Whether you liked the movie or not, can’t we all agree that this movie had some of the best marketing spots of the year? It’s pretty rare that a movie can release multiple trailers that shows new footage, yet doesn’t spoil what the plot will be. This movie managed to give you hints of the massive scope of the movie, without spoiling any of the plot points. The last time I was as excited for a movie as I was for Prometheus was last year’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I left feeling unfulfilled. Upon repeat viewings of that movie, I understood it was my own fault for building it up so much, so having learned my lesson, I stopped being excited for Prometheus a few weeks ago. Maybe it was the luke warm reviews it was getting that made me lower my expectations, but either way, I’m glad I realized this movie wasn’t going to reinvent cinema or anything like that. This review is going to be heavy on spoilers, so if you don’t want to read, I’ll simply say that this movie was good, but not great.
Fake Tom Hardy, Dragon Tattoo lady, and a young Magneto.
We travel across a vast landscape of rivers and mountains and waterfalls until we find a large, human-like creature disrobing near a river. He takes out a liquid, swallows it, and we then see the creature dying and falling into the water, as his body starts to disintegrate at a molecular level, but not without glimpses of the DNA restructuring. We cut to a group of scientists uncovering cave paintings in the late 21st century that match the drawings found in caves throughout the world over thousands of years. Clearly this proves people have been visited by aliens, or “engineers”, who are the people responsible for creating humans. The Weyland Corporation sends a spaceship named “Prometheus” into outer space to the hypothesized coordinates that the cave paintings suggested, and that’s where an Earth-like planet is found. This is where a group of scientists are thawed out of deep sleep to start investigating the planet and what might be on it. To assist all of the scientists, there’s an android on board named David (Michael Fassbender). Despite seemingly being there to help, we slowly understand that David is in contact with the head of Weyland Corporation, Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), and that David might have some secondary plans.
Sorry, Charlize Theron in skintight suit, you’re still no Tom Skerritt.
The crew finds some sort of building that, while investigating, leads them to the discovery of the engineers that they had been in search of. In addition to some bodies and information about the last days of some of these engineers, they also find containers filled with a strange black liquid. David takes on of these containers back onto Prometheus and slips it into the drink of one of the scientists, who then has sex with Noomi Rapace, but mutates strangely and dies the next day. Not sure of where the infection is coming from, all crew members are quarantined, and when Noomi is scanned, she is found to be pregnant with something not human. She gets it out of her using some weird surgical chamber, and then we see that Peter Weyland has been on the ship the whole time. David takes Peter to see an Engineer who has been in a stasis chamber and…okay look, there was a lot of shit going on. We learn that the engineers’ DNA and human DNA are a match, so they created us, but they also built a ship to kill us, and the recently awoken engineer tries to kill everyone, but not before he gets infected by the thing extracted from the Noomi’s stomach. Everyone dies in order to prevent the engineers’ ship from getting to Earth, except Noomi and David, who instead track down where all the engineers went who had abandoned that planet.
Who needs a liver if you’ve got abs like that? Haha, mythology humor!
I don’t really know why, but for some reason I was expecting that because of Ridley Scott’s involvement, this film would completely revolutionize and change the game as far as science fiction movies were concerned. I think because of his involvement in Alien and in Blade Runner, I assumed his return to science fiction would be a sprawling, and hopefully depressing, story of epic proportions. Visually, this movie was pretty amazing. From the opening scene that was shot in Iceland and basically was trying to show the creation of life on Earth to the suits worn by the crew while investigating what an alien spaceship looked like, everything looked awesome. I only saw it in 2D but would consider going to see it in 3D before its run is over. The writing, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Damon Lindelof hater, in fact, I might say I’m a Damon Lindelof enjoyer. I really enjoyed the story, and the themes that were covered, and the idea of beings from an other world coming to Earth and creating lifeforms in their likeness, only to then abandon them. My biggest problem was most of the dialogue, that for a story of this scale, a lot of the characters came across as dumb. Whether it be Idris Elba as the captain of Prometheus trying to fuck Charlize Theron’s character, to the arbitrary “reveal” that her character was involved because she was Weyland’s daughter. Not to mention that the biologist who was apart of the research team immediately ran away when the team found a dead alien, which I would assume a biologist in outer space would NOT do when discovering a new life form. And what about the fact that David tainted the beverage by putting the black goop on his finger, pouring a drink in front of the guy, and then just sticks his finger into the drink. Aren’t there more subtle ways to poison someone, David? I did like the seeds being planted with David of robots being shitheads, and progressively getting to be less and less of shitheads as the franchise went on. All of the actors did as good of a job as they could do, but they just had to say and do some silly things.
I’ve seen this image countless times and it’s still incredibly terrifying, mysterious, and gorgeous.
This movie has been described by the people involved with it as being completely unrelated to Alien, all the way to claiming it was a direct prequel to Alien. Ridley Scott didn’t hide the fact that this movie took place in the same universe as Alien, but nobody really knew how closely related it would be. Luckily, there was barely any, and this story really does stand on its own two, or maybe six, legs. The biggest connection was the Weyland Corporation, who was also the corporation behind the original researchers behind the expedition of Alien. Also, the creatures towards the end of the movie that require incubation periods and injecting themselves into throats, resembled the creatures from Alien. Not to mention the fact that one of the engineers was attacked at the end and the creature that came out of it after the incubation was a juvenile version of the xenomorphs that we came to know and love in all the other installments of the franchise. I’d even argue that I wish the final appearance of the familiar creature draws too much comparison to the franchise, and I would have enjoyed the movie more had the connections been that much more subtle. Good story with some really cool visuals, but you have a hard time believing they’d spend so much money sending such big dummies up into outer space.
Wolfman Moon Scale