The problems with Prometheus


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This post contains spoilers galore. It's also a bit of a rant.

So I went to watch Prometheus and I have to say I found it underwhelming. It was just so disappointing. I don't consider myself an Alien fanboy, but I have watched all the movies several times and read the books of the first three. For me, this was the most anticipated movie of the year. The trouble with Prometheus was that there were just so many flaws and plot holes that it really left me feeling frustrated, even though there have been promises of at least one sequel. I didn't feel like these were the kind of unanswered questions that would keep me begging for more, like in Total Recall or something like that.

Let's break down some of the flaws/annoyances of Prometheus, as I see it:

  • Why spend so much time distancing the film from Alien and then create something that screamed "Prequel!"?
  • Life on earth was created by a single alien drinking a weird drink and falling into a river? Really? (edit: Also note, there were already trees on the planet when the alien did his thing.)
  • There were so many missed opportunities for interaction with the alien.
  • What was the point of Weyland hiding out for the whole film only to wake up and then die within a few minutes? Why was there a need to make a fuss about him being hidden away somewhere?
  • Vickers was revealed to be Weyland's daughter. And what? Who cares? The relationship was given minimal time to be developed on screen. These characters could have been strengthened if some thought was put into exploring them.
  • How did they know for sure that the engineers were going to destroy life on earth?
  • With cams on helmets and whatnot, how did those two idiots not manage to find their way back to the ship? Why wouldn't the crew know those two were heading back if they're all in constant contact? How could the guy with the special mapping ball things get himself and his mate completely lost? It also didn't appear to be an overly complicated route back and forth.
  • The ship leaving at the end. So, somehow they got Dave's head back on and found another ship. None of the other ships had aliens on them? The exact same scenario with all the engineers dying played out on each ship, even though they're a distance away from each other? Where were the new xenomorphs and facehuggers? And Dave has learnt to fly the ship by watching a little hologram show?
  • As for the holograms, WTF were they all about? Some kind of alien CCTV that the characters somehow managed to switch on and show exactly the right moments of footage that could then drive the plot forwards?
  • Running around after a C-section. You just got yourself cut open and stapled back together and yet you can run around, climb up shit, abseil, fight aliens, carry a robot body out, etc.? Her staples would have surely burst and she'd have bled to death.
  • Vickers has a med pod in her escape chamber thing. A med pod just for men? Even though she's a woman? Solely for Weyland, perhaps.
  • Shaw left an alien in Vickers' med lab. Dave obviously knew this as he sees the wound from the C-section. Shaw doesn't mention it. He doesn't mention it. Nobody is bothered. Dave wouldn't have relayed that little bit of info to someone? Really? And for Shaw, you wouldn't bring up that you just had an alien ripped out of your womb and you'd left it in the lab? Nobody wanted to ask WTF had happened to her abdomen?
  • The captain of the ship does not think for a split second before deciding to kill himself and fly Prometheus into the alien ship. His two mates just hop on board with the idea. Really? Didn't take much convincing.
  • There were 17 members on board? Umm, who were they? I don't remember seeing them all dying or even on camera for that matter.
  • The crew appeared to have travelled quite a long distance and yet they'd never met each other before and they had no idea where they were going. Wouldn't they have met at some point? Wouldn't they have been briefed? You'd go into hypersleep for two years without knowing anything about why?
  • The script was awful and the characters were underdeveloped. Nuff said.
  • Ridley Scott said absolutely there would be no xenomorph in Prometheus. So what was that thing at the end?
  • And what was with the xenomorph sculpted into the wall of the first chamber with all the pods in it?
  • Aliens (or someone) drew cave paintings pointing to a planet they don't actually live on and is actually some kind of weapons lab? Obviously that makes sense. So who drew the paintings if we consider that life on earth probably began more than 37,000 years ago? It probably wasn't the aliens themselves. Unless, of course, the cave paintings are some kind of threat of what might happen if the human race worships any other god than the engineers?
  • Could they really travel as far as they did in just two years, given that this is less than 100 years in the future?
  • The scheduled date for earth's "extinction" that never happened was about 2,000 years ago. If this movie were a social commentary on how fucked up we are as humans, why set the planned attack to about the first century AD? Are we really going to bring Jesus into the sequels? 2,000 years ago is very specific.
  • In 2,000 years none of the other engineers carried out the extinction? Did they all die? Or was the ship the crew of Prometheus found part of some rogue group?
  • Vickers is all strong and tough and stoic and then after being gently teased she agrees to sleep with the ship's captain in a scene that isn't even shown in any way in the movie? This weakened her character.
  • Dave gives Holloway a drink with some of the black stuff in it and he goes mad and gets burnt alive. How does that play into any part of the story at all?
  • WTF was the point of Fifield becoming a big-headed zombie monster? What was that all about? It just happens and then it's done. Another pointless action scene.
  • The reason for the voyage was so that Weyland could ask the aliens for their secrets so he could live forever? That's it?! And then you kill Weyland off almost as soon as he's woken up?!
  • When they leave LV-223 they leave a warning transmission, similar to the one the Nostromo picks up from LV-426, again drawing parallels between the two franchises. The scene with the space jockey was also given a great deal of emphasis. It was as if Scott was trying very hard both to tie the two in together and then to distance them from one another. Just pick one option and run with it.
  • All that high tech equipment and after seeing everything inside the alien ship and you pick up a life form on the scan you're going to put it down to a glitch and just forget about it?
  • Also, the reveal that Shaw was sterile felt very forced.

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6 thoughts on “The problems with Prometheus

  1. Concur with all your points. I think I had a few more, but why bother? A crappy and disappointing movie. I say that as some crappy movies can be entertaining. I did like the android David. Very HAL9000, and with good movie appreciation.

  2. I saw the movie a second time just to see if i was missing some info, trying to understand why this film didnt not connect in my head. I wanted so bad to like this because i had been such a big fan of alien for so long, but its seems the entire budget went into visual effects, and they could only higher 2nd grade short story writers, that throw a bunch of random non linear non logical thoughts togther and call it a story. Honestly does ridley scott have dementia now????

  3. In the original movie Alien, the space jockey is seen still sitting in the pilots chair, dead. But at the end of Prometheus the space jockey attacks Shaw in the escape pod, and then gets impregnated/killed by the aborted alien. Is the space jockey that attacks Shaw the same one in the pilots chair, or a different one? This is the most blatant plot hole in my opinion.
    Anyway, its just a movie, and I still thought it was great. I think its good that the movie might expand a few minds about how we were created, rather than listening to what the Bible or Koran tell them. You can pick Star Wars and Star Trek to pieces too, but they are still cool.

  4. The Xenomorph appearance was a real problem for me. Especially because we see a mural to the creature in the 'weapon' room near the beginning of the film.
    How is it that a creature of which is created later in the film can be sculpted onto a wall in the film's past …

    I agree with all your points.

    Nicely written too.

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