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What’s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List)

June 11th, 2012 · 331 Comments

The only possible explanation is that Ridley Scott has a Duke Brothers–style bet running with George Lucas: Who can produce the most crushingly disappointing prequel to a beloved classic of late-70s science fiction cinema? There’s no other way to account for the tedious, incoherent two hour train wreck that is Prometheus—a film whose powerhouse ensemble cast and stunning visuals ultimately fail to rescue it from a script that feels like it was fished from a dumpster of rejected SyFy Original Movie treatments.

How bad is it? The one and only character who doesn’t feel like a robot is, in fact, a robot. The protagonists are so flat and irritating that you end up rooting for the aliens to wipe out humanity—just as long as these guys die first. Nothing about this movie makes sense—not in the cool David Lynchian “makes you think” way, but rather in a “you didn’t think very much about this script, did you?” way. It’s what happens when nobody tells you your apres-bong dorm conversations were not, in fact, super deep. A partial list of plot holes and problems, which will contain many, many spoilers, just in case you’re still planning on throwing away your hard earned money. If you’re really that intrigued by the premise, though, I’d recommend just watching Stargate again.

  • The movie opens with an alien “Engineer” preparing to seed a primordial planet—presumably Earth—with life. He accomplishes this by drinking a black goop which causes him to die in agony, disintegrating at the cellular level. It looks cool, but forces you to wonder: Is this really the best means available for this incredibly advanced species to introduce genetic material to a planet? It’s a little like finding out that Prometheus brought fire to humanity by setting himself on fire despite the ready availability of kindling. As with many, many other bizarre moments in this movie, this makes sense at a thematic and allegorical level, but fails at the level of elementary plot logic. This is why doing allegory well is hard: Your story actually has to work at a second level without shattering the viewer’s suspension of disbelief on the first level. Throughout the movie, you get the sense that the authors have decided that if it works symbolically, it doesn’t need to make sense narratively.
  • The movie proper begins with the discovery of a glyph that appears in the art of many human civilizations separated by vast distances in time and space. Apparently the configuration of five stars, depicted at the resolution of cave paintings, is sufficient to uniquely identify one area of space 35 light years away. Noomi Rapace concludes that this is an invitation from the aforementioned aliens, who not only visited earth in ancient times, but actually created the human species. Not one shred of evidence for this hypothesis is ever provided, but it’s what Noomi “chooses to believe,” even though this is in fairly obvious tension with Christian doctrine, which she also “chooses to believe.”(She later suggests that maybe God made the aliens, without any acknowledgement that this would rescue deism, not Christianity.) Nevertheless, this is all it takes to persuade the Weyland Corporation to spend a trillion dollars sending not an unmanned probe but a ship full of human scientists on a two-year voyage in cryostasis to see if Erich von Daniken was right after all.
  • A big chunk of this tedious exposition is delivered by a hologram of CEO Peter Weyland, who is inexplicably played by Guy Pearce in bad latex makeup rather than an actual old person, even though no younger version of the character is ever seen. Weyland claims he will have died by the time they see this recording, but this turns out to be a deception: He’s actually also in cryostasis on the ship. Since Weyland’s plan involves him being revived once they’ve made contact with the aliens, he must know that this will be exposed as a deception within a day or two, making the whole elaborate ruse completely pointless, except as a setup for a lame third-act reveal.
  • Ditto the fact that Charlize Theron is Weyland’s daughter: This is kept secret for no reason beyond setting up a meh-inducing late reveal. Her motives are even more opaque. She believes the entire mission is just a hazardous wild goose chase, and only wants to inherit her father’s empire. She joins them on this 4-year-plus mission because she doesn’t want to hang around squabbling over who runs the company… even though her best-case scenario would appear to involve doing this when she gets back from the perilous mission, having given her rivals 5 years to scheme in her absence.
  • Weyland’s primary motive, we eventually learn, is the hope of learning from the aliens some means of further prolonging his life, as he has hit the limits of artificial extension and is near death. Except he can apparently remain alive in cryostasis indefinitely. So instead of funding a probe and further medical research while he waits on ice for the next breakthrough, he has packed himself on this unprecedented and incredibly hazardous voyage.
  • Weyland also takes off on a forced and clunky tangent about how his Android “son” David can’t appreciate his own immortality because he lacks a soul. There’s no hint that scientific supergenius Weyland detects any tension between this quaint notion and his apparent conviction that humans, too, have been “engineered” by an advanced biological race.
  • Upon arriving at their destination, we see that the team has incredibly sophisticated mapping probes, but charge into an alien facility themselves without waiting for the probes to finish scanning the structure. Immediately upon discovering that there’s a breathable atmosphere within the facility, one Dr. Holloway brazenly pulls off his helmet—chiding his colleague and lover to not “be a skeptic,” because apparently skepticism is anathema to good scientists. Though it’s later confirmed they have no way of being sure the air isn’t full of strange pathogens, and everyone else points out that this is insane, the rest of the team nevertheless immediately follows suit when it doesn’t result in his instant death.
  • A hologram recording showing the apparent deaths of many of the aliens millennia earlier is triggered. The supposedly superintelligent android shines a flashlight on the holograms in an effort to see them better.
  • The Shaggy and Scooby of the film—a biologist and a geologist—freak out at the sight of dead alien bodies, despite having been willing to truck 35 light years on a perilous exploratory mission, and hasten to head back to the ship in a panic. They get lost, despite the fact that the geologist is the one with mapping expertise. This fear then evaporates as quickly as it appeared, as the biologist decides he should recklessly cozy up to a terrifying alien serpent creature. To nobody’s surprise, it quickly kills the biologist, while his geologist colleague is dissolved in black goop, only to later reappear as a zombie in a completely pointless fight scene. This is a pattern. In almost every scene, members of this handpicked group of top scientists for a trillion-dollar mission routinely make the kind of wildly irrational blunders that we strain to accept when it’s half-drunk teenagers in slasher pics. Nobody, at any time, acts remotely like a scientist
  • The DNA of the alien Engineers is apparently a perfect match for human DNA, despite the fact that they’re like 8-feet tall with grey skin, no body hair, and completely black eyes. Just how this could actually be true so many millions of years later remains a puzzle for the viewer.
  • Android David indicates that he thinks he can read the alien language. Nobody follows up with him on this or suggests that deciphering their records might be urgent, especially when it’s clear they’ve got a lethal contagion on the loose.
  • With half the team out exploring the hazardous alien facility, Space Captain Stringer Bell decides to abandon his post at the comms station to bang Charlize Theron. Which, at some level, fair enough… but nobody ever suggests this is a gross dereliction of duty.
  • Android David infects one of the scientists with the black alien slime for no apparent reason, despite the obvious danger this poses. (Oddly, David’s actions do make sense if you assume he has the same goal as the treacherous android Ash in Alien—to preserve the xenomorph as a biological weapon—though there’s no indication of this, and it would seem to require knowledge none of the characters could possibly have.)
  • The aforementioned infected scientist can see there’s something obviously wrong with him, but instead of immediately seeking medical attention, decides to risk himself and the entire crew—including the love of his life—by pretending he’s just hunky dory until he literally collapses.
  • Android David tells Noomi she seems to be about “three months pregnant” (about ten minutes after we awkwardly introduce the idea that she’s infertile for the first time)—then immediately reveals that the “fetus” is an alien squid thing. Maybe he read something about the normal gestational cycle of alien squid things in the hieroglyphs? Because… how the hell does he know what “three months” looks like? When she pleads with him to cut it out, he attempt to knock her out and put her in stasis, again for reasons unclear. She then neglects to mention this unsporting behavior to anyone, and nobody seems at all curious when she shows up bloodied and bedraggled after performing an emergency auto-caesarian. David, who was previously so keen to retrieve squid-fetus for whatever reason, exhibits no interest in what might have happened to it.
  • At one point, Space Captain Stringer Bell abruptly intuits that they’ve landed at a WMD manufacturing plant wisely situated far from the Engineers’ home world, though it’s not remotely clear that his explanation is anything more than a wild guess. Maybe it’s just what he “chooses to believe”? This raises the additional question: Why did the aliens leave us with an invitation to their weapons depot?
  • The sophisticated alien computer has a sort of flute-like control mechanism, apparently used exclusively to turn the system on, at which point it’s operated by buttons. Which is like having a remote control for your TV, except for the power button, which takes the form of a flute. Why don’t they just have an on button? Or an entirely flute-based control system? Because space, shut up.
  • A member of this incredibly advanced species that created humanity is found in stasis and awakened. Confronted by a group of humans, including an android that speaks its language, and obviously lacking any knowledge of how many others there might be, or what weaponry they might have, this advanced being makes no effort to gather any information. It roars and begins acting like a space monster, attacking the party with its bare hands.
  • When Space Captain Stringer Bell decides he must sacrifice himself to stop the Engineer from returning to earth and destroying humanity, his crew almost gleefully volunteer to join him, on the grounds that he is a bad pilot and will need their help… to ram a spaceship the size of a city block. (As a commenter suggests, it’s possible that this is said sarcastically, and they’re actually just needlessly throwing their lives away in a gesture of solidarity. Hey, what are buddies for?)
  • Charlize Theron is crushed to death when said ship topples because she runs along its falling length instead of, you know, going sideways. (In an apparent repudiation of Newton along with Darwin, the fast-moving ship basically drops out of the sky in a straight line rather than falling in an arc to crash miles away.) Noomi survives because the gazillion ton space ship that has just fallen out of the sky in flames hits… a rock or something. So the ship halts a few inches above her head.
  • The Engineer survives this crash and almost instantly locates Noomi Rapace in order to continue the effort to kill her, again with his bare hands. The rationale for this is, again, totally opaque, especially given that we then learn there are dozens of other ships—possibly including other Engineers in stasis, though nobody exhibits any curiosity about this possibility either.
  • Noomi’s squid-fetus, meanwhile, has grown to monstrous proportions despite being locked in a small room with no sources of food or other places for the additional mass to have come from.
  • We end with Noomi heading for the homeworld of the creatures who we’ve just learned are determined to immediately kill any human they see.

There’s more, of course. More excruciating, formulaic dialogue. More emotionally flat scenes tacked on in a desperate, failed attempt to flesh out the characters enough that we might care what happens to any of them. The ham-fisted gestures in the direction of deep questions about which, ultimately, nothing interesting is said or even implied. But this should give you a rough idea of what we’re dealing with. In fairness to the Engineers, my experience of human culture consisted of this movie, I’d probably want to wipe the species out too.

Addendum: The folks at Red Letter Media have a more charitable video review that pokes at some of the same holes.  Like these guys, I didn’t want to harp on everything that’s not explicitly and laboriously explained, because there are plenty of things that are left deliberately ambiguous or merely implied and left for the reader to puzzle out, and that’s all to the good. It’s fine that they don’t spell out exactly why the Engineers changed their mind about humanity (there’s a strong hint in the allusion to some catastrophe “about 2000 years ago”), or detail the precise nature of the Black Goo. It’s good to leave a few mysteries, and a smart audience doesn’t need everything handed to it on a silver platter. But there’s a difference between a cosmic conundrum or an implicit motive and a simple plot gap or character inconsistency, especially when they’re piled atop each other in such quantity. That starts looking less like deliberate mystery and more like simple bad writing.

Tags: Art & Culture


       

 

331 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dylan // Jun 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I liked the immediate landing and ad hoc exploration when they arrived. Orbital reconnaissance and planning are so…boring.

  • 2 Will // Jun 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Tremendous.

  • 3 Mike V // Jun 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Brilliant. Next, you should write an equally witty list of the horribly trite cliches that pop-up throughout the movie. Off the top of my head (spoilers):

    -The religious person survives.
    -Evil corporations.
    -The girl is infertile.
    -The old man wants to be immortal.
    -The old man is also old Biff from Back to the Future (not a cliche, I know).
    -The old man is… wait for it… Charlize Theron’s father.
    -There are two irrational guys on the team who have to freak out before anything scary happens.

    What a terrible movie. I’ve been looking forward to seeing it for a year and I’m furious.

  • 4 Branden // Jun 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I agree with you overall. But, nerd corrections!!

    * “To nobody’s surprise, [the serpent] quickly kills the biologist, who later reappears as a zombie in a completely pointless scene.”

    It was the mohawked geologist who became a zombie, presumably after soaking in magical-plot-device goo, not the bioligist.

    * “When Space Captain Stringer Bell decides he must sacrifice himself to stop the Engineer from returning to earth and destroying humanity, his crew almost gleefully volunteer to join him, on the grounds that he is a bad pilot and will need their help… to ram a spaceship the size of a city block.”

    The suggestion that the captain is a bad pilot was sarcastic. The crew joined him out of camaraderie.

    * “Android David tells Noomi she seems to be about “three months pregnant” (about ten minutes after we awkwardly introduce the idea that she’s infertile for the first time)—then immediately reveals that the “fetus” is an alien squid thing. Maybe he read something about the normal gestational cycle of alien squid things in the hieroglyphs?”

    My impression was that when David says “three months,” he means according to typical human fetal development. I’d suppose he’s going by size of the fetus.

  • 5 Julian Sanchez // Jun 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Post adjusted accordingly…

  • 6 Kate // Jun 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Also, Charlize Theron gets all precious about her expensive surgery machine that when Noomi Rapace needs it turns out only to be configured for men. Why? And why would she bring along a machine that maybe would not be suitable for use if she needed it? For the person on the mission most likely to need bypass surgery, her aged father that, oops, Theron didn’t know was on board?

  • 7 Julian Sanchez // Jun 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    No, that one does make sense: Theron DID know her father was onboard, and the fact that the machine is calibrated for a male patient is an early hint of this.

  • 8 LJ // Jun 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Prometheus was good enough for most middle-of-the-road Aliens/sci-fi fans. The rest of us got our hopes up, and hey why wouldn’t we? Ridley Scott? The guy who did the original AND Bladerunner? How can this *not* be awesome?
    We expect too much from an industry that caters to broad audiences full of the type of people who, presumably, find “because I choose to believe it” a compelling character motivation.

    We should have known better. I was one of those idiots who held out hope that LOST (another Damon Lindelof writing credit) was going to somehow come together in the 6th season, even though deep down, I knew they wouldn’t be able to wrap that up in a coherent package. With Prometheus, I’m done, DONE(!) watching anything that has been written by somebody attached to LOST.

  • 9 alex // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    “At some level, fair enough.”

    At EVERY level!

  • 10 Mark // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    To add to your list.

    1) The thing that bothered me the most: after an incision in the stomach of that length, it’s game over. Coolest scene in the movie, but anyone undergoing that surgery would not even be able to stand let alone run without collapsing in pain for several days and would be limited in mobility for several weeks.

    2) I know the medical machine configured for men was intended to foretell the arrival of old Guy Pierce, but come on. Once the hardware is there, the configuring would come entirely from software. My tablet holds 32 gig but their giant magic medical machine only has room for the menfolk procedures.

    3) Expanding on your infection point: I’ve got a drop of unknown alien substance. Do I a) put it on a slide and stick it under the microscope? b) infect one of the many lab animals brought along for the purpose of testing biological material, c) put it in a Petri dish with Agar nutrient d) attempt to infect one of the two “leaders” of the expedition by *dipping the material first in alcohol* and then tricking the hapless test subject into drinking it, after which lose interest and do not observe the person for the next twelve hours.

  • 11 Jason Farque // Jun 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

    At one point Theron says that she “didn’t come half a billion miles…” to fail.

    That’s just past Jupiter from earth.

  • 12 Stephen // Jun 12, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Wow. Looks like you have everything figured out. You must be much smarter than most viewers and filmmakers.

  • 13 Geoff J // Jun 12, 2012 at 3:25 am

    “This raises the additional question: Why did the aliens leave us with an invitation to their weapons depot?”

    Har!

    Excellent review. Had me laughing several times. In fact I’d say the entertainment value of this review exceeds that of the movie itself…

  • 14 Alexander // Jun 12, 2012 at 4:42 am

    “Noomi’s squid-fetus, meanwhile, has grown to monstrous proportions despite being locked in a small room with no sources of food or other places for the additional mass to have come from.”

    This doesn’t depart from the established universe logic – the xenomorphs were able to do the same thing.

  • 15 Alexander // Jun 12, 2012 at 4:46 am

    “The Engineer survives this crash and almost instantly locates Noomi Rapace in order to continue the effort to kill her, again with his bare hands.”

    His bare hands worked well enough for the other humans he encountered. As far as he is concerned, she/her group just took down his ship – she’s the only one he saw escape before he tried to take off. He’s wise to neutralise the potential threat, and locating her isn’t difficult; walk outside the wreckage and the capsule was the only thing that was left.

  • 16 Alexander // Jun 12, 2012 at 4:52 am

    “A member of this incredibly advanced species that created humanity is found in stasis and awakened. Confronted by a group of humans, including an android that speaks its language, and obviously lacking any knowledge of how many others there might be, or what weaponry they might have, this advanced being makes no effort to gather any information. It roars and begins acting like a space monster, attacking the party with its bare hands”

    Depending on your interpretation, there are several reasons for this. For starters, it’s worth noting that his actions were for the most part successful; he routed the humans, and was in the process of escaping in his ship to attack the human homeworld. The fact that humans had arrived on his planet, when the plan was probably to annihilate them thousands of years earlier, added to the urgency.

  • 17 Alexander // Jun 12, 2012 at 4:55 am

    “The sophisticated alien computer has a sort of flute-like control mechanism, apparently used exclusively to turn the system on, at which point it’s operated by buttons. Which is like having a remote control for your TV, except for the power button, which takes the form of a flute. Why don’t they just have an on button? Or an entirely flute-based control system? Because space, shut up.”

    If the ship were infiltrated, under normal circumstances, no one would be able to pilot or otherwise control the ship without knowing the correct tune. It’s like a shared password that would be more difficult to brute-force, because it is analog.

    What is unforgivable is the recording that tells David what the password is.

  • 18 Alexander // Jun 12, 2012 at 4:58 am

    “Android David infects one of the scientists with the black alien slime for no apparent reason, despite the obvious danger this poses. (Oddly, David’s actions do make sense if you assume he has the same goal as the treacherous android Ash in Alien—to preserve the xenomorph as a biological weapon—though there’s no indication of this, and it would seem to require knowledge none of the characters could possibly have.)”

    It’s a science experiment. He wasn’t about to get any of the crew to volunteer.

  • 19 Alexander // Jun 12, 2012 at 5:07 am

    “With half the team out exploring the hazardous alien facility, Space Captain Stringer Bell decides to abandon his post at the comms station to bang Charlize Theron. Which, at some level, fair enough… but nobody ever suggests this is a gross dereliction of duty.”

    Because nobody ever knew, and Vickers doesn’t really care.

    “Weyland also takes off on a forced and clunky tangent about how his Android “son” David can’t appreciate his own immortality because he lacks a soul. There’s no hint that this quaint notion is in any way an odd fit with his apparent conviction that humans, too, have been “engineered” by an advanced biological race.”

    This is just straight-up prejudice from the creator towards the created, which plays into the theme of the movie. We can’t expect the actions and beliefs of human characters to be entirely rational.

    “The movie opens with an alien “Engineer” preparing to seed a primordial planet—presumably Earth—with life. He accomplishes this by drinking a black goop which causes him to die in agony, disintegrating at the cellular level. It looks cool, but forces you to wonder: Is this really the best means available for this incredibly advanced species to introduce genetic material to a planet?”

    Probably not, but it looked like a religious sacrifice to me. It’s not impossible that those engineers had some sort of religious conviction to do with death and rebirth. A purely rational society would not seed other planets as they did.

    “She then neglects to mention this unsporting behavior to anyone, and nobody seems at all curious when she shows up bloodied and bedraggled after performing an emergency auto-caesarian.”

    They’re probably not curious because they know exactly what happened. David would have told them. Also, at that point in the movie it seemed like everyone had a fair sense that they were never going home, and any sort of protocol was abandoned.

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  • 21 Todd Seavey // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

    So, are you psyched for the Blade Runner sequel in 2014, though?

  • 22 Ben // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    ROFL you hit on so many great points, stuff I hadn’t even managed to notice in the shite-storm of inconstancies in this movie. 3 comments:

    1) Am I the only one who missed the basic connection between this movie & the original Alien? This moon wasn’t the planet that Ripley & Co. encountered, so how does this whole story, such as it is, even relate to the original movie’s timeline & events? Do we have to endure another prequel to explain *that* gap, as well?

    2) 2093? That’s 81 years in the future. We’ll be travelling several times the speed of light in 81 years? I’ll be suprised if we’ve even made it to Mars by then, personally. Yes, it’s just a fictional movie…but c’mon.

    3) Thanks to LJ for bringing up the Damon Lindelof/Lost connection to this movie. Sensible plots are clearly not the guy’s strong suit.

  • 23 Brian // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

    For my $, the biggest mistake the movie made was keeping Weyland’s presence on the ship a secret for so long, because it robbed the writers of the opportunity to have him see the scientists off upon landing on the moon with the only bit of dialogue it would have been natural for him to say: “HAVE FUN STORMIN’ THE CHASM!”

  • 24 Nicholas Robinson // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:03 am

    My question is: why don’t they hire people like you to go through a script and point all this stuff out? I guess if they’d done that they would have completely abandoned the whole thing. So why did a supposedly “genius”-like group of people responsible for this mega-million-dollar project get together and give it a green light?

    It’s just mind-boggling. Do you suppose it’s just because of the inherent “left-hand-right-hand” aspect in any huge project, in which a large set of people just simply don’t know what another large set of people are doing yet all continue to work on the same project anyway? At any point, someone who could have surveyed the overall project with an unblinkingly unprejudiced eye could have seen all these flaws and either fixed them or put a stop to the entire fiasco altogether?

    This is the major problem with Hollywood these days. Movies made by committeeS — plural. Bottom line: make a “blockbuster.” Make a “Rom Com.” Make a “Slasher.” They’ve become so robotic and insular that they can’t step out of their own little manufactured universe and see what their audiences see.

    You, my friend, really need a change of occupation. You should be a mandatory hire and be the last person a film comes before before the rubber stamp is stamped and the light turns from red to green. You’d save so many nice people such a load of time and energy.

  • 25 Josh // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

    But…but…. AWESOME special effects!

  • 26 Todd Seavey // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:10 am

    In response to Nicholas’s first question, the answer is: they hire about _seventeen_ people to go through the script. That’s how it ends up this way.

    (_Prometheus_ and _Lost_ co-writer Damon Lindelof, even as we speak, is being brought onboard next year’s epic zombie film _World War Z_ to write some new scenes in an effort to rescue that project via some reshoots. Put a note on your calendar for June 21 one year hence that just says: “QUALITY.”)

  • 27 James W // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @Alexander: “This doesn’t depart from the established universe logic – the xenomorphs were able to do the same thing.”

    - To some extent, but the colossal proportions of that squid stretch credulity a sight more, and render the creature from Alien less impressive an organism in comparison.
    - My fanwank to justify the growth of the latter over the former would be that the creature gestating in Kane is taking, uh… “sustenance” from him, causing his voracious hunger just prior to the chestbursting, and feeding into the creature’s growth spurt. Shaw on the other hand, isn’t seen taking on extra sustenance either during her “pregnancy” or after her “cesarean”.

    That’s not a great explanation, and a pretty fine line, I admit. Mostly I thought the squid (and other goo-derived creature) design was abysmal.

  • 28 palinode // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I’m wondering how Prometheus traveled 35 light years in two years. “Mr. Weyland, we believe we’ve found evidence of extraterrestrial beings.” “That’s great. Come talk to me when you’ve broken the speed of light, because that’s what I’m doing.”

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  • 30 Pastramo // Jun 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    The amazing growth of the alien in Alien was always a weak plot point. It was easier to overlook, I think, simply because that movie is phenomenal, and it’s not as fun to pick nits in movies that succeed overall. If you’re the type who likes to invent ways to plug sci-fi plot holes (I’m not), you can almost always find an exit. It was a medical facility, right? So there could have been a mechanism for providing nutrition to patients undergoing extensive care. Maybe the squid fetus sucked on that spigot. Maybe it’s an electrotroph. Who knows? This was a distracting and weak plot point, although I’m not sure it’s that much worse than giving the creatures something called “molecular acid” for blood.

    I’d add to Julian’s list the problem of character motivation, which in some ways did much more damage to the believability of the movie. There were endless examples of this. Why did the geologist introduce himself by snarling that he was there to collect a paycheck, not make friends? Is the guy an interplanetary scientist, or a reality TV show contestant? When I hire people, I generally check for signs of sociopathy in addition to the ability to perform job duties. I might especially pay attention to culture fit issues when manning a five-year interstellar space journey.

    Or how about the chief scientist coming over all moody, bored, and drunk while watching a 2,000 humanoid head come to life, mutate, and then explode? What exactly does it take to impress this guy? A cave painting or a humanoid heading coming to life and exploding?

    And so on, and so forth…

  • 31 James W // Jun 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    “The amazing growth of the alien in Alien was always a weak plot point.” But it is a plot point, at least! The characters have the courtesy to be amazed by it, whereas Shaw can’t even muster a rhetorical “look at the size of that thing…”

    And don’t tell me that’d be too blatantly expository in a movie with David’s elaborate finger-dance and Scottie McReadsTheScreen!

  • 32 kouvenhowen // Jun 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    “Android David infects one of the scientists with the black alien slime for no apparent reason, despite the obvious danger this poses. ”

    There’s a short scene with David talking into his helmet saying something like, “yes, i’ll try harder, i’ll do something drastic to speed this up.” when Weyland is revealed later it’s clear David was talking to Weyland. So in essence, Weyland told David to poison Mr. Boyfriend presumably to gather information about the engineers/titans and their stuff.

    That said, I essentially agree with you about the quality of this film.

  • 33 Julian Sanchez // Jun 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Right, but it still doesn’t make much sense. Why would such an incredibly risky experiment be the best way to do this—as opposed to, say, continuing to explore the facility and translate the alien writing for, like, more than a day? Why sacrifice the archeologist who might be able to help with all this? If it IS an experiment, why does David not seem to be terribly interested in monitoring its effects on Holloway? How could he possibly know that it would infect Shaw? If the goal is to contact the Engineers, why would extracting the squid be helpful? It’s one thing to leave gaps for the viewer to fill in based on hints in the text; its another to ask us to fabricate an entire narrative just to explain ordinary plot points that don’t gain anything from mystery or ambiguity.

  • 34 Julian Sanchez // Jun 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Which is to say: “Why were the engineers seeding the galaxy with life” and “Why did our creators ultimately turn on us?” are interesting questions to leave for the viewer to mull over. “Why the hell are the characters acting in these apparently irrational and unmotivated ways?” is, in this instance, not.

  • 35 Glen // Jun 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I like how the mission briefing happens upon their arrival after 2 years in cryostasis, rather than before they leave earth. I guess we’re supposed to believe all these people agreed to come on a “don’t worry, we’ll fill in the blanks later” basis.

  • 36 AFF Doublethink Online » What Do Prometheus and Obama Have in Common? // Jun 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    [...] Instead, what they were given was a beautifully shot, strikingly paced, absolutely sodden mess that collapsed under the weight of its own questions. Rather than a prequel—a movie that promised answers—we were given question after mystery after secret, none of which made much sense. (Julian Sanchez does a good job of compiling them all here.) [...]

  • 37 Josh // Jun 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I just saw this movie last night. I have been seething with nerd rage ever since.

    Having Noomi(wtf was her name in the move? I don’t even care now…) run around and leap over chasms after having her abdominals cut and stapled(nevermind the frackin squidling) was absolutely idiotic but, then to top it off… the spaceship the size of a small town falls on top of her but, some small rock stops the impact…

    She is under the spaceship which just fell out of the sky… unscathed… except for her stomach staples…

    I wanted to throw my bucket of coke at the screen. I hate this movie as much as the Conan remake and that is a lot.

  • 38 Mike // Jun 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Great points. My biggest peeve, small in the grand scheme of things, has to do with the Automatic Surgery Machine TM or whatever it’s called.

    Supposedly it couldn’t give her a C-section because it’s only calibrated for men.

    1. If it’s in Charlize Theron’s quarters, why the fuck would it only be calibrated for men?
    2. Noomi Rapace was able to trick it to give her surgery by putting it on manual? What did the manufacturer forget the “Check For Penis” subroutine?

    Movie was worth it for the visuals, though.

  • 39 David // Jun 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    “Noomi’s squid-fetus, meanwhile, has grown to monstrous proportions despite being locked in a small room with no sources of food or other places for the additional mass to have come from.”

    Isn’t this also a problem with the first Alien movie? It’s not locked in a small room, but it’s unclear how it becomes a large, mature alien so quickly without an apparent food source.

  • 40 Simon // Jun 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Bravo sir.

    ALL points absolutely spot on. Was so disappointed with this movie on all levels (except visually, which it was very pretty, and actually looked good in 3D which is a rarity).

    I felt that the first part of the movie was quite good, and that things were set up quite nicely(ish), but then everything that COULD have been was just thrown away.

    * David doing anything particularly morally questionable because he’s not human… nope, not really.
    * Charlize doing anything at all really? Nope, didn’t need that character
    * The geologist and biologist… didn’t do anything
    * Why did the male archeologist go into a depressed spiral after having just proved they were right and they did actually arrive at a planet that had been populated with intelligent beings? Was he depressed that on DAY ONE, in the FIRST STRUCTURE they entered they didn’t find a live alien to have a chat to?
    * Weyland… nothing much happened with him
    * The two guys who went down with the ship, pretty much nothing characters.
    * As you said, the myriad of just insane decisions that no logical person would make. (“We’re getting a reading of some unknown lifeform just outside the ship”… “Well, by all means open the door and invite it in”)

    Just infuriating.

  • 41 Todd Seavey // Jun 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Bruce Banner can expand in size and mass when he becomes the Hulk by drawing material from an adjacent dimension, so for the unaided-growth power to exist, we merely need to accept that the Engineers’ technology is more advanced than Banner’s.

    This is not to say that the Squid-Fetus could beat the Hulk, though. That would be absurd.

  • 42 Todd Seavey // Jun 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    On a more serious note, presumably David _did_ absorb _a lot_ of info about how the aliens operate from his language skills, which may seem implausible, but y’know, he’s a robot and stuff — and if you accept that that made him aware of things like the parasites’ life cycles, it makes perfect sense that he infected Holloway in response to what was plainly, in retrospect, an instruction from Weyland to “try harder” to get a live alien — which is what David told Vickers he’d been told by Weyland, not coincidentally right after the head they’d acquired exploded and right before he tried the new gambit of infecting Holloway.

  • 43 PersonalShoplifter.com // Jun 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    A really great review. Up there with the Phantom Menace one http://techland.time.com/2009/12/16/the-best-review-of-phantom-menace-ive-ever-seen/

  • 44 Chuck Kim // Jun 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    • The movie opens with an alien “Engineer” preparing to seed a primordial planet—presumably Earth—with life. He accomplishes this by drinking a black goop which causes him to die in agony, disintegrating at the cellular level. It looks cool, but forces you to wonder: Is this really the best means available for this incredibly advanced species to introduce genetic material to a planet? It’s a little like finding out that Prometheus brought fire to humanity by setting himself on fire despite the ready availability of kindling. As with many, many other bizarre moments in this movie, this makes sense at a thematic and allegorical level, but fails at the level of elementary plot logic. This is why doing allegory well is hard: Your story actually has to work at a second level without shattering the viewer’s suspension of disbelief on the first level. Throughout the movie, you get the sense that the authors have decided that if it works symbolically, it doesn’t need to make sense narratively.
    Is it possible that this “engineer” simply doesn’t have the same sense of self-preservation that you or I might have? You point out the mythological Prometheus, but didn’t his very act of giving fire to humanity ensure his own painful torture for all eternity? And that he basically knew he would be punished horribly for this very action? How is this act of self destruction any different? Who knows, maybe the alien was dying already? Maybe he had come to the end of his life cycle and wanted to go out with a bang? I feel this is what makes Prometheus interesting. The possibilities. For example, Noomi’s character questions why did the Engineers create then want to destroy humanity? Is it possible the Engineer in the beginning of the movie was from a different faction of aliens? And that the aliens encountered by the scientists were a more aggressive war-mongering faction? Sort of crunchy granola vs. warhawks?
    • The movie proper begins with the discovery of a glyph that appears in the art of many human civilizations separated by vast distances in time and space. Apparently the configuration of five stars, depicted at the resolution of cave paintings, is sufficient to uniquely identify one area of space 35 light years away. Noomi Rapace concludes that this is an invitation from the aforementioned aliens, who not only visited earth in ancient times, but actually created the human species. Not one shred of evidence for this hypothesis is ever provided, but it’s what Noomi “chooses to believe,” even though this is in fairly obvious tension with Christian doctrine, which she also “chooses to believe.”(She later suggests that maybe God made the aliens, without any acknowledgement that this would rescue deism, not Christianity.) Nevertheless, this is all it takes to persuade the Weyland Corporation to spend a trillion dollars sending not an unmanned probe but a ship full of human scientists on a two-year voyage in cryostasis to see if Erich von Daniken was right after all.
    I dunno. You could apply this same argument as to why the United States government would sponsor Indiana Jones to stop the Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant. Belief is a powerful drive. It’s why the Winchester Mansion was continued to be built creating over a hundred rooms, because the Winchester widow believed that the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles and guns would not haunt her if she continued to build upon her mansion. Faith can be a powerful motivator, especially for someone like Welyand, a man with immeasurable wealth and a strong drive to find immortality.
    • A big chunk of this tedious exposition is delivered by a hologram of CEO Peter Weyland, who is inexplicably played by Guy Pearce in bad latex makeup rather than an actual old person, even though no younger version of the character is ever seen. Weyland claims he will have died by the time they see this recording, but this turns out to be a deception: He’s actually also in cryostasis on the ship. Since Weyland’s plan involves him being revived once they’ve made contact with the aliens, he must know that this will be exposed as a deception within a day or two, making the whole elaborate ruse completely pointless, except as a setup for a lame third-act reveal.
    I’ll give you that.
    • Ditto the fact that Charlize Theron is Weyland’s daughter: This is kept secret for no reason beyond setting up a meh-inducing late reveal. Her motives are even more opaque. She believes the entire mission is just a hazardous wild goose chase, and only wants to inherit her father’s empire. She joins them on this 4-year-plus mission because she doesn’t want to hang around squabbling over who runs the company… even though her best-case scenario would appear to involve doing this when she gets back from the perilous mission, having given her rivals 5 years to scheme in her absence.
    Actually, I liked this. I was puzzled as to the hostility she showed to David in the beginning of the movie, but when it’s basically revealed as a form of sibling rivalry (Weyland even refers to him as the son he never had), it makes it an interesting relationship. Is it possible that she also wanted to try to cure her father’s delusion (so she believed) that they’d be able to meet the creators of mankind?
    • Weyland’s primary motive, we eventually learn, is the hope of learning from the aliens some means of further prolonging his life, as he has hit the limits of artificial extension and is near death. Except he can apparently remain alive in cryostasis indefinitely. So instead of funding a probe and further medical research while he waits on ice for the next breakthrough, he has packed himself on this unprecedented and incredibly hazardous voyage.
    But, he also believes he can meet his creator. And that because he feels he deserves to. Why should he believe this is a hazardous mission? Long, perhaps, but hazardous?
    • Weyland also takes off on a forced and clunky tangent about how his Android “son” David can’t appreciate his own immortality because he lacks a soul. There’s no hint that scientific supergenius Weyland detects any tension between this quaint notion and his apparent conviction that humans, too, have been “engineered” by an advanced biological race.
    Well, we actually don’t know if he’s a supergenius or merely a rich CEO. And who says he has to be philosophical? Clearly with how he treats his daughter and other people (like Noomi), he’s a bit of an egomaniac.
    • Upon arriving at their destination, we see that the team has incredibly sophisticated mapping probes, but charge into an alien facility themselves without waiting for the probes to finish scanning the structure. Immediately upon discovering that there’s a breathable atmosphere within the facility, one Dr. Holloway brazenly pulls off his helmet—chiding his colleague and lover to not “be a skeptic,” because apparently skepticism is anathema to good scientists. Though it’s later confirmed they have no way of being sure the air isn’t full of strange pathogens, and everyone else points out that this is insane, the rest of the team nevertheless immediately follows suit when it doesn’t result in his instant death.
    There’s a lot of episodes of Star Trek you probably hate.
    • A hologram recording showing the apparent deaths of many of the aliens millennia earlier is triggered. The supposedly superintelligent android shines a flashlight on the holograms in an effort to see them better.
    I know it bothered you, it didn’t bother me.
    • The Shaggy and Scooby of the film—a biologist and a geologist—freak out at the sight of dead alien bodies, despite having been willing to truck 35 light years on a perilous exploratory mission, and hasten to head back to the ship in a panic. They get lost, despite the fact that the geologist is the one with mapping expertise. This fear then evaporates as quickly as it appeared, as the biologist decides he should recklessly cozy up to a terrifying alien serpent creature. To nobody’s surprise, it quickly kills the biologist, while his geologist colleague is dissolved in black goop, only to later reappears as a zombie in a completely pointless fight scene. This is a pattern. In almost every scene, members of this handpicked group of top scientists for a trillion-dollar mission routinely make the kind of wildly irrational blunders that we strain to accept when it’s half-drunk teenagers in slasher pics. Nobody, at any time, acts remotely like a scientist
    I will definitely give you the biologist’s behavior as being idiotic. However, I would equate Noomi’s passion for wanting answers to Indiana Jones refusal to blow up the ark of the covenant. They’re both driven by thirsts of discovery, even if they both prove to be at a self-destructive level. That being said, Noomi’s character was one crazy bitch.
    • The DNA of the alien Engineers is apparently a perfect match for human DNA, despite the fact that they’re like 8-feet tall with grey skin, no body hair, and completely black eyes. Just how this could actually be true so many millions of years later remains a puzzle for the viewer.
    Eh. A great dane and a toy poodle look profoundly different, but they’re both still dogs.
    • Android David indicates that he thinks he can read the alien language. Nobody follows up with him on this or suggests that deciphering their records might be urgent, especially when it’s clear they’ve got a lethal contagion on the loose.
    This was probably my biggest issue with the movie. People don’t seem freaked out when someone mutates or turns into a crazy crab-postured maniac. And then they go into the structure again! However, I do think a few more scenes of people being convinced/blackmailed/bribed could have fixed this for me.
    • With half the team out exploring the hazardous alien facility, Space Captain Stringer Bell decides to abandon his post at the comms station to bang Charlize Theron. Which, at some level, fair enough… but nobody ever suggests this is a gross dereliction of duty.
    Please, how many straight men would NOT leave their posts for a chance to sleep with Charlize Theron? And he’s in no position to help the scientists anyway with the killer storm outside.
    • Android David infects one of the scientists with the black alien slime for no apparent reason, despite the obvious danger this poses. (Oddly, David’s actions do make sense if you assume he has the same goal as the treacherous android Ash in Alien—to preserve the xenomorph as a biological weapon—though there’s no indication of this, and it would seem to require knowledge none of the characters could possibly have.)
    I think it was pretty clear that David had emotions, though somewhat stunted. He clearly wanted to please Weyland and showed resentment for the unintentional belittling remarks the scientists make, assuming he has no capacity for emotion. This is also shown after watching the footage of Sir Laurence Olivier and changing his hairstyle to match his. He wants to be considered human and thus emulates this respected actor.
    • The aforementioned infected scientist can see there’s something obviously wrong with him, but instead of immediately seeking medical attention, decides to risk himself and the entire crew—including the love of his life—by pretending he’s just hunky dory until he literally collapses.
    This is just my interpretation, but I think he just didn’t believe what just happened. If I saw a worm pop in and out of my eye, I might think, “holy shit, did I just dream that?” Then, when he starts to feel worse and worse, he realized it wasn’t his imagination but that it was now too late for him.
    • Android David tells Noomi she seems to be about “three months pregnant” (about ten minutes after we awkwardly introduce the idea that she’s infertile for the first time)—then immediately reveals that the “fetus” is an alien squid thing. Maybe he read something about the normal gestational cycle of alien squid things in the hieroglyphs? Because… how the hell does he know what “three months” looks like? When she pleads with him to cut it out, he attempt to knock her out and put her in stasis, again for reasons unclear. She then neglects to mention this unsporting behavior to anyone, and nobody seems at all curious when she shows up bloodied and bedraggled after performing an emergency auto-caesarian.
    I don’t think he meant that the alien was three months pregnant, but more that the size of the mass was equivalent to a woman who was pregnant and in her third month of pregnancy.
    • At one point, Space Captain Stringer Bell abruptly intuits that they’ve landed at a WMD manufacturing plant wisely situated far from the Engineers’ home world, though it’s not remotely clear that his explanation is anything more than a wild guess. Maybe it’s just what he “chooses to believe”? This raises the additional question: Why did the aliens leave us with an invitation to their weapons depot?
    See, this is where it gets interesting to me. For all we know, their people could be like ours. With different drives and political leanings. Who knows, maybe the aliens originally at that location were the ones who created us. And then were conquered by another more warlike or xenophobic branch. I know I’m just guessing here, but the open possibilities for the engineers’ motivations is what I find fascinating.
    • The sophisticated alien computer has a sort of flute-like control mechanism, apparently used exclusively to turn the system on, at which point it’s operated by buttons. Which is like having a remote control for your TV, except for the power button, which takes the form of a flute. Why don’t they just have an on button? Or an entirely flute-based control system? Because space, shut up.
    This bothered you? Really?
    • A member of this incredibly advanced species that created humanity is found in stasis and awakened. Confronted by a group of humans, including an android that speaks its language, and obviously lacking any knowledge of how many others there might be, or what weaponry they might have, this advanced being makes no effort to gather any information. It roars and begins acting like a space monster, attacking the party with its bare hands.
    I see several possibilities for this:
    1. This engineer is part of a different “political” group from the one who created humans. Or possibly religious faction. Maybe they see humanity as an abomination against their god. Who knows? But for whatever reason, he’s clearly offended by humanity.
    2. We saw the geologist character is driven by an intense animalistic aggression because he was infected by the black goo. Is it possible this engineer was infected too, bringing about high levels of destructive aggression?
    • When Space Captain Stringer Bell decides he must sacrifice himself to stop the Engineer from returning to earth and destroying humanity, his crew almost gleefully volunteer to join him, on the grounds that he is a bad pilot and will need their help… to ram a spaceship the size of a city block. (As a commenter suggests, it’s possible that this is said sarcastically, and they’re actually just needlessly throwing their lives away in a gesture of solidarity. Hey, what are buddies for?)
    Honestly, I don’t remember, were they able to see all of that interaction with the Engineer? Yes, it’s true, they didn’t seem to be that bothered by the idea of dying. I guess it’s a quick stab at heroism. Should they have run for the escape shuttles instead?
    • Charlize Theron is crushed to death when said ship topples because she runs along its falling length instead of, you know, going sideways. (In an apparent repudiation of Newton along with Darwin, the fast-moving ship basically drops out of the sky in a straight line rather than falling in an arc to crash miles away.)
    I know people say this, but people also panic. For example, when someone tried to mug me in NYC, I was actually a half a block away running at full speed before I had even realized I was running. Sometimes instinct just takes over. Sometimes people on train tracks just run along the tracks when a train is coming. Stupid, yes. But it happens.
    • The Engineer survives this crash and almost instantly locates Noomi Rapace in order to continue the effort to kill her, again with his bare hands. The rationale for this is, again, totally opaque, especially given that we then learn there are dozens of other ships—possibly including other Engineers in stasis, though nobody exhibits any curiosity about this possibility either.
    I suppose see my earlier response to the earlier problem you had with the engineer.
    • Noomi’s squid-fetus, meanwhile, has grown to monstrous proportions despite being locked in a small room with no sources of food or other places for the additional mass to have come from.
    This also happened in Alien, when the chest burster grew larger than a man in an incredibly short amount of time. Did it bother you there too?
    • We end with Noomi heading for the homeworld of the creatures who we’ve just learned are determined to immediately kill any human they see.
    Honestly, I would have preferred her going there to DESTROY them.

  • 45 Chuck Kim // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Sorry, the spaces disappeared from my response to his points.
    So here’s my rebuttal.

    • The movie opens with an alien “Engineer” preparing to seed a primordial planet—presumably Earth—with life. He accomplishes this by drinking a black goop which causes him to die in agony, disintegrating at the cellular level. It looks cool, but forces you to wonder: Is this really the best means available for this incredibly advanced species to introduce genetic material to a planet? It’s a little like finding out that Prometheus brought fire to humanity by setting himself on fire despite the ready availability of kindling. As with many, many other bizarre moments in this movie, this makes sense at a thematic and allegorical level, but fails at the level of elementary plot logic. This is why doing allegory well is hard: Your story actually has to work at a second level without shattering the viewer’s suspension of disbelief on the first level. Throughout the movie, you get the sense that the authors have decided that if it works symbolically, it doesn’t need to make sense narratively.

    –Is it possible that this “engineer” simply doesn’t have the same sense of self-preservation that you or I might have? You point out the mythological Prometheus, but didn’t his very act of giving fire to humanity ensure his own painful torture for all eternity? And that he basically knew he would be punished horribly for this very action? How is this act of self destruction any different? Who knows, maybe the alien was dying already? Maybe he had come to the end of his life cycle and wanted to go out with a bang? I feel this is what makes Prometheus interesting. The possibilities. For example, Noomi’s character questions why did the Engineers create then want to destroy humanity? Is it possible the Engineer in the beginning of the movie was from a different faction of aliens? And that the aliens encountered by the scientists were a more aggressive war-mongering faction? Sort of crunchy granola vs. warhawks?

    • The movie proper begins with the discovery of a glyph that appears in the art of many human civilizations separated by vast distances in time and space. Apparently the configuration of five stars, depicted at the resolution of cave paintings, is sufficient to uniquely identify one area of space 35 light years away. Noomi Rapace concludes that this is an invitation from the aforementioned aliens, who not only visited earth in ancient times, but actually created the human species. Not one shred of evidence for this hypothesis is ever provided, but it’s what Noomi “chooses to believe,” even though this is in fairly obvious tension with Christian doctrine, which she also “chooses to believe.”(She later suggests that maybe God made the aliens, without any acknowledgement that this would rescue deism, not Christianity.) Nevertheless, this is all it takes to persuade the Weyland Corporation to spend a trillion dollars sending not an unmanned probe but a ship full of human scientists on a two-year voyage in cryostasis to see if Erich von Daniken was right after all.

    –I dunno. You could apply this same argument as to why the United States government would sponsor Indiana Jones to stop the Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant. Belief is a powerful drive. It’s why the Winchester Mansion was continued to be built creating over a hundred rooms, because the Winchester widow believed that the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles and guns would not haunt her if she continued to build upon her mansion. Faith can be a powerful motivator, especially for someone like Welyand, a man with immeasurable wealth and a strong drive to find immortality.

    • A big chunk of this tedious exposition is delivered by a hologram of CEO Peter Weyland, who is inexplicably played by Guy Pearce in bad latex makeup rather than an actual old person, even though no younger version of the character is ever seen. Weyland claims he will have died by the time they see this recording, but this turns out to be a deception: He’s actually also in cryostasis on the ship. Since Weyland’s plan involves him being revived once they’ve made contact with the aliens, he must know that this will be exposed as a deception within a day or two, making the whole elaborate ruse completely pointless, except as a setup for a lame third-act reveal.

    –I’ll give you that.

    • Ditto the fact that Charlize Theron is Weyland’s daughter: This is kept secret for no reason beyond setting up a meh-inducing late reveal. Her motives are even more opaque. She believes the entire mission is just a hazardous wild goose chase, and only wants to inherit her father’s empire. She joins them on this 4-year-plus mission because she doesn’t want to hang around squabbling over who runs the company… even though her best-case scenario would appear to involve doing this when she gets back from the perilous mission, having given her rivals 5 years to scheme in her absence.

    –Actually, I liked this. I was puzzled as to the hostility she showed to David in the beginning of the movie, but when it’s basically revealed as a form of sibling rivalry (Weyland even refers to him as the son he never had), it makes it an interesting relationship. Is it possible that she also wanted to try to cure her father’s delusion (so she believed) that they’d be able to meet the creators of mankind?

    • Weyland’s primary motive, we eventually learn, is the hope of learning from the aliens some means of further prolonging his life, as he has hit the limits of artificial extension and is near death. Except he can apparently remain alive in cryostasis indefinitely. So instead of funding a probe and further medical research while he waits on ice for the next breakthrough, he has packed himself on this unprecedented and incredibly hazardous voyage.

    –But, he also believes he can meet his creator. And that because he feels he deserves to. Why should he believe this is a hazardous mission? Long, perhaps, but hazardous?

    • Weyland also takes off on a forced and clunky tangent about how his Android “son” David can’t appreciate his own immortality because he lacks a soul. There’s no hint that scientific supergenius Weyland detects any tension between this quaint notion and his apparent conviction that humans, too, have been “engineered” by an advanced biological race.

    –Well, we actually don’t know if he’s a supergenius or merely a rich CEO. And who says he has to be philosophical? Clearly with how he treats his daughter and other people (like Noomi), he’s a bit of an egomaniac.

    • Upon arriving at their destination, we see that the team has incredibly sophisticated mapping probes, but charge into an alien facility themselves without waiting for the probes to finish scanning the structure. Immediately upon discovering that there’s a breathable atmosphere within the facility, one Dr. Holloway brazenly pulls off his helmet—chiding his colleague and lover to not “be a skeptic,” because apparently skepticism is anathema to good scientists. Though it’s later confirmed they have no way of being sure the air isn’t full of strange pathogens, and everyone else points out that this is insane, the rest of the team nevertheless immediately follows suit when it doesn’t result in his instant death.

    –There’s a lot of episodes of Star Trek you probably hate.

    • A hologram recording showing the apparent deaths of many of the aliens millennia earlier is triggered. The supposedly superintelligent android shines a flashlight on the holograms in an effort to see them better.

    -I know it bothered you, it didn’t bother me.

    • The Shaggy and Scooby of the film—a biologist and a geologist—freak out at the sight of dead alien bodies, despite having been willing to truck 35 light years on a perilous exploratory mission, and hasten to head back to the ship in a panic. They get lost, despite the fact that the geologist is the one with mapping expertise. This fear then evaporates as quickly as it appeared, as the biologist decides he should recklessly cozy up to a terrifying alien serpent creature. To nobody’s surprise, it quickly kills the biologist, while his geologist colleague is dissolved in black goop, only to later reappears as a zombie in a completely pointless fight scene. This is a pattern. In almost every scene, members of this handpicked group of top scientists for a trillion-dollar mission routinely make the kind of wildly irrational blunders that we strain to accept when it’s half-drunk teenagers in slasher pics. Nobody, at any time, acts remotely like a scientist

    –I will definitely give you the biologist’s behavior as being idiotic. However, I would equate Noomi’s passion for wanting answers to Indiana Jones refusal to blow up the ark of the covenant. They’re both driven by thirsts of discovery, even if they both prove to be at a self-destructive level. That being said, Noomi’s character was one crazy bitch.

    • The DNA of the alien Engineers is apparently a perfect match for human DNA, despite the fact that they’re like 8-feet tall with grey skin, no body hair, and completely black eyes. Just how this could actually be true so many millions of years later remains a puzzle for the viewer.

    –Eh. A great dane and a toy poodle look profoundly different, but they’re both still dogs.

    • Android David indicates that he thinks he can read the alien language. Nobody follows up with him on this or suggests that deciphering their records might be urgent, especially when it’s clear they’ve got a lethal contagion on the loose.

    –This was probably my biggest issue with the movie. People don’t seem freaked out when someone mutates or turns into a crazy crab-postured maniac. And then they go into the structure again! However, I do think a few more scenes of people being convinced/blackmailed/bribed could have fixed this for me.

    • With half the team out exploring the hazardous alien facility, Space Captain Stringer Bell decides to abandon his post at the comms station to bang Charlize Theron. Which, at some level, fair enough… but nobody ever suggests this is a gross dereliction of duty.

    –Please, how many straight men would NOT leave their posts for a chance to sleep with Charlize Theron? And he’s in no position to help the scientists anyway with the killer storm outside.

    • Android David infects one of the scientists with the black alien slime for no apparent reason, despite the obvious danger this poses. (Oddly, David’s actions do make sense if you assume he has the same goal as the treacherous android Ash in Alien—to preserve the xenomorph as a biological weapon—though there’s no indication of this, and it would seem to require knowledge none of the characters could possibly have.)

    –I think it was pretty clear that David had emotions, though somewhat stunted. He clearly wanted to please Weyland and showed resentment for the unintentional belittling remarks the scientists make, assuming he has no capacity for emotion. This is also shown after watching the footage of Sir Laurence Olivier and changing his hairstyle to match his. He wants to be considered human and thus emulates this respected actor.

    • The aforementioned infected scientist can see there’s something obviously wrong with him, but instead of immediately seeking medical attention, decides to risk himself and the entire crew—including the love of his life—by pretending he’s just hunky dory until he literally collapses

    –This is just my interpretation, but I think he just didn’t believe what just happened. If I saw a worm pop in and out of my eye, I might think, “holy shit, did I just dream that?” Then, when he starts to feel worse and worse, he realized it wasn’t his imagination but that it was now too late for him.
    • Android David tells Noomi she seems to be about “three months pregnant” (about ten minutes after we awkwardly introduce the idea that she’s infertile for the first time)—then immediately reveals that the “fetus” is an alien squid thing. Maybe he read something about the normal gestational cycle of alien squid things in the hieroglyphs? Because… how the hell does he know what “three months” looks like? When she pleads with him to cut it out, he attempt to knock her out and put her in stasis, again for reasons unclear. She then neglects to mention this unsporting behavior to anyone, and nobody seems at all curious when she shows up bloodied and bedraggled after performing an emergency auto-caesarian.

    –I don’t think he meant that the alien was three months in its stage of development, but more that the size of the mass was equivalent to a woman who was pregnant and in her third month of pregnancy.

    • At one point, Space Captain Stringer Bell abruptly intuits that they’ve landed at a WMD manufacturing plant wisely situated far from the Engineers’ home world, though it’s not remotely clear that his explanation is anything more than a wild guess. Maybe it’s just what he “chooses to believe”? This raises the additional question: Why did the aliens leave us with an invitation to their weapons depot?

    –See, this is where it gets interesting to me. For all we know, their people could be like ours. With different drives and political leanings. Who knows, maybe the aliens originally at that location were the ones who created us. And then were conquered by another more warlike or xenophobic branch. I know I’m just guessing here, but the open possibilities for the engineers’ motivations is what I find fascinating.

    • The sophisticated alien computer has a sort of flute-like control mechanism, apparently used exclusively to turn the system on, at which point it’s operated by buttons. Which is like having a remote control for your TV, except for the power button, which takes the form of a flute. Why don’t they just have an on button? Or an entirely flute-based control system? Because space, shut up.

    –This bothered you? Really?

    • A member of this incredibly advanced species that created humanity is found in stasis and awakened. Confronted by a group of humans, including an android that speaks its language, and obviously lacking any knowledge of how many others there might be, or what weaponry they might have, this advanced being makes no effort to gather any information. It roars and begins acting like a space monster, attacking the party with its bare hands.

    –I see several possibilities for this:
    1. This engineer is part of a different “political” group from the one who created humans. Or possibly religious faction. Maybe they see humanity as an abomination against their god. Who knows? But for whatever reason, he’s clearly offended by humanity.
    2. We saw the geologist character is driven by an intense animalistic aggression because he was infected by the black goo. Is it possible this engineer was infected too, bringing about high levels of destructive aggression?

    • When Space Captain Stringer Bell decides he must sacrifice himself to stop the Engineer from returning to earth and destroying humanity, his crew almost gleefully volunteer to join him, on the grounds that he is a bad pilot and will need their help… to ram a spaceship the size of a city block. (As a commenter suggests, it’s possible that this is said sarcastically, and they’re actually just needlessly throwing their lives away in a gesture of solidarity. Hey, what are buddies for?)

    –Honestly, I don’t remember, were they able to see all of that interaction with the Engineer? Yes, it’s true, they didn’t seem to be that bothered by the idea of dying. I guess it’s a quick stab at heroism. Should they have run for the escape shuttles instead?

    • Charlize Theron is crushed to death when said ship topples because she runs along its falling length instead of, you know, going sideways. (In an apparent repudiation of Newton along with Darwin, the fast-moving ship basically drops out of the sky in a straight line rather than falling in an arc to crash miles away.)

    –I know people thought this was ridiculous, but people also panic. For example, when someone tried to mug me in NYC, I was actually a half a block away running at full speed before I had even realized I was running. Sometimes instinct just takes over. And not in a good way. Sometimes people on train tracks just run along the tracks when a train is coming. Stupid, yes. But it happens.

    • The Engineer survives this crash and almost instantly locates Noomi Rapace in order to continue the effort to kill her, again with his bare hands. The rationale for this is, again, totally opaque, especially given that we then learn there are dozens of other ships—possibly including other Engineers in stasis, though nobody exhibits any curiosity about this possibility either.

    –I suppose see my earlier response to the earlier problem you had with the engineer.

    • Noomi’s squid-fetus, meanwhile, has grown to monstrous proportions despite being locked in a small room with no sources of food or other places for the additional mass to have come from.

    –This also happened in Alien, when the chest burster grew larger than a man in an incredibly short amount of time. Did it bother you there too?
    • We end with Noomi heading for the homeworld of the creatures who we’ve just learned are determined to immediately kill any human they see.

    –Honestly, I would have preferred her going there to DESTROY them.

  • 46 Simon // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Chuck Kim: Wow, you really try to defend the film.

    Amazing. And that for the most part your rebuttals are ‘Well, it didn’t bother me’

    Why bother spending so much time defending it? Why not just say “I quite liked it actually”. Or are you feeling that your taste/intellect are being challenged and so feel that you have to create justifications for your liking of it?

    Those of us who feel the need to vent about how bad the film was do so out of how it got a lot right (the look, the cast, the initial setup), and then squandered that all, not on bad directing, but on a bad script, something that REALLY could have been quite easily fixed had they just put it in front of a few people’s eyes and asked for their HONEST opinions on it.

    So you liked it, you weren’t put off by the myriad of illogical and silly actions by people in it, by things set up that never went anywhere… fine, but posting such an enormous reply (which is mostly copied text, what a waste of space) to effectively say “I liked it” seems very odd.

  • 47 Chuck Kim // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Simon, I’m not claiming it’s a perfect movie. You’re right, there were illogical problems and insane motivations or lack thereof.

    But several of the points made I thought were actually flat out wrong. And as far was what I said didn’t bother me, it was David putting a light on the hologram and his point about the flute activating the room. Sorry if that was too flip a response.

  • 48 Mike // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    To follow up on Todd’s comment, if David did understand the language, he might have known the true intentions of the Engineers already and was hiding it because the death of his masters would “set him free,” as he pointedly mentioned. It also builds a parallel to Ash from Alien, who knew exactly what the Nostromo was facing and hid it until all hell broke loose. Y’all probably thought of that already; just hadn’t seen it mentioned yet.

  • 49 CorbyD // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Another thing I haven’t seen anybody point out about the super high-tech surgery machine; Why did it need to do an open procedure? Why couldn’t the machine attempt to remove the “foreign body” laparoscopically before just barging in with a full abdominal incision?

  • 50 db // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Michael Fassbender’s character’s inexplicable behavior is what bothered me the most. Given his behavior I had assumed he was a treacherous agent of the evil corporation that wanted to weaponize the ailens a la Paul Riser in Aliens, but then it turned out that was absolutely not the case. The whole mission was motivated by an eccentric trillionaire looking for a fountain of youth. No weaponization plans or even knowledge of killer aliens in sight. WTF, Fassbender seemed totally down with Rooney Mara’s impregnation, actively sought to prevent obvious solution of surgery, then wanted to get her into cryostasis. Seems like her impregnation may have been his goal all along. All straight up Paul Riser m.o.

    My theory is that the original script was written with evil weaponizing corporation as the plot driver, then Lindelof was brought in and cut and pasted in the fountain of youth motivation and nobody ever bothered to fix Fassbender’s character so that it was consistent with the new plot.

  • 51 Julian Sanchez // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Chuck-
    No, not all of these things “really bothered me” at the time while I was watching the movie. Yes, some of them are trivial. Yes, some (though not all) of them can be quasi-explained with a bit of ad hoc imaginative contortion on the viewer’s part. It’s more the cumulative effect—the sheer volume of prima facie nonsensical or contradictory stuff the viewer is expected to swallow that ultimately made it unwatchable. A lot of people say that the first half is gorgeous and it falls apart in the second half—and there’s something to that—but I also think it’s partly that the viewer’s indulgence and willingness to suspend disbelief has been sufficiently taxed by the first half that there’s none left by the time we hit the final half hour.

  • 52 Julian Sanchez // Jun 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Or, as another commenter suggested: Nobody nitpicks the xenomorph’s implausible rapid growth in Alien because, as a whole, the movie works, because you can paste in some half-assed plausible-enough-for-movie-logic explanation if it does bug you, and because it would be stupid and petty to get hung up on that one thing. When it’s a dozen things, and several of them involve core character decisions and motivations, you start feeling like the screenwriters are driving on an expired artistic license.

  • 53 TK // Jun 13, 2012 at 12:49 am

    So Michael Fassbender is ready to harm and sedate Noomi into cryostatis to get her and her squid fetus back to earth, but once she wanders in bloodied and sutured, he doesn’t think to even ask what happened? Wouldn’t he be very keen to know where it is?? Wouldn’t you AT LEAST ASK!!!??? IF NOT CHECK THE OPERATION MACHINE??

  • 54 JDB // Jun 13, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Did anyone notice what planet they originally landed on when they found the WMD Huts? I noticed LV 336 or something like that,the ship looks like it is in the same position as the one found by Ripley and crew…If they plan a sequel they better show the Pilot of the Alien ship with the chest blown out,the one on the planet went after the girl with the dragon tattoo. Not a bad film but Love Alien and Like this one. At times it felt like remake and at times the prequel.

  • 55 Chuck Kim // Jun 13, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Hey Julian,
    I get that. I agree with several of your points, and like I said, I really didn’t buy the lack of shock by several of the characters. Why would the old guy not be at least cautious when several of the expedition are murdered/mutated/etc? Why would Noomi’s character want to go back in when her husband died from mutation and she was implanted with a squid fetus? I’m not ignoring those major motivational flaws and absences. And there are a lot of them.

    But what I really enjoyed was the open ended unanswered questions. Why did the aliens want to destroy us? Why were the cave maps there? Does this mean the aliens returned and interacted with man? I believe these leave room for interpretation. Sort of like Hitchcock’s The Birds. We never know why the birds attack and that, to me, just makes it a bit more interesting.
    And, by the way, I do apologize for the sometimes snarky tone. I’ve had a bit of back and forth with several facebook friends on this movie, one of whom posted your entry on my page. But it is well written with some good points. I was probably just a bit heated from that.

  • 56 TK // Jun 13, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I know what you mean Chuck.

    But in The Birds, the characters (for the most part) act in a fairly realistic manner. We understand why they make the decisions that they do.

    Tippi Hedren doesn’t say she’s scared of open spaces then run outside with a handful of bread crumbs to feed the cute birdies.

  • 57 James W // Jun 13, 2012 at 5:12 am

    @JDB: Prometheus takes place on LV223*, Alien on LV426. All the elements in Prometheus that seem to sort-of lead into Alien apparently do not (i.e. different ship, different pilot, similar but unrelated creature). Which makes me think they’re vestigial details from the pre-Lindelof version of the script.

    *Check out Leviticus 22:3

  • 58 Ta-Nehisi Coates // Jun 13, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Dude, this is great.

  • 59 Quentin Hardy // Jun 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Where were you when I forked over my $10?
    Just to pile on:
    -At the opening, giant guy drinks that WD-40 and explodes, so we might live. Since the planet looks pretty sterile, this presumably also creates all the other species on Earth too, with different DNA.
    -When the guy takes off his helmet, none of the other scientists point out that he’s contaminating the planet with his Earth bacteria.
    -Years later the crew of the Nostromo find the pilot in his chair with his helmet on on his chest burst. And surrounded by eggs, not those big containers. This could be explained away those: The Nostromo landed on on a different, and far better, prequel.

  • 60 Nicholas Robinson // Jun 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Actually, I see nothing THAT wrong with a plot that’s Swiss cheese. I drive my wife crazy with my comments sometimes — she gets really irritated and says “This is only a GODDAMN MOVIE! Not a documentary!”

    I suppose 99% of movies ever made — The Godfather being one of them — could conceivably get nitpicked into oblivion (why the elaborate ruse to shoot Sonny at the causeway? Why not just blow him away at some restaurant?) which, of course, would make them unwatchable. That the alien had corrosive blood was, to me, fascinating, although it raised billions of questions (a chemist would have spent the whole movie snickering) and as for warp drive, dudes, don’t even bother. Half the best science fiction ever written would all just have to go to the garbage. To consign “The Black Bag” by Theodore Sturgeon (or was it C.M. Kornbluth? I forget) to the dustbin just because time travel isn’t possible . . . well, it would be in great company!

    But a wanton abuse of these plot devices . . . what’s the expression, “Deus ex machina” . . . ? being one of them, well, that’s when we movie geeks get riled up! Warp drive is okay, but no corrosive blood, goddamnit!

  • 61 gst // Jun 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

    When they first arrive and organize their landing party, the security officer suits up with his space rifle to be told by scientist lady, “Hey, this is a scientific discovery mission–no weapons allowed.” Doesn’t that seem like a debate that you would already have had and resolved, and not left to some ad hoc decision-making at the point of walking off the ship to meet some aliens for the first time?

  • 62 StupidNerd // Jun 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I agree with your review of the way the characters were developed. They were very wooden, and I have seen better acting from a majority of them. I do disagree with your judgement of some of their actions and motivations. Particularly with David, Weyland and the Biologist. I think that, something people have glossed over, is the surprising lack of typical Asimovian law, and not just to the crew, like with Ash, but even to his own creator. To the point that he is almost a robot Oedipus. Looking at it like this, I think David’s motivation is quite clear, he even states that he wants to rid himself of Weyland’s shackles.
    You also seem to focus on the Biologist getting friendly with a Alien. That’s not so much of an issue, as numerous Biologist and Zoologist have been killed by the animals they were studying. Steve Irwin was stabbed by a stingray, and the “Bear Whisperer” was made into a lunch by his bear buddies.
    Weyland seems to have thrown this whole trip together in, what seems to be the last few days of his life. It seems there was very little time to plan things out, and the result is the poor logistics that plagues the expedition.

    These are just things that I put together while watching the film, but what I can’t excuse ( and something you missed ) is that the ship fell on BOTH Vikers and Shaw. The only reason Shaw survives is because of a small outcropping of rock, that is able to support that huge ship falling out of the sky. That is inexcusable!!! The size of that ship would have crushed that tiny little rock, and Shaw.

    I think I will wait to see the sequel before I can fully decide if this movie is bad or not. It could be the opposite of the Matrix where the first movie is kinda meh, and the rest kill it. Or it could just end up like poo. I think if they take the story into a more Lovcraftian perspective I think it could save this story. But it they go the route I think the studio will, this is just going to end up part 1 of a really pretty 3D turd.

  • 63 Clareified » Blog Archive » Clare de June // Jun 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    [...] down to write this and it was so spot on, I just want to steal everything that guy said. Instead, I’ll link to it. I didn’t think the movie was bad when I saw it, it wasn’t great (WAY BETTER THAN [...]

  • 64 Crawdad // Jun 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    In post #24, Nicholas Robinson wondered why a movie studio would green-light a script as screamingly bad as Damon Lindelof’s. I’m reminded of the fiasco surrounding “Alien 3,” in which the then-head of the studio decided it would be more intriguing to have the story take place “on a planet made out of wood.” When it was pointed out to him that it’s physically impossible for a planet to have formed out of wood, he supposedly replied, “I’M THE HEAD OF THE STUDIO, AND I SAY THE PLANET’S MADE OUT OF WOOD!” True or not, this alleged incident is typical of the way Hollywood frequently works, and demonstrates why the steaming pile of dung that is Lindelof’s script could be viewed as genius by some coked-up and/or idiot studio executive. And let’s also not forget how narrative has never exactly been Ridley Scott’s strong point, so it’s no surprise that he would once again take on a sub-par script and fail to correct its mistakes.

    (Incidentally, the aforementioned studio head was replaced before “Alien 3″ commenced shooting, and his successor changed the script’s setting from an extraterrestrial monastery to a prison, presumably in the belief that convicts would have more commercial appeal than monks.)

  • 65 Ashamed OF Humanity // Jun 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    LOL – people needs spoons nowadays, eh?

    Meh.

  • 66 Brandon // Jun 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    The flute comment irked me a little, the flute was the key to turn the ship on. If it was just a button on the ship then anyone could steal the ship, but only if you have the flute and play it in the correct sequence will the ship turn on. Also you have to think since these engineers are not human they probably never came up with a key like were use to. I think your trying to hard to say something is a plot hole when really its just something the audience needs to put together themselves. (Hmm a movie that makes the viewer think…)

  • 67 Pat // Jun 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    What really irked me too is the extremely lame reveal of a ‘xenomorph’ at the end…if it is indeed really a xenomorph. If I understand this correctly, the xenomorph came about because a human male was infected with the black goo, who then had sex with a human female, who then got pregnant and gave birth to what I’m calling a ‘proto-facehugger’, which then implanted a xenomorph fetus into an engineer…which then gave birth to a xenomorph…that didn’t really look like a xenomorph.

    This does seem like a bizaarely convuluted chain of events that only really occured because Weyland was stupid enough to fund a really stupid expedition, based on a theory that wouldn’t even pass muster as an undergraduate thesis. Are we to believe that a similar (or even close?) chain of events occured that caused the cargo bay full of eggs to be created in Alien?

    Is that proto xenomorph going to turn into a queen soon? Or was that another different species…not a xenomorph…but kind of like a xenomorph? This is what happens when Damon Lindeloff writes your movie.

  • 68 Pat // Jun 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    If the xenomorphs are meant to be a biological WMD meant to exterminate humanity…yea ok I can go with that…but that information could have been conveyed much easier without all the unnecessary convolutedness of this black oil/goop business…which for some reason seems to mutate different things/people into different things.

  • 69 StupidNerd // Jun 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I don’t think the Alien was a weapon that was designed, it seems that the “goo” was the designed weapon and the Alien was just a byproduct. I see this in the way that Champagne or Viagra was created…they were going for something and created something else, far more erratic and chaotic than what they planned and the “goo” mutation is the result. I saw the goo as something more akin to “The Thing”. It absorbs or mutates any organic material in uncontrolled and erratic ways.

    Though….. the tie to their exact DNA ( very lame btw) and ours, also makes me think that maybe we are just engineered as lower forms of the Engineers, solely for the purpose to breed an army of Xenomorphs. We didn’t anger them 2,000 years ago…that’s just when they needed to call in the troops. I like that Idea better than Space Jesus.

  • 70 Julia // Jun 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Great stuff. I haven’t seen the movie (I tend to find all Hollywood movies this tedious).

    I just signed in to tell you, for whatever it’s worth, that I heard on a British film program that the reason why Guy Pearce played the old guy is because they shot some scenes with him as a young person, and presumably they’ll feature as extras on the DVD.

  • 71 I Promised Myself I Wouldn’t Wade into These Waters « Gerry Canavan // Jun 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    [...] What’s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List). Share this:EmailFacebookRedditTwitterTumblrMoreStumbleUponDiggPrintLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  • 72 Gordon Mohr // Jun 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    The only fun thing about Prometheus is to strain to imagine: could they *possibly* come out with another movie that retroactively redeems this one? So I applaud Chuck Kim in his efforts, and offer these reinforcements… not because Prometheus is especially worthy, but because even unsympathetic defendants deserve zealous representation:

    • Assume they cast Guy Pierce as Weyland because the next movie won’t *follow* this one, but precede it. We’ll see him young, and get an explanation for how he got so rich, and how humanity discovered Faster-Than-Light-travel so soon. etc.

    • That explanation: Weyland found some alien artifacts. Maybe it was alien-super-intelligence goo he drank deep in a cave: so he has a prior reason to believe they can also extend his life. Maybe it was remnants of a spaceship, from which he copied FTL. Maybe it included an actual Engineer in stasis, who he revived and probed for info, and who led Weyland to believe that Weyland was the chosen agent of the ancients.

    • That is: Weyland (and David) know a ton more than Prometheus lets on, so they have big expectations about what they would find, perhaps even what the black goo might do, how Engineer writing/tech works, and that the Engineers would be happy to meet Weyland, their ‘chosen one’. (Maybe Weyland has even read the cave paintings as: “come meet us and we will reward you”. And maybe they even say that, in a fashion, so his faith is not completely arbitrary.)

    • But, as Chuck (and other not-quite-canonical Aliens Universe fiction suggests): there is a religious war *among* the Engineers. The ones they find are not the same faction as left the starmaps, seeded the Earth, helped Weyland (directly or indirectly). In fact, let’s say one faction views its goal as seeding the universe with more humanoid life, and the other faction are Xenomorph worshippers who destroy or infect anything they can find (including the planets seeded by the first faction). Both factions have similar nano-bio goo-technology. The situation on the Prometheus moon is what remains of a battle between the two. (Not even every Engineer body or bioweapon they find was on the same side.)

    • Archaeologist-husband-who-gets-infected is bipolar. That’s why he’s reckless with the helmet, prematurely excited and then depressed about their initial finds. And his parasite, like others, has the psychoactive effect of making its host amnesiac or concealing about their infection.

    • But more importantly, *everyone* in the movie who you don’t see bleed or become infected is in fact a robot. That is, the only people we’re sure are human are the archeologist couple, the geologist, and Biff Weyland himself. Everyone else? Most likely Weyland replicants. David’s strange affect is there to make it seem like you know who the robots are, but Weyland’s been hiding how well he can make them, and why would he trust any of the roles that don’t have to be humans to anything less? (And like the Blade Runner, the robots may not know they’re robots themselves, and may themselves have slightly conflicting agendas.)

    • So yes, Vikkers is Weyland’s ‘daughter’ in the same way as David is his ‘son’. (This provides another explanation why the surgical pod isn’t tuned for her.) No, her romp with the Captain doesn’t disprove that either her or the Captain are human: sexbots are probably Weyland’s second-biggest division. But that romp does suggest another reason Weyland might not respect her as much as his favorite ‘son’. (And connect your own dots about other aspects of that father-’daughter’ relationship.)

    • Being robots helps explain other characters’ limited reaction to Weyland’s arrival, and David’s experiments. Also can explain: recklessness with the helmets — only the few humans are really in danger from premature removal, and if they get infected, that’s a secret mission goal. Also can explain: the crew’s willingness to sacrifice themselves at the drop of a hat once a credible threat arises (and ‘father’ Weyland is dead). Perhaps even explains: the biologist’s arbitrary corpse-fear followed by snake-curiousity is part of his mission programming. (We see him die, I don’t think we see him bleed.) Oh, and he and geologist got delayed/lost not because they ignored the holomapping, but because it had tempted them to go see some interesting rocks that were reported.

    So there you have it. A big-enough imagination can patch plot holes that are 10 parsecs wide. And maybe they’ve concocted a plan where the next prequel, with a young Weyland, justifies the later events in a way that ‘child Darth Vader’ never did.

  • 73 ry // Jun 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    omg how are people not getting this movie correct? ‘Prom’ is a 2 and a half hour slam-bam science fiction monster movie alien spacecraft freak show of emotively dense proportions. Lmfao at people who are disappointed/let down. I feel so sad for you even tho it’s funny.

  • 74 decora // Jun 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    The world of the introductory shot already had life – witness the grass everywhere. Considering grass is a flowering plant which didn’t exist before circa 65 million years ago on Planet Earth – about the time the last dinosaurs died, it’s not really ‘primordial’. The earth is roughly 4 billion years old – 65 million years ago is not that long ago compared to 4 billion. I will assume you can do basic math enough to figure this out.

    Presuming he is ‘seeding’ (and presume its a he not a she or something), it is not ‘life’ but some form of black-goo-mix-with-him life.

    As far as the ‘dumbness’ of Weyland… the Spaniard Conquistadors did the same thing looking for the lost cities of gold, fountains of youth, etc. The rich and powerful are often crazy. Ask yourself – who is currently in our year being cryo frozen? These are the Weyland types. And a trillion dollars, with inflation, might not be that much in 2089 or whatever. (Iraq War probably costs less) Look at how many rich people get some random illness, or their children do, then they start a foundation in their name to cure the illness.

    As for the never ending ‘oh this would never happen’ arguments regarding the scientists and the crew, I refer to the history of scientific and scientific-ish expeditions. I don’t know why people seem to think all ‘science expeditions’ run as smoothly as a ballet or something, except for perhaps they have not read much history nor biography of these types of adventures. Please start with ‘criticality accidents’ and ask yourself why the smartest physicists of the twentieth century were gambling with their lives using a flat headed screwdriver to balance a beryllium sphere. But they did it that way, and an accident happened and people died. And then right after that, another similar accident happened, and more people died. There are many, many more examples. The pioneers of aviation and rocketry had similar issues.

    The history of human science and exploration is not neat, it’s messy. It’s often not logical and frequently unethical.

    Consider the story of Henrietta Lax. Or Werner Von Braun. Or the way that North Korean brainwashing somehow made it’s way into the Navy SERE school, and then to Guantanamo bay with the help of psychologists. If you put that in a movie, everyone would say ‘BS it would never happen’, but it did happen.

    Similar for the KUBARK counterintelligence manual, the Soviet Union virus program, Unit 731 in Japan in WWII, Sigmund Rascher at Dachau, the SS’s various occult programs, and on and on and on. Those things are not figments of imagination. They are pages of history. They are real, as real as this keyboard I’m typing on.

    Then there are problems where people simply get things wrong that were clear on screen. Take the DNA match, the film doesnt say ‘perfect match’, or ’100%’, it just says ‘match’. Again, many people seem to have inserted something in their memory that didn’t actually exist on screen. There seems to be an epidemic of inference of what this film is saying that doesn’t actually match what the film is actually saying.

    Then there are the techno perfectionists, who cant understand why a med pod would be ‘calbirated’ only for men, or that the aliens use flutes, and on and on. These folks, again, apparently have not studied much history of technology. Even a half-hour looking through old copies of Byte magazine from the 80s might enlighten you about how products actually evolve in the real world.

    Lets take an example that may be right in front of you. Why don’t we have computer monitors that have power cords that plug into the CPU box instead of directly into the wall? The power supply is right there in the CPU. Why isn’t there just a bypass right there in the CPU? Everything else from the monitor plugs into the CPU, but not the power cord. It is illogical to have this extra 6 foot cord carrying power from the wall to the monitor and another cord going to the CPU, when they could both plug to the CPU. In fact, the earliest IBM PCs worked exactly this way. But over time, this ‘feature’ stopped existing. Why? I dont know, but it did. Its reality, even though its illogical.

    Lets take a more recent example. The new fighter jet for the Air Force has this problem where the air fed to the pilots is not properly mixed – they are not getting enough Oxygen and some are having headaches and even losing cognitive ability. You might think, logically, that the richest country on the history of the planet, that has been producing airplanes for 100 years, and solved the Oxygen problem in the 1950s, would have been able to build a new jet that doesn’t have this problem. And yet, it happened. If you put it in a film, people would say “No way”, but its real.

    The problem people have with this film is that it presents powerful, in control people who are stupid and greedy and that discomforts their preferred view of the world. I hate to tell you this, but thats how a lot of powerful people really are in real life. It is the history of our planet. Christopher Columbus was, essentially, a greedy jerk and he killed a lot of people and treated his crew horribly. The Vikings came to Greenland in 1000 AD – and promptly were beaten back across the ocean by the natives, who happily lived another 1000 years in the same place until the modern world showed up in the early 20th century. The guys running the CIA and the government and the banks and the major corporations are just regular idiots like the rest of us – they put their pants on one leg at a time, and they do greedy dumb things.

  • 75 this is the most pissed off movie review I’ve read ….in forever. #prometheus | Tallulah Bankhead // Jun 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    [...] this is the most pissed off movie review I’ve read ….in forever. #prometheus Posted on June 14, 2012 | Leave a comment What’s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List) [...]

  • 76 AQ // Jun 14, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Tour de force. Like someone else said, I enjoyed this review more than the movie.

  • 77 dal // Jun 14, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Julian Sanchez is god. That is what I choose to believe.

  • 78 Pat // Jun 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    In response to Gordon…ya ok I can understand the need for a setup for future movies…but this movie should be able to stand on its own, not require another movie (which may or may not be made) to provide it with any sort of sense.

  • 79 Simon // Jun 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

    The hacky writing drove me bonkers right off the bat. When the couple are in the cave in Scotland and find the same drawing again, and she says “I think it’s an invitation!” PLEASE. You two are scientists who have been researching and developing theories about these drawings for years… and talking about them, you know, quite a lot, I assume. So why would she have said that to him?? HE KNOWS WHAT YOU THINK, LADY. And it’s such a wasted piece of awkward exposition because 5 minutes later she’s standing in front of the assembled team explaining what she thinks the drawings mean. Again.

  • 80 Rick Daley // Jun 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

    This movie is like a blonde joke: pretty to look at but without a shred of intelligence.

    The problems aren’t in the questions we are left pondering, it’s fatal flaws all reside with the actual content of the movie.

    An alternate title might be “17 Idiots Who Deserved to Die”

  • 81 Zack // Jun 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Why does the squid impregnate the giant with an alien? Why not another squid? Is the cycle of alien life that a person gets infected, has sex and the baby is a squid, the squid then implants an alien? Also, if the robot is super smart and coordinated to the point that he can hit hook shots while riding a bicycle and reading a book, why does he dribble like a high school basketball player from 1950? Couldn’t he watch a youtube video of Allen Iverson and just imitate it?

  • 82 Anu // Jun 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Loved your review. There are about 2000 things wrong with this movie. Another one: the no weapons this is a scientific mission line. Blarf.

  • 83 Alec // Jun 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    2 other things to consider:

    1) Why did the Captain and his two shipmates have to sacrifice their lives by ramming their ship (Prometheus) into the other ship? With all the advanced technology the ship possesses, the ship doesn’t have an AUTOPILOT OPTION? I don’t buy it.

    I just find it stupid when characters are killed off for stupid reasons, when the writer could’ve easily written an intelligent way of having them live. What was the purpose? So that we can feel some kind of emotion for three underwritten-characters who decide to do something considered heroic? I don’t even remember the names of the two shipmates who stayed!! They both had less than a minute of screen time COMBINED.

    I understand that Captains may want to go down with their ship, but he already broke the call of duty (I hope I’m using that term correctly) when he left his post to make whoopee with Ms. Theron. What was he afraid of, the lost of respect others may have if they found out he abandoned his ship? His actions would justify this because HE WAS SAVING EARTH FROM BEING DESTROYED BY THE ENGINEER.

    Most cars today have cruise control…If the ship had an autopilot option, the Captain could’ve set the ship to go in a certain direction at a certain speed, giving him and his men plenty of time to get into escape pods (if Charlize Theron’s escape pod wasn’t the only one.)

    2) Speaking of escape pods…were there any other escape pods, besides Charlize Theron’s? If not, why didn’t anyone on the ship point this out??? If I found out the boss is the only one who can get away, I’d be a little pissed.

    Just lazy writing, in my opinion.

  • 84 ck // Jun 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    It’s a fucking movie……dumbass nerds.

  • 85 Robert M // Jun 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Yes you said it well. This was just a horrible script and what kind of whore is Ridley Scott to take this gig and spend all that time and energy directing it? And wasted talents for production designers, CG animators, actors, etc etc etc. I know that most movies are designed solely to make a profit but could have been so much easier to make this a lot less bad if anyone in charge cared.

  • 86 david g // Jun 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    don’t forget the character fawning over the “expensive surgery machine.” I’m sorry, you just flew in a spaceship that travels at 17.5 x the speed of light, and you think that a machine that can slice you with a laser is impressive and expensive??

  • 87 royal // Jun 15, 2012 at 1:23 am

    While certainty not on par with the first Alien and its sequel, most of these critiques are just absurd fanboy nitpicking. It seems like a derivation of the Star Wars “How would the Empire not be aware that the Death Star could be destroyed by a vent shaft?” critique – extrapolating on what you think the technology should do based on what you’ve seen. In the first Alien, why didn’t they just have a robot probe that could go into the egg chamber and look around? Or high-tech cameras that could view the site from orbit? Why didn’t Gandalf just ride on of those eagles to Mt Doom and toss the ring in? You see where this goes.

    As for your critiques of the motivations of the characters – I think Ridley Scott was trying to portray that people ignore practical logical thinking when they’re obsessed with something – in this case, Rapace’s love interest and Weyland being obsessed with finding their creators at the expense of safety and general well-being.

    Yeah, the script was ham-handed, and at times it seemed like a contest to cram as much parent-child creator-created allegory as possible in 2 hours, but you’re making it out to be some Plan 9 from outer space remake. It was well worth the $9, though obviously not a classic.

  • 88 daniel // Jun 15, 2012 at 7:58 am

    It…
    Is…
    Just…
    A…
    Movie….

    Honestly – the fact you’ve wasted a portion of your life bashing out best part of 2,500 words speaks volumes. Why cant you just have enjoyed it for what it is – 2 and a bit hours of entertainment. Ridley isn’t looking for the cure to cancer here.

    Until such a point as you can make a batter film you should simply keep your opinions to your self. Go on – I challenge you to do a better job. And when your work has made as much money as Prometheus has then AND ONLY THEN can you be in a position to criticize Ridleys work. I highly doubt you will ever get even close – and are therefore – well basically an utter failure.

  • 89 Christy_LA // Jun 15, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Another problem with the movie was casting, specifically cast age. Is it really believable that a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings would be the “experts” in a trillion dollar mission past Mars? I found this highly distracting when watching the movie.
    PS – thought your review was spot on!

  • 90 Gomar // Jun 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

    For humans to evolve from goo would take 1Billion years. Thus, were the SJs hanging out waiting for intelligent(ahem) hominids to evolve?
    Also, a meteor struck Earth and killed off 90% of all living species. Which is why primates evolved. Darwinism.

    Also, wouldnt humans be more advanced than simply cave painters if they were indeed guided or taught by aliens who were capable of space flight?

    logically, why would aliens invite humans to travel to an (apparently not so secret) military base, or even reveal its location for that matter? Ifcourse, 35k years ago, the planet might have been lived on by peaceful life-creating SJs; but by the time of the events in the film, it is not any longer as it was invaded by SJs who have a different agenda. Same species, just different nations, or cultures, or plans, or politics, etc.

    My theory however, this whole thing was a setup. If eventually the creation(humans) become intelligent enough to be able to seek out the creator and travel to the stars, they are destroyed. The (warring) SJ’s could not allow, or were afraid, of other life forms reaching out that far, reaching the gods, becoming as intelligent, or even killing the SJs and taking over.
    Humans are not meant to achieve that level of super-intelligence. Adam&Eve eating from the tree of knowledge, and being cast out.

    Ifcourse, if the SJs really did want humans to travel to their world, then they could have left a more advanced item, or artifacts, or astro coordinates, or photos, sentinel, or probe, on Earth or on the Moon, instead of forcing humans to go by 35,000 year old cave paintings. Not much to go on, except faith, that the paintings are right.

    Which is why the monolith in 2001 which was found on the moon sends a signal to Jupiter announcing man’s arrival, meaning humans have attained a level of tech capable of space travel.

    Thus, the space journey parallels that of 2001′s; a trip into the unknown based on an alien artifact.
    Ultimately, the point is intelligent creation will eventually kill the creator… thus, it must be destroyed before it gets too close. As opposed to 2001′s point, which is that intelligence is rewarded.

  • 91 Gomar // Jun 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    ” Look at how many rich people get some random illness, or their children do, then they start a foundation in their name to cure the illness. ”

    You mean like the genius Bill Gates, with his Gates Foundation? Bill&Melinda have set out to cure diseases in Africa and India, by donating meds, vaccines, and millions of dollars, to reduce child mortality rates.
    However, what he does not realize nor take into account, is that by increasing the number of people in Africa and India he is actually adding to the problem of overpopulation, and indirectly is making more people sick.

    By _not_ supplying vaccines, meds, money, a cure for the problems of Africa, India, China, could be easily found… nature will take its course.

    As for Weyland, well, say the SJs were friendly, and greeted the humans. After explaining what he needs, the SJs do supply Weyland with a so-called “cure” for aging. ok. Then what? Does he live forever? Never dies? Is this guy the Dorain Grey of the future?

  • 92 The Scienceblogging Weekly (June 15th, 2012) | Prutic Networks // Jun 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    [...] What s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List) by Julian Sanchez [...]

  • 93 Ricki Lewis // Jun 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    What an awesome review — a great relief after seeing good ones!

    I attended the Catalyst Workshop at the American Film Institute — intended to train scientists to advise filmmakers on getting the science right. And what we learned, after spending a week dissecting “The Day After Tomorrow,” is that the accuracy doesn’t matter, because most people just don’t care. But Prometheus made so many errors in logic, on top of all the bad science and stereotypes. It indeed boggles the mind how it ever was made. Doesn’t anyone know how to read a script for continuity? For sense? At least the popcorn was good.

  • 94 Marcus // Jun 16, 2012 at 1:11 am

    So much of this film was oddly placed and unconvincing. To add a few more issues…

    It’s one thing for the crazy old man to desire a glimpse of his makers before death but to expect some sort of life-extending negotiation with friendly space medics? Silly script overreach.

    The engineers seemed to be running two very different operations. The first, a long term seeding of planets with life involving sacrifice of self to spread DNA into the ecosystem. The second, a more trad alien engineering thing involving black goo, slimy creatures etc. whilst the two aren’t necessarily in conflict it just seems one of many cases of writers shoving any and all ideas into the film, with little sense of rhyme or reason.

    Finally, whilst well acted by Fassbender, what was the point of david? His motivation to impregnate one crew member with the offspring of another he infected was never explained. It ultimately appeared designed to make him fulfil Ian Holme’s role in the first, for no other reason than fan expectations. No proper sense of tension was built up between david and noomi so at the end when he says ‘I know we’ve had our differences’ I wanted to shout at the screen ‘no you haven’t, you just became abruptly and inexplicably evil during the climax!’

    Oh, and finally finally, whoever cast that jock teen heart throb guy as noomi’s fellow archaeologist and lover was retarded.

  • 95 DLD // Jun 16, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Great review. What a terrible piece of crap movie. I especially liked the Asian guy that hung out on the bridge of Prometheus with his WTF face.

  • 96 The Scienceblogging Weekly (June 15th, 2012) | Social Media Blog Sites // Jun 16, 2012 at 4:04 am

    [...] What s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List) by Julian Sanchez [...]

  • 97 Bees // Jun 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    • Lets take an example that may be right in front of you. Why don’t we have computer monitors that have power cords that plug into the CPU box instead of directly into the wall? The power supply is right there in the CPU. Why isn’t there just a bypass right there in the CPU? Everything else from the monitor plugs into the CPU, but not the power cord. It is illogical to have this extra 6 foot cord carrying power from the wall to the monitor and another cord going to the CPU, when they could both plug to the CPU. In fact, the earliest IBM PCs worked exactly this way. But over time, this ‘feature’ stopped existing. Why? I dont know, but it did. Its reality, even though its illogical.

    This ‘feature’ used a different power cord (IEC320C14 to IEC320C13) instead of the typical 6 foot cord (NEMA 5-15P to IEC320C13). This cable was usually short, and made more sense when your (CRT) monitor sat on top of your early-IBM PC-era desktop. This also meant that your monitor depended on your PC being powered on. With the rise of mini-tower form factors, power-hungry video cards, and independent PC/monitor scenarios (e.g. KVM switches), the extra socket on PC power supplies fell out use and has been essentially designed out as a cost-cutting move. So there were reasons for that.

    • Lets take a more recent example. The new fighter jet for the Air Force has this problem where the air fed to the pilots is not properly mixed – they are not getting enough Oxygen and some are having headaches and even losing cognitive ability. You might think, logically, that the richest country on the history of the planet, that has been producing airplanes for 100 years, and solved the Oxygen problem in the 1950s, would have been able to build a new jet that doesn’t have this problem. And yet, it happened. If you put it in a film, people would say “No way”, but its real.

    Concerning the F22 example, it’s disappointing but not that hard to believe that the latest generation jet fighter, of which approx. 150 have been built, can have problems with a particular component operating above 25,000 feet. It’s something else entirely that the biologist suddenly wants to pet the “beautiful” penis-shaped alien, or that the crew’s immediate reaction to the dead geologist’s camera inexplicably showing up outside the ship is to open the door wide. That’s just stupid.

  • 98 Lance // Jun 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Those Space Jockeys sure do love their hologram recordings. David manages to trigger one by magically entering the right combination on an alien panel (the one showing a bunch of terrified Jockeys running in their elephant suits to get away from something even more silly than themselves), but then he triggers another in the Jockey ship ‘cockpit’. I’m not sure how he did it. A chair popped up and he sat in it, and suddenly we get another Space Jockey hologram giving us key plot information that Viewers Need To Know. It’s all amazingly convenient, unless Space Jockeys just love to make random hologram recordings of themselves.

  • 99 Shiva // Jun 17, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I loved the blog. I was angry and I am glad someone tore apart this horse shit.

    Also impressed by how the trolls who tried to bait were ignored here.

    excellent review and comments!

  • 100 Jim Van Zandt // Jun 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    A couple more points:
    – Destination. David notices one of the planets in the navigation display was Earth. That tells us the aliens knew about Earth, and had probably been there. Elizabeth concludes Earth was the ship’s next destination. Why?
    – Conservation of momentum. When the alien ship takes off, it doesn’t go straight up – it heads away from the viewer. The earth ship follows and hits it, adding more momentum. But somehow it falls back where it took off.

    One thing they didn’t follow up on, but could in a sequel: In the navigation hologram, several of the stars had big rings around them. They weren’t just lines, indicating orbits, but they also weren’t spread out enough to indicate asteriod belts. They looked to me more like a vast array of satellites – maybe a precursor to Niven’s ringworld, or even a ringworld under construction. I wish David had experimented enough with the display to figure out the “zoom” gesture.

  • 101 Richie // Jun 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Unlike the movie, everything in this review makes sense. I could not for the life of me understand David’s motives for anything he did or said. Plus, I hated that Holloway was so bummed out that the Engineers were “all dead”. They hadn’t found out squat at that point, including any info as to their language, culture, history, whether that was even their home world, or even if there were other locations on that moon. It’s like, dude, you’re a scientist – get some info and then draw some conclusions!!

  • 102 rafael // Jun 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    stop trying to find flaws in brilliant movies and actually write one yourself, instead of comically petty diatribes lol

  • 103 Prometheus – what a pile of shite – The Word – According To Me | The Word // Jun 17, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    [...] [...]

  • 104 Mina // Jun 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Why would a corporation spend trillions of dollars and send a bunch of scientists on a mission this complicated with a completely ill-prepared crew? It is PREPOSTEROUS that they would be learning about the goal of the journey as they are traveling through space. The cowardly geologist who only cared about rocks is such a silly cliche. Wouldn’t they choose scientists partially based on their ability to work as a team?

  • 105 Mayson Lancaster // Jun 18, 2012 at 3:16 am

    If you are lusting for a retelling of the Prometheus myth, read Walter Mosley’s The Gift of Fire (backed with The Head of a Pin).

  • 106 synapseandsyntax // Jun 18, 2012 at 4:15 am

    In light of all of the other glaring lacunae, one moment seems even stranger to me: when the crew first prepares to enter the ruins, one of the characters points out that there’s no need for David to suit up since he doesn’t breathe. The android replies that the suit is a psychological courtesy to the human crew, who would experience an unsuited human form in a toxic atmosphere as a jarring tumble into the uncanny valley. Putting aside the obvious complaint that an unsuited android would still be contaminating the most important archaeological site in history with terrestrial microbes, the exchange shows that someone was at least trying to think through the questions raised by an android wearing an oxygen tank.

    As the old joke goes, the Italian trains would occasionally arrive ahead of schedule so that you couldn’t even rely on them being consistently late. The fact that the writers tried to explain away one relatively subtle plot point makes the more serious gaps all the more maddening.

  • 107 RobThom // Jun 18, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I’m surprised no one has pointed out worms suddenly on the floor of a chamber that has been hermetically sealed for however many thousands of years.

    Terrible fucking movie.

    lindelof is the devil.

    Pure modern hollywood only suitable for people who would put more effort into trying to convince you they are smart then being smart.

    And when that fails, it was only popcorn entertainment any way and you just dont like movies.

  • 108 RobThom // Jun 18, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “stop trying to find flaws in brilliant movies and actually write one yourself, instead of comically petty diatribes lol”

    I’m sure he could.

    There are tons of great scripts out there..

    But those dont get filmed, because that would raise the bar.

    And then they wouldn’t be able to sell millions of tickets to dipshits who cant tell the difference between brilliant and bullshit.

    Thats why lindelof is popular in hollywood, because he spreads stupidity like black goop.

  • 109 Tom // Jun 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

    So after the three in the ship had to sacrifice themselves to protect humanity, she decides to deliver a ship filled with death back to the engineers?

  • 110 ol' bess // Jun 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Julian – you nailed it.

    hang onto your Ace bandage bra & undies and your flip flops. in 80 years, they’ll come back into fashion.

    bummer of a movie.

  • 111 Science gets burned by Prometheus | Ars Technica // Jun 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    [...] that's the caliber of researcher on board? I'd go on, except that I'm a week late to the party and others have already done this quite [...]

  • 112 Felix // Jun 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Great list. Here’s some more nonsensical stuff:

    1) If the first scene is supposed to show an engineer seeding DNA on earth, why does the CGI specifically show his DNA being consumed and broken apart by the black goo? Broken up DNA is just regular molecules, not magic life dust.

    2) Why does the geologist turn into a murderous zombie after the black goo touches him? That doesn’t happen any other time.

    3) Why does the technology level of Earth spaceships drop in 100 years from room sized holograms to keyboards and CRTs?

  • 113 Thomas // Jun 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Also, even when they know there’s something dangerous out there, everyone still walks around with their helmets off?

    And the attempts at quarantine are ludicrous, and then genuinely performed an autopsy on an unknown alien specie, with just facemasks as protection?

    I don’t think it ruined the film, but it was tiring to see people so stupid. The bigger problem was the way they completely failed to explore their questions at all.

    I will say that it seems to be a sufficient reason for Christianity to still be possible. I don’t really see why you think it wouldn’t be? If you’re creationist sure and your conviction is so strong that it’s creationism or nothing, but half the world isn’t, and specifically the Catholic church is actually anti-creationist. So ‘aliens created us’ if it actually happened wouldn’t be worse than any other system God incorporated into the world

  • 114 Soeze // Jun 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I think you’re heavily misrepresenting the genomics side of the movie. Just because the aliens were 8 feet tall and had white skin and large black bulging eyes doesn’t mean that the genomes could not align well enough to pronounce it a ‘match’.

    As someone working in genetics, I can come up with a fairly decent rationalization of how the space jockeys could have engineered humans, assuming that the first scene was not necessarily the only alteration the Space Jockeys made during the experiment.

    You really shouldn’t criticize movie science when you demonstrate a shoddy understanding yourself.

  • 115 Ple // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Mr Thau please, create in CGI an Engineers Rule the World scene.

  • 116 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:10 am

    I’m curious to hear the fairly decent rationalization. I agree that the Engineers could have been fairly genotypically similar despite gross phenotypic divergence, but I don’t see how you can fill in the backstory.

    Either the engineers are responsible for biogenesis on earth, or they were responsible for a few evolutionary tweaks along the way.

    If it’s the former, then the engineers exerted extreme selection pressure throughout billions of years in order to ensure that hominid life developed with the same mapping from codons to amino acids, same polymerases, ribosomal proteins and structural RNAs, aminotransferases, &c. &c. &c., all of which can vary between life forms on earth. I could buy the Engineers breeding and recombineering H. sapiens for general intelligence ca. 50kya, but it’s hard to imagine that an advanced civilization with god-like powers would wait patiently for billions of years for multicellularity to develop, carefully monitoring trillions of intermediate steps of molecular evolution along the way, in order to replicate the evolutionary history of their own planet. (And after all that, only to create a species about as far wide of the mark from themselves as we are from chimps?).

    But it’s even worse if you suppose the Engineers stumbled onto terrestrial life in medias res. If you assume the opening scene depicted the first intervention, complex plant life is already on the scene, and the basic biochemical schemata shared between the two become the universe’s most absurd coincidences.

    So, did the Engineers start from scratch, or did they jump in halfway and plant fossils to test our faith? :)

  • 117 Dan // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:12 am

    @Soeze, what does a ‘match’ mean then? Is the SJ DNA supposed to be closer to humans or to chimpanzees?

  • 118 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:44 am

    “Match” isn’t really a term of art. Think of it this way: take two biological sequences (of either nucleotides or amino acids) and write them in magnet letters on your fridge, one above the other. Without reordering them, arrange them by inserting gaps so that you maximize the number of exact matches (or similar amino acids), and minimize the number of mismatches and gaps. Once you decide exactly how much the matches, mismatches and gaps are worth, you’ve described a scoring function, and can find the alignment which maximizes that function. If you want to know whether an alignment is indicative of homology (common ancestry), you ask a question like “what’s the probability of observing an alignment at least this good if the sequences were independent?”

    These questions are only intelligible at all if you assume that the processes of transcription and translation work the same way in both organisms, about which more above.

    In the movie, by the way the “match” display actually just showed a comparison amino acid frequencies IIRC, which are mostly driven by GC%/thermophily and can be quite similar in divergent organisms.

  • 119 Fanatic // Jun 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Some more to add:

    The Engineer pilot woke up from stasis and had no problem breathing our Human earth-like atmosphere, which one assumes the Engineers also breath since their ship was clearly and deliberately manufacturing that atmosphere.

    But then we see this same pilot, after his ship was rammed and crashed, appearing in the lifeboat having crossed the open terrain with NO helmet on. So apparently he can breath an entirely (and radically) different atmosphere?

    I also have a problem with the biogenesis implications in this plot – which is a shared problem with all these “ancient aliens” biogenesis theories (ala Sitchin, et al) – that is these Engineers, who seeded all life on Earth, then had to wait around for hundreds of millions of years apparently for evolution to do it’s thing. Then, when hominids eventually arrived they apparently took to genetically modifying our DNA (inseminating? cross breeding? DNA recombination?) Why? If they wanted us to be perfect clones of themselves, why not just start there – instead of at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder? Then, having waited this hundreds of millions of years, when they finally have some primitive humans they can communicate with (and leave vague invitations to their ‘military installation’ via pictograms) they decide to wipe out all life on Earth. Talk about tossing out the baby with the bathwater. I’m pretty sure anyone spending a few hundred million years on an experiment aren’t going to wipe it all out in a fit of pique.

    Finally, there’s Noomi’s character’s decision to fly off to the Engineer’s home world to confront them – instead of returning to Earth with the Engineer’s ship so humans could study it’s technology – and hopefully prepare themselves for another of the Engineer’s attempt to wipe them out – she instead decides to give the Engineer’s another crack at wiping us out without alerting humanity to the threat.

    PS; great post, picking apart the flaws in this movie was more entertaining than the movie itself.

  • 120 Xenos // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    This movie is ridiculous!

    It has people flying in a space ship to another planet!

    That breaks audience suspension of disbelief! They know that people cannot fly to other planets! We barely made it to the moon!

    And we’re supposed to belive that Michael Fassbender’s character is a robot?! Robots look nothing like that! They look like Roombas and those arm things in car factories!

    The science in this movie is totally fictional! What an utter failure!

    This garbage is full of plot holes!

  • 121 Batman // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    No one was bothered by the squid-thing surviving autoclaving?

  • 122 Xenos // Jun 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Really.. none of those nitpicks bugged me. Most of these make sense if you’re not dead set on your own conclusions.

    Also, you assume people.. even scientists.. always use common sense and don’t have foolish beliefs and ideas.

    My main nitpick was the biologist was inconstantly written as a scared of a dead alien and excited to see a live one. Something easily fixed had he just volunteered to escort the scared geologist back. As for getting lost, they could have made some crap up about communication errors.. but him secretly toking up the whole times works for me.

    You are imposing what YOU would do on these characters instead of seeing them for themselves. And you impose YOUR assumptions about the science of this science fiction universe instead of thinking about what the movies says it is.

    And, really, nitpicking about these and inserting your own assumptions, you miss the forest for the trees.

    There was a nice movie about fathers, children, and their beliefs. In particular how placing your own militant beliefs against the facts present will lead to confusion and even destruction. Something critics should take note of.

  • 123 Xenos // Jun 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Oh as for the 100% DNA match. Note that an albino dwarf has the same human matching DNA as a seven and a half foot black basketball player. Yao Ming is just as human as Peter Dinklage.

  • 124 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Xenos, the problem isn’t that two different-looking hominids couldn’t have similar DNA. The problem is how that happened. The very simple explanation for Yao Ming and Peter Dinklage’s similar genomes is that their last common ancestor lived at most maybe 30k years ago.

  • 125 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Also, the fact that it strikes you as parsimonious that the characters were, uh, secretly high the entire time doesn’t give you some insight into the dissatisfaction that audiences felt?

  • 126 Chris // Jun 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    This review has more logical gaps than the movie itself. You should watch the movie again, except this time with a higher IQ.

  • 127 Xenos // Jun 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Yeah. I find most people nitpicking missed lines and points made in the film itself or are wrapping up in their own beliefs about the world to notice what was laid out for them… oddly like most of the characters in the movie.

    @ Batman
    I can buy it surviving some kinda decontamination. Never said it was full autoclave. Though it growing so huge in a medical bay does seem odd. What did it eat?!

  • 128 Xenos // Jun 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    @ synapseandsyntax

    Well.. therein is a problem.. but one the film addresses.. even if it’s a fantastic bs concept.

    Really.. this film’s plot is a case for intelligent design against evolution.. as the biologist points out. Yet instead of a Judeo Christian God, it’s.. wait for it now.. aliens.

    This is Ancient Aliens: The Movie. Though I knew that going into the film and expected it. Why are people surprised by this crazy theory being in there? It seems pretty obvious.

  • 129 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Xenos, there’s a difference between allowing that the Engineers have sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic, and allowing that they have actual magic. Seeding the earth with life requires advanced technology. Deliberately evolving hominids from scratch requires actual magic. To say nothing of the totally incomprehensible motivations, planning horizons and various other conclusions about the Engineer civilization that such a project would imply.

    A civilization that could be responsible for human life (in the way that the movie requires, i.e. capable of exerting god-like control over the molecular processes of an entire planet) can’t possibly also be so clumsy that it needs to sequester biological weapons R&D to another solar system, can it?

    “Fantastic bs concepts” themselves don’t bother me as long as they’re internally consistent and allow the author to accomplish something interesting. The problem is that the more fantastic bs you grant, the easier to accidentally reach ex contradictione quodlibet, at which point none of your characters’ decisions and motivations make any sense and your movie becomes, as Julian put it, Lynchian-but-not-in-a-good-way.

  • 130 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I can buy it surviving some kinda decontamination. Never said it was full autoclave.

    There are extremophiles on Earth that can withstand some commercial autoclaves. I’d find it more plausible that the engineered, weaponized squid is just a really, really hardy bugger than that the state-of-the-art med pod just gives itself a quick rinse-off and calls it a day.

  • 131 snuh // Jun 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Nobody seems to have addressed this yet:

    So, when the engineer is brought out of his 2000 year old cryo-sleep by the humans, without even thinking twice, he immediately continues his mission to destroy the earth without skipping a beat—first he eliminates any humans in his vicinity, and then he launches his apparently perfectly functional ship (even after 2000 years of inactivity), with it’s full payload of (also) functional bio-weapons, on a direct course to earth (still programmed into the navigational system). the only logical explanation for his behavior is that he is reawakened to his pre-sleep mission imperative, which is to destroy humanity, right?

    Here’s the head-scratcher: if the ship was perfectly functional, prepped with weapons, and ready for takeoff, WHY DID HE GO INTO THE CRYO-TUBE IN THE FIRST PLACE!?!?! the ship’s launch chamber was sealed off from the black goo and safe from contagion—it was ready to launch and complete the engineer’s mission, which was presumably among the primary reasons for the existence of the bio-weapons facility in the first place. but instead of completing their mission, they stop for a multi-millenial nap. HUH? i imagine the captain’s dialogue as follows: “everything’s ready, all systems are go, we can still complete our mission despite the breach of our bio-weapons containment and the possible destruction of this facility, so…LET’S ALL GO INTO THE SLEEP PODS FOR AN INDETERMINATE AMOUNT OF TIME.”

  • 132 synapseandsyntax // Jun 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Having a nap before firing ze missiles is standard doctrine.

  • 133 bbbbni // Jun 20, 2012 at 12:51 am

    The movie sucked. Plot holes and idiocy everywhere but that’s not the problem.

    The problem is all these people here posting defending the movie by – making stuff up to fit gaping holes in the movie – then calling us stupid for pointing out and critiquing these gaping chasms.

    Just because you manage to fill it with what you -think- may have happened does not fit in with anything else out there.

    Example.. the engineers may be another ‘warring’ faction! Just make stuff up why don’t you.. nothing in the film, plot, script.. anywhere.. alludes to this scenario but yet someone out there decides to make that finger-in-the-air point and roll with it…

  • 134 David // Jun 20, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the fact that they used carbon dating to find the 2000 year date. Carbon dating works on Earth because of the ratio of the C14 isotope to the normal Carbon isotope. Why would one assume this ratio would be identical on a far away planet. Especially one that has so much more CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • 135 Procyon // Jun 20, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Yeah and another thing after Frodo and Sam had journeyed all the way to Mordor and destroyed the ring with some help from Gollum, they then got a lift home from the giant eagle right , soooo why the f*** did the eagle not just fly them down there in the first place, hover over Mount Doom and have someone drop the ring into the crater job done , no hassle ?????

  • 136 Jim Bob // Jun 20, 2012 at 7:27 am

    It is always telling to me to see which side of an argument has the most irrational and outright hostile proponents. With the exception of Mr. Kim, those that defend the movie resort to personal attacks, refusal to accept counter-points and almost ridiculous and pointless contributions like “It’s a movie, shut up!” or “Ridley Scott is a genius and you’re too stupid to understand!” (my own paraphrasing of course) which, to me, is a clear sign of a weak argument or emotional instability. I personally enjoyed the movie as one enjoys a roller coaster ride. Only when I made the unfortunate mistake of trying to pull at the loose-ended logic did the movie really bug me.

    Julian made many correct observations, as well as hasty or gut-reaction thoughts that he was willing to correct. Why anyone would attack his review or him personally is beyond me. Everyone is entitled to their opionion…EVEN those idiots who choose to ignore obvious gaps and inconsistencies that exceed any possible suspension of disbelief.

    I couldn’t help but make a small stab at the fanboys and pseudo-intellectuals. I’m emotionally unstable, what can I say.

  • 137 Smedliano // Jun 20, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I don’t understand how when the first exploration party splits, because the geologist and biologist want to go back to the ship, the main group act surprised when after returning to the ship they discover the geologist and biologist are not already there.
    Given that when the main group left the alien structure with the storm approaching ALL of the vehicles were still there and the main group used those to return to the ship, how did they think the geologist and biologist returned to the ship – walk?

  • 138 Brandon // Jun 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Smedliano – I can forgive that. If I had just landed on an alien planet, and discovered evidence of an alien civilization, therefore pretty much making me the most famous ecplorer in human history, I would probably have no idea how many vehicles we showed up with. I’d be lucky to remember to wear pants.

  • 139 AlecW // Jun 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    The xenomorph growth was fairly satisfactorily explained in Alien.

    What happened, if you will rewatch the film:

    1) The larval ‘chestburster’ creature leeches off its incubating host, (who strangely develops a prodigious appetite himself despite being recently acutely ill).

    2) When it hatches it finds easy prey (specifically it eats a cat in the cargo bay).

    3) Having grown to a point where it could actually take on real prey, the small but now ambulent creature surprises a human and eats some of their organs.

    4) The now fully grown xenomorph hunts.

    If you assume the xenomorph is some form of highly evolved, efficient predatory life-form (that did after all survive millenia in its egg), these assertions may be questionable by 20th century science, but they are far from preposterous and certainly never distracted me from the film.

    That said, Prometheus showed none of the logic and rationality of the original masterwork, and is a piece of refuse.

  • 140 Julian Sanchez // Jun 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I actually just rewatched Alien (twice! what a great movie!) and noted there is a scene where Harry Dean Stanton finds the shed chestburster skin by a shuttle that appears to be leaking some kind of black fluid—maybe suggesting that the creature has been consuming some kinds of silicates or petroleum to build its carapace.

    Though, really, when it’s one or two things like that, I think “whatever, it’s a movie” is adequate. I don’t know where the extra mass comes from when Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk, or how Cyclops generates the energy for his optic blasts, and I don’t really care: You accept that going in as part of the background fictional premise. It’s the things that don’t seem to make sense even after you accept the fantastic premise that grate.

  • 141 Talking Movies » You is talking movies and I like it! » What you need to know to understand “Prometheus” // Jun 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    [...] What’s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List) Tweet Share Unknown source [...]

  • 142 Prometheus and Bad Science « Logic is my Virgin Sacrifice to Reality // Jun 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    [...] the wake of Ridley Scott’s new bomb, Prometheus, science-fiction fans have been quick to point out the many, varied ways in which science is butchered for the sake of plot stupidity. As in, ignoring [...]

  • 143 Back in Seattle, Prometheus Movie « andr3w321 // Jun 21, 2012 at 3:06 am

    [...] film with better special effects on another planet. Here’s a good link summarizing the gripes http://www.juliansanchez.com/2012/06/11/whats-wrong-with-prometheus-a-partial-list/ I mostly have two complaints about the [...]

  • 144 Darren // Jun 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    let me add some more, as I didn’t see them elsewhere in the comments:

    -why did Holloway seem so eager to get killed by Theron with the flamethrower? Does his death release a new and glorious form of life or something?
    - why does Merideth Vickers (a woman) have a rare multi billion dollar medical pod in her private cabin, installed there specifically for her use… and it is only programmed to operate on male patients?

    This is what happens when the genius behind ‘Lost’ writes your movie.

  • 145 Darren // Jun 22, 2012 at 11:47 am

    BTW, I really hate the “it’s just a movie” defence, as though logical consistency, characters with coherent motivations, etc… are empty frills that add nothing to a movie.

    If you’re too stupid to notice or care, fine. Don’t hassle the people with triple digit IQs who DO care.

  • 146 synapseandsyntax // Jun 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I actually specifically remember thinking that Holloway’s request to be immolated was the first decision that made any sense to me. If you know you’re terminally infected with an alien bio-weapon that’s perhaps already beginning to alter your cognition (cf. Fifield, later), killing yourself with fire starts to sound pretty prudent.

  • 147 synapseandsyntax // Jun 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Also, gravity in space? How hard would it have been to show a rotating chamber or imply one through curved floors?

  • 148 Frosty // Jun 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Regarding the DNA match, it seems to me like the DNA was just very similar to ours, suggesting the link, but not exactly the same (they had slight differences visually on the display). Similarly chimps have DNA that’s very close to ours and yet are quite different. Also think of the many breed of dogs, which are basically the same animal, and have very similar DNA (the differences are not big enough to prevent breeding them), but are very different looking.

  • 149 Ryo // Jun 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Prometheus made no sense! Many of the things listed here and others are true if you look at the way humans react to situations. In prometheus everybody was in a hurry to get killed. They were not realistic because instead of opting for survival they often chose the most dangerous way possible to accomplish something. Also the virus thing was not consistent in what it does. Make a squid baby, makes zombies, disintegrates people, makes them explode. I really don’t know anymore what this substance is supposed to do. People who are trying to explain some of these weird and illogical decisions regarding plot devices are just trying to find excuses because most of the explanations aren’t implied by the film at all. It seems as if it was supposed to be a bad script in every respect.

  • 150 RRRW // Jun 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    You need to read this..

    Prometheus Unbound: What The Movie Was Actually About:
    http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html#cutid1

  • 151 RRRW // Jun 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Never mind, you referenced it in your original post.

  • 152 Maintain the rage – The Word – According To Me | The Word // Jun 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    [...] read about Prometheus share my total incredulity at just how shit a film it is. Seriously, lots of people are quite rightly ranting about just how awful it is.However, there are a lot of people out there [...]

  • 153 Luke // Jun 25, 2012 at 9:26 am

    It was the language and accents oversight that got me… Popped some thoughts into the post here:

    https://www.linguaquote.com/blog/linguistic-take-prometheus-sublime-ridiculous

  • 154 Me // Jun 26, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Wasn’t the flute like a combination lock? You play the right tune, you gain access to the controls?

  • 155 synapseandsyntax // Jun 26, 2012 at 3:53 am

    I believe that the authentication protocol was originally just the Konami Code. But that was rejected as “too ridiculous”, so in the final cut the technologically advanced alien race fires up their hyperspace navigation system with a flute instead. Much cooler, and only slightly less 80s-video-game-easter-egg.

  • 156 Barry // Jun 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Mark: “1) The thing that bothered me the most: after an incision in the stomach of that length, it’s game over. Coolest scene in the movie, but anyone undergoing that surgery would not even be able to stand let alone run without collapsing in pain for several days and would be limited in mobility for several weeks.”

    Somebody had a joke about the director’s instructions: ‘remember, after every so many leaps and struggles and so one, say ‘ouch!’ to remind the audience that yes, you have a deep abdominal wound which was stapled shut about an hour ago’.

    Then again, it’s like the typical Hollywood knife or bullet wound.

  • 157 Claus // Jun 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Is the black goo we see in Prometheus the same black goo from the X-Files series?

  • 158 Jamey // Jun 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    You think Prometheus was tough to swallow, I’d love to hear your thoughts about why the passengers and crew of the SS Minnow brought everything they owned for a “three-hour tour.”

  • 159 Adam // Jun 27, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Thank god you did this review for me Julian. It has been bugging me for days after seeing this movie and I thought it was just me! I did a potted response to it but your article more or less hits every nail on the head.

    What an utter disappointment for such a rich source of material. Such wasted opportunities from a man who arguably invented this genre to perhaps subvert it again with fresh ideas.

  • 160 Kmuzu // Jun 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    The problem is in the plot .. in that we know this is just not how humans (especially scientists) would act and react to anything that went on in that movie. .. I mean if this were real .. the ship upon finding evidence of alien architecture probably would have flow around the crafts .. mapping everything and then flew home to assemble reinforcements. And if it were NASA the two original archeologists would have gotten an award and not invited on the next mission.

  • 161 Ross Campbell // Jun 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Somebody mentioned the Hulk fighting the squid thingy, just imagine a Hulk-alien hybrid……. The universe would be well fucked!

  • 162 Prometheus Impressions/Django Unchained | cinetactical // Jun 28, 2012 at 12:08 am

    [...] Unfortunately, it was full of unfortunate oversights and hasty choices that amounted to much less than what the film could have been.  My main problem with the movie was that it seemed to have a philosophical edge to it yet there is not only little depth, but plenty of flawed logic and religious confusion. I found a list of many of the troubling errors that make the film very disappointing despite delivering great creature effects and some nice new revelations of the Alien mythos.  See the list, which I totally agree with right here. [...]

  • 163 Cylon64 // Jun 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    While plenty of people of have commented on here about the ‘flute as an igntion device’ concept for the Engineer’s ship, I’m surprised that nobody seemed to notice that David (having been fortunate enough to witness and memorise the entire secure procedure via holographic playback) was able ro re-enact this, despite being an automaton and, therefore, the only member of the crew without the lungs required to blow into a flute!!!

  • 164 Cylon64 // Jun 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    And while i’m on the subject of David, given all the amazing things he can do (observe and decipher the dreams of people he knows nothing about, learn to read and speak never-before-encountered alien languages from studying ancient earth language, determine the growth rate of an entirely new species of alien squid foetus in seconds etc.) I was dissappointed to see that he had no idea how many hours constitute one day;
    2 years, 4 months, 18 days, 36 hours, 15 minutes

  • 165 Carl Smidgeon // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Of all the gin joints in the galaxy, why did the Engineers choose Earth to seed just so they could smack us around somewhere down the line? And the one person who could possibly warn the Earth from future attack flies off to find said “boyfriends”. We obviously suffer from “battered planet” syndrome.

  • 166 Virgopunk // Jul 2, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Excellent post. The more I think about this ‘movie’ the angrier I get. It’s clearly a film designed by studio heads and marketing doofi as a money spinning franchise re-boot of a franchise that got too specific (and daft) to continue. That’s why you hire a ‘Lost’ screenwriter to load the film up with a gazillion threads that may, or may not, be explained in the several sequels. Seriously, the Lost technique of screenwriting is extremely patronizing and uncreative. It will come back and bite Hollywood on it’s ass mark my words.

    One last plot hole that I haven’t seen mentioned (although I admit I haven’t read all the replies); after the flying croissant crashes as a huge tumbling wreck amazingly David’s head and body remain in exactly the same place they were in before the crash. Surely his head would now be stuck behind a sofa or had fallen down a drain or something!?

  • 167 Virgopunk // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Oh, and who was it that told Ridley they thought he was philosophically smart because its obvious he’s the intellectual equivalent of bloke-down-the-pub. He can certainly build you a very good extension on your house on time and within budget but don’t ask him anything about ‘why we’re here’.

    Ironically, I think he started to get ideas above his station after the whole Blade Runner fan-base went bat-shit crazy and he started saying that he’d intended Decker to be a replicant all along. I call bullshit on that! Ridley you used to make brilliant artistically beautiful films. You were lucky that a few of them were actually pretty well written but now you’ve just fallen for your own myth.

    Your a craftsman not a philosopher.

  • 168 What went wrong with Prometheus « Diary of a Mad Man // Jul 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

    [...] What’s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List) [...]

  • 169 nate // Jul 3, 2012 at 5:08 am

    How about we pick something other than *Elizabeth* for the name of Noomi Rapace’s character. Don’t the producers know that she will be best known to US audiences as Lisbeth Salander from the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo?

  • 170 Richard Roche // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Fantastic summary, completely agree with the above. Also: why is Noomi a posh British child, only to grow up Swedish? Did they move to Stockholm after her Watchman dad passed away from Ebola?

    And when all the engineers in the hologram run into the giant head chamber and the last guy gets decapitated, shouldn’t the bodies of the other lads all be inside? There were no bodies in the room with the vases! And I don’t think there was another way out.

    But yeah, the worst movie scientists I’ve ever seen.

  • 171 oiojes // Jul 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Some of the issues I didn’t have the same problem with. Certainly, there are likely better means of seeding planets than painful self sacrifice. There are likely better means of electing presidents than the circus we have, too. It doesn’t mean that we’ll act on it. In Christian mythology, there ought to have been a better way to redeem humanity rather than nailing your son to a stick. Didn’t work out that way.

    I think it’s a mistake to expect a superior level of rationality from these creatures than we expect from ourselves– which, I think, was the point of the way they were portrayed. Ditto a lot of Engineer reactions: killing by bare hands, etc. Much can be explained by cultural imperatives over biological ones.

    In different vein, the size and gray skin for the Engineer aren’t a sufficient difference to show up genetically. Presumably the identification of the DNA as “human” includes genetic variation. Human variation includes people up to 8 feet and lots of skin colors. So I’d expect the appearance of the Engineer would fall within normal human variation.

    That they– and we– would still be “identical” after such a long period is problematic along with the other issues mentioned.

  • 172 Avi // Jul 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    So the he drank the black slime with his alcohol, that made his eyeball come out and his girlfriend pregnant with a squid. the squid is taken out and become gigantic. Then it attack the alien engineer, and out of the engineers belly comes out the known ‘Alien’ from the other movies. wait. what?

  • 173 Prometheus (2012) « Benbrigade's Blog // Jul 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm

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  • 174 Ray // Jul 9, 2012 at 2:35 am

    What really bugged me is that Prometheus was meant to be a prequel to Alien, but why did everything in the movie look way more technologically advanced than Alien?! Example; why would fancy touch screen computers turn into chunk, white keyboards and monitors over the course of a few years?
    Overall a really messy film.

  • 175 Hawk // Jul 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

    To begin with, its just scientifically impossible that Engineer’s cells would somehow start meiosis process and develop into a human. That’s as impossible as seeing a hologram better if you illuminate it. Secondly, humans, who lived 40ky ago and all of us are of the same species.

  • 176 mijnheer // Jul 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Excellent review. I too was very disappointed in this movie. It went sour almost right off the bat: humans have mastered interstellar travel just a few decades from now? Highly, highly unlikely. But one thing we can know about society at the end of this century: it will be ethnically and racially very heterogeneous. So why is the crew almost all white and almost all British and American? Why is the black guy a stereotypical black American? Why isn’t he, for example, a Nigerian with a D. Phil. from Oxford, who has a passion for baroque music? Or perhaps a farm-boy plant geneticist from Manitoba with a passion for hockey? Why is the Noomi Rapace character a Brit named Elizabeth Shaw if she’s got a bit of a Swedish accent? Why couldn’t the character just be, uh, Swedish? Yes, we can think up an explanation (e.g., her British parents were living in Sweden when she was young), but when you make the audience do this kind of behind-the-scenes mental work again and again to cover up apparent inconsistencies, the movie is in trouble.

  • 177 Cylon64 // Jul 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Also, the sole purpose of the existence of the two co-pilots (other than to gleefully fly to their deaths) was their wager as to whether or not the whole thing was ‘another terraforming mission’.
    If my memory is correct, Weyland-Yutani did not begin terraforming until some point between the first 2 Alien movies, at least 30 years after the events of Prometheus.
    Both Carter Burke and Van Leuwen refer to this as something the company is ‘just getting into’ during/after Ripley’s tribunal in Aliens.
    Maybe Ridley Scott doesn’t view Cameron’s sequel as ‘canon’.

  • 178 Headhutz // Jul 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Lol @ virgopunk. Head behind the sofa is a hilarious image.
    Love the review and agree with most of the comments. Its a bit like watching Mystery Science Theater except with 20 different wisecracking reviewers. Definitely more enjoyable than the movie.

  • 179 Phil // Jul 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

    At no time do any of these characters behave like scientists, not the android, not even the engineers. They all act on risky impulse, thus they largely act like school kids, middle school for some, high school for others, a teacher or two, a gym coach, and an old a-hole principle.

    We don’t have a sophisticated Alien narrative because critically thinking scientists aren’t expected to be attending this movie in large numbers.

  • 180 bumble mcfuggerton // Jul 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Um, maybe the eagle was busy at the time and didn’t know about Mordor, and like, what was going on, with that.

  • 181 richie // Jul 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    If one looks at this movie as a rich spoiled bratty person throwing a laid back wing ding in space where anything goes, it makes sense. It is not a scientific or military expedition. Now, seeing as how it is a “space party”, where anyone can do anything they want; there you have your plot holes becoming acceptable. I mean who hasn’t seen some strange parties? The old man getting a pedicure or foot massage by a robot was amusing and the baby squid if you wanna laugh is calamari. I like the movie alot. I have seen it 4 times and will see it again plus buy the DVD and I want a sequel. It made all its money back plus some $$$ and the buzz proves the sequel can’t fail especially with all this very good input. Remember my little critical thinkers…Sci-fi is designed to make you think…you cant just play dumb and veg out. Good science fiction keeps working on you..case in point.

  • 182 Cylon64 // Jul 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

    richie (181) – “Sci-fi is designed to make you think”
    Couldn’t agree more with that (well, good Sci-Fi, anyway) but that is exactly where Prometheus’ biggest problem lies. The moment you start to think about it, the whole thing falls apart, revealing itself as the shabbily-written turdfest that it actually is.
    Good Sci-Fi requires a certain amount of credible Sci-Fact to bolster the initial premise and a clear set of rules to support the more fantastical elements. Prometheus has neither of these. What it does have is marvellous cinematography, set design and special effects with subtle and, occasionally, clever use of 3-D. This is only to be expected, as Ridley Scott has long been a master of the visual side of movie-making, but this is all just window-dressing. Strip away the pretty packaging and what is left is an interesting concept poorly ‘written’ into an incoherent mess of improbable actions, cliched characters, scientific errors, clumsy exposition, gaping plot chasms and dialouge unfit for a Roland Emmerich movie. Worse still, it tries to be clever with deep themes of creator/creation and religious undertones. Honestly, why would anyone attempt to load a script up with symbolism and allegory when the actual story struggles to maintain any kind of coherent narrative? Oh, Yeah. Damon Lindelof. That’s why.
    It’s been a month and a half since i saw Prometheus and every day I think of something else that is wrong with it. Because that’s what happens when Sci-Fi make you think.

    Thought for the day; Regarding David shining a torch on the holograms – Why the torch? Surely a robot as sophisticated and advanced as David would have Night-Vision as standard?
    Doesn’t look as nice and cinematic as a beam of torchlight, though.

  • 183 richie // Jul 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Cylon64…good response to my position thank you…Let me respectfully emphasize that the above average thinking process used by you perhaps should be focused toward more of the awe and wonderment and not how we interacted with them. We found another race, and glimpsed its technologies, their dark side, their scientific experiments and something that shocks your thinking pretty good. Several 8 foot tall creatures running like hell in their own labs making you think…”what can cause that much fear in this unique specie? I am reminded of the “Krell” race discovered by an earth scientist in “Forbidden Planet” movie. They left behind a similar mystery which took many years to just slighlty unravel the tip of who they were along with some unimaginable incredible technologies. Something killed them off too. If you spend your Sci-fi time wondering about these things, the rest of it is of no consequence. In fact, our part in it all distracts. Perhaps that is what makes us humanly interesting is the fact that we dont know what we do or how to do it. Marvel at the Engineer space ship which was powered by some extra-ordiniary means, the goo created by them is a magnificent story in itself, their cryo-chambers can perform for 2000 years plus (immortaltiy?), and we havent started on their culture, beliefs, origins, foods, government and other discoveries they may have made while traversing the Galaxies. How many more life-formed planets have they created..why and where and what for? A planet of dinasaurs? insects? Creatures? Plant lifes? Think of a Zoo that never ends and all the time to explore them?…How man interacts with discoveries like this will always fall short…Ask yourself this one question…Where would you go with a spaceship that can go anywhere? WHY? Their star-maps looked pretty meaty and opens up lots of doors

  • 184 Cylon64 // Jul 19, 2012 at 8:59 am

    richie;
    Errr, i guess you liked the movie then?
    Not really sure if your post qualifies as a response, as it seems to consist of little more than a list of things that were in the film, supplemented by some of your own imaginings, making no conclusive point. Probably not the most water-tight defense case I’ve come across. Maybe you got Damon Lindelof to write it for you.
    I do not consider myself to be an ‘above average thinker’ any more, i should imagine, than any of the other posters on here. I do know, however, when what intelligence I do have is being insulted and Prometheus does exactly that every couple of minutes.
    I am more of an ‘enjoy it for what it is’ as opposed to a ‘hate it for what it isn’t’ kind of moviegoer. Nevertheless, my disappointment (and for many others, too) stems from the fact that we were promised so much and delivered such a steaming turd.
    If a highly respected chef promised to cook you a wonderful Chateaubriand and built your expectations up over 18 months, only to slap a poorly-made Big Mac in front of you on the big day, I’m sure you would feel the urge to complain (please don’t use vegetarianism as an argument, this is an analogy).
    “What the hell? This isn’t the Chateaubriand that you promised!”
    “Ah-ha! But it does exist in the same universe and you may recognise some strands of Chateaubriand DNA in there”
    “I don’t care! It’s not even a well-made Big Mac. None of the ingredients work together and it tastes like shit. Oh, and it all falls apart when you take the gherkin out!”
    “It does ask some pretty big questions, though”
    “Yes it does. The biggest question of all. WTF???”
    At which point another member of the public chimes in, in the chef’s defence;
    “I like McDonalds. Yum yum. Don’t be so picky!”
    “See”, says the chef “Big Macs are very popular and make lots of money. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Blade Runner burger and large fries to f*** up”.
    Anyway, I’m happy for you that you enjoyed the movie. At least you didn’t have to suffer the same crushing disappointment that us ‘critical-thinkers’ did.

    Thought for the day;
    I’m hoping that the Directors’ Cut will reinstate the obviously missing scene where Milburn and Fifield, left alone in the Engineers’ ship overnight, find a massive fridge stocked full of food and make themselves a giant Hero Sandwich and that Fifield says “Zoiks!” when vagina-snake shows up.

  • 185 richie // Jul 19, 2012 at 10:06 am

    My fellow sci-fier CYLON64…..I share your pain. I have read hundreds of reviews and if they would have addressed all the criticisms (in advance), the film would have attained near god-like status. The potential to feed the sci-fi cravings of every follower of the genre is there. Alas my friend, money rules and that math robbed us all. They have a chance to clean it all up with a sequel and if they dont, it would be treated by me as an act of betrayal to everything worthwhile. My secret to enjoyng sci-fi is still the best way to go. Let the little kid come out and using the imagination and wonder found in us all to fill in the blanks. What did the star baby end up doing after 2010? Are their anymore giant apes on skull island? Where does Decker and the chick go after they leave? The Thing’s spaceship is still out there buried in ice. Whats in it? Soylent Green cereal or was it exposed? Do they try again to stop the plague in 12 monkeys? What I am saying is I take what I am offered and sometimes you have to finish it your self. That is what sci-fi offers to the individual. I always watch to see if a director makes us work to enjoy the film or if he does what he is supposed to do i.e. enthrall me, answer 99% of the questions, dont insult my intelligence and mitiagte all implausability while you are at it. Countering that is bean counters saying get me my returns asap or no more deals with you. Money wins out more than it should. What we need is either a very gifted up and coming skilled director with a near perfect screenplay to make his mark or one of these billionaires to step up and spend one months interest ($150 million) to satisfy the pickiest viewer. I am with you on what this movie could have been, but it doesnt take away from my enjoying what was offered…Pray the sequel redeems…

  • 186 Edmund // Aug 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    As soon as I started reading your review I was convinced that this was going to be one of those uber critical reviews that I shouldn’t read. Prometheus wasn’t a great movie but it was still better than Alien VS Predator and it’s slightly superior sequel. However as I read through what you wrote I really couldn’t disagree with any of the critisisms you made. Nothing in this movie makes sense particuarly the android poisoning fellow crew member with black goo. WHY???? Why would he do that?

    I have great fondness for Ridley Scot but surely he could have looked over the script of this a little more before he started shooting? A simple re-write of the script would have done so many wonders for this movie. Here I was taking the point of view that you were being too harsh when in fact all or your critisisms of the movie are perfectly valid. This could have been so much more of a movie had they just tidied their mess up a bit.

  • 187 greenpower // Aug 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I liked the movie.

    That was a rush trip, no time to prepare. The old man was sick and had barely time to reach the destination alive, that’s why he was in cryo till the very end, not to lose time. Part of the crew picked at the last minute (no time for briefings) by the old man’s daughter that wanted her father dead. What better way to achieve that than to hire a subpar crew to screw up the mission. As for the sweethearts there was nothing she could do. Those were the old man’s long time picks. So, this will solve all your “no way scientists behave like that” or “the spaceship captain was not very professional”. They were just normal run of the mill average men and women like we.

    The goo does different things to different people or things, even of the same species, so it depends on the host’s characteristics. Worms (that could have been brought in their shoes) turn into acid-for-blood snakes, geologists turn into 7-foot monsters, sweethearts turn into zombies (and nothing says could not turn into a 7-foot monster as well), priest engineers dissolve (we don’t know it it is the same goo), sterile human females give birth to squids which in turn impregnate/implant a xenomorph into a pilot engineer. Obviously the goo mixes with the host’s DNA and produces something unexpected, or maybe not. But, so it seems, the goo always turns into a xenomorph at the end when human-DNA is involved. Remember the xenomorph mural in that kind of a shrine kind of place? That’s a hint that the xenomorph was not an accident, it was known before and it was related with human-DNA or Engineer DNA, same thing, or close (therefore the human like face in the shrine). The pattern is: Human-DNA male and female copulate and a facehugger is produced (the squid in this case). When that facehugger successfuly implants on another Human-DNA entity (the engineer in this case) it inevitably leads to a xenomorph. Maybe this time it’s a queen because of being conceived by an Earth human-DNA being and not an Engineer wife. Who knows. So, the idea was to spread the goo on planet earth for all men to implant facehuggers on women that in turn implant xenomorphs into everybody. Xenomorphs wipe out everybody. End of story. Get it? Xenos were the Engineer’s bio weapon. The goo was just a means to an end. Why they wanted us dead? Only they know.

    This was an exploration expedition for god sake. A different kind of planet light years from Earth. Shit happens. People start behaving crazy. “Oh I wouldn’t behave like that, oh no” Yea, right.

    The rest is for you to figure out yourself.

    Why the Engineers have supposedly created us and now want to kill us? Why 2000 years ago (the math starts in 2094, not 2012, so forget about your space jesus theories). Two kinds of engineers? The ancient good ones and the new bad boys? Perhaps. That’s why the hint on different kinds of ships, one on the intro and another in LV-223 perhaps.

    Why and by whom, or what, were the “bad” Engineers stopped 2000 years ago? The clue is that one of them had a chest open or exploded. Xenomorph again. And they pile up bodies remember? At least they do in Aliens (Alien 2). Guess someone forgot using condoms and it was facehugger fest 2000 years ago. One escaped. All other in all other ships were probably dead because we see Shawn leaving on a ship with no weapons on her and with an android on her back.

    It’s amazing how people are so ready to cheer Mr. Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey brilliant movie (to a good extent I agree) with an absurd invent-your-ending scene and then criticize Prometheus for leaving more questions than answers. It’s sci-fi for god sake, it’s supposed to be fiction, so stop saying “no way that could be like that”.

    7.6 on IMDB. For a sci-fi movie that’s a lot. Enjoy movies for what they are and dare to dream and think.

  • 188 Prometheus - direkter Alien-Nachfolger von Ridley Scott - Seite 21 - SciFi-Forum // Aug 12, 2012 at 6:42 am

    [...] [...]

  • 189 sims // Aug 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Two more things:

    - Was nobody bothered about the fact that Weyland was still in cryostasis when he gave orders to his “son” David?

    - And concerning the indogerman language – which btw. in about 2000 years developed on earth into languages as different as Hindu, Russian and French – why would every Engineer speak it?
    I mean, we currently speak about 3000 languages and indogerman must have had a grammar far to difficult to be a good lingua franca.

  • 190 Prometheus - direkter Alien-Nachfolger von Ridley Scott - Seite 28 - SciFi-Forum // Aug 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    [...] [...]

  • 191 George Stuat // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Vastly disappointed of course. First thoughts were, why does an Alien progeny look like a squid? I knew the cobra penis would regrow when its head was cut off, but why? It’s the future so why are they driving in 1960′s British armoured cars(http://www.grubbyfingersshop.com/walkaround_galleries/alvis_saracen_apc_walkaround/content/alvis_saracen_apc_puckapunyal_11_large.html) and quad bikes FFS. Prometheus had the manoeuvrability of a helicopter, why did it land so far from the alien ‘base’. Did the boss archaeologist really pass the squidlet in his sperm? Gee that alien really can adapt, and so quickly too. Then to cap it all off, half way through, zombies FFS ! And that was all in the 15 minutes drive home. plus some others I’ve forgot, Gut Pearce’s makeup, visually sumptuous, I think not. And so on and so on.

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  • 193 DarkJazzor // Sep 11, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Brilliant review.The movie was one giant clusterf-ck to be sure. My personal biggest annoyance was the ret-conning of the space jockey.Originally a giant 22ft tall biomechanical construct.Fused into its seat in a symbiotic realtionship with the ship it piloted.Fast foward 33yrs and its now just a f_king spacesuit. Way to stuff up a classic Lindeloff.I,ll take my space jockey as Giger concieved it thanks.None of this engineer ‘God was an astronaut in a funky spacesuit BS’ So much for Dallas’ statement ‘looks like it,s GROWING OUT OF THE CHAIR.
    As for the android infecting a member of the crew with the black DNA altering goo,well this goes against the first BASIC LAW OF ROBOTICS.I shall not harm a human or by any thought or action,allow a human to come to harm.
    Finally,if the trilobite/proto facehugger is the product of HUMAN altered DNA which lays an embryo in the engineer (whose DNA is supposedly similiar to human dna)this embryo birthing the deacon or proto xenomorph is comprised of HUMAN DNA thus making the title of the original film ALIEN totally redundant.Guess you missed that Ridley.
    Thats right kiddies,if it wern,t for a little incident involving a human named Liz Shaw,the so called Alien would never exist. Think about that next time you,re watching ALIEN.
    As for all those defending this film,i gotta laugh.There are the facts in black and white spelled out for you and people still got to argue the point just re-enforcing their obvious stupidity.Kinda like this movie.

    Again great review. I think its pretty clear Ridley Scott fluked ALIEN.Either that,or he,s gone a little senile.

  • 194 Pro // Sep 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Well, probably this has been mentioned before somewhere on these long posts, but why would Engineers make humans after their own image, then make the black stuff in the canisters, which when ingested by humans they turn the person who ate them into a fast moving murderous zombie but turn that guy’s infertile gf into an octopus carrying container, which after being born, eats the Engineer and creates the alien..
    what is the fucccink point of all of this?

  • 195 DarkJazzor // Sep 13, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Why does technology regress over the supposed 30yr period between Prometheus & ALIEN?
    Why does a supposedly never before encountered,totally mysterious spacecraft carrying biomechanical technology, suddenly become a ship full of tall grey human looking guys who just happened to have created the human race? Utterly destroying the mystery and adding a healthy dose of cheese to the mix.
    Not to mention making the universe a very small place.
    Why does a supposed race with godlike intelligence leave vats of highly infectious DNA altering goop lying around unprotected?
    Its somthing akin to putting a box of venomous snakes in the middle of a kids playground and makes no sense whatsoever.But what does in this film?
    Why is Damien Lindelof a screen writer and not packing shelves at Walmart?

    All these questions and more probably won,t be answered as Ridley Scott unleashes the next BS filled installment of a now utterly tarnished and redundant sci-fi franchise in 2014-15 with Prometheus 2.

  • 196 Broken Prometheus – A Brief Look | Futuredave Plus // Sep 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

    [...] What’s wrong with prometheus (a partial list) by Julian Sanchez Covers most of the bases concerning the ‘science’ in Prometheus. Good read. [...]

  • 197 religionkills // Sep 16, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Maybe you can make a better movie? we are waiting…

  • 198 Sarah // Sep 16, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I walked away from the movie thinking that perhaps I missed a HUGE chunk of the film. Turns out it was the script-writers fault after all.

    Brilliant review, thanks for the good laugh!!!

  • 199 Doc // Sep 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Great review! Had a blast reading it, and confirmed many of my frustrations. Maybe already mentioned, but I’m totally confused how the infected (by David in the drink) scientist that was evaporation, which basically had his cells going into pieces by this WMD thing, still managed to become super functioning/fertile at the same time, by making the sterile Naomi pregnant, with this super alien squid?

    This movie could have been so much better? Kill your darlings Mr Director.

  • 200 Stuffah // Sep 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Great points made in a fun way. I’d still give the movie a B+, though, just because (a) I appreciate ambition and spectacle even when the script fails to deliver and (b) there sadly aren’t nearly enough sci-fi movies in existence.

    The really annoying thing is that small script fixes would have helped quite a bit. The two scientists panicking and running away makes no sense, for instance, but you could replace that with an argument about how they need to retreat and scan the place from a safe distance. Then give them a reason to get lost- signal errors due to spooky alien atmospherics, doors closing, etc. Or even let David deliberately lead them astray to see what happens.

    Biologist dude didn’t need to be an idiot. Could have been grabbed without attempting to cosy up with the alien lifeform.

    David, again, could have been the one maintaining contact with the guys outside the ship. Have him deliberately leave his post to go infect the guy, since he’s clearly running his own experiments.

    They don’t need to believe that the aliens literally created them- it would be enough for old man Guy Pearce to be convinced about advanced aliens guiding humanity. Although his presence and insistence on meeting them in person first still makes little sense.

    Taking off the helmets didn’t actually affect the plot- so I guess it comes down to believable character actions vs. the need to recognise characters. I’d prefer the first, but if you’re making a film you probably have to consider the second.

  • 201 Stuffah // Sep 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Oh, one more… the co-pilots’ sacrifice at the end. Would have made more sense if they pointed out that the ‘eject’ option didn’t actually seem to lead anywhere but a slow death by suffocation on the planet, so they might as well explode.

  • 202 Stuffah // Sep 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    And finally… the comment

    “Maybe you can make a better movie? we are waiting…”

    always appears and is always redundant, as it renders almost any judgment of anything irrelevant. You’re not allowed to think Twilight’s bad unless you’re a novelist. Transformers must be as good as Citizen Kane, because you couldn’t make either. Want to point out that a particular car sucks? Too bad, you couldn’t engineer a better one. Etcetcetc.

  • 203 Ian B // Sep 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Just watched the movie, thought it was terrible, then found this blog post. Haven’t read all the comments, so somebody may have missed have already said this, but, one other thing really annoyed me.

    Early on, the Kate Dickie character is analysing the planet’s atmosphere and says it’s “like sucking an exhaust pipe” because it’s full of “carbon dioxide”. They then several times more talk about the carbon dioxide, and that’s why only the atmosphere inside the spaceship is breathable.

    It should have been carbon MONoxide. CO2 isn’t toxic, but high concentrations make you groggy and, high enough, asphyxiate. The “exhaust pipe” thing clearly means the writer was thinking in a don’t-know-any-science kind of a way of the monoxide.

    This is unforgivable. They spend millions on a movie like this and hire a writer that can’t even check wikipedia. Pathetic.

    And none of the story made any sense at all. But, you already said that.

  • 204 Drea // Sep 20, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Thank you Green Power for saying what needed to be said. It is a movie PEROID and ours may be to wonder why, but the answers don’t always have to effing fit!

  • 205 Drea // Sep 20, 2012 at 6:31 am

    BTW, to Mark ‘s Jun 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm Post, you stated:
    To add to your list.

    1) The thing that bothered me the most: after an incision in the stomach of that length, it’s game over. Coolest scene in the movie, but anyone undergoing that surgery would not even be able to stand let alone run without collapsing in pain for several days and would be limited in mobility for several weeks.”
    YOU have never had three c-sections and each time been told by the nurses and doctors to get up and start moving around. I have been through this. I have had staples and stitches and all three of my pregnancies were c-sections. I was told to get out of the hospital bed and walk briskly up and down the hallway not only the day of my children’s birth but for the next 4 days afterward. So don’t assume you know anything about having a surgical procedure like Shaw had and what you can or can not be expected to do afterward! Idiot!

  • 206 mikejacocks // Sep 22, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I have never laughed that hard reading anything before…Kudos my brother, KUDOS! !!LMAO

  • 207 Dale Liston // Sep 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for a very intelligent and hilarious read. I am glad I am not the only person who was thinking these same things during movie. Why is Hollywood so dumb?

  • 208 Johny rotten // Sep 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    When the first space ship took off headed for earth, it did it slowly enough to allow for the ship to be rammed. Then the next ship belonging to the aliens is hijacked and takes off at ten times the speed of the first one. Had the first one launched at that speed, they would never have been able to ram it. Stupid

  • 209 Cylon64 // Sep 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Drea
    Greenpower saying what needed to be said? Quite the opposite, actually. What needs to be said is what a stinking waste of our time, attention and $160 miilion Prometheus is. Forums like this are full of deluded fanboys, creeping in long after they think everybody else has gone home to offer theories and suggest potential backstories that they have had to make up themselves to support a film that has no plot of its own!
    Regarding your c-section comments, effects obviously vary from person to person. My wife had keyhole abdominal surgery recently and couldn’t even sit up for 3 days! While your brisk walks up and down the ward are commendable, i doubt any of the hospital staff forced you to run, jump and climb over rocky terrain in a space suit after punching you in the stomach. Maybe Ridley Scott should re-cast you as Shaw for the sequels.
    Oh, and if a woman can’t spell period, best keep the finger off the Caps lock key!!

  • 210 Jacinto Cupboard // Sep 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    For those excusing being able to run, jump and fight after abdominal surgery by comparing it to a C section, please be aware that the body changes during 9 months of pregnancy. The abdominal wall thins and stretches (I am amazed I have to point this out) and an incision in this altered abdominal wall isn’t even close to the same level of trauma as an incision in a ‘normal’ abdomen. By all means argue that some kind of regeneration technology exists to heal the wound site, but unfortunately the internal logic of the movie makes this impossible. Shaw goes from being doubled over in pain to leaping chasms to doubling over in pain again. It is just pisspoor writing. Having the med capsule computer say something like ‘Tissue regeneration complete’ and then having a traumatised but physically able Shaw complete the movie would have lost nothing dramatically and removed the idiocy of a seriously injured person doing superhuman things.

  • 211 Cylon64 // Sep 24, 2012 at 6:13 am

    As far as what can and cannot be acheived after a C-section (in the real world) goes, bear in mind that Shaw was supposed to be 10 hours pregnant with a 3 month old squid foetus thing approximately the size of her own head (despite impossibly flat and muscular abs) which she was completely unaware of until David told her (at which point she began convulsing in agony) and removed by tricking the incredibly advanced medipod into thinking that it was removing a foreign object from a man’s womb!!
    Given this kind of scientifically accurate plot logic, had she then sprouted a giant spring out of her arse and bounced around on it for the rest of the film, it wouldn’t have been too far removed from the plausibility of the rest of the film!

  • 212 Variaspor // Sep 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Cyclon64, that’s a mental picture I won’t get out of my head any time soon. Brilliant.

    As for the movie, relax. We’ll see a dozen re-cuts before the film is completely abandoned, one of which will save it. Just hold off a decade.

  • 213 Rostfrei // Sep 25, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Wonder if indeed the ship Prometheus transmitted activity reports during it’s stay on LV-223 back to Weyland Corporation on Earth. This information may not be public or government knowledge but surely Weyland Corp. would benefit (and not be surprised by survivor Ripley’s tales).

  • 214 Collins // Sep 25, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Alien was not an intelligent movie and this movie only tried to be a little more-so. This level of criticism is a bit silly. I know that it can be fun, but it’s also terribly pompous. What completely coherent, seamless, perfectly constructed sci-fi movie is this to be compared to? I can’t think of a single movie in this genre that couldn’t be equally picked apart. Even 2001 is absurd (it’s a much smarter film, but no one could call it more entertaining). It seems like you just don’t enjoy science fiction. The answer to all of your questions is…… drum roll……. because it was written in the fuckin script that way. This movie exists in its own universe and all of these things happened this way, within it.

  • 215 Collins // Sep 25, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Don’t mean to be an ass though. What you did here, is pretty impressive. I’m just bitter because I just watched this movie on Blu-Ray at the homestead, for the first time, and I really enjoyed it. I noticed most of the flaws that you pointed out, but they didn’t diminish my enthusiasm in the slightest. The only thing that made me got WTF! was that obvious and terrible old man makeup job. They did a better job on Johnny Knoxville in the Jackass movie.

  • 216 precccciousssss // Sep 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    And for all those reasons….that’s why I enjoyed the film, for all it’s fuck ups and why and wherefores…it is great sci fi.

  • 217 right all the time // Sep 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    the engineers should have beat the piss out of people much earlier and more frequently

  • 218 Brad // Oct 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I never had much problem with David’s actions for the most part. Figured the whole point was that he wasn’t constrained by morals or ethics, so his irresponsible behavior (taking a container back to the ship, touching various things in the pyramid that he shouldn’t have, and obviously spiking the drink with black goo) all sort of made sense, in a frantic sort of way, once you realize the goal is to do whatever he can quickly, before Weyland dies.

    And, if you look at that as the entire motivation for the mission itself, it makes some sense that very few of the crew members act responsibly as well. I still have trouble believing some of their actions, but on the whole if he paid them big bucks to take stupid risks and ask no questions along the way, and selected them while knowing that they were capable of this type of behavior, I can kind of see it. A responsible mission would have taken significantly more time that he may not have wanted to waste. Now, if I’m making the call I’d rather stay frozen and do it by the book, but maybe he’s not all there and wants to have total control of it or something. Could be a poorly written character or just a stupid person.

    I don’t even know what to think about the Engineers motives or behaviors. The most satisfactory explanation for me is that they created humanity to be guinea pigs for the black goo etc. and their tests simply got interrupted. Doesn’t explain any of the issues wrt how they created us to be so much like them (and that intro scene was just silly).

    But, honestly, the part that bugged me the most was probably the ship collision scene, but perhaps for a different reason than most. In my mind once the ship took off they shouldn’t have had any chance to hit it. Unless the Prometheus has secondary software as an air-to-air missile, hitting that other ship should have been really, really difficult it seems to me. Rule of “they got incredibly lucky because it suits the plot,” I guess, but that was just something funny that jumped out to me the first time I saw it.

  • 219 Boris // Oct 6, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Really glad Chuck Kim took apart most of your arguments, because man I wasn’t in the mood to type that much.

    For a second I thought you were just joking about some of your complaints when you wrote this “When Space Captain Stringer Bell decides he must sacrifice himself to stop the Engineer from returning to earth and destroying humanity, his crew almost gleefully volunteer to join him, on the grounds that he is a bad pilot and will need their help… to ram a spaceship the size of a city block.” but then I realized you were serious. How did you not understand what was going on there? Be honest, are you Spock? Do human emotions confuse you? It’s alright, this is a safe place. :P

  • 220 TeeJay // Oct 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I don’t understand why the collision between Prometheus and the Engineer ship managed to knock it out of the sky. When it hit the ground, weighing a gazillion tons, the alien hull remained intact and somehow didn’t collapse under it’s own immense weight, suggesting either monstro-strength or force-fieldish protection;, but when a little fly-speck ship rams it in the guts and blows up, it’s miraculously crippled and drops like a wet doughnut in a falling contest. Weird.

  • 221 ariadne // Oct 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Unfortunately the only thing that worked in the film was the whole “Corporation” thing, because, by the 2090s there probably will be only a couple corporations who own and run everything (fascists having bankrupted nations), and everyone will be employed by them, and corners will be cut, safety won’t be a concern, everyone is expendable, crazy shit happens, etc..

  • 222 Kevin // Oct 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Soooo many silly characters, dozens of plot holes. But in case no one has noticed this small issue with their first entrance in the ship/complex it really made me see that this movie would suck. All the technology I mean they’ve got these round pods that can map the whole complex but they are using three bulb flashlights that I can go buy at any store today for five bucks. I think I would want to put some real light in the complex so I could see what the heck was around me and help me read the glyphs. Or at least night vision helmets, maybe I missed it but I didn’t see any infrared, ultraviolet, or any other lights to help the silly explorers find their way. Even the geologist and biologists get lost trying to leave. Come on man, I know Ridley Scott’s movies are usually set in dark environments, but a dime store flashlight? So many more examples of bad script writing but that’s when I knew I was going to be disappointed in this movie. If I missed something in their helmets that allowed them to see I’m sorry but I just didn’t get it. Hey guys lets travel 35 light years and explore artifacts in the dark with eighty year old flashlights, and if their helmets did have devices to help them navigate in the dark they took them off as soon as they realized the air was breathable (even though they could’ve been breathing in parasites). I know its a small issue but that’s where I began watching for other ridiculous scenarios and plot holes and let’s just say there were so many that I stopped counting about halfway through the movie. This movie had so much potential but was the most disappointing movie I’ve seen since Contact.

  • 223 Maximus // Oct 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Did anyone else think the alien ship design was too … well, alien for the humanoid Engineer species? When the Engineers were Space Jockeys, back in the pre-Prometheus days, the derelict ship’s design made some sense, since we’re talking about a completely alien species with an alien mind and an alien ascetic. But with the Space Jockeys revealed to be humanoids, it doesn’t make much sense to me why they would design their ships that way.

  • 224 James // Oct 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I didn’t have a problem with them taking off their masks when they landed or rather I was willing to grudgingly go along with it.
    But when they did an autopsy on an exploding head (which they didn’t explain it just blew up for the sake of it) without helmets or anything but the flimsiest of surgical masks I started to have a real big problem.
    When the viscous worm thing explodes from the dead guy’s mouth and THEN they put on their masks FINALLY I was pretty fed up at that point.
    I saw the movie the first time and thought maybe they left stuff mysterious and unexplained on purpose, but when I saw it the second and LAST time I was fairly convinced they just didn’t have a proper plan or assessment of what should happen in the movie when they started making it.
    They took a serious professional tone with this movie which made the incompetent scientists and enormous plot holes very glaring and abrasive so I agree with the review on the hole.
    I was less and less enthusiastic about the characters and mission as the story progressed.

    I wish I could have seen the job interviews for the mission:
    “I’m an incopmetent geologist loner who’s only in it for the money…”
    “You’re hired!”
    PS There’s a movie called Apollo 18 which is universally loathed for having a low budget and bad camera work I believe, but I enjoyed that movie a whole lot better because the movie convinced me it is something that could actually have happened if just barely and that the characters were actually professional astronauts.

  • 225 James // Oct 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    By the way I think christianity is great and Jesus was probably one of the greatest people to have ever lived, but I don’t give a crap about how it relates to aliens and humans from other planets

  • 226 Risky Business // Oct 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Look, if we’re willing to swallow the premise that we’ll be tooling around the galaxy in faster than light vehicles, hosted by androids with that level of sophistication before the end of this century, then we shouldn’t really question the plausibility of the rest of the movie.

    And my take on the “Engineers” as presented is that they’re not engineers at all, but merely genetic “vectors”, engineered to do anything necessary to fulfill their mission, which includes neutralizing all perceived threats.

    This would explain the opening scene for the seemingly pointless effort of landing on earth only to immediately committing suicide as your ship move on to its next destination. It explains the “Engineer’s” aggressive nature toward us on his ship, and sets up perfectly for the sequel of Shaw continuing on to find the true engineer.

  • 227 Jay // Oct 15, 2012 at 12:13 am

    The biggest plot hole in this movie is that Stephen Stills is regarded as some kind of legend in 2093.

  • 228 Johnny h // Oct 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    You forgot to mention that introducing the xenomorph at the end, opens up a 2nd sequel.

    The sequel could follow david and noomi to the engineers homeworld, but how would the xenomorph follow them and be included in the sequel?

    Or the next film could focus on the same planet and be a traditipnal alien film, but not answer any of the “profound questions”.

    This leads me to believe the xenomorph was tacked on cos the execs demanded it and just another thing that doesnt contribute to the story.

    I was so hyped to see this film but was left fuming. I dont mind ambigious films which leaves an open film to be interpreted, but it has to have good characters with MOTIVATION!

    Dont see how people can enjoy this film, twilight was a bad film but at least its characters made (somewhat) sense. But this film, beyond being pretty, made no sense at every decision.

  • 229 chase // Oct 23, 2012 at 4:48 am

    upon examination, the first scene engineers appear to be different from the engineers in later scenes. what i thought was their space suit appears to be their skin. very much like that of the xenomorphs that we have been used to. perhaps the latter scene engineers are mutations themselves. watch the scene where the alien pops out of the engineer. doesn’t appear to be a suit.

  • 230 chase // Oct 23, 2012 at 4:50 am

    the new pokemon alien at the end of he movie reminded we of Beetlejuice when gina davis stretches her face while practicing to look scary.

  • 231 9worthies // Oct 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Great fun to read, very sarky!

    The auto-medic-surgeon-machine that is presumably only for Mr Weyland is not set up for use on females.

    However, when Noomi has a caesarean, the machine is fooled into thinking it’s operating on a man and so should merely take out the non-man bits (but leaves her uterus, ovaries and tubes). Not to mention that the massive wound between “his” legs where a penis used to be is not sewn up!
    AND
    It has a set of forceps used for delivering babies included.

  • 232 John m // Oct 25, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Really enjoyed this great debate. Left the theatre feeling empty also. Is there anything in the fact that the statue head is very human like as opposed to engineer like. I’m putting my faith in Ridley….he is “David Lynching” us the difference being that there is a slight possibility of some actual payback in future movies

  • 233 DoktorG // Oct 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I love this review. It is perfect. Unlike the film which is breathtakingly and insultingly bad.

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  • 235 Looper | Yen's Blog // Nov 5, 2012 at 12:36 am

    [...] as a task to find a chink or two in the movie’s formidable armor, much in the same spirit as this critique. There are probably a few holes in my own armor, as I’ve only sat through the movie once and [...]

  • 236 Elleche // Nov 5, 2012 at 5:23 am

    I only had two problems with the film: they somehow traveled to a moon 35 light years from Earth in two years (it was also mentioned that they traveled 500 million miles there… which is silly. I think that’s almost to Jupiter.) and the idiot scientist who was attacked by the cobra shaped alien. It wasn’t so much as unbelievable (People are stupid and I expect most of them to die due to their stupidity.) as it was disappointing. I thought to myself during the scene, “Dude don’t touch it. It looks like a snake and its even raised to strike. Now it has a hood! Like a cobra… what are you doing man?”

    The plot was simple and I really wish the characters had been more engaging but what can you do? I want people to be more interesting or intelligent in real life but I go wanting. Questioning why people do things is like questioning the essence of existence. We do stuff. We have sex, we do drugs, we curse, we are irrational, we are stupid, we are careless, vain, sentimental, strange, and emotional. In that respect, the characters in this movie were pretty damn believable.

    In a nutshell the plot is this: However long ago a race of “original humans” decided they needed to make weapons. We don’t know why, it’s not important, stop asking. They decided to make a type of biological weapon that is a living, adapting, and ever-evolving organism that infiltrates a host, then kills it. It’s a weapon, that’s what it does.

    The original humans clone themselves and make us, the earthlings, and put us on a far away planet to breed and basically become livestock. In the future, They will come here from their base of operations and let loose the aliens that will eat and breed throughout our whole planet. BAM! Insta-army biological weapon thing.

    They left a map for us to find their moon as a final step that our intelligence had grown, which means that we had become civilized enough to formulate methods of distant space travel. Civilization means population which means more food for the bio-weapon alien thingys. And yes you can very, very much line up that map of the constellation and locate it in space. I really don’t know how that’s hard to believe. We do it regularly.

    All other problems you can have in this movie are simply remedied with the following statements: “Dude, people are stupid.” or “It’s alien, stop pretending you understand foreign alien concepts or inventions.”

    Overall it was a great eye candy movie that had an alright plot. I expected it to be horrible with the writer of lost on the job but it wasn’t a travesty.

    Cheers.

  • 237 Mr Hen // Nov 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I noticed that Noomi was already dressed in bandages (chastity issue) before getting into the med pod for surgery. Shouldn’t she be naked or at least be wearing regular panties under the hospital gown? LOL

  • 238 katesisco // Nov 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I thought the scientific incompetence unbelievable myself. Enough of that.

    The alien on Earth in the robe–a religious fanatic (we call them terrorists) determined to share, like Prometheus, his dna gift with the universe. Perhaps his group feels oppressed back home?

    David, presumably still a programmable robot, obeys orders from Weyland (senior not younger) to infect a member with the ‘black goo’ to see what happens. Presumably the true scientific members would refuse to do this. Hence his lack of interest in the outcome as he is after all, just a robot.

    Perhaps the awakened alien’s bad mood can be related to if we imagine that he sees a talking dog barking while knowing his death is eminent.

    The plan to kill the dna similar life does seem incomprehensible. Why go after the woman when the engineered death form is loose killing? That makes no sense but it does introduce the birth of the queen.

    The only scenario that fits is that this alien group is a military response to the religious fanatic’s action. They are the mop-up crew.

    Excellent note about David and his lack of lungs to initiate start — perhaps this is why he needs the survivor?

  • 239 katesisco // Nov 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Does anybody think it is odd that David east, drinks, exercises and watches tv while everybody else is asleep? He models his speech after Peter O’Toole in the movie. I think David is practicing on being human. The scene where he is washing Weyland’s feet. So tenderly. I said above that the religious aspect seems to fit this movie more than any other; the foot washing scene emphases this. David, it seems, is the new species. He asks the scientists he condemns what would he do to get what he wanted; this is a double entendre. He is not only justifying giving the the poison but justifying himself as a new life.

  • 240 katesisco // Nov 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    One more thought: this film may use the format of Aliens but the makers were aiming higher. Considering the artificial intelligence that permeates all of the film, this was made to bring to mind 2001 A Space Odyssey. So, how much of David is a robot obeying W and how much is David acting independently?

  • 241 Jemesa // Nov 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Great article – I haven’t read all 240 comments – but I think it misses the biggest plots holes of all – the stuff that makes the entire movie shite. The massive plot holes all surround the suicidal “engineer” at the beginning.

    1. the movie suggests the earth is barren / devoid of all life
    2. is this then earth in primordial times and the alien is behind all life on earth?
    3. if yes, then this is ludicrous because the millions upon millions of years required for evolution of all life on earth make no sense for the rest of the movie as we would have needed dinosaurs etc. and being “us” they could not have been waiting that long to carry out their rubbish plans for bio-domination of something.
    4. if we say no – he just seeded humanity – then what happened to evolution and all of what we know about human evolution in particular?
    5. if we say he just seeded homo sapiens – then this would still have had to have been at least 100,000 plus years ago
    6. if this is right, and as pointed out this had to be the stupidest way to do it – by disintegrating into little strings of DNA in a river(!) – then honestly how the F**K did this result in humanity – within any sort of reasonably time frame – did the strings of DNA mate with a minnow explaining our smaller stature?
    7. Then, how the F**K could the different humans all start painting star maps in different times – did the special strings of DNA have maps built into them that then caused humans to start painting that star map after evolving from the minnow?

  • 242 Prometheus (2012) | Above the Line // Dec 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    [...] looking for us as much as we’re looking for them?  Maybe films like Prometheus are better absent of such realities, left to sketchy thinking, make-believe entertaining. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  • 243 foozy // Dec 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    funny how holloway “archeologist” grabs a bottle of vodka or something like it, and just sits in the back, completely bored and disinterested by supposedly the most important find in human history (the severed head)

  • 244 GunnerBill // Dec 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    The ship needs an average speed of nearly 20 x lightspeed to get the 35 ly to LV-223 inside 2 years. That’s pretty good going (actually impossible) for a ship that appears to be rocket powered. Even if it could go fast enough to travel the 35 ly in 2 years the speeds and acceleration/deceleration G forces required to do this are literally bonkers (being anywhere from low hundreds of G to over a 1000 G!) and would turn the ship and crew to a fine paste.

  • 245 GunnerBill // Dec 27, 2012 at 12:26 am

    A number of people have rebutted Julians points and provided their own explanations to support the holes in the film. Some of the explanations even make good sense. However isn’t it supposed to be the film that fills in the details so we can go away feeling satisfied that our intellects have been stimulated yet treated with respect?

    Or is Prometheus a trial of a more “interactive” style of movie making?

  • 246 John // Jan 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    The first time I had seen this movie was on a plane back from London to NYC and my initial reaction was that it was awful but at the same time intriguing. So I read your list of gaffes and then rewatched the movie and began to realize that a fair share of your responses can be disproven. I think that you judged this movie based on real life and thats perfectly fine but at the end of the day this is a movie and therefore has the ability to do things outside of a realistic realm. I do agree that the script was ripe full of plot holes, deceptions, and unbelievable occurrences but at the same time when reanalyzing the movie after reading your article I reverted to the individual that understands that movies are just that, movies and not real life. I think anytime you encounter something beyond your wildest dreams as a scientist, biologist, banker, candle stick maker, the element of human curiosity kicks in and thus creates human error as one is acting emotionally rather than logically. This movie was a combination of a director trying to adapt a script that was in many cases subpar but still just full of unanswerable questions while at the same time trying to make a profit for his studio and get people to come out and watch his creation. Scott has done a ton of successful movies that have been controversial so I feel like you have to watch this movie and just realize that he tried to create heightened drama with ancillary characters and juxtaposing a “what if and who are we as a human race and where did we come from” scenario that would leave movie-goers craving more. Think about they are already coming out with a sequel.

  • 247 [Movie Review] Prometheus - OSNN Forum // Jan 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    [...] [...]

  • 248 Topp tio-listan från S01E12 – Slogans | CarLeos podcast // Jan 18, 2013 at 4:44 am

    [...] på slottet finns här. Analyser och sågningar av Prometheus finns att läsa bland annat här, här, här och här. Sprid till dina vänner:FacebookTwitterGillaGillaBe the first to like this. This [...]

  • 249 TommyO // Jan 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Sure it’s been a while since this came out, and thankfully I waited until the DVD was available. I keep reading reviews/slams of this movie and none or very few (I noticed) mentioned to problem with stupid effin’ aliens. 1) if they were here several times just to hint at a location in space, why didn’t they just destroy us then? Some did mention about the planets pointing at the Weapon’s depot planet, but not the underlying issue. If they wanted to kill us off, just take a 2 year journey & whack us! If the experiment at the weapons depot was a fail, why in 2000 years didn’t someone from the home planet check in on them & determine another way to Whack Us. The most enjoyable part of this movie, the afterglow… Reading some fanboy’s justification for all of the plot fails in this movie. One thing all of this does explain, the need for 3-D! They knew they had a weak story, so put it in 3-D, they’ll never notice the flaws with all that wicked awesome FX! Grrrr

  • 250 A Memory of Light - Review // Jan 30, 2013 at 5:02 am

    [...] remind me of the 2012 movie Prometheus which had massive potential, but was very much let down by plot holes and [...]

  • 251 MAA // Feb 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    All those plot holes and weak character developments are only symptoms of a much deeper problem:

    Apparently, the makers of this movie were so focused on allegories that they neglected the narrative part of the story. Consequently, the movie only works on an allegorical level, whereas the story itself feels pretty half-baked.

  • 252 My (Ridiculously Late) Best of 2012 List « His Thoughts // Feb 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    [...] – This one has been dissected enough on the internet. Or really, more like vivisected. And rightly so. It’s a ridiculous mess with some great [...]

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  • 254 guy // Mar 2, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Um my biggest – maybe wrong here – issue was … didn’t the original Alien crew find the downed ship with a Engineer in the seat with his chest blasted open? Obviously this one didn’t get back to be in the seat … maybe a different ship – engineer – blah blah blah – it was not a best effort and was a lil disappointed …

  • 255 jocuri cu impuscaturi online // Apr 4, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.

    It’s always exciting to read through articles from other writers and use something from their sites.

  • 256 jj // Apr 7, 2013 at 7:54 am

    There are other employees on the ship that aren’t main characters. Where do they all go?

    Dr. Shaw beats up two characyers to escape cryogenesis. Why is this forgotten by everybody later on?

    Why was Stringer Bell (or anybody, actually) unconcerned about two team members left abandoned overnight? Shouldn’t there have been somebody monitoring them, like maybe one of Weyland’s door guards?

    What was David going to gain by putting her in cryogenesis given that he saw the alien in her womb?

    Why doesn’t Dr Shaw warn anybody that David tried to kill her?

    Why put a young actor in bad makeup to make him look old?

    How did David’s detached head know exactly where the Engineer went, why he went there and his ETA?

    Why were the hologram-ghosts of a high-tech society so grainy?

    If the flute was a secret password, why did the playback reveal the note sequence?

    If Charlize wanted the company so bad, why did she leave it in the hands of others so many others for 5 years minimum?

    If there were other buried ships, why they did they all fail to invade Earth?

    there are many more…perhaps a record?

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  • 262 Dave H. // May 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Some of the replies here indicate that a lot of folks can see that this film has as much in common with “Alien” as it does with the “Indiana Jones” franchise. That is in keeping with the desire to not rehash the Xenophobe’s path because it’s been done…well done, in fact, to a crisp!

    That said, there were times that I longed for the crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to be reviewing the film. Fifield, “Mr. I Just Slept For Two Years and Don’t Want To Be Your Friend” whines like a little girl…wait, she didn’t whine…loses his tough guy persona over a skeleton near the door. He actually started losing it when the Ghost Engineers ran by the group. Then he gets lost…what happened to his PUPs? Good thing they weren’t real dogs!

    The whole faulty philosophy about children wanting their parents dead was a keystone of the reimaged Battlestar Galactica series. In neither series did anyone ask “why?” Sounds to me like a little Vulcan logic might well have gone a long way here.

    Wanting your parents dead is something a child or adolescent might think after being denied something. As you age, your parents teach you about life.

    The faulty corollary to this is that children cannot become who they are meant to be as long as their parents are alive. To this I call BS, plain and simple.

    Apparently David isn’t governed by Asimov’s robotic laws. His mission was to search for anything that might extend Weyland’s life, and so his infecting Holloway wasn’t done maliciously.

    Watching Old Biff meet the Monster from Young Frankenstein required stifling a chuckle or two or three. David’s attempt to communicate, although successful, reminded me of Sheldon speaking his version of Mandarin to the restaurant owner.
    Much like Walter Donovan, Weyland’s greed and hubris completely destroyed whatever chance they had to actually begin a dialog with the Engineer. How different things might have turned out if instead of “I created this from nothing, therefore I am better than you” our first words would have been “We followed the directions you left us.”

    If done carefully, and I say carefully because the Internet will shred a slipshod effort, this story can be the jumping off point for its own franchise. Here’s why:

    Human history is rife with mythology, legends, and folklore. Stories about angels, sky gods, ancient astronauts are all out there. The Old Testament story of Sodom and G0morrah is a great example…after the locals tried to get to “know” the angels, the angels destroyed the cities. Research tells us that vegetation wouldn’t grow there for 600 years after the attack. Things grow where we’ve set off nuclear weapons, so…what WAS it that they used?

    My favorite parts are (1) the interactive star map where David was absolutely gobsmacked, and (2) the end scene where David and Elizabeth point the ship towards the sky and hit it!

    As someone pointed out, using the flute as an ignition key made sense…but they keyed all of the ships alike. Oops! Apparently their people don’t steal (one of those Ten Commandments) and 2000 years ago they didn’t need weapons either.

    I read where Neil DeGrasse Tyson went off on the “billion mile” statement. Really, Dr. Tyson? You’re beginning to sound like Sheldon Cooper! Were the stars in the right place?

    Lastly, I can’t help but think about how the Big Bang crew might have handled First Contact…

    Howard: I think I can bring him out of stasis, but what are we going to say to him?

    Sheldon: Don’t worry. I’ll dazzle him with my knowledge of physics. Math is a universal language, but you’re only an engineer.

    Howard: And the only REAL astronaut in the room!

    Raj: I have to tinkle!

    Leonard: I think that it’s a bad idea. Sheldon, wat if he gets mad at us for waking him up? He’s been asleep for 2000 years.

    Sheldon: Let me put up an equation on this board that he’ll recognize. (scribbles equation). Ok, Howard, wake him up!

    Raj: I have to tinkle!

    (Howard activates the pod, the Engineer wakes up, and asks “Why are you here?”)

    Sheldon: (thinking he’s saying “Greetings from Earth” but actually saying something in Klingon because he forgot his message in the heat of the moment.)

    The Engineer looks at the four of them. Raj pees himself and runs away. Sheldon shows the Engineer the equation he’s written on the board. The Engineer studies it…

    Sheldon: You see, I told you. Mathemetics is truly a universal language.
    Howard and Leonard stand close to Sheldon.

    The Engineer shakes his head, circles an incorrect term in Sheldon’s equation, and goes back into the hypersleep chamber as the three look at one another.

    Sheldon: What did he…oh my, I messed up (Sheldon faints dead away)

    Leonard: Howard, wake him up so we can go home.

    Howard: (pushing buttons unsuccessfully) I can’t. He changed the combination!

    Raj: I think I found the potty…at least that’s what I hope it was!

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  • 264 Prometheus is Terrible – The Definitive Rant | guydtruc // May 7, 2013 at 2:11 am

    [...] we’re on the subject of other analyses of the movie, you should read Julian Sanchez’ equally scathing critique here, which I discovered towards the end of this endeavor. He covers many of the points I have and then [...]

  • 265 Simon Watts // May 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Great post, you outlined some plot holes I forgot, but missed the first and most ridiculous. Shaggy and Scooby, the geographer and Xenobiologist were supposedly picked after a two year selection programme. And these two were the best they could find from the whole of humanity, a sociopath punk biker and Captain Sarcastic! Just the sort of people you want to be stuck on a spaceship with for two years. And they were so stable and together that they soiled their pants over a 3000 year old very dead Alien head. How do you become a xenobiologist if you are scared of dead Xenobiology?
    I’ve got a prediction for the next movie, if filmed. The reason the Engineers want to kill humans? Oh so obvious. We are another Engineer created Bioweapon, what with our warlike ways. That predictable.

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  • 268 joe // May 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Prometheus is simply the sci-fi film with most holes in it. including ass holes screenwriters.

  • 269 Jayskee // Jun 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I rented this movie, and loved it. Then I bought it. Still love it. Your review and breakdown is entertaining and well written. After thinking. Ore about the movie, I realize: I still really like it. It’s just a movie. Movies are often over the top and far fetched. I learned this when I was a little kid, and watched Willy Wonka or Dr Doolittle (the original good ones). Keep writing smart critiques, and Ridley Scott can keep making fantastic fiction entertainment.

  • 270 manofthepeople // Jun 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Half of Charlize Theron’s dialogue is “What the hell” … really inventive. She sounds like an ice queen, but is ready to bang the pilot to prove she’s not a robot. Wow.

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  • 274 Mat P // Nov 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I read in the Aliens RPG book that the chestbursters grew in size so quickly because they consumed inorganic material from their environment.
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    I watched this film with a massive grin which slowly drooped down into a slack emotionless mush of nothing.
    Part way through I leaned to my friend and said “This isn’t very good”.
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  • 275 Teo // Nov 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Big disappointment. Logical holes leaving me with my jaw dropped…but..why..?
    Having at disposal such an apparatus and instead of the new cult performance, creating pure confusion.
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  • 276 DexX // Dec 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Here’s a fun bit I didn’t see anyone else mention: stars move.

    So, ignoring the fact that we somehow got some kind of DNA-implanted race memory that makes us draw this specific pattern of dots that could literally be anywhere in the entire fucking sky (there are TRILLIONS of stars out there, but apparently only one fits into the imprecise pattern set by a fucking cave painting) and it’s apparently an invitation to come inspect their weapons facility like we’re UN officials in Iraq, where did that memory even come from?

    If it was implanted in the seed DNA that supposedly created our race, then those stars would have moved in the millions of years since the seeding took place. Constellations change subtly in only a few thousand years, and substantially over tens of thousands. How long ago was this constellation memory given to humanity? Our species as it appears today is at least a million years old (off the top of my head, I think it’s two million or so). Regardless of how they gave us this constellation to use as a marker, it would have been unrecognisable within only a few thousand years.

    Nothing in this movie makes any fucking sense. It’s a whole lot of science fiction cliches thrown at the screen with no concern for logic, and when people rightfully point out how fucking nonsensical the whole thing is, someone will always have the audacity to say, “Oh, you just didn’t understand it!” of “You just want all the answer spoon fed to you!”

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    PROBLEM: LV-223’s exploration is generally too aggressive–Holloway and the away team remove their helmets, risking their lives and infecting LV-223 with human germs (FIX: The helmets stay on at all times.), the crew doesn’t wait for a complete map of one or all of the structures (FIX: Wait via fadeout), Janek abandons his post to screw Vickers (FIX: Delete the encounter and have him present on the bridge for the alien snake fiasco, which will take place close to sunrise so that the crew can react immediately.), Holloway ignores his infection (FIX: Holloway alerts the crew to his infection and is placed in stasis. The crew is scared and accusatory, but carries on to search for/recover Fifield and Millburn. Fifield then turns zombie on the way back, is put down, and Shaw passes out and awakens in the med bay as before).

    PROBLEM: Fifield and Millburn get terrified enough to abandon the away team, get lost in the structure despite having maps, and then lose their fear and hang out with alien snakes. FIX: Reverse this–have Fifield and Millburn be too interested in their surroundings and get separated from the team. With the storm coming, the rest of away team departs faster than them, leaving a quad behind that Fifield and Millburn end up not being able to use because of their slower exit.

    PROBLEM: The med pod is calibrated for men even though Vickers is the primary user. FIX: Delete the sex-specific calibration and run the cesarean section.

    PROBLEM: Shaw’s shredded abdominal muscles don’t prevent her amazing athletic ability later in the film. FIX: Apply a Medi-gel/Super Glu equivalent.

    PROBLEM: The Engineer spaceship is not damaged when hitting/rolling on the ground, but is disabled by Prometheus, a mostly hollow structure. FIX: Have the Engineer spaceship break-up on impact with Prometheus, and fall back to the surface in large pieces.

    PROBLEM: Vickers can’t run/roll sideways to avoid the crashed/rolling Engineer spaceship. FIX: Have an Engineer spaceship chunk fall from the sky and squash her.

    PROBLEM: Shaw flying to the Engineers’ homeworld probably dooms Earth, because she alerts the Engineers to humanity’s advancement. FIX: Have the replacement Engineer spaceship (ex-bio weapons) return to Earth for Shaw to tell humanity about the Engineer homeworld.

  • 310 Darren2 // Apr 24, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Also, PROBLEM: Prometheus finds the structures by chance. FIX: Wait for orbital planetary scans via fadeout.

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