Prometheus

NB: I have attempted to keep the opening paragraphs spoiler free.  Comments which contain spoilers occur towards the end of the post, and are preceded by A VERY LARGE WARNING J 

Having been actively avoiding reviews, comments and conversations about this film for the last couple of weeks, there was only one question to ask – epic, or epic fail?

Well. The opening 20 minutes were a real struggle due to a horrendously clunky script (it didn’t improve much later on tbh, but it was particularly painful during the plot exposition at the start).

I also found the last 20 minutes a tad tedious – it was blindingly obvious that the final scenes were actually going to provide the perfect stepping stone to The Sequel, and were thus a disappointment.

And in the middle was a mish-mash of body shock horror, science fiction action, holograms and existential soul searching. Oh, and an android.

The crux of the story seems to be a search for our biological ancestors, and how that ties in with the notion of god and faith. Blink, though, and you’ll miss it. A quick reference and a shallow script soon brushed this aside, leaving a whole lot of holes where the philosophising should have been.

Saving graces were some excellent individual performances – Michael Fassbender stole the show as the android with a questionable hidden agenda, and Idris Elba was great as the wise guy action hero captain of the spaceship.  I was less convinced by Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce, mainly because I didn’t understand their role in the plot.

On the whole, I’d say a disappointing 5 out of 10 – the eventual trilogy may prove to be the best sequence of films ever made, but much will have been sacrificed in this film if that turns out to be the case.

At this rate, I fear for Bladerunner 2 …

 

HERE BE SPOILERS …  

I have never felt the need to post spoilers before, and in general I deplore it.  But I was left with so many unanswered questions that I just have to pose some of them here, in the hope that someone can enlighten me on what I missed.  Don’t read if you haven’t seen the film, but please feel free to comment if you have an inkling. Oh and by the way, these are only a few of my questions – they could go on for a lot longer – like the guys in the video below …

  1. Why did the first alien Engineer have to sacrifice himself at all?  Why didn’t they send two and let them procreate?
  2. In fact, why weren’t there any female Engineers?
  3. What triggered the holograms?
  4. Why was Guy Pearce’s prosthetic make up so dreadful?
  5. Why was Charlize Theron even on the ship in the first place?
  6. If the alien DNA turned Fifield into – well, whatever it was, why did affect Holloway by producing little squirmy eye creatures, and why could it then impregnate and develop into an octopus-monster-baby inside Shaw in only a few hours?
  7. Why did David contaminate Holloway’s drink in the first place?
  8. Why did the Engineers want humans to visit their planet? Which when they got there, wasn’t their planet, but a place full of dangerous black goo? If they wanted to destroy humankind, why would they wait for a handful to land on the planet? Why wouldn’t they bring the black goo directly to Earth?
  9. What’s the connection between the black goo and the Engineers? Is it a bio-weapon, a lifeform, a prisoner?
  10. If the DNA match was 100%, shouldn’t they just be human, not white alien giants? Or, shouldn’t we be white alien giants?
  11. Why did the crew have no idea about the mission they were sent on? Why did they appear to have no training on how to respond when confronted by an alien planet/lifeform?
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3 thoughts on “Prometheus

  1. Hi Marie. I had some fairly similar questions. The first scene with the spaceship leaving and the Engineer swallowing the black goo felt like it was going to be explained later but then wasn’t. The spaceship was a different design to the attack ship at the end. I assumed that was the peaceful mission going off to visit/create early Earth tribes. The Engineer’s moon still had life at the start but was desolate when the humans arrived. I thought the engineer could have been trying to sabotage things but wasn’t sure of the motive. Was it part of the plan with the contact/seeding of planets? Perhaps it was a kind of terrorist attack by an Engineer against the Engineers to destroy the peaceful contact/seeding of planets? Or an individual Engineer trying to stop the Engineers going to attack more planets? The ceremony around the drinking of the black goo and lack of clothing implied it might be something ideological. After jumping in the waterfall I thought the black goo went on to destroy most of the life on that moon. But, if it was a renegade Engineer, why did the Engineers have a huge series of facilities with the black goo.Perhaps the Engineer’s civilization changed politically between heading off on friendly missions and a change of government made them decide to exterminate everyone. Perhaps the containers of black goo didn’t originally contain black goo but had become contaminated after the rogue engineer released some original black goo into the wild. The might have been normal planet seeding/building pods originally. Of course, all this is speculation on my part as I attempt to work out if there was any logic to the plot. It is as if several scenes were cut from the final film that would have made it all clearer. Or perhaps I missed some vital clues.

  2. Attempts to answer your questions:2) Perhaps there were. We may have just assumed they were male.3) I thought the holograms were triggered by the android pressing the pictogram/buttons on the walls of the tunnel.5) She was supposedly the executive in charge wasn’t she. She was also the old man’s daughter.6) That bugged me to. It seems to produce a whole bunch of very different organisms.7) He was experimenting. He seemed to be amoral so would probably have no trouble trying to see what happened.10) Perhaps it should have been "nearly 100%". We share almost 100% with other great apes and a large fraction with bananas.11) My impression was that no aliens had ever been met before. Perhaps humans had decided that there wasn’t anybody else out there.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts, Stuart. I’ve seen several comments online which take the view that, if you have questions after watching the film, basically you should ‘get over yourself’, but I think a film which gets people talking is a good thing.All of my comments were made on one viewing of the film, and I had steered clear of any viral marketing, so a further viewing may change my opinion.I do like your interpretation of the Engineer scenario – a rogue operative could explain things.

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