If it was possible to prescribe ADHD medications to a movie, I would be obtaining them for Prometheus as soon as possible.
I finally made my way to the movie theater to watch Prometheus, the quasi-prequel to Ridley Scott’s touchstone classic, Alien. At long last fans of that film were going to get an answer to just who or what the Space Jockey was, something that has nibbled at us since the film debuted in 1979. What we got was a jumbled mess that didn’t know what it wanted to be, where it was taking us or how long the journey would be.
Seeing as this movie has been out for some time now, I’m just not going to care about spoilers and go for it: The Black Goo makes absolutely no sense. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about, if you haven’t, you know as much about the goo now as the audience does. For all intents and purposes, it somehow mixes with the DNA of a host, and creates wildly different things that don’t seem to like anyone. While it is described at one point as being a weapon of mass destruction, we see at the very beginning of the film that it also created the human race. You THINK – you never know for sure – that we might have been an accident, but you just can’t be sure.
While it’s easy to understand the Black Goo in that sense, it actually causes a bigger question about the first Alien film than the Space Jockey did as to why the ship on LV-426 (the planet in Alien and Aliens) was carrying Face Hugger eggs while the ship on LV-233 (the planet in Prometheus) had the Black Goo vases. Different weapons? If so, why was the Black Goo shown dating back to the creation of mankind? Apparently it was the go-to virus carrier for the Engineers (the Space Jockey) going back that far, why change things up?
Even moving past the geeky aspects of this film, it is just massively flawed with far too many ideas to cram into this one film. Time is wasted on multiple occasions with sub-plots that simply didn’t need to exist. Here are just a few of them:
- Why did Weyland hide on the ship as opposed to simply saying, “I’m spending a trillion dollars on this, if you want to do this, the cost is I come along as well”?
- They make a big point about Vickers essentially living in a lifeboat, and then they have her shoot out of the ship in a tiny pod while her original luxury one crashes? They couldn’t just have her ride in the one they bothered spending time setting up story wise?
- The medical pod in the lifeboat was only set up for a man, but it was where Vickers lived. It was an obvious plant for a mystery (with the answer being Weyland hiding on the ship) that no one had time to care about.
- Black Goo can be transfered by sex … Good to know. Wasn’t really necessary, but thanks any way.
- The Vickers (Charlize Theron)/Jarek (Idris Elba) sex talk was needed because …
- Speaking of Vickers, making her Weyland’s daughter was nowhere as interesting as her just possibly being an obsessed groupie type. It took one word to turn her into a completely uninteresting character with daddy issues.
- The Engineers are about 8-feet-tall, completely white & hairless and have black eyes … yep, makes total sense their DNA matches human DNA 100%.
- In the memory flashbacks of the Engineers, what in the heck are they running from? Why is there a pile of Engineer bodies outside a door?
- When the Engineer’s ship crashes, instead of heading for one of the other ships to finish the mission he was so intent on, he instead heads off to find and kill one lone human?
Meanwhile, the rest of Prometheus suffered at the hands of script writers Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts. If Lindelof’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he worked on LOST, and I think it’s time for Hollywood to realize he is nowhere as talented as people have been giving him credit for. All he and Spaihts did with this movie was set up a ton of questions that will make you really, really want a Prometheus 2, which is probably not going to happen as this one did not kill at the box office.
From the title alone it is obvious this film is set up with big questions as to where the human race comes from – and those are touched on in an exceedingly brief fashion – but those thoughts are dropped almost as soon as they are raised in favor of getting on to setting up another film. This resulted in filmgoers being shortchanged and getting what felt like half a story with a lot of padding to make it feel like a whole.
It is the fact this film was so obviously set up as a launch pad for a follow-up that really kills it. New questions were set up with no promise that they will ever be answered, all from trying to answer one very simple question.
At the end of the day, Prometheus is a jumbled mess of ideas that could have worked had any of them been given the room to grow naturally. Instead the audience ended up with a movie that can only be likened to a painter dumping all of the colors at his disposal on a canvas and then asking those who view to tell him what they see in it.
… and I’ve awaited this story since 1979. Thanks to everyone involved!
All this being said, Michael Fassbender as the android David was by far the most engaging character, and my hat is off to him for his fantastic performance considering the unbridled chaos that swirled around him.