Ridley Scott’s highly anticipate space epic has finally hit theaters and there are a lot of mixed reviews out there… and my thoughts are pretty mixed as well. I’ll come right out and say that I did enjoy the movie. The visuals were amazing, the acting wasn’t oscar worthy, but it didn’t need to be… it worked, but the story itself is where I had a few issues. There may be some spoilers ahead, but I’m going to try to keep it to a minimum until the very end, at which point I will ran you again.
I know that the film was originally written as a prequel to Alien, but was eventually rewritten by LOST’s Damon Lindelof and turned into more of a standalone flick that takes place in the Alien world. Despite what people may think, Prometheus doesn’t even take place on the same planet/moon that Alien takes place on, so the ship that crashes at the end of Prometheus is not the same ship that Ripley and the crew find at the beginning of Alien. So the connection to Alien is not as apparent as you may think. Personally I like the way they chose to keep the movie stand on it’s own, yet still give us a little more incite into the Alien world to see the connections.
The main theme of the movie revolves around the search for our beginnings as human beings, or rather, the beginning of life as we know it. A pair of scientists have found multiple inscriptions throughout the world that all point to the same place in our solar system, and going off a belief, they shoot out into space to see what is on this planet (which is actually a moon of a planet). Once they arrive on the moon they discover that what they thought were going to be living, breathing beings that they could speak with, is essentially just a tomb for “The Engineers” that they were so desperately trying to talk to. Seemingly disappointed in the entire expedition they give up hope, but in true Alien fashion, there are still some “things” alive on the moon. And soon enough, things turn messy.
So without giving too much away, that’s the basic outline of the plot. There is obviously more to the story than I can tell you without giving it away, but you get the idea. Now, did I like the movie? Yes. Did I think there were some plot holes or things they should have explained a bit more? Absolutely. But did that keep me from enjoying it… not at all. The major gripe I had with this flick is that the characters are supposed to be scientists, yet they are not very smart. Nobody seems to give anything a second thought, nobody seems to use common sense to try and solve a problem and they just race into situations without taking any precautions what so ever. If the group would have taken their time and investigated things a little more closely, or taken a little more precautions, then 90% of what happened in the end, wouldn’t have happened. Obviously that wouldn’t have made for a very good movie so I understand the need to force characters into certain situations, but some of the things they did were just too unrealistic for me.
Before I get into major spoilers and touch upon specific issues I had with the flick, let me just say that I did enjoy the movie and I do recommend it. If you’re a fan of Ridley Scott and/or you enjoy space epics, then you’ll enjoy this one. There’s not quite as much action as I thought there was going to be and I felt like it could have been about 30 minutes shorter, but overall I did enjoy it and it’s a nice addition to the Alien universe and I really hope they make a sequel that really brings us back to the Ripley era Alien.
Now for SPOILERS! Do not read past this point if you haven’t seen the movie or don’t want to know any specifics.
As with any movie of this scale there are bound to be a few plot holes or issues that I have, so this is not me trying to find ways to bash a movie I didn’t enjoy.
A co-worker and I were discussing a scene near the beginning of the movie where Fifield and Millburn get lost after deciding they don’t want any part of the exploration. How could they possibly get lost while their little infarad orbs are floating around mapping out the entire place? I initially chalked it up to communication being disrupted during the storm, but they had to have gotten lost way before the storm hit since they took off as soon as the group reached that main chamber. There’s no way these two should have gotten lost with the amount of technology guiding them around and mapping out the place. I was only able to overlook it once the two of them got killed, only because those parts were pretty cool.
The other big issue I had was that we were apparently supposed to assume that old man Weyland told David to spike Holloway’s drink. The only way I knew this is from an interview I read with Damon Lindelof. The conversation that happens between Weyland and David while Weyland is still in the sleep chamber is supposed to go something like this: Weyland: “The planet is empty, all you found was these canisters with some weird liquid?” “Feed it to a person and see what happens”. I didn’t really gather that while watching the movie, but know that I know that, it makes sense, but why couldn’t that exchange have been in the actual movie somehow. It would have left a lot of people far less confused.
The last two points I have issues with are fairly minor in comparison to the two above as they don’t really have much to do with the the plot itself. First, there is no way that Shaw is going to be running around after just having surgery to remove an alien growing inside of her. I know it’s advanced technology, but it was just staples that closed up the wound, there’s no way she’s going to be that mobile after that. I get that she was in pain and had some issues, but some of those movements would have completely ripped out the staples. It would have been more believable if that machine had cauterized her would back together using some new fancy tech rather than just using staples, but they chose staples. The other issue I had was at the very end after Prometheus crashes into The Architect’s ship as it’s taking off. Shaw and Vickers are trying to outrun a massive ship as it’s crashing behind them… by running directly in the path of it. The ship is a “U” shape and is essentially rolling on it’s side toward them, meaning that if they just ran 20-30 feet to their right or left they would have avoided the ship entirely, but instead they run straight away from it which leads to Vickers getting crushed… come on. This one bothered me more than any of the others only because it was just stupidity and it could have easily been changed to something else more believable.
So those are my main gripes with the flick, I guess I could also ask how Shaw got back into the crashed ship at the end to recover David’s head, when she clearly had to repel out of it, but I’ll let that one slide. Did you guys have the same issues? Maybe other issues? Let us know, let’s get a discussion going.