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Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus': The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

by Oliver Lyttelton
June 11, 2012 10:00 AM
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The Ugly

1. The characters are all idiots
Reasonable, right-minded people go to museums and slowly walk through each room, reading the plaques on the wall, observing paintings, examining every detail. Casual laymen, we’re talking here. So it stands to reason that scientists on a new planet should have this curiosity amped to eleven, right? If that’s so, how come all of the scientists in "Prometheus” walk around like children at a Chuck E. Cheese’s? Let’s grab this, let’s squeeze that, oooh, what does that do? It’s hard to not watch “Prometheus” and spend 60 percent of the film’s runtime thinking, “Please put your helmet and/or mask back on.” As Charlize Theron’s Vickers explains, this is a trillion dollar expedition, so maybe a little caution should be considered. A biologist reaching out to a new lifeform is one thing, but a biologist who's already run like a coward away from the possibility of alien life, reaching out to pet a cock monster with sharp fucking teeth deserves to die gruesomely. And there's so much more beyond that. How does the geologist, the guy whose job it is to make the fucking cave map, get so badly lost? Why do they go back to the scariest room in the building to sleep out the night? Why does a conscientious captain like Idris Elba decide to go for a roll in the hay with ice queen Meredith Vickers after seeing a lifeform pop up in his maps? In fact, why doesn't he try and talk Fifield and Millburn out of the cave, given he's looking at a giant map? (And yeah, we're aware of the storm, but he could have helped earlier. Also, that storm is such a terrible deus ex machina of a plot contrivance.) Why does Shaw react to her boyfriend's death and having a squid cut out of her by putting a suit back on and going back into the cave of death? It's behavior dictated entirely by what the writers need to move the plot forward rather than anything else, and it made us want to rip up the seats at the filmmakers' sheer contempt for the audience.

2. Too much given away in marketing material
As strong as the marketing was, we started to suspect near the end that we'd basically already seen everything that the film had to offer. And indeed, we had: virtually everything from the Engineers to the deaths of several characters was featured in ads and trailers by the end. Particularly annoying was the extent to which the final takedown of the Engineer's craft by the Prometheus was so prevalent in the advertising (right down to featuring on an international poster for the film), presumably because it was the biggest effects things-go-boom money shot they had. It's of course possible to avoid trailers and TV spots (less so in our line of work), but still, placing that scene so front-and-center again drains the film of any suspense whatsoever. In an age when "The Avengers" and "The Hunger Games" become monster hits despite keeping much of their third acts under wraps, it's hard not to feel a little dissatisfied when you can recreate most of the movie by reconstructing it from trailer footage.

3. The instantaneous transition of Rapace's character to a blubbering wreck when children are mentioned
For all the provocative progressiveness of that abortion scene, and for Scott's long-noted love of strong female characters, the maternal aspect of Elizabeth Shaw's character still strikes a sour note. She's a brilliant scientist, resourceful and ass-kicking under pressure, and seems to be in a true relationship of equals with Charlie Holloway. She even has an open-minded but firm religious streak that seemingly can't be shaken even by the revelation that we're created from alien lifeforms (Or can it? One brief scene aside, we don't really get her reaction to the whole God-is-dead-and/or-wants-to-kill-us-all thing). But one mention of children, or the lack of them, and she's reduced to a whimpering mess of tears. We get that the film is trying to talk about progeny and the birth/life cycle and all that, but it's possible that an independent woman like Shaw had maybe just made the decision not to have kids, right? If you're going to weaken your character into a caricature of women-are-there-to-have-children, at least get some drama out of it: you could have had a beat where Shaw finally gets what she's always wanted, and is then forced to abort it. But like everything else in the film, it's underdeveloped and rushed, the character simply carried along by the plot to the next set piece.

4. It's pretty much all set-up for the sequel
One of the major plagues of the blockbuster tentpole these days is the desire to spend much of your film setting up further entries to come ("Iron Man 2" and "John Carter" being particularly egregious examples of late). Scott and co. have been clear that they're planning for at least one more installment, but we dearly wish that the set-up wasn't quite so cynical. Much of the pre-release hype revolved around the idea that the film was going to answer big questions: Where do we come from? Why we were created? But the film scarcely answers the how, and barely brushes on the why, preferring instead to hold real explanations -- for who the Engineers are, why they created us, and why they seemingly wanted to destroy us, for a future installment where Shaw and David's head journey to their homeworld. We're not against leaving some doors as yet unexplored, but what you learn in "Prometheus" is fairly minimal (maybe it would help if the characters actually reacted to their discoveries by being anything other than blase about them), and it's hard not to feel that the filmmakers have pulled a bait-and-switch. And that's even ignoring the dreadful bait-and-switch coda with the baby alien, which played to audible groans at our screening.

5. Ridley Scott made "Alien," but has he actually seen it?
There's a school of thought that says that, as "Prometheus" is being described as an entirely separate entity to "Alien," that a comparison between the two is unfair, and that the new film should be judged on its own back. There's also a much larger school of thought, of which we're proudly a part, that suggests that "Alien" is a much, much better fucking movie than "Prometheus." Scott's trying to have his cake and eat it too, playing down any parallels between his 1979 sophomore feature, and yet borrowing its structure and littering its spin-off with references to the original, not least that final coda. He was a hungry, lean young(ish) director when he made "Alien," and the film was a tight, focused, terrifying and pure experience set around a rich world. Here, Scott's trying to cram dozens of ideas into one film, many of which would be better suited to his "Blade Runner" sequel, and where "Alien" was like a shark, this is closer to the octopus-like monster that Shaw's spawn grows into -- messy, formless, limbs waving around in all directions. Perhaps Scott would have been well-served to rewatch his original before he started on this one? 

6. "Prometheus" Has Its Own Midichlorians
Despite the fact that Damon Lindelof says prequels are generally pretty dull because they simply tell the details to events we essentially already know (and he's dead right), going as far as to take some knocks on George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels, "Prometheus" has its own type of mystery-ruining Midichlorians -- the microbal stuff that explains the Force in the 'SW' series and for many, totally destroyed the mysticism that surrounded the Jedis "religion," i.e., it's all a bunch of bacteria and not that special. While not the exact same thing, "Prometheus" does take away a lot of the mystery in "Alien" as well and shows the direct lineage to the alien birth. Alien goop is put into Charlie's drink by the android David, he becomes infected, he has sex with the supposedly barren Elizabeth Shaw and their collective DNA mixed with this goop becomes a proto-alien baby. That proto-alien baby grows up (super fast) ingorges itself into one of the Engineers and voila, all those various DNAs mixed together equals the xenomorphs we love and adore. Sure, there's still lots of questions left unanswered, but to say "Prometheus" isn't really a direct prequel is kinda bogus (and yes, the events of both films take place on different planets, but c'mon, the outcome is the same -- Aliens fucked up the Engineers and now you know how they were born).

-- Oliver Lyttelton, Jessica Kiang, RP, Drew Taylor, Gabe Toro, Simon Dang

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  • Devon | July 24, 2014 8:21 PMReply

    Bravo on your article. I think you hit the nail on the head as a very observant writer. However, as a die hard Alien fan, I believe that they could've done far better than Noomi Rapace. I gave this a very long hard look at who could've really pulled off the part. I went through countless actresses in my mind. But one stuck out. If you take a look at Wes Cravens "Scream," Neve Campbell's character in that movie, experiences several moments of being absolutely terrified out of her skin. When she is, her eyes glazed over in complete fear, much like Sigourney Weavers did in the original Alien when you can hear her heartbeat racing at the very end. Plus, she's a good actress. Two things you really need for Prometheus. An actress who can show complete authentic fear in her eyes and look genuine when doing so, and someone who can act. If you're not sure about my idea, take a look at the movie Scream and tell me I'm wrong. I don't think Noomi Rapace was nearly as convincing to me as a fan, as I would've liked to have seen. And I also think the writer was spot on when he said the script was just thrown together in one big mess.

  • Opha | December 4, 2012 1:03 PMReply

    At last. Someone has expressed my thoughs about the film, word by word. A very complete review. Thanks! With so many people enduring the film, I was starting to worry about my mental sanity.

  • Rparsons | November 24, 2012 1:33 AMReply

    Oh the plot is quite simple and elegant:
    Humans did not evolve, nor did God make us, instead, some very tall angry bald white guys from space made us with their space juice, which comes from a plain looking jar, that jar being prone to leakage. Yea, the aliens need a little work on the whole 'Tupperware' technology thing. Being the angry sort of sleeping pale aliens with fancy space ships, they intend to come back to earth and just kill us all with more space juice which they apparently like to drink while relaxing near a river. Why do they care about earth? Oh let's just say they need more planets to store their jars of space juice.

  • Geo | November 11, 2012 5:57 AMReply

    Prometheus is sort of a mess of a film. It gets some moments just right (like the surgery scene), and then misses on all levels in so many other ways. The old man was a complete misfire, not to mention the make-up job. Looked like the old age make-up from the original George Pal Time Machine! These are minor issues though. The real problem is the strange unawareness of the crew about each other and what's going on in the ship. If you compare the crew interactions and relationships in Alien with those in Prometheus, it becomes very clear how bad Prometheus really is (or just how great Alien is!).

  • syn | September 16, 2012 4:43 AMReply

    i liked everything about it except the unconnected pregnancy scene. the rest of the film had me captivated until that point. i dont understand why they couldnt have just added, like, 5 more minutes worth of script/screenplay to connect it all better...

    doctors should have ran after her immediately... it should have shown her lock the door and encrypt the lock or something... then it should have done the abortion sequence... then they should have finally got to her and drugged her up only to awaken her in the presence of weylan....or... something!! it could have been completely a dream sequence or something... i dont know they could have done SOMETHING. lol the fact they just left it completely unconnected does not work at all and i cant believe they let that go. other than that, i really did like the film.

    my two cents.

  • Chased | July 25, 2012 10:35 PMReply

    Was the movie a success? Depends on the goal. There are some out there obssessed with the idea of one rubber suited Alien chasing a crew through a ventilation system ( big button pushing ms dos super huge spaceship) with blow torches and flare guns....( which cloud be viewed as flawed an unrealistic) Or those who prefer "oh my god....soooo many holes in the script stupid prometheus"; the real story is how easy it is to be a purist poser with no credits in film making and rip a movie. No matter what was done someone would have been a critic either way. Ridley Scott keeps you coming back for more of his...."sigh fye" can't get enough of it. An you will see the next one.....get over the're either a sucker & a poser...or a fan.

    AAAHHHHHH the big mouth hurts....but the little baby mouth that nibbles my insides is incredibly painful...:) I knoooooooooooow

  • Truth | July 16, 2012 12:56 AMReply

    And NO NUDE SCENE for Charlize? Another stupid thing to hate on this crap movie.

  • Truth | July 16, 2012 12:54 AMReply

    Another stupid monster horror movie disguised as Sci Fi.

    SyFy channel crap couldn't have done it any better.

    This movie is aimed at dumb rednecks and non scifi lovers.

  • Jason | July 5, 2012 2:38 AMReply

    This review should remove the "Good" section as it's points are mostly weak; the most valid one is the visual design, which, while "good" - in the sense of being noticeably expensive - do very little to offset the shittiness of the script, acting, direction . . . basically everything else. What an utter and complete piece of shit - couldn't believe Ridley Scott made it!!!

  • Pasquino | June 22, 2012 7:35 PMReply

    Prometheus is disappointing. Very. The plot resembles a potholed road with some holes so deep it requires a leap of faith to keep going. The plot lines themselves seem to have been adapted from a Star Trek file (easily identified disposable characters) or reused from Alien (talking heads and a feisty female). Originality in hard SF movies died after Silent Running! In a nutshell: a clunky movie made interesting through good special effects.

  • eena03 | June 20, 2012 4:14 PMReply

    I´ve re-watched Alien 1979 just before Prometheus and I remember thinking: "Wow. The director takes his time. He stays in the scene. It´s half of a movie´s length through and it´s still not the thing. He doesn´t care about the audience and its popcorn. Great production design. Great alien creatures. It´s epic." If you just reverse all these things you will get "Prometheus": "Wow. The director is in a hurry. He jumps from one scene into another. You know what´s the thing already in opening credits. He wants the most stupid person on Earth to understand his story. Cliche pf a production design. Cheap trashy monsters. It´s nothing but trash."

  • CJ | June 19, 2012 3:48 PMReply

    by bf worked on it and he said Noomi was a constant Diva, Charlize was a moron always trying to act "cool" with the crew. Said on top of their way high wages they got even more money for "personal expenses" for their Iceland travels. Which meant they all went to Blue Lagoon and flew in the helicopter when not working! what a waste of time! Apparently the crew who worked on it have NO IDEA about cinema and will not even support independent film making! They don't even know about Dario Argento! what a waste!

  • Keith Richard Radford Jr | June 19, 2012 3:17 PMReply

    I personal find the thought "Oral Rape" a bit hard to swallow being that the Jaw of an individual, even child can maintain the bite force of about 1700Lb's per Sq. inch and anyone that did not want to do what they are doing could sever the member from the body in one simple movement leaving the person injured beyond the capacity to do anything but try with both hands to stop bleeding. This is a position which gives all power to the person doing the act, not like vaginal rape which can produce a child and put the raped person into a position of having a quandary/dilemma/morally there is no power taken only pleasure given.

  • Jerry | June 18, 2012 2:03 PMReply

    There'll never be another movie as good as "Alien" because...there just can't be one. It was as much about the time and place of its creation, and how it seemed so unique and fresh.

    I thought Prometheus was about as awesome as a modern-day "Alien" movie made by the guy who made "Alien" could be. He should get credit for what is good about this movie, and people should relax a bit more about some of the plot intricacies and character development.

  • Corporal Hudson | June 17, 2012 10:22 AMReply

    Dear Oliver Lyltelton, boy you said it. I really think you hit the nail on the head. A great review!

    I wanted to add that the black alien goo seems like such a rip off from the X-files movie! It just insults our intelligence.

    Alien and Aliens were GReAT because the creatures were so well designed, even today we can look at them and think to ourselves "what the hell is that thing oh my god!!" But in Prometheus, what "aliens" do we have? The pilot is basically a vin Diesel, which shows a lack of creativity almost.

    The "Xenomorph" in Prometheus is either a little swimming cobra.... or a giant squid-face-hugger-substitute... which is not so terrifying and makes us think "is that the best they can come up with?" Any one who has seen a documentary would know what a snake is, or what an octopus or squid is. But the xenomophs from the original alien movies were truly unique. Prometheus falls flat in surprising us.

    yes Ridley Scott should consult his earlier work... if he even did it....

  • ConnorBeige | July 8, 2012 7:54 PM

    Yes, the Xenomorphs in Alien were completely unique with their totally anthropocentric body structures, that fully resemble humans excluding an elongated head, tail, and oral protrusion.

  • FirstV | June 16, 2012 10:01 PMReply

    Theron's Ass is worth going to watch alone. That body suit is very well fitting.

  • Prometheass | June 18, 2012 4:56 PM

    I totally would of enjoyed the movie if her bare ass was in 3d IMAX for 2 hours straight (to become what I hate most). It's a shame the director didn't want to show the captain plowing her during a cut-scene of the two idiots getting snake raped. It makes me wonder who's idea it was to not film an inter-racial sex scene... dem racists. lol :P

  • Heath | June 16, 2012 1:28 PMReply

    Thanks to reading this I know understand a bit more about the snake creatures. I didn't figure that they had mutated from the "common earthworms" crawling around the goo. So, thanks for that.... but.... what are "common earthworms" doing on an alien planet? Ughh... back to square one.

  • Spammy | June 16, 2012 4:42 AMReply

    "a giant, bald, albino Vin Diesel-looking motherfucker" ???

    Someone needs to brush up on greco-roman art.

  • Steve'o | June 16, 2012 1:07 AMReply

    Like everyone has they're own assholes, everyone has they're own opinion. Prometheus was a fucking kick ass movie. Yeah, there were some flaws in it I think in some of the characters. But the story itself ''Awesome''. Ridley Scott has out done himself again. You have to watch Alien to appreciate Prometheus! Ridley don't listen to angry fans or stuck up ass critics. Their Trippin!!!

  • Bill | June 15, 2012 11:47 AMReply

    I thought the movie was really good and thought provoking.
    Don't pay too much attention to the critics, they're kind of like wine snobs.
    Good job Ridley. Can't wait for the follow-up. Hurry, I'm 70.

  • Jordan | June 14, 2012 11:51 PMReply

    While I agree with most of your stuff, there's a lot of complaining that's absolutely stupid.

    Angry about there being action scenes? LOL, it's like going to an MMA fight and being angry over the violence. Yea, the plot was lacking, but to literally complain about every action scene, even the five minute long ones, is just silly. Action scenes are not the devil, but more should have been added to the plot/character development.

    Your disappointment over the alien's appearance is strictly subjective. I thought they looked awesome. Yea, they look a lot like us, get over it. They gave off the air of perfected original forms with their awesome physique. I was nearly hypnotized by the alien in the opening scene.

    Your prequel syndrome is once again subjective. I don't see how the understanding of where the aliens come from makes them any less menacing (to me it doesn't). Also, this prequel happens to do something that most can't. It raises its own story and questions (where did we come from and why) allowing it to be a new story all its own.

    I'm not a fanboy. I left this movie with more of a dissapointed feeling than one of satisfaction. But I thought everything this movie had, it had very well. It simply lacked all that it should have had (plot, character development, more answers).

  • Jess | June 16, 2012 9:03 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly!

  • Prometheass | June 14, 2012 12:35 PMReply

    Agreed. The visuals were spectacular, but the script was terrible.


    You have the supposed crème de la crème of scientists on a trillion dollar mission that are complete morons. A scared scientist and geologist who get lost going back to the ship when they just 3d mapped the insides. Then said scared scientist suddenly finds an alien cobra cute in their black-goo campsite; goo which also acts completely inconsistent. It's surprising he didn't drop trou to let the snake have its way with him. Not to mention you have an advanced species that flies a recorder (flute or whatever) powered spaceship. Who does that? Oh, sorry Steven Spielberg. But that's not all! Towards the end, some genius decides to let the two characters have an object falling length-wise towards them, and have them run parallel from the ship rather then perpendicular from it! Brilliant!

    I digress. Maybe this movie needed more Michael Bay explosions, vague Damon Lindelof story telling, with J.D. Shapiro to co-write. All the while as I sit and wish the movie ended with a 3d visualization of the crashing alien ship followed by a real prop and that lands on my head and crushes me to death. If this trend continues, I can definitely foresee the most popular movie in the world being a flatulent ass for 3 hrs straight... in 3d IMAX, of course.

  • marion | June 13, 2012 11:41 PMReply

    This is something that has been on my chest for a very long time in regard to spoiler alerts. I have seen several different productions of the film King Kong more than 5 times and I have seen different productions of the movie Titanic several times. My point being that I knew before going in to see these films how they were going to end. The ape will always die, the ship will always sink and yet I never failed to be entertained. I guess that I am stupid because a film has never been ruined for me by knowing the beginning, the ending or the middle before hand. I understand other people's point, it just doesn't bother me.

  • Erin | June 13, 2012 8:48 PMReply

    Umm, has anyone heard of inserting "plot spoiler alert" in the sub head, as to NOT ruin the entire plot for those who have yet to see the movie! Hello?

  • YouF*ckinRetard | June 13, 2012 10:24 PM

    Before the article actually starts: "major spoilers lie ahead." 2nd graph, in bold.

  • marion | June 13, 2012 6:53 PMReply

    Alien was filmed 30 something years ago and did quite well for itself. A good film but I, myself did not get a boner while watching it so it was not the holy grail of scifi for me. The film Aliens was much more entertaining, suspenseful and really put some zing into the genre with Ripley being a real badass. I like Ridley's work and can appreciate his desire to revisit where he left off with the first Alien. Seriously though, it's like trying to wring water from a stone. There is no story real there to capitalize on and so now we must grin and bear the ensuing drivel of a storyline. It's a new day and time for something else that's cutting edge and awe inspiring. My summer entertainment was centered around watching this film, I knew within the first 15 minutes of viewing my heart started to sink and it did not recover. I am so past caring about anything and everything to do with the "alien" and the predator for that matter-no more PLEASE. I understand that it's hard to walk away from a good thing, but the I am too tired of open ended movies that leave you hanging. Prequels and sequels sometimes work, sometimes not, this film would have been a better vehicle had it been a totally fresh concept with no past tie ins at all. With the film Prometheus, if Ridley were to sit down with me and explain everything that was happening in the film, It still would not have made me any less sleepy viewing it. I don't have to fully understand a film to be amused, entertained, or interested to connect with it. I sincerely hope that this film will end the Alien "mystery" that has kept everybody awake at night.

  • john12 | June 13, 2012 9:26 AMReply

    In space, everyone can hear your dissapointment... This movie was supposed to be great, but it failed spectacularly. The overly-eager marketing campaign ruined any sense of suspense that might have been. The charcaters, every single one, were throw away, including Shaw. The creature design, the one thing that could have saved this shipwreck, was absolutely TERRIBLE. The Engineers looked like sky-blue translucent Sylvester Stallones, and the big organic flesh tone squid at the end? Stupid. I'm not joking when I say that even I could have made a better proto-xenomorph alien. Ridley Scott, you have failed us. Alien Ressurection, as bad as that movie was, was more coherent and satisfying than this rubbish.

  • john12 | June 13, 2012 9:18 AMReply


  • Mark | June 13, 2012 3:45 AMReply

    In Alien, so much was made of the possibility of a contagion entering the controlled atmos of the Nostromo. On the Prometheus it seemed to be a free for all. All it took was for a knock at the door and someone shouting "Avon calling" and the hatch is open to any and all-comers. If you see something foreign, reach out and touch it. Guys that headed east away from a possible entity are then trying to "pat" the snake like alien later on. As characters go, their motives would change at a whim. I am sick of spectacular 3D being an excuse to make a film without structure, without characters we can love or hate and without believable actions that fit what the characters would do in those situations. In 1979 a classic Sci-fi called Alien was made that thrilled us with its dark half-images. It has endured as a classic of its genre. This will not.

  • Grego | June 12, 2012 9:04 PMReply

    Your #2 on the "Bad" section is indeed correct, the third act is sloppy. However, some of the points you make can easily be explained by my interpretation. The Sean Harris character was weaponized by the goo his face fell into. It wasn't the end of him, and they needed to show what happened to him to explain what the goo was - as Idris later puts it, a weapon of mass destruction. Earlier in the film it turned common earthworms into penis/vagina-like snakes, and later it turned Sean Harris into a monster.

    As you note later on, the goo transfers from Halloway to Shaw, who then produces a baby. You knock the idea of showing the Alien at the end, and it does seem unnecessary, but a point of interest here that I don't see anyone mentioning is that I believe that the only reason the Alien's can reproduce is because it was partially produced from an actual human womb. Notice how the penis-worms attack like the face-huggers do, wrapping themselves around a part of the actor and then heading straight for his mouth. In that scene, the worm does so to kill. But later, after Shaw has given birth to what becomes the big squid creature, that creature has the same fighting style, wrapping its tentacles around the engineer and eventually entering its mouth. But this time, it doesn't seek to kill it, but instead seeks to impregnate it. And does. I don't see many people, or any, talking about this. I like the way the film subtly shows this evolution of the Alien after all. Its a combination of super intelligence and strength (Engineers), reproductive capabilities (Humans) and is an absolute destructive force and weapon (BLACK GOO.)

  • Grego | June 13, 2012 12:46 PM

    It may seem inconsistent, but I didn't see it that way. The beginning, the Engineer drank a lot of it, which instantly killed him. He knew what he was doing. Later, David gives Shaw's boyfriend a tiny drop, which has a slower effect, but was essentially killing him just like it killed the engineer. Drinking it kills you. I don't think the vagina snakes turned anyone into a zombie. It killed one guy by entering its mouth; you see him laying dead a few scenes later. The Sean Harris geologist character was sprayed by the vagina snake, which weakened his helmet. He then fell into the goo, which took its violent effect on him. He didn't drink it, even though he fell face first. It merely got onto him just as it got onto the common earthworms earlier. That's my take, anyway.

  • roshacla | June 13, 2012 12:05 PM

    The problem with the black goo is that its properties are completely inconsistent. In the beginning of the movie an engineer drinks some and it creates all life on earth. It turns the worms into the vagina snakes. The vagina snakes apparently turn people into zombies. Shaw's boyfriend drinks it and starts to have strange cellular mutations. This somehow gives him the ability to implant squid monsters into wombs, which in turn implant chest bursters into other creatures. Everything is so random. It does a different thing in each case. I think the safest thing to say is that it causes sporadic mutations, usually for the worst. However, it should also be noted that the hallway of the engineer's ship was filled with corpses who had their chests bursted. How did they get impregnated, and where did the creatures that came out of them go? There is absolutely no internal consistency to any of the black goo's properties. It is ridiculous.

  • jones | June 12, 2012 6:46 PMReply

    I never write comments on the Internet. I felt compelled in this case. This movie disallowed me to care about any of the characters. I can talk analytically about it, but something wells up in me and just wants to scream "This movie f&^%ing blew!" Wow did it suck. They are getting away with something here. The script disrespects it's audience. It cheaply prods and provokes, or it thinks it does, by suggestion. But it doesn't follow up anywhere. It leaves messes. Zero continuity. Guy Pearse, why? So he can play an old stogie Brit who gets unceremoniously smacked by a massive gay Engineer who is supposed to be smart but looks like a bouncer with anger-management issues at a techno club. Why do they have that big Engineer head in a cannister area for fellatio snakes? Is this movie insane? Why is fancy-pants fassbender so space-sassy if he's an android? Is that how they program Weyland son droids, clever, demonic, flip-flop wearing, space-sassies? Did he overwrite his own programming when he was a head in a duffel bag wanting to help out the abortion refugee scientist? Is this an idiot flick? Am I insane? Those Engineers were DUMB. The first one swallows on the rocks and snaps apart, hey cool what a movie! That creamy milky big boy just offed himself after painting on a cave wall to come visit, he sounds cool let's check him out in the spirit of science. Oh, but it's so thought provoking, we may be from somewhere else and
    heaven may be speculative. That's deep man, wow, I am blown away. You are scaring me with your intellect, oh wait, some random quadipus with like a dozen vaginas just porned out an Engineer who was trying to kill the scientist for being around when his space earring ship got busted up. This movie is what my dog does when he squats in a meadow.

  • roshacla | June 13, 2012 12:07 PM

    Couldn't have said it better myself :)

  • Ri | June 12, 2012 5:16 PMReply

    Im so glad I'm not the only one annoyed. Im not the only one that found it strange that upon entering the cave these scientists (?) didn't go over to touch the walls or see what the structure was made of. AND why vickers dumbass could run sideways. It had so much potential. I should have known that douche Lost writer would muck it up. I wanted to like it but the more I think about it the more it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Chandan | June 12, 2012 3:27 PMReply

    I think you have done a terrific teardown of this classy sci-fi movie ( i wouldnt say horror movie as was the case of Alien v1979..!).
    I also loved the screenrant review where they have reviewed much of the thesis behind the engineer and alien creature v0 and v1 connections..;-).
    I just dont understand why the so intelligent Losty Damon and the maverick Ridley fail to notice the loooseness and shallowness of several characters.. and a ludicrious (should i call it laughing stock.. for this kind of thriller???) role of Idis Alba..He is supposed to be the captain.. and he cant even manage what the heck his crew are doing and getting into.. and forewarn them in advance..
    But, over all the 3D experience of watching this flick is utterly satisfying.. and i enjoyed Prometheus more than the Avatar 3D or Avatar 1080p put together.
    I only hope and wish RS would iron out these petty chinks in his forthcoming sequels to this prequel.. The idea of origin of Greek Engineers .. sounds fascinating and i was so relieved that our Dear David lives on at the end of the movie..

  • DTD | June 12, 2012 2:32 PMReply

    What if Dr. Shaw is the space jockey from Alien?

  • The Snooty Usher | June 16, 2012 7:47 AM

    I was just thinking that myself recently, especially with the difference of planets in both 'Prometheus' & 'Alien'. In addition to this could the signal from the ship which the Nostromo intercepts have been David of Shaw using the ships computer systems?

  • JGH | June 12, 2012 1:18 AMReply

    What is the big fricking deal with Alien already? Almost all your complaints about Prometheus apply to Alien as well, which was also far less limited in scope, less intelligent, less frightening, and much less entertaining. Prometheus supersedes it in almost everything, especially entertainment value and intensity. Christ, you overcritical snobs.

  • BillyD | June 22, 2012 8:58 PM

    "less intelligent, less frightening, and much less entertaining"... That's a truly extraordinary statement. There was NOTHING frightening about prometheus, nothing at all. It was a movie completely utterly lacking in any tension - yet another of its (very) many failures. Name one bit that was frightening? OK, yes, when dimwit #7 goes to pet the vagina snake, you know he's about to get offed so there's a bit of a cringe there, but there's no tension, it's utterly inevitable and thus entirely uninteresting. To me this complete lack of tension was just extraordinary. The film just lurched from scene to scene, with absolutely no build-up or linking. I've never been less on the edge of my seat, for a film.

    To me, by far and away the most scary thing about this film is the terrible, horrible, painful portent as to what Blade Runner II is going to be like. It's one thing to cock up an Alien sequel - that's been done to death already. But if he screws up the Blade Runner follow-up this badly, then he's going to be hunted down and torn limb from limb by the sci-fi community...

  • Thomas M | June 14, 2012 10:23 PM

    Why do I think JGH made Ds at best in school and was probably held back one or two times.

  • roshaca | June 13, 2012 12:24 PM

    We all have our own opinions obviously JGH, but I just can't stop chuckling about your thoughts on character development and the brilliance of this movie. Why exactly are sci-fi thrillers exempt from needing good characters? Answer: they aren't! When I see a movie full of stupid characters that are obviously just devices to move along the (very thin) plot I don't say to myself "Well, it is a sci fi movie, so I shouldn't expect actual good writing". Do you really have such a low opinion of this genre? Or really, such low expectations overall? And honestly, I could overlook terrible characters if their were some big ideas to explore. Prometheus explores no such big ideas. It simply asks "where did we come from?" then proceeds to show us pretty pictures, reasonlessly kill people, and make a big explosion. What a rumination on life! And in what way was Shaw developed? That one scene where she cries about not being fertile? When we see her dream about her Dad talking about religion 101? Pathetic! These things are not personality. They are attributes. Personality goes far deeper then a list of facts about the character. I didn't know Shaw at all, just like I didn't know anyone else in the movie. And scary? What in this film was frightening? There was not a single moment in the entire film that was even remotely frightening! Name one! The fact that you talk shit about the chestburster scene, which is universally recognized as one of the greatest scenes in all of science fiction cinema, just shows that you are either a desensitized 15 year old, or are just trying to be against the grain. Either way, it is your loss.

  • Jason | June 13, 2012 10:04 AM

    With no reference to Alien beyond this sentence, here goes. The 'themes' are pointless and overdone, continually smashed into our faces over and over again throughout the film. Hey, did you realize that faith is faith even in the face or overwhelming evidence to the contrary? And also, did you realize that androids aren't people? No, let me tell you again by clumsily inserting a scene where an android takes a woman's cross for no reason then acts inhumanly? Get it that time? No? Well, let's see... There is literally nothing to think about in this movie, unless you believe in the ancient aliens conspiracy garbage, then you're probably thrilled.

    The only action scene that was anything other than laughable was the surgery, and following that we've got Noomi Rapace sprinting around an alien world immediately after her caesarian. If they were going to make the movie so vapid they at least could have made it exciting. The remaining action scenes, such as they were, were largely pointless and dull.

    How stupid can this group of people be? The scientists go to an alien world without meeting one another, without any idea of what they're expected to do once they get there, and when they arrive they do the most idiotic things possible. Steve Irwin wouldn't have messed with that snake thing, but our biologist (who is also apparently a creationist, as they're the only ones who use the term Darwinism...) wants to hug it, even though it acts suspiciously like a cobra about to strike and has nasty, pointy teeth. The geologist is completely uninterested in the geology of the alien world and serves no purpose other than to shout a couple of times and carry those nifty mapping balls. Oh, and turn into a zombie. A freaking zombie. Bulletproof, superpowered, giant sized, zombie, who walks in a bizarre crab pose. Holloway threw a tantrum because after just arriving at an alien planet, they didn't happen to fall on top of a thriving alien civilization. And why did he expect them to have 'all the answers' anyway?

    The visuals weren't even particularly good. The interior shots were all kinds of nothing special, and the exteriors made me think, immediately, "Hey, that's a valley in Iceland." Nothing looked cartoony, but for that kind of money and with current technology that's only to be expected. Weyland's makeup was straight out of community theater. I've not seen anyone with such bad old man makeup in a major film ever. Couldn't they have at least looked at an old person to figure out things like which way wrinkles run on a person's face, or what liver spots look like, or thinning hair? Or, and try to keep an open mind here cause it's a crazy thought, hire an old man to play an old man and make him up to look older?

    I've never paid to see a movie as bad as this. Never. The stuff that the SciFi channel makes for television is better.

  • JGH | June 12, 2012 11:43 AM

    This is not the kind of film that demands too much character development, because it's a horror/sci-fi, and virtually all the characters are killed off, some pretty early. The only character that needs to be developed is Shaw, and she is, extensively. Remember, Blade Runner wasn't understood or liked when it first came out, and now it's considered a masterpiece and a sci-fi classic. I believe Scott's director's cut will make the film more comprehensive, even though it is brilliant already. Finding the answers to these kinds of questions are all part of the fun.

    And for the record, I could've come up with the premise for Alien in my sleep. It is dreadfully simplistic and short-sighted. The only good thing about the film was Sigourney Weaver and the fact that it paved the way for better films. And the famous chestburster scene? Was that really supposed to be scary? Haha, but I'm not a hater. I love Ridley Scott. This is one of his greatest films.

  • roshacla | June 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    If you can honestly watch Alien (and to a slightly lesser extent, Aliens) and say it is "less intelligent, less frightening, and much less entertaining" than Prometheus, I don't know if there is any hope for you. Your complaint about Alien's limited scope shows that your priorities seem to lie more in the grandness of the venture rather then its quality. Alien was purposely limited in scope. That was what made it work. Funny enough, Prometheus actually feels more confined to me. You see lots of shots of beautiful vistas and such, but the characters really only move around in 4 or 5 very limited areas connected by identical tunnels. A complete waste of setting really. Also, it was far more intelligent then Prometheus. Why? Because it was intelligently and artfully made and created a mystique that was so powerful that it spawned an entire franchise in the name of figuring out what the Aliens and Space Jockeys were. The greatness of Alien is why Prometheus exists to ask any of its questions at all. How could you honestly say this movie was intelligent? One of the earliest memories I have is of asking my Dad how we were made, and then giving him my personal theory on it after hearing his (He said something about god. I said something about the stars being bored and wanting something to watch. I was a weird kid. Sort of still am). The point being that this movie asks a question that children across the world are posing every day and its answer is both creatively bankrupt and utterly botched in execution.

  • Robert | June 12, 2012 2:05 AM

    Could you qualify those statements?

    Critiquing the original film in order to defend Prometheus just doesn't work. Without comparing Prometheus to any other movie in the franchise, you can still point out the fact that the characters in the film are underdeveloped. Their motivations aren't clear, they do things that don't make sense, and you don't really care about them at the end of the film. Now if the writing team did any of these above things by DESIGN as a plot device, it would be ok, but that's not the case. When things start to go wrong on LV-whatever... the characters don't communicate with each other about ANYTHING. How is this intelligent filmaking?

  • anon | June 12, 2012 1:04 AMReply


  • JGH | June 12, 2012 11:40 AM

    This is not the kind of film that demands too much character development, because it's a horror/sci-fi, and virtually all the characters are killed off, some pretty early. The only character that needs to be developed is Shaw, and she is, extensively.

    Remember, Blade Runner wasn't understood or liked when it first came out, and now it's considered a masterpiece and a sci-fi classic. I believe Scott's director's cut will make the film more comprehensive, even though it is brilliant already. Finding the answers to these kinds of questions are all part of the fun.

  • Robert | June 11, 2012 11:14 PMReply

    Excellent review. I will see the film a second time at some point this week, but ultimately Prometheus was a huge failure in my eyes. The review said just about everything I loved, and hated about the film more eloquently that I ever could.

    Aliens was probably my favorite movie growing up as a teen. I also hold Alien in high regard. And as the review points out, it's as if the team of people who made this film never watched Alien, or Aliens. That sounds harsh, but you're reminded of it in every conversation, action sequence, and alien encounter.

    As the review so aptly noted, Ridley Scott is trying to have his cake and eat it too. If it's not an Alien prequel:

    - don't milk the Weyland corporation's involvement in the film. It's just way more interesting in Alien, and Aliens. (Guy Pearce is miscast horribly, and he's one of my favorite male actors).

    - don't have the lead character essentially try to become Sigourney Weaver, she's going to fail.

    - don't use direct lines from Alien or Aliens (this happens twice in the film, and I'm confident it was intentional, and even if it wasn't that's not an excuse).

    - don't highlight the technology in the film unless it's going to contribute to the story in a meaningful way (example: Cryosleep dreams. exception: medical bed)

    The only thing that this film does better than it's predecessors is create a visually stunning world full of cool looking technology, architecture, and landscapes. But this should be a given considering the thirty years of advances since the original alien.

    If their is a follow up to Prometheus, just get James Cameron to do it, please.

  • Uplander | June 11, 2012 6:35 PMReply

    Did they cast Logan Marshall Green because Tom Hardy was unavailable filming The Dark Knight Rises? Because that's who he look like. Some of the supporting characters weren't developed in any way. There were characters who died in this movie whose name I didn't learn and who had no dialogue.

  • Jane | June 11, 2012 7:49 PM

    Strangely enough, I think James Franco was in the mix for that part at one point. I think Marshall-Green looks like a cross between Franco and Hardy. I guess there was a particular physical type that Scott wanted.

  • zinjo | June 11, 2012 5:59 PMReply

    I love the reviews on this site, too often you echo what I see and then highlight things my mind has yet to process. To lie to the audience by telling us Prometheus ISN'T a prequel and then dumping the proto-alien at the very end is insulting. Up to that very point I was thinking that they managed to brilliantly imply that the aliens were in fact bio-weapons of mass destruction. Then as you so eloquently describe, we get meticholrians!

    I was so hoping for a genuine "Spin Off" story, related but not tied to the franchise, but alas no. I wanted to see the Yutani Corporation sponsoring this mission (you know the pre-merger competitor to the Weyland Corp.?), which could certainly explain why the hardware was so state of the art. I wanted NOT to see a proto-alien. I wanted the characters to be interesting and "smart" as they should have been. I wanted to understand WTF the openning sequence meant! Did the Albino Deisel die from the goo or did he disintegrate to form the bio matter to jump start life on planet Earth... me still puzzling that one out.
    I wanted to be treated with respect as a paying cinema viewer and I received none fo the above.

  • Mike | June 11, 2012 4:48 PMReply

    I guess the biggest criticism I could level is that it opens more questions than it answers, but it's evident now that the two-part idea never really went away as Scott & Fox tried to make us think over the past year or so. The other is, yes there isn't enough development or consistency with the characters, but then if we look back on Alien we can see that Prometheus got itself in trouble so to speak by hinting at the characters motivations and backgrounds within the body of a thriller film whereas Alien just let the shit hit the fan and had its characters fight it out. I mean really, what do we actually learn about any of the characters in Alien other than John Hurt's character is a wide-eyed explorer, Yaphet Kotto & his companion are disgruntled laborers & Ripley is a tad too fond of the cat Jones but still a badass. The lack of character development or the question as to why the rest of the crew weren't concerned with Shaw at the end didn't bother me because all hell was breaking loose, but Prometheus sets itself up to more criticism in this way because of its expanded cast & opening up of bigger ideas it didn't intend to fully answer. Is it perfect? No, the screenplay could have been tighter, and a smaller cast could have placated the concerns of consistency, but overall it certainly is an effective thrill ride & a stunning film in the visual department & I'll give them a pass if they can fix some of the mistakes with the inevitable 'Paradise' follow-up.

  • griff | June 11, 2012 3:36 PMReply

    Excellent post-mortem of this beautiful disaster. Another discrepancy (as long as we're piling on) was the transformation of Charlie from mystic-scientist to depressed lush. The guy spends his entire life searching long-dead civilizations for clues, travels for two years into space, sets foot on the greatest discovery in human history, looks around for six hours, and suddenly get's all boozy and "'s all for nothing" because he didn't find God on His Throne? Talk about tough to please.

  • Uplander | June 11, 2012 2:59 PMReply

    This article hits the nail on the head, it was a well directed, well designed, well acted mess that was sunk by it's flawed screenplay. Here's a question why does Fifield, a geologist who designed the probes who search the alien installation get lost in the structure?

  • Buzz | June 11, 2012 2:16 PMReply

    Except the proto-alien we see at the end isn't the xenomorph we love and adore. It's a not-quite-the-same xenomorph that, since this is LV223 and not LV426, has absolutely nothing to do with the xenomorhps from the original films.

  • Edward Davis | June 11, 2012 2:55 PM

    Yeah, so it's not the EXACT Xenomorph and somehow some iteration of it went from 223 to 426. So what? We essentially know how they were made.

    Maybe someone will hope a movie is made to explain how it or they spawned and migrated over, but Lindelof himself has said they're not interested in pursuing that (thank god).

  • roshacla | June 11, 2012 2:29 PM

    If that alien has nothing to do with the "xenomorph we love and adore" then why even show it? What is the significance of that scene outside of the context of the alien mythos? Since no one has any idea where that alien went from there or what happens next, there is really no way to know how significant that alien birth was. To say it has absolutely nothing to do with the xenomorphs of the original film is to say that the scene shouldn't even exist.

  • Egads | June 11, 2012 2:11 PMReply

    'Problem is, according to the film itself, there are no mixed DNA's - everbody and everthin is '100%', 'Perfectly' matching Human DNA, and has been for millenia and eons (which is, of course, hilarious, as some geneticists are even now working out what impacts the Spanish Influenza epidemic had in permanently altering gene frequencies in the worldwide human genome). Prometheus wants to have its pseudo-scientific cake and eat it too - toss Darwinism and Mendelian genetics completely overboard, but appeal to them to authenticate a Space Jockey paternity suit, but then jettison them again to have some sort of Lamarckism-on-steroids mumbo-jumbo origin myth for Xenomorphs. Just pitiful - screenplay plotting 'inspired' by Erich Von Daniken via Trofim Lysenko....

  • pmarnash | June 11, 2012 1:39 PMReply

    Oh, one more thing. The music in Prometheus was, indeed, awful! Uninspiring score, awful mix and no "music off" button on the screen. That actually might have helped.

    Nah. It wouldn't have.

  • pmarnash | June 11, 2012 1:36 PMReply

    Finally. Someone (all of you in the comments as well) turns the lights on. I for one simply cannot imagine what Mr. Scott was thinking when he thought this script was "the one." Mr. Lindelof needs to go back to any UCLA (or USC) screenwriting class and understand the skills of character development, plot, pace, story rhythm, dialogue, reveal and drama. Better yet, perhaps he should just quit his day job.

  • roshacla | June 11, 2012 1:19 PMReply

    Amen to everything here. I found this movie to be awful. The main failings of this movie lay with the awful script and Scott, who directed this movie as if it was his first feature film. Ridley falls into every modern cinematic trap from rushed poorly thought out "get to know the characters" sequences (the scene where Shaw cries about being infertile and where Vickers calls Mr. Weyland father are baffling) to shoehorning in intense scenes without any real rhyme or reason (the abortion scene). Also of note was how poorly done the sequence where Shaw's boyfriend got fried was. Everything about that scene from the characters' reactions to the framing of the shot was poorly done. Several people in the theater laughed while he was getting torched because the way he reacted was so silly looking.

    Also of note was the music. My god, this movie might have the most inappropriate, terribly generic score ever inflicted on cinema. The music almost always represents the opposite mood of what is happening in the scene and the constantly repeated "hopeful" coda is never used at appropriate moments. Prometheus would have been much better if it had no music at all honestly.

    There are dozens of plot holes, inconsistencies, and just plain stupid decisions I could bring up, but it isn't worth it. The fan boys can find a way to make anything make sense. But the point is, even if this film had a satisfying, consistent plot (which it doesn't) it would still suck. Prometheus' problem isn't its dumb as a rock story, it's everything else.

  • yea_absolutely | June 28, 2012 6:59 PM

    Totally agree about that music score. When it wasn't just listless & mickey mouse (most points), at others, I could swear the 'composer' was just re-working stale, dreamy riffs taken straight from the original 60's "Star Trek". The Big Idea Wonder of...Space!! The Final Frontier!
    Talk about 'mailing it in'. And getting a big fat check for his moronic effort.

  • Travis Mills | June 11, 2012 12:54 PMReply

    Excellent article. Excellent. I can't say that enough. You touch on everything that works and doesn't work in the film (for the most part). The most devastating really is the writing, which is extremely poor. I would have liked to see more comparisons made in your article between the plot points of Prometheus and Alien (Aliens). The film seems to basically borrow/steal most of the frame and good moments of those films and recycle them into a boring mess.

  • tk | June 11, 2012 12:14 PMReply

    "[W]hy does Kate Dickey's doctor not pursue her? Why does no one react to her afterwards? And why is it virtually never referred to for the rest of the film (we get that Shaw's a steely heroine, but at least show that you remember that shit happening)?"

    Honestly, what frightened me most about this entire movie was that no one reacted to what happened to Elizabeth. That was what left me horrified and gave me nightmares. I'm curious how much of that was intentional and how much of it was weak editing/script.

  • jimmiescoffee | June 11, 2012 11:55 AMReply

    notice all the bad and ugly comes back to lindelofs shit script? the jesus stuff is initially intriguing and off beat, but ultimately not very "progressive." lets just hope and pray (wink) that Scott wises up and doesn't let good old damon anywhere near his 'blade runner' project.

  • Peter | June 11, 2012 11:49 AMReply

    Many points are valid: I eventually started laughing at how many times some variation of the line "Don't Touch Anything" was said and then quickly ignored. However, I really enjoyed the film, and didn't mind some of the "bad" and "ugly" points you listed. I DID want to point out one thing - the Space Jockey and the aliens are NOT the same ones that they come across in the original "Alien" movie. If you remember from that one, the Space Jockey was sitting in the driver seat of the spaceship with his chest burst, not in some Earth-pod somewhere. Obviously they have created these creatures essentially as WMDs that they couldn't really control, and so the same thing that happens here happened on some other planet as well...leading to the series of Alien films.

    Another plot hole of sorts you didn't cover. This is based on what happened in the space ship / cryo chamber of the space jockey. So David comes in there and triggers the system and essentially identifies that they are coming from Earth, so the Space Jockeys know what planet to go and destroy. But, if that's what the Space Jockeys want - to be awakened once they are discovered so they can go destroy the civilization, then why have the rest of the building there that is set up to essentially kill anyone that comes into it. This concept of aliens having a gateway where if a civilization Without the android there, they may have never gotten far enough along to wake up that guy.

    Overall, I did really enjoy it, but I do agree it doesn't hold together very well, with too many ideas and not enough consistency between the ideas.

  • Christopher Nolan | June 11, 2012 11:09 AMReply

    Uhm, that's all subjective, Playlist... And the film DOES hint at why the Engineers created mankind if you put on your analytical glasses. Look at the scene in the beginning with the Engineer and the scene with David and Holloway at the bar; there's your answer.

  • pmarnash | June 11, 2012 4:44 PM

    Ah, well kind of shame. I would actually be very interested in Mr. Nolan's opinion on this. Regardless, Oliver, you did a fantastic job of itemizing the issues and explaining why they ARE issues in the movie. Great job! Now if only Mr. Scott would visit this thread.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | June 11, 2012 3:14 PM

    Yeah, it's definitely 'the' Christopher Nolan. The same Christopher Nolan who doesn't use email.

  • pmarnash | June 11, 2012 2:44 PM

    If this is "the" Christopher Nolan, of all people, you should understand the disappointment that the "Alien" audience is experiencing with this film. Your story structure for the Batman trilogy is solid, contemplative and true to the design you originally inspired. You read this thread and you can see how the fans feel about Prometheus. Or, as I like to call it, Antithesis.

  • Travis Mills | June 11, 2012 1:00 PM

    It appears to me as if Playlist has put on their "analytical glasses" and looked much closer at the film than most. Chris, if you can enlighten us, how does the beginning explain "why" the engineers created mankind?

  • Oliver Lyttelton | June 11, 2012 11:15 AM

    Subjective? Opinions are... subjective? I don't understand. Is there any way you could explain how some people have some opinions, and other people have different ones, perhaps with visual aids? It's the first I've heard of it, I'm having trouble grasping the concept.

  • JasmineK | June 11, 2012 10:59 AMReply

    Hang on, what was so indelible about Fassbender's turn in "Inglourious Basterds"? I wish the media wouldn't buy into the hype over an actor. They did it with Colin Farrell and now it's Fassy. He's damn good, but genius he ain't.

  • Jane | June 11, 2012 12:40 PM

    I'll go to bat for that performance. I think that character could have been just as much a caricature as Brad Pitt's Aldo the Apache. I enjoyed Pitt's performance, but it doesn't improve on second or third viewing. Fassbender's does. It's a pitch-perfect technical performance in terms of physically and vocally embodying a '40s/'50s British movie star without actually becoming outright mimicry. He's quite subtly funny in the scene with Myers and completely sells the drama and tension in the bar scene while speaking in a language he's really not comfortable in (he's not fluent). Imagine that character played by Simon Pegg, who was Tarantino's original choice. I like Pegg, but there's no way he could have sold those scenes the way Fassbender did.

  • bonzob | June 11, 2012 12:08 PM

    Yeah, I thought that was odd, too. He has maybe two scenes in Inglourious Basterds. He's reasonably charismatic in them, and well... that's it. Hardly a standout performance. Perhaps FISH TANK could have been mentioned instead? He's incredible in that.

  • Brendan | June 11, 2012 10:55 AMReply

    Generally a fair sum-up. I'd only quibble that the "alien" we see at the end of the film isn't a literal ancestor of the one we saw in 'Alien', as the ship they found in that film had crashed far before the events in Prometheus.
    It's another strain on the same evolutionary path - perhaps something like the relationship between humans and chimps, but it doesn't directly lead into the events of 'Alien' in the way you seem to be assuming.

  • Aaron | June 11, 2012 10:26 AMReply

    I wholeheartedly agree with your observations here. Don't get me wrong...Prometheus entertained the Hell out of me, but it's biggest downfall came from the script department. Where Alien's storytelling unfolded in a more organic way, I could blatantly see the screenwriter's swinging from one plot point to the next with little attention given to the characterizations. Alien let the viewer marinate in its moodiness; Prometheus felt pushy like being rushed through a museum exhibit. My biggest beef: Shaw shows little to no reaction following A) an alien getting excised from her body and B) her husband being cooked like a marshmallow over a campfire. Ridley Scott's still a badass, though, and I'll continue to watch anything he makes.

  • Zatopek | June 11, 2012 10:22 AMReply

    Agree with everything. Also like to add that not just Space Jockey design, but all the creature design is really uninspired with the octopuses, snakes and the velociraptor-alien at the end.

  • rotch | June 11, 2012 10:21 AMReply

    The two elements I hated the most are absent from the 'ugly' list: 1- Casting Guy Pearce as a 90 year-old guy with terrible make-up instead of an actual 90 year-old guy for no apparent reason. 2- That god-awful score, which played 'awe-inspiring' when it should've been 'doom-inducing'

  • Travis Mills | June 11, 2012 12:57 PM

    I concur about both. The use of Guy Pearce should be a big "ugly" point, as well as the repetitive score that misses the tone completely (it would fit more in Gladiator than here... what happened to Scott's excellent music vision such as the Blade Runner score).

  • jimmiescoffee | June 11, 2012 12:01 PM

    my thoughts exactly on guy pearce

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