WARNING: There are spoilers in this article so read at your own risk
First of all, it is valuable to look at the redeeming aspects of this film. Luckily there are only a few so this won’t take too long. The visuals. Without a doubt this film has some of the greatest scenery I’ve seen in a modern movie. When you look at this foreign world, one is reminded of the first time you played Halo. It is wholly unearthly, with just enough familiarity to make you gaze out and just want to soak it all up.
As we arrive on the alien planet, however, we don’t get a whole lot of exploring. The majority of this movie is confined to hole in the ground. Now, if this were a sequel, instead of a prequel that is not meant to be tied to the obvious franchise from which it is derived, that might be an odd choice. Prometheus isn’t concerned with this.
The title also sounds cool, but that’s the only significance I can find to it. Not sure if there’s any mythological fire stealing I missed, but I could be mistaken. The other positive thing? Well I’m not entirely sure. For whatever reason people seem to be okay with seeing a movie that is purely filled with visual distraction, no matter how senseless it is. Not entirely reminiscent of 2001 Space Odyssey, but the images of this supposed future are not really that surprising. It may interest the reader to know that millions, yes plural, was spent to have various futurists and scientists provide their images of this astonishing and new image of the future. Again, too bad we’re mostly in a hole in the ground.
Our journey to find the origins of man turns up the living “Space Jockey” from our beloved film Aliens, but that’s about it. The film constantly uses the term engineers, and we don’t ever really arrive at any sort of engineering. Perhaps we could suppose that weapons of mass destruction are the engineering feats being described, but then, what the heck is going on in the opening of this movie. If anyone has an intelligent clue, please let us know.
Something that has been observed by many others is that Aliens made use of the greatest asset it had, people knew that an alien was on the way. So the entire first half of Aliens is spent sucking every adrenal gland of all it can offer as you wait and wait until finally, what you knew was always going to happen, finally does. AND IT IS AWESOME.
Prometheus gets lost, and it gets lost fast. To even suggest that this movie has a plot is to really afford it a linguistic courtesy that is typically reserved for presidents defining what sex is.
We have a crew of people who basically have no relationship to one another. Except perhaps our two scientists, whose relationship leaves many more questions than answers. There is a Captain, who apparently is just there to fly the ship. Some sort of “in charge” lady (Charliz Theron) who isn’t allowed to talk to her… spoiler alert…. FATHER (the worst line ever delivered in her career). And then the worst character ever, David. David is a robot who apparently learned how to speak a language that’s never been spoken by humans, because…he’s a robot and had a lot of time to kill in space? And in what can only be described as a humorous moment, gets his head taken off when he speaks the language he spent so much time learning, to the one familiar face in this non-prequel prequel.
Finally, the creatures that roam this hole in the ground. They are apparently derived from this black liquid (which everyone readily identifies as “Organic”). The black liquid is its own creature and virus…. or something. And the dominate form of life, is a sort of beige serpent creature (which also will kill you). The lineage of this stuff is ridiculous, but it worth spelling out so one can take it all in.
1. The black liquid kills people and Space Jockey aliens alike
2. It may spread like a virus, unless you make liberal use of your closest flamethrower.
3. It may also however spread by having sex.
4. When you get impregnated from someone infected with black stuff, you will inevitably birth some sort of giant squid.
5. This squid will not be killed however, by simple medical containment protocols.
6. Ideally, you have the squid battle your closest Space Jockey
7. Which of course yields the most recognizable character, the alien from Alien.
(Please note, there was no Queen involved in any of this. Nor were there eggs, or face suckers. But somehow… we got there, thank goodness)
If this film had been an exploration, or even an investigation, much like Aliens, then it would have been great. Elements of an evil corporation, information being hidden, and an alien invasion are all present, but never really addressed or fully explained. Ridley sure knows how to spend money, unfortunately, the writers on this particular venture definitely got shafted. Good luck movie goers, if you’re not there for all the amazing 3D, I hope your popcorn can tide you over. And anyone with any sort of science background, I imagine would prefer this movie also get the flamethrower.