didnt disagree with anything you said but still can’t get away from the dissapointment that th crew acted like idiots, things happened because they had to, people did things out of character to drive the narrative, the dialogue was abysmal and so on. That’s worth more than .5 of a score to me especially when 80% o the audience were likely (mentally) screaming at the screen shouting solutions.

    • Book Book says:

      Was very excited for this film.
      Was very dissapointed in this film.
      I agree 100% with peekay. I was screaming mentally at the screen at some of the stupidity and terrible acting/dialogue. Halloway was the center of most of my frustrations, and the rolling spaceship squash at the end may look cool but just pisses me off.

  45. smo5000 smo5000 says:

    I agree 100% with this review, great movie. People really need to stop freaking out about the whole “taking off their helmets” thing, did you guys watch the same movie? Taking off their helmets was not a big deal, they didnt all explode and then it cut to ending credits…so why act like it’s completely unbelievable in a SCI-FI movie?

    This is one of those movies where people make up ridiculous expectations in their head which could never be met. How exactly were the character’s out of character if you dont know them personally? They’re fic-tion-al.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPIsSNEUmc4

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      Its not just the taking off f the helmets, that is only an example of why this film is flawed. It’s the fact that trained scientists, explorers, and astronauts behaving unbelievable and unmotivated ways. The helmet thing bothered me but it could be overlooked if not for the myriad of other flaws. Unbelievalbe characters and a flawed premise and plot lead to an very unsatisfying film. Yes it’s science fiction but where was the science? Visually it was stunning but everything else was a mess.

    • Being a scientist, I believe they accurately portrayed the geologist and biologist correctly. Other than that i have no clue what fields the two super scientist were in…

      for those xkcd fans out there
      http://xkcd.com/435/

      geologist would fit somewhere between biologist and chemist.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      I’m not a scientist but I find it hard to believe a biologist’s first reaction would be to 1) Turn and run away for the perfectly preserved and intact body of the first alien ever discovered, and 2) poke at the aggressive, hissing alien reptile he knows nothing about.

    • smo5000 smo5000 says:

      Oh you mean the tropes that are found in all horror movies?

      They’re the first crew to travel to that section of the galaxy, the first crew to find true alien life, and the first crew excavating alien materials. God forbid they act like fish out of water in any way.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      I dont think just because a weak characterization is common in a certain genre that it should be continually accepted as plausible behavior for characters in that genre. I didn’t go see Prometheus for a cookie cutter, trope filled genre film; I was looking for more. And these characters are not just trained scientists in their respective fields, they are also astronauts and explorers who have been trained to deal with uncertainity. It is stated that Weyland himself personally hired all the scientists on th mission. Pretty sure the psych checks, background checks, etc would have been incredibly extensive to try and avoid just such a reaction. I mean not everyone ran away, only two out of six people ran. My problem is the person who should have been the most intrinsicly interested, the biologist, turn and fled from a dead corpse almost instantly, but then three scenes later he shows absolutely no fear when confronted with a hissing and very aggressive alien reptile. How does that behavior make sense? It’s exactly like someone said above, so many things happened in this film because the plot needed them to happen rather than in any kind of believable and organic fashion.

  46. Athegreatest says:

    Has anyone an explanation why the humanoid alien drink the black substance in the beginning. Does that lead to anything later on? Just trying to make sure I did not miss anything.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      I wondered the same because when I watched the film I thought that took place on the alien planet but I having thought about it I believe that was meant to represent the Engineers seeding their DNA into Earth’s biosphere. But that in itself introduces a host of other problems.

    • Athegreatest says:

      Thanks USPUNX! I think that makes a lot of sense. I guess I was distracted by the funny visualization of DNA falling apart and being recreated. Is it supposed to be our DNA or are they starting the evolutionary process from the beginning, which would not make a lot of sense if they are already so close to us.

    • itsbecca itsbecca says:

      I had so many issues with the seeding the world thought that when I was trying to figure out that first scene I literally argued myself out of keeping that as a plausible explanation. Then looking online it seems to be the nearly universal interpretation. There’s an amusing graphic floating around about how it makes zero sense whatsoever for us to be a 100% dna match, even if they didn’t go the evolution route (which I think they did.)

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      Exactly, sooooo many issues. So if I read that scene, and the film, correctly, humans still evolved naturally but under the ‘guidance’ of the Engineers, so the millions and millions of years of fossil record are real and not created and planted by the Engineers. So when that Engineer drank the liquid and dissolved himself into the water it would have been pre-primordial ooze right? Would the Earth really have looked like that? Perfectly risen mountains, beautiful flowing rivers, lush forests, and thick rolling clouds? Wouldn’t have been a little more, you know, primordial? Were there forests before the ooze? Were weather systems then similar to now? Were mountains and landmasses fully formed? I don’t know my pre-prehistoric Earth history too well but that Earth looked an awful lot like our Earth considering that scene took place millions and millions of years before the dinosaurs.

    • itsbecca itsbecca says:

      And from a genetic side it’s pure nonsense. You can’t just throw [disintegrating] DNA down on the ground and say “LIFE! I COMMAND THEE!” That’s fundamentally not the components to cause simple cells to form, they’d actually need RNA. And I’m not even a 100% genetic match to my mother, let alone a species that I, in large part randomly, evolved from BILLIONS of years ago. Nonsense science-babble.

      To be fair, I don’t expect my sci-fi to be entirely grounded in science. But they have to be careful, because if they do enough to pull me out of the film (and I think Holloway, the geologist and the biologist all do that for me), that’s when I can’t suspend my disbelief any longer and my mind starts going into these place of scrutiny.

    • skydog skydog says:

      The questions I have are as follows:

      1.) What’s the relationship between the black ooze and the worm/grubs?

      2.) Why did the Scottish looking punk rocker dude turn into a big overgrown zombie when the snake alien entered him? Why didn’t it incapacitate him and then use him to propagate the species which is the norm. (Notice how his suit grew to accommodate his new size…a la Plastic Man…Har.)

      3.) Why didn’t the main dude deconstruct like the engineer/space jockey did in the beginning when the black ooze was introduced to his system? I noticed that the alien that came out of his eye looked more like a translucent amoeba as opposed to the grub that i’d've expected.

      4.) I’ve read pontifications about how there may have been a civil war between the space jockey/engineers and that’s why their holograms were running around for their lives. But I seem to remember that when the team examined their bodies, someone said how their corpses had a chest cavity protrusion which, to me, alluded to an alien that popped out of them. Did I imagine this? Moreover, I noticed no alien pods. I only noticed black ooze pods which aren’t “alien.”

      I liked the movie but it wasn’t all that scientifically accurate, there were a lot if discrepancies and dead ends. It leaves more questions than answers. Kind of frustrating.

  47. itsbecca itsbecca says:

    I’m curious why no one seems to be talking about what was happening during the playback scene. That’s the mystery I’m curious about, not the “Why do they want to kill us?” line, because that will obviously be served later. How did all the engineers die? There were no loose aliens, there were no dead alien bodies (from engineers defending themselves, or from starvation after their engineer food supply ran out), and why on earth would’ve the headless engineer have been running away from aliens to a room full of alien pods? Also, there did not appear to be any missing pods, and what triggered this all to be recorded?

    • Based on the my interpretation of the movie and some insight from the podcast ( which I hope you’ve listened to already) Here is my explanation of what may have transpired in those few unclear moments…

      Why do they want to kill us? Maybe they all didn’t want to. Maybe there were two factions within the “engineer” species, those who want to destroy/conquer/enslave and the other who would want to create/facilitate life. It was never explained within the movie why Earth was the destination so it may be safe to assume for resources and the little armada of xenoseedlings could have been their weapon to suppress local lifeforms, assuming they had no prior knowledge of current inhabitants (probably unlikely with the level of tech they had).

      Which leads us into your next question, How they all died? I’m going to assume it was an internal battle, which explains the recorded images found in the ship, a ships log if you will, as well as the reason for all the bodies being piled up in one place (sorta mass grave for their “brothers”). Also, since these were just ships scattered across the moon/planet, it is safe to assume that not all the engineers are dead. As for the remaining engineers in various “pods”, I think that these served the same purpose as the cryogenic chambers the humans used for space travel. So they may have not been escape pods thus why no pods were missing.

      As for the beginning of the movie, I want to believe that the engineer’s who were the ones that wanted to create life eventually traveled among the stars finding planets and spreading their genetic material. Maybe to ensure life, they engineered the ooze thing at the beginning to virally infect and spread the engineer’s genetic material to cells already existing on that said planet so that they may be better adaptable to said environment. The engineers may have been a dying species and this was the only way to ensure their existence.

      This was just something i did with the last hour at work as i dont do anything but read comics and read forums. Just some random thoughts of the movie to see if anyone thinks similarly to myself. The only question I was left with after seeing and listening/reading the podcast/forums is if this was a setup to two more movies, what are they going to be about. Another two hours of just Shaw and David having a philosophical arguement about life as they travel to an unknown planet? Somehow other engineer’s wake up around the planet and head out on a warpath? The Weyland corp sends out another ship just for funzies? I liked the movie but a setup for more is kinda daunting.

    • itsbecca itsbecca says:

      Wait, wait. So you’re positing that they created the goo as a means of asexual reproduction, which actually kind of makes sense because it *is* established that the xenomorphs take on genetic traits of the host in incubates in during the chestburster phase of its life cycle…

      That is interesting. It’s similar to the idea of them using it to create life, but a more selfish twist. I like it and that’s the first time I’ve heard that theory. Although, I still generally hold the belief that they didn’t create the goo. I believe they found it and decided to harness it for their own purposes. I really don’t think the horrific and terrifying being that is the xenomorph is the ideal partner to continue on your genetic line. If they found it, it makes sense that they’re just taking what was available. If they MADE that, well that would probably be a failed experiment and they’d keep trying for something… um… less rapey, bitey and slashy.

  48. JohnNevets says:

    OK,

    With all this talk of them taking off there helmets, did anyone figure out where they put them after they take them off? I can’t believe they just leave them lying on the ground, and yet I don’t see them hanging off them anywhere? And with that fishbowl design (that I really like) they don’t look like they collapse down.

    I know there are bigger plot holes then this in there, but for some reason this is the one that really pulled me out of the movie.

    Thanks in advance if anyone has a clue on this one,

    John

    • itsbecca itsbecca says:

      This isn’t a “It ruined the film for me!” sort of point, but it definitely was something I thought about. I remember distinctly spending several minutes during the movie debating in my head if the relief of taking off my helmet would be worth having to either carry it around, or remember where I put it down. I also noticed that they weren’t carrying them.

      Additionally, I also wondered to myself if having clean, breathable air is sufficient enough reason to take my helmet off in a new environment, because I might A) run into diseases, bacteria, contaminants. Even the simplest thing would be deadly to a body not adapted to it and B) Might harm the environment with my own diseases, bacteria, contaminants. Shaw mentions this later after her man love got the goo disease, but this is one of many things I noticed that made it really hard to believe that this group of people were trained scientists. They ran around the place with such cavalier disregard to any sort of preservation, and honestly? Their scientific curiosity was pretty restrained.

  49. chronotis chronotis says:

    I really wanted to like this movie, but it was utter crap. “That is what I choose to believe.” This is the reasoning that convinced people to go into suspended animation for two years and took on a mission where they risk their very lives. Wow, just, wow! So, I can just walk out in front of a car and “choose to believe” I will be okay. Everybody on the ship was dumb as a stump with the exception of the robot, David. Removing your masks, just because the air was breathable, uh, duh! Can we say PATHOGENS. The biologist guy goes ripe up to the evil snake thing cooing at it like it is a bunny rabbit, even after it is obviously in attack display. This guy is supposed to be a highly qualified biologist!?!?! Are you bleeping serious! Oh yeah, and by the way, you wouldn’t see water bubbles around DNA as in the scene early in the movie, you would see water molecules if you are zoomed in that much. I also like how Noomi Rapace’s character just gets up from major surgery and starts running around like nothing happened. I am willing to suspend disbelief for a good sic-fi show, but it was like this show was purposefully anti-science and pro-stupidity. I frankly found it offensive.

  50. I’ve decided Prometheus is basically Barack Obama. Expectations were a bit too high, the finished product is somewhat uneven, and the awesome stuff was really awesome even though the disappointing stuff felt like a kick to the guts. All in all, I’m hoping for a sequel.