Prometheus: An Archaeological Perspective (sort of).

Opening scene:

Chunky unconvincing CGI chap chases a departing ufo to the top of a hill. Drinks something the aliens left behind. Disintegrates into a nearby waterfall.

Cut to the Isle of Skye:

Archaeologist Noomi Rapace is excavating a crevice in a cave with a paintbrush. Shining a small torch into the crevice, she smiles, and tells her assistant to shout to Dr. Holloway, who is excavating a fair distance away down the hill. You can tell he’s an archaeologist, as opposed to another kind of doctor, because he is sieving soil. When his name is called, he instantly throws the sieve to the ground, and pounds up the hill to the cave. Because, as we all know, archaeology can be extraordinarily hard to catch.

Go on. I dare you. . .

Speed is of the essence. He is too slow however, as in the time it takes him to cover the distance, the crevice is now a large cavern, replete with cave paintings, which Noomi has already dated. They’re 35,000 years old. Possibly older. One bit shows a human figure pointing at some dots. It’s significant. They hold hands. Archaeologists are hot. Archaeology is cool.

Cut to some more dots, but these are stars. There’s a spaceship. Inside the spaceship people are in suspended animation pods.

A robot is checking the sleepers, a job which apparently requires him to wear a rather splendid sci-fi hat. We know he’s a robot, because it’s Michael Fassbender, the only actor who has been widely complimented for his acting in this film. He’s currently tuning into the thoughts of a sleeping Noomi Rapace who’s remembering witnessing a funeral by a river in India as a young girl, while her father gets on with a bit of archaeology. She asks questions about death in relation to her mother who is, apparently, dead. Dad tells her that dead people go somewhere beautiful, because that is what he chooses to believe. Is this supposed to foreshadow a deeply profound moment? Or are we being shown that Noomi will fall unquestioningly for any old flannel?

Fassbender cycles around the spaceship, throwing basketballs into hoops and watching documentaries. You get a feel for the size of the spaceship, and his lonely existence within it. For a crew of less than twenty people, the financiers and engineers behind the expedition have sensibly decided that creating a space-ship the size of a cathedral would be a good idea. Presumably neglecting to install an off switch for a robot was just one of those costs they had to cut to make the whole thing possible. To pass the time he likes watching old films and learning languages. We like him. That’s even before all the humans wake up and prove to be barking mad or arseholes. Or barking mad arseholes.

But wait – the balls on the pool table (yes, the pool table – what about it?) are all sliding over to one side by themselves – the destination threshold has been reached and the spaceship has, believe it not, put the brakes on at the last minute. Fassbender goes to the bridge, and fires up the computers to see what’s going on. Colourful displays shimmer into being – motion sensitive read-outs unfold and hover in front of him, their only goals in life are to provide him with information he needs, and to look great. Fassbender smiles, perhaps marveling at the possibility that one day in the not so distant future, all this glittering technology could be replaced by clattery keyboards, blinking LEDs and monochrome cathode ray tubes – almost like something out of a 70s horror movie. . .

He goes to check on the humans to find that one of the pods is already empty. Following a trail of wet footsteps we discover the Charlize Theron character. She’s proving she’s well hard by showing us that all she has to do to recover from two years in suspended animation is some push ups in her wet bra and wet knickers. Charlize barks for a robe and asks Fassbender how long they’ve been in suspended animation – to which he replies “2 years, 4 months, 18 days, 36 hours, 15 minutes.” Hang on. Shouldn’t that be 2 years, 4 months, 19 days, 12 hours and 15 minutes then? Or does Fassbender count days in blocks of 48 hours? Whatever. Everyone else wakes up and is a bit groggy, or throws up. The pussies.

The first duty of the captain is, naturally, to decorate the Christmas tree. Because it’s Christmas apparently. Charlize Theron reminds him that there is a mission briefing. He informs her that he has yet to have breakfast. He’s been asleep for two years, and decides to decorate a Christmas tree (while smoking a cigar in a closed environment) before he has breakfast. We realise that the crew selection procedure was yet another casualty of the cuts required to ensure that they had a sodding big spaceship (SBS from here on in).

At the breakfast table a rather nice biologist (played by Raef Spall, son of Timothy) introduces himself to a grumpy geologist, who is very rude. Later on, he confirms he’s the geologist, by shouting “I’m a geologist, I fucking love rocks!” as if that was the most pressing point that needed explaining. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The current point that needs explaining is the implication that these two crew members have managed to make it this far without actually meeting each other, and are plainly incompatible. It seems that at least one part of the crew selection procedure took the form of a raffle at an arsehole convention.

Cut to Mission Briefing.

The crew is gathered. Two of the chaps at the front are betting that it’s a terraforming expedition. Apparently they don’t know why they’re here either. You’d think they’d shown a little curiosity when, for instance, they were packing and saying goodbye to their loved ones. Or climbing on board the SBS. Or going into suspended animation. But no.

“Where are you going darling?”
“Ha ha. Fuck knows. I imagine I’ll find out sooner or later. Or not. Who cares?”
“When are you coming back?
“Ha ha. I’m coming back?”

Charlize Theron walks in, says hello to the people she hired personally, and then introduces herself to everyone else. Seriously? They hadn’t done the meet and greet before they got on board the SBS? Ok. Fine. Just leave it then. As Theron says; “On with the show.”

Big hologram scene – Guy Pierce hobbles on stage covered in unconvincing terribly old man prosthetics, and introduces himself as Peter Wayland (rumour suggests the possibility of Guy playing a younger version of himself in a preprequel – hence the make-up. If you see Guy, tell him. It’s only fair). He tells us that by the time the crew are watching this hologram, he’ll be dead. Possibly of latex poisoning.

He’s evidently a hardcore scientist –  his company do terraforming, build Fassbender units and fucking big spaceships. He tells us Fassbender is the closest thing he has to a son, that he’s immortal but can never appreciate it because he hasn’t got a soul. Oh, one of those hardcore scientists. Anyway. He introduces the archaeologists, Noomi Rapace, and Dr. Holloway (incidentally, the reason I’m using the actor’s character name and not his real name, is that throughout the whole film I thought it was the English actor Tom Hardy doing a dodgy American accent, and not the American actor Logan Marshall-Green, who is easily mistaken for Tom Hardy doing a dodgy American accent. As things are complicated enough, I’m sticking with Dr. Holland). Anyway, anyway. The old Guy Pierce hologram also decides to choose this moment to tell the crew that the archaeologists are now in charge (I’m now guessing the selection procedure was his baby) because he thinks they can supply him with the answer to that old mystery, where did we come from, and where do we go? Questions, ironically, that demand a basic level of curiosity that his crew completely fail to display. They don’t even know each other’s names. Or what they’re doing on the SBS.

Dr. Holloway finally shows them why they’re here (not that anyone’s interested).

He flips up a hologram, showing artefacts from ancient cultures all over the world – Sumerian, Egyptian, Mayan, Babylonian, and so on. They are either stelae or plaques, and they all depict the same thing:  a giant figure pointing at some beans (actually, he probably said beams) in the sky. He explains that none of these cultures had ever met, being separated by geography or time or both. But they all repeated the same image. Furthermore, the only ‘galactic configuration’ that matched the pattern of beans that was so far from Earth, that there was no way these ancient civilisations could possibly have known about it.

Ok, let Holloway have the galactic faux pas – he’s an archaeologist, not an astronomer. But we already know they’ve taken two years to get here. And the nearest star to Earth (ok, second nearest) is Proxima Centauri, at 4.2 light years away. So either he’s talking complete bollocks, in which case you’d think the navigator (if they had one) would correct him (if he could bring himself to be interested) or to get here they had to travel at several times the speed of light, and therefore have broken a fundamental Universal constant. If it was the first explanation then it would be plainly visible (even though there’s no such thing) and if it was the second then A) How did they find it themselves? And B) Isn’t the ability to travel faster than the speed of light the real story here?

Anyway. He then he tells them that the ‘galactic configuration’ has a sun. Aren’t galaxies largely composed of suns? It doesn’t matter. At this point even some of the cast are yawning. And that sun has a planet, which has a moon, which is capable of sustaining life. At which point Grumpy Geologist says;

“So we’re here because of a map you two kids found in a cave?”

Noomi and Holloway respond to this unexpected curiosity. One says “Yes.” the other says “No.”

Great. But then Noomi expands – she’s says it’s not a map, it’s an invitation. From creatures she calls the engineers. And what they engineered is our species. Nice Biologist implies that rejecting 300 years of evolutionary theory is somewhat mindblowing, rather than the contemptuous bullshit it plainly is, but he would, because he’s nice. When asked how she knows all this world shattering information is correct, she replies;

“I don’t – it’s what I choose to believe.”

Ah – right. Ok. That’s what her Dad said, remember? To shut her up when she asked awkward questions? It’s a classic. It’s right up there with ‘because.’ And because she’s surrounded by the least curious people in the galactic configuration, it’s fine. No one says anything boring like “You know, if you’d have said this before we signed up for this potentially fatal, mysterious mission, we might have thought twice” because they wouldn’t have thought twice. They’d have shrugged, and got on with it. Whatever ‘it’ was.

Ok, well this is an already ridiculously long review, and we’re only 20 minutes into the film. Time to speed things up a bit. We’ve established that the reason the crew don’t ask pertinent questions is because the film would grind to a halt. We’ll flash through to some memorable moments.

Obviously I’m just assuming anyone’s read this far. If you have, well done. Your stamina is the only reason I’m continuing. That and it’s raining outside.


Damon Lindelof “So we’ll have this crashed ship, and a load of people who don’t know each other, and there’ll be loads of unexplained things happening, and life-forms charging about the place, and it’ll be hyper-confusing. Like Lost, but in space.”

Ridley “Lost. But in space. Hmmm. Lost. But in space. I like it. What shall we call it?”

Damon Lindelof “Prometheus.”

Ridley “Brilliant! But why? No, just brilliant! As long as it has lots of snappy informative dialogue.”

Damon Lindelof “I don’t really do that. I tend to just go with a baffling sequence of potentially interconnected events that looks as though it might be going somewhere, but isn’t. That way everybody on the internet can argue about it for ages. That’s the bit I like. People on the internet arguing about stuff for ages. I also love it when they say things like ‘don’t condemn it so quickly – this is maybe the first part of something bigger’. It makes me think ‘oh yeah. that could be it. Maybe I’ll write another one’ and then people will argue about that on the internet too. For ages. Because I like that.”

Ridley “People argue on the internet?”

Damon Lindelof “They do. But there’s one thing I don’t think they’ve argued about on the internet yet?”

Ridley “What?”

Damon Lindelof “Intelligent Design vs Evolution. I don’t think that’s come up at all.”

Ridley “Brilliant! Cut! Haha no! I mean. . . Action?”


So they land the SBS on the planet. Moon. Whatever. After hitting the cloud layer the captain asks what the atmosphere is like. Fortunately for everyone on board, the reply isn’t “astoundingly fucking corrosive.” They could have performed a spectrographic analysis from a safe distance, but whatever. I’m surprised he asked at all. He was probably in a hurry to see if it was snowing, what with it being Christmas and everything.

So they land, after having found the alien spaceship by looking out of the window, and drive over to it in a secure looking all terrain vehicle, into which they could have all fitted comfortably. Instead of all fitting into it comfortably, however, two of them decide to ride over in space bikes, because if they hadn’t of done so, there’s no way they could have got separated from the main party. But before they get separated, they all go into the alien spacecraft. On discovering it has a breathable atmosphere, they all take their helmets off, because A) Who cares? and B) Nobody reads H.G. Wells any more. Then they chuck a few orbs in the air, which fly off and map the entire alien space craft, sending the data to the SBS where it is modelled as a 3D hologram. Not one of them suggests that it would have been a good idea to have done that before they strolled in and took their helmets off. It’s almost as if they don’t care.

The ship is huge, and very alien. There’s alien things everywhere. Almost right away we see giant holograms of the Space Jockey from Alien running around the corridors, scaring the shit out of everyone. Ok, so now they want to know what the fuck they’re doing here. There are hundreds of alien eggs too. No wait – they’re not alien eggs. They’re, um, Howitzer shells? I don’t know. There’s a bottle of green stuff too. They find some Space Jockey corpses, but before they can get well and truly stuck in, a massive storm descends – they have to get back to the SBS before they’re all trapped in the huge alien spaceship.

Noomi grabs a Space Jockey head to take back with her. They leg it outside, to see that the big all terrain vehicle has already gone. They assume the others must have got bored already and buggered off without them, so they jump on the space bikes and go back to the SBS. But Grumpy Geologist and Nice Biologist haven’t taken the all terrain vehicle. They’re still inside the alien ship. Oh no! So where did the other vehicle go? Honestly, I have no idea. After some storm based/space bike shenanigans which utterly fail to produce any tension, the others make it back to the SBS. The captain half heartedly raises the matter of the missing men. But, you know, whatever.

He contacts them though, possibly out of boredom. It’s Christmas, the Queen’s Speech may have been on. Perhaps he was trying to get out of doing the washing up. He tells them to stay put for the duration of the storm, which will blow out before morning. How he knows this is anyone’s guess – after all, he didn’t even see the storm coming, so perhaps he isn’t the most reliable of forecasters. But don’t worry. It’s not like anyone is likely to ask.

At this point he suggests that Charlize Theron has come all the way out here for a shag. She denies this, so he asks her if she’s a robot. This is possibly a belated part of the crew selection procedure, or it’s some kind of futuristic Christmas based guessing game. Either way, it works for him, because to prove she’s not a robot or here for a shag, she robotically orders him to her room for a shag. This leaves the bridge unattended, but everything will probably be alright for the two guys trapped in an alien spaceship in a storm on an alien planet won’t it?

Inside the alien spaceship Grumpy G and Nice B warm to each other, and start having a look around. Nice B notices some slime moving on the ground, which rapidly morphs into a snakey thing, a big, thick, snakey thing. He tries to pet it. Great time to get curious, Nice B. It kills both of them. I think. Nice B comes back later and tries to kill people, so perhaps it didn’t kill him. Or possibly it was the other one. Fuck knows.

Back at the SBS Noomi has got the Space Jockey head out and sees if she can ‘trick’ it into being alive again. It sort of works, but the head explodes in a shower of green slime. Never mind, eh? Dr. Holloway has fallen into a depression because he can’t talk to his engineers. Because they’re dead. As an archaeologist, one would imagine that this situation would not be wholly unexpected. Anyway, he’s all glum, and Noomi tries to cheer him up, but it doesn’t work because he says something insensitive about creating life, and it turns out that she’s can’t have children, so now she’s upset, but they have a nice cuddle anyway. In the morning he has a bad case of red-eye. Seriously though, if you can’t be bothered to read H.G. Wells, you could at least listen to the Jeff Wayne album.

So anyway. They go back to the alien spaceship and find the remains of Grumpy G and Nice B. Dr. Holloway’s red-eye gets worse, and Noomi has a sore tummy. More things happen, and when they get back to the SBS Noomi is three months pregnant and Dr. Holloway’s red-eye is so bad that Charlize Theron has to kill him with a flame-thrower.

Noomi doesn’t want the baby, assuming that it’s probably an alien or something. She begs Fassbender to operate, but he says no-one here is qualified for that. Noomi, with the aid of a very advanced operating table, manages to do it herself – it’s a horrible scene, which involves a fat squid being born through c-section. The operating table quickly staples Noomi’s wound closed (yes, staples. Metal staples) and traps the squid.


Ridley: “You’ve just suffered the most intense emotional trauma a woman could possibly experience. You’ve also had the muscles in your abdominal wall severed and then crudely stapled together again. Honestly, in your condition taking a dump would be something of an adventure. So when you’re vigorously running around the place and jumping up and down, and wrestling enormous alien monsters, and running very hard across an alien landscape trying not to get rolled on by a large alien spaceship, and rappelling down a fifty foot drop, try to remember to say ‘ow’ a bit. No pressure. ”

:: Noomi vigerously runs around the place and jumps up and down, and wrestles enormous alien monsters, and runs across an alien landscape trying not to get rolled on by a large alien spaceship, and rappels down a fifty foot drop::

Ridley: “I said could you say ‘ow’ a bit?”

Noomi: “You did? Oh yeah. ‘Ow’. Wait – did you want me to say ‘a bit.’ too? Or is that just inferred?”

Ridley: “Briiliant! Cut!”


So I’ve pretty much given the game away there. After an extended sequence of events we shall classify as ‘shit happening’, everyone dies except for Noomi and Fassbender. A Space Jockey gets buggered in the face by Noomi’s fat squid baby, which has grown to gigantic proportions. Theron gets squashed by the rolling alien spaceship we all saw in the trailer. The SBS captain and his copilots took the decision to ram it as it was taking off, to prevent it from travelling to Earth and wiping out humanity. They destroy themselves and the SBS in the process. The captain, just before impact, tells his co-pilots to put their hands in the air – for a moment there is the possibility that he’s going to shout, Noddy Holder style, “It’s Chriiiiiiiiistmaaaaaas!”, but no. They none-the-less look animated and happy – they have, after all, just realised they’re getting out of this movie.

Oh yes – I forgot –  before that happens it turns out that terribly old Guy Pierce isn’t dead at all, but was hiding on the spaceship. Someone mumbles that they thought he was dead, before losing interest. It emerges that Charlize Theron is his daughter. Nobody cares.

Noomi and Fassbender, (who is by now just a head, because that’s just what happens to robots in Alien movies), look for another ship to fly away in – not back to Earth, but in search of the engineers.

Nobody is left to ask why. Nobody is left to care. They wouldn’t have done anyway.


After Fassbender and Noomi leave the party, we learn that the Space Jockey who got buggered in the face by Noomi’s giant fat squid baby has survived. In a dimly lit escape pod he writhes and jiggles on the floor. His chest bursts, and a cone shaped pointy thing like a gnomes hat thrusts out, followed by the rest of the creature. It takes to its feet, looking for all the world like a green, evil version of one of Santa’s Little Helpers. All that’s missing is a little bell on the end of his pointy head. We’re glad the captain isn’t here to see this. This is the anti-Christmas.
It screams (naturally).
We’re being told there is more to come.

 New Post – Skyfall: An Archaeological Persepective.

If you’ve Prometheus: An Archaeological Perspective, then you may enjoy Dances with Sea Monkeys: The Highly Unlikely Life and Times of Harold Von Braunhut.

If you haven’t enjoyed Prometheus: An Archaeological Perspective because you were hoping to read about Sea Monkeys and the highly unlikely life and times of the man who created them, then  Dances with Sea Monkeys: The Highly Unlikely Life and Times of Harold Von Braunhut is, in all likelihood, just the kind of thing you’ll enjoy. It could almost have been written for you.

If you haven’t enjoyed Prometheus: An Archaeological Perspective for any other reason, then all bets are off. You may like Dances with Sea Monkeys: The Highly Unlikely Life and Times of Harold Von Braunhut or you may not. There’s nothing that can be done either way at this stage of the game.

You could also cheer yourself up by watching this.
It was made in the same year as Alien.
Everybody cares in Starcrash.
Get it while you can – it sells out fast. (Of course it does).



[box type=”warning”] Due to the higher than average number of comments this post has attracted, and the nature of a handful of these comments, I’ve had set some ground rules. Please read the comment rules before posting. If you feel unable to abide by them, don’t post. Reading material published at is an entirely voluntary matter. [/box]

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327 Responses

  1. It’s Archaeology Jim, but not as we know it.

  2. NomadUK says:

    Brilliant. And, you know, I saw Star Crash in the cinema. For $1. It was worth every cent. And probably more fun than Prometheus.

    • James Martin says:

      Lol. When audiences start comparing your Sci-Fi to Star Crash, you know you’re gonna have a bad day.

    • Minaude says:

      Christopher Plummer looking very concerned, sexy girls with fantastic costumes, strong guys with gorgeous hair, stars for all the colors of the rainbow: how could ANYONE ask for more?

  3. Mark Shipley says:

    This film is is a case study on how NOT to fund, plan, staff and conduct extraterrestrial expeditions.
    Because the screen writer and director chose to make the expedition improperly funded, staffed, planned and conducted, there are a lot of expendable crew members that die horrible deaths, invaluable scientific data was lost, a unique first contact scenario was was irreparably wasted and a one-of-a-kind interstellar spacecraft was destroyed. What we are left with is one post-op crew member and a damaged android that shouldn’t be functioning at all.
    There was a lot of unprofessionalism on the part of the crew, a lot blood, screaming, death and not much else in the way of a plot.
    Plenty of special effects though. They were great.
    The premise of the film, the screenplay was interesting, entertaining.
    Now…if the screenwriter would have went the route of quirky, interesting, but professional crew and scientific staff, the film “Prometheus” would have been somewhat esoteric to say the least, but it would have had the potential to be a film of wondrous vision that would have had the potential of being an instant classic right up there with “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
    Instead we got gore, screaming, death, fire, a storm, intrigue, more death, more gore, blood, hostile aliens, bioweapons, and on and on of what Hollywood thinks we want or what Hollywood thinks we will pay for. I sure did.
    So we are left with one crew member, Shaw, and David, the broken, unethical android making their way to another alien spacecraft to ask them why they want to destroy the Humans they created on Earth (Earth is a planet, earth is just plain dirt).
    I expect that we will have another sequel to the prequel where we will see more of the same.

    • Gary61 says:

      ‘Expendable’? ‘Die horrible deaths’? Shouldn’t they then be wearing RED SHIRTS?

    • Scott P. says:

      The purpose of the expedition was not scientific research. The purpose was to get Mr. Wayland to the planet and figure out where the alien engineers are. The human crew are just a smokescreen. You put a biologist and a geologist on board so that you can claim the ship is just out on a routine survey. That way when you discover the Fountain of Youth nobody back home need know about it.

      • Benjamin Telford says:

        In that case, it might have made sense for them to thaw Mr Wayland out after they’ve found an obliging alien paramedic alien. And also for the android to not infect the crew with a chemical which transforms them into deadly, indestructable monsters.

        • Eric says:

          Wayland seemed to care as much (or more) about being the first to say “YO DAWG” to the aliens, so he popped out once Roboto found one.

          Can’t say I have any explanation for Mr Roboto’s anti-social behavior. Is it meant to be robotic curiosity?

    • Ray says:

      Whenever I see a movie like this I always wonder how a multi million dollar project results in these obvious stupidities. My explanations are:
      1. I have never made a movie. Maybe it is really really hard.
      2. Maybe the financial/marketing powers backing the movie force the director to include stuff (blood, screaming, silly comedy) they think will result in a higher gross.
      1. Maybe there are so many details that Scott didn’t really think about the storyline in the rush to get the film out.

      I’d love to talk to Scott and find out why these things happened.

      • Fernando says:

        I hear you, but it’s not like Ridley Scott is a nub at this. He has been making movies for over 30 years. There is really no good excuse for someone of his caliber to put out something like this.I didn’t walk out of the theater going “Woah! That ws bad!”, I walked out baffled, like a seven year old who just ran into his grandparents having sex.

    • BillTed says:

      “This film is is a case study on how NOT to fund, plan, staff and conduct extraterrestrial expeditions.”

      Or make movies.

      At least if quality is any concern.

  4. Welsh Andy says:

    Damn it’s easy to get funding for archaeology. When it comes time to apply for post-grad funding I’m totally just going to look the Arts and Humanities Research Council squarely in the eye and tell the “I believe” as earnestly as possible. Bound to work…

  5. ayo says:

    the film has its flaws, but i think critics making snap judgements will eat their words over time.

    one of the themes of the movie is naive optimism and blind faith.

    The industrial design mirrors bubbly kitschy sci fi. then everything beautiful turns to shit.
    The miracle of life and creation are brutal violent disgusting events.

    the nostromo were a bunch of cynical survivors these guys weren’t.

    • space_cajiggers says:

      A bunch? Oh wait that’s right the cat survived.

    • jonb223 says:

      i agree, critics seem to either hate it for no real apparent reason, or just think it’s mediocre….it’s not a mediocre movie, it’s a polarizing one if anything, far from mediocre…

      as for this analysis the critic has obviously spent far too much time on (it doesn’t work to summarize a film and put a question mark after everything, that’s not some grand statement on why the plot is off), you talk about all of these questions the scientists aboard the ship didn’t ask, but yet, you didn’t ask them either. I mean seriously, if you’re trying to make a point, you have to explain yourself better, and explain every shot of the movie as a question a little less. I would really love to hear these questions, & less snark for snark’s sake. Your theory about how they would’ve had to travel faster than the speed of light would hold up…if the film took place in the year 2012, with our assumed technology, but it doesn’t. It takes place a full 8 decades from now, in a cinema universe, so technology is obviously advanced, and if you can’t have any suspension of disbelief there, what are you even doing in a movie theater? You can ask a question like that of any movie ever released, especially sci fi, & if someone did call Holloway out (on what i’m not sure of as you’re point is pretty unclear to me), it would just be extraneous dialogue, and you would be writing about how stupid it was that they made it a point to explain that. As far as the crew taking off their helmets before they send the “pups” (the mapping tech) out, again, you are wrong, they put those out almost as soon as they stepped in. They took their helmets off when they came to the first open junction with the hole in the roof, after those guys are floating around, because you can clearly see one of the pups go down into the hole in the center of the floor. If you are going to try to pick apart a movie, at least have an understanding of the sequence of events. I’m trying to follow your comment code here, i’m sorry if this is coming off rude, i like to think of it as passion…i’m as passionately a fan of the film as you are not. Think of it like this, you are picking apart prometheus, i am picking apart your critique. The “shag” that idris goes for with charlize happens well after the scientists have been excommunicated, or eviscerated more aptly, so i know you’re just taking the piss, but again you’ve got the sequence of events wrong. The slime doesn’t “morph into the snakey thing”, the worms clearly shown in the first scene wallowing in the black muck were transformed into the “snakey things”. The part with the scene direction was “a bit” funny, but the limp she sported & constant grimaces throughout the ending suffice for the discomfort side, when you factor in she’s whacked out on space oxycontin, or future morphine, or whatever else i’d like to get my hands on myself. To each their own, you didn’t like the movie, i get it. You’ll probably delete this comment anyway, maybe you’re just taking the piss with the whole thing, but i personally was a big fan of the movie, and it’s a great blueprint for sci fi done right, but instead of getting more films like this, we will get more of the more easily palatable garbage pushed on us year in, year out, because of opinions like these. I guess you get out what you put in, and since we are in the social media generation of praising the stupid & belittling the intelligent, i guess we can look forward to more of whatever fairy tale reboots or rom-com/action flick is hot that current week. If we’re lucky, we will get rehashed reboots of movies that were once great, watered down for the ignorant masses. But i doubt we will see another movie that asks the philosophical questions prometheus does anytime soon…i look forward to all the rave reviews that will come from michael bay’s prometheus sequel in a couple years

      • Sci fi done right? You’re out of your fucking mind!

      • Alex says:

        Why did the baby aliens look like dicks/vaginas? Why did they kill by skullfuck? What was that abortion shit about? (Was that somehow racist?) I don’t think haphazardly associating christianity with science is anything more then “palatable garbage.” If they had 3-D maps and radios to the ship, how’d those two mother fuckers get lost? Why’d the engineers gotta be white? Where was Charlize Theron smashin’ & bangin’?

        this movie sucked dude, don’t trip.

        • Guille says:

          Dude, I was dissapointed with the movie too, but hey, many of your critiques can be easily adressed:
          1. Why did the baby aliens look like dicks/vaginas? Why did they kill by skullfuck? What was that abortion shit about?
          HR Giger’s is behind the original alien design. His art is very sexual, inmoral and surreal. This is one of the qualities that make the alien so damn scary and sexy at the same time, it’s connotations are very sexual. Same happens in prometheus.It’s an stylistic desition, you can’t argue with that, you either like it or not.

        • Alex says:

          Rimmer: Just cause they’re aliens doesn’t mean to say they don’t have to visit the little boys’ room. Only they probably do something weird and alien-esque, like it comes out of the top of their heads or something.


      • Jeff says:

        No, they did not leave the control room before the two lost idiots got killed. They leave to randomly have sex, then the two guys start calling in for help, get murdered, and then no one seems to care that they haven’t heard from them for hours or wonder where they went.

      • Jimmy James says:

        Paragraphs, dude. You just hit ‘enter’. Watch.

        See what I did there?

        You probably had something good to say but no one wants to read the Great Wall of Text.

      • Spaniel says:

        “But i doubt we will see another movie that asks the philosophical questions prometheus does anytime soon.”

        But it doesn’t ask any philosophical questions. The only questions it asks are, as this amusing article observes, “contemptuous bullshit.”

        I know you really really really wanted Prometheus to be good, we all did, but the fact is it was just a horrible, sloppy, puerile mess.

        • Remi Dallaire says:

          You are all missing the point here….This movie has been made so they can all cash in on the next best thing….

          And that is:

          Aliens versus Predators versus Space Jockey/Engineers.

          Alright !!! Another one to watch at home while masturbating and eating Cheetos. (Don’t try with Doritos it hurts!!)

          • BillTed says:

            Is that a Cheeto in you pants or are you just glad to see me.

        • BillTed says:

          “But it doesn’t ask any philosophical questions.”


          Its funny (not funny ha ha) how many people missed that basic fact of the situation.

      • BillTed says:

        “…it’s a polarizing one if anything, far from mediocre…”


        Said the guy who missed school the day they mentioned paragraphs.

  6. Marcus says:

    The 2 years can be correct if it is the proper time of the ship they are talking about. The close you are to the speed of light the slower your proper time is compared to the stationary system. So you can travel 4 light years (measured in the stationary system) in less than 2 years (measured in the moving system).

    • NomadUK says:

      one of the themes of the movie is naive optimism and blind faith.

      One of the themes explored in an astoundingly ignorant and infantile way, yes. I don’t think the critics making snap judgements have anything to worry about.

      So you can travel 4 light years (measured in the stationary system) in less than 2 years (measured in the moving system).

      Yes, except that it is stated in overlay text at the very beginning of the film that they are 100 lightyears (10^14km) from Earth. So that doesn’t work. They have faster-than-light drive.

      • Mad Twit says:

        Sorry, for all your use of standard form and metric it is clear you don’t know what you are talking about. Marcus is correct in
        his statement.

        Specificaly this ->
        The close(er) you are to the speed of light the slower your proper time is compared to the stationary system

        Relativity 101:
        The faster you travel the slower it appears that time passes in the rest of the universe and conversly(?) the slower time will appear to pass for you when the rest of the universe observes you.

        This makes it possile to travel ANY distance in a fast enough ship in less than an arbitary time (say, two years) passing on the ship. This of course requires ridiculous amounts of energy, something in the region of the entire energy output of a star for a year for a ship this size (just a guestimate, it is very large though).

        If you want to learn a bit more this website helps:
        Don’t be put of by the style it was used to explain the concept in an A level physics class and is very usefull.

        • NomadUK says:

          I’m familiar with general and special relativity, thanks. I got the 4 lightyears/2 years thing confused in my head somehow.

          So, anyway: the planet is 100 lightyears away. To get there in 2 years shiptime without FTL requires 6g all the way (accelerating half the way, decelerating the other half). Time elapsed on Earth, a bit more than 100 years. So the events of this film take place at least a century before the events in Alien — probably more. Not sure how this fits into the Alient timeline, and I’m not sure I care.

          It’s all irrelevant anyway; suspension of disbelief is required for the technical aspects. The problem with the film isn’t that the writers don’t understand Einstein, it’s that the writers suck at writing.

          • Peter Card says:

            Actually you’re both wrong. 10^14km is only 10 light years.

            Presumably they ~are~ using a faster than light drive, because that’s what you do in SF movies (and sometimes in SF books too)

            They took their helmets off because movies work better when you can see peoples faces clearly. Then they put their helmets on again, because zombified worm ridden geologists are scarier when you can’t clearly see what’s inside the helmet.

            It’s a pity that that script couldn’t have done that in a less stupid way, but I tried not to let that stop me enjoying the movie. This is fun too though.

          • Brian Raney says:

            The overlay I saw was 3.27 10^14 km from Earth. If the distant moon LV-223 (not LV- 426 as in Alien[s]) is 3.27 * 10^14km away, divide by 9 460 528 405 000 km in a light year, and we have 34.5646655 light-years not 100. They would have to have been travelling at 0.9983245585756607 of C (speed of light) to reach the needed 17.28233275 time dilation for a relativistic (special theory) 2 year trip. Of course, the ship would also increase in mass by the same factor relative to its time dilation and contract by just as much in the direction travelled. This is assuming they started out near C and didn’t spend time constantly accelerating at 6G to reach that velocity.

            I don’t know where LV-233 is, but in contrast LV-426 (AKA Acheron) in the Alien movies where we first encounter the derelict engineers (space jokey) ship is 39.16 light-years away at Zeta 2 Reticuli system. I think screenwriter picked this system because of the famous 1961 Betty and Barney Hill abduction case by grey space alien in New Hampshire.

          • NomadUK says:

            You’re right, I was off by a factor of 10. So, 5g acceleration/deceleration, and Earth time of 35 years, more or less. That doesn’t include the return trip, by the way.

        • This reasoning implies that from the perspective of observers on Earth it took the ship much more than 100 years to reach its destination – even if the passengers only experienced a span of two years.

          Were there any points in the movie that would contradict that timeline?

          • Thanatos says:

            Yes there were. Shaw’s archeological dig took place in 2089, while Prometheus arrived at LV 226 in 2093. So even if they traveled at close to the speed of light and 2 years, 4 months, 18 days and 36 hrs passed on the ship, about 35 years would have passed on earth. And yes, David said 36 hours. Shows you how much attention was paid to the script.

  7. Egypt Urnash says:

    oh man “Starcrash” looks AWESOME and TERRIBLE and I think I need to get some friends together to watch it.

  8. Vitor says:

    Well, that was good.

  9. Vitor says:

    You forget to talk about the whole rape problem.

  10. An allegory for badly planned archaeological excavations?

    Congrats, you’ve been boingboinged.

  11. Gill Avila says:

    I remember seeing Message From Space. t was practically a scene-for-scene copy of Star Wars. Charmingly awful. How often do you see a space-going galleon?

  12. I have mixed feelings about this film. On one hand, I found the visual spectacle satisfying, but was totally turned off by the unprofessional “reality show” make up of the crew. Smoking in space when you can’t even do that within 20 feet of a public building? Funding a one trillion dollar investment on an “I believe…” defense that wouldn’t even have gotten you invited to a TED event, much less pass any sort of peer review. The sad thing is that there was an interesting story to tell, but it didn’t seem as though the writers or director had enough faith that it could stand unless there were high body counts. Sure, it is an Alien movie, but there are techniques in film that allow for the passage of time–why couldn’t a brief reference been made to 10 years of papers and efforts to fund the mission. Why couldn’t they have simply shown a montage of several weeks or months of surveys before entering the alien dome? What’s wrong with showing scientists acting professional instead of participants in “Real Assholes of Orange County”? The worst thing about a film like this is that it feeds into the popular misconception of how scientists work. “I choose to believe in global warming” and “Hmm, I’m going to guess this is 2 million years old.” Even issues like belief and religion could have gotten a more realistic and believable treatment, but Mr. Scott seemed not to be interested in telling a plausible story so much as warning everyone about the evils of corporations and the “blind” faith of science. Too bad, because I really wanted to like this film.

    • David says:

      Eh, I don’t think that it was so much Ridley Scot as Damon Lindelof’s inane writing: Lost was like that pretty much the whole way through, so much so that I wanted to see the entire cast die horrible deaths. The writer clearly doesn’t understand basic science or philosophy, so he settles for pseudo-scientific and pseudo-philosophic goop.

    • austin says:

      right Mr, totally agree, only one i am righting this to.

  13. Virgile says:

    Thought the movie was good. It has its flaws but it is good. This is funny how people expect them to be total expert on everything a super professional team and so on. I do think that this may look like more like how thing are usually, especially knowing that this is a private mission with no real scientific plan. (the whole point of the movie is for the old guy to meet his creators and satisfy his own ego) shaw and her archeological findings are just a tool here.

    I am amazed by critics making a list of the potential errors in the movie like the captain smoking,
    If I remember correctly, Ripley smokes in the first and second movie. Another woman from the reviewing board too (aliens). So no so uncommon or surprising.

    As for the metal staples, before they are put on Shaw’s open wound, there is a small laser going into it… The scene shows that there is at least few staples put on her…maybe the MedPod had started to sew her back :-) and the laser too. There are dodgy medical things in all of the other movies.

    The only problem I had with the movie was with Naomi Rapace’s performance. She is good, but way too European acting for an American Sci Fi movie. The medical scene is a proof of that. She is good but Scott, does not know how to deal with an acting body language which is European. He goes more or less for the pseudo sexy gore money shots (boobs/pelvis area)

    Like with the other alien movies, the whole point is about motherhood, the way the medical scene is shot kind of ruin it.


    • NomadUK says:

      Sweet Jesus. This is what BoingBoing drags in?

    • Oomu says:

      My goodness, one day you will work in science or Technical fields and you will see if people acted like in this review they would be fired immediately

      No, science and NO ONE works like that.

      It’s just again a movie to insult both scientists and believers.

      • Eric says:

        Engineer here. Would love to know what company you work for that actually fires assholes. Perhaps the problem is specific to Engineering and not SCIENCE, but we’re all assholes, every last engineer. Some of us do hide it a little better than others, at least.

    • Lara says:

      Why does everyone have an issue with the staples?

      Seriously. Real medical things. Used regularly. On skin. Just like that (well, if we were using robot arms, but aside from that).

      Having watched a load of really bad medical shows? I’m willing to give the Caesarian better-than-average. The initial incision was fine, and I’m happy to use my imagination to dissect the deep layers … because there’s no way that much realism would make it to the movies outside a doco. And was cute that they used obstetric forceps on a ‘foreign body removal’.

      (Just trying to forget the umbilical cord and the implied retained placenta and … look, better-than-average is all I’m saying, all right? If you’re going to whinge about the medicine then whinge about ‘tricking the neurons (?nerves) into thinking it’s alive’ NO NO NO.)

      • Thanatos says:

        I didn’t actually have a problem with the staples. They use them in real-life after all. Problem is that Shaw’s entrails would have spilled inside her space suit when she got gun-butted in the stomach. After all that came before in the movie, I unfortunately wanted that to happen to her.

        • Jim says:

          The medical procedure scene should have come at the end and the alien ejected out of the ship just like the Alien movie. That would have been the best and would have answered all the problems related to all the things she did post operation which honestly is very hard but women do get up very fast and do normal things but surely not jumping of spaceships and running away from falling spaceships.

    • Fernando says:

      Yep, how can we expect a team of scientists traveling farther than anyone had before to be experts about anything?

      • Yes, if you go farther than anyone else has gone before, knowledge, logic, protocols and methodologies all suddenly become useless. You will make a great scientist in the future imagined by Scott.

      • Alex says:

        Yes, experts in the basics of what the spaceship is equipped to do, and experts in double checking things, paying attention, following safety protocols and not acting like a complete antisocial moron. Otherwise all the space missions America has previously carried out would have ended in total failure.

    • AntiDuck says:


      Well yes it is, and it costed me a fortune in life – pregnant women prefer their beloved once to touch and feel their bellies with baby in it, making her/his moves, and I’m still not comfortable with it, since I watched the Alien.

      Men are afraid of pregnant women (due to the dramatic changes in their behaviour), and I’m – personally afraid to touch pregnant women bellies – but if I dare to tell why, I’ll be demolished (I had this experience already :)

      Yes, I agree, Alien is all about motherhood – it’s as enigmatic, as horryfying, it’s quite unpredictable, and it’s about life and death.

  14. Russ says:

    Your review was exactly what I would have written had I A) the time B) the talent.

    I’ve been having a very enjoyable flame war on facebook. Posting a link to your review will, I think, win it for me.

  15. Paul Fischer says:

    Sounds like a re-watching of Ice Pirates will save me the embarrassment of watching this movie.

    Awesome review.

  16. Henry Rothwell says:

    Ice Pirates – now *there’s* a movie.

  17. Brilliant, snarky review! I can’t wait to read your review of PROMETHEUS 2. You just know they’re going to make a sequel to this prequel.

  18. Helmets Up, Hands Up: It's Genius Time says:

    Truly, astoundingly stupid movie, makes Aliens 4 look like Shakespeare. When high school kids make a movie this dumb, or anyone with no budget, it’s easy to understand, and forgive.

    But when this much money, not to mention talent (in acting, art direction, set and creature design) is wasted on such a string of truly mind-bendingly, staggeringly moronic scenes, from beginning to end, such that every beat and every line leave nearly everyone in the packed theater making “wtf” gestures and murmurs, it leaves me wondering how it could have possibly happened.

    Fine, the script was in gestation too long, and ended up becoming a Frankenstein’s monster of everything its creators thought about over the course of many years.

    But wouldn’t someone have noticed the incoherent character choices and lines in the edit, and started cutting? Has Ridley Scott grown too old, or too jaded? It’s inconceivable that the director of “Boy and Bicycle” and Alien and Blade Runner made this– just no way.

    Or has he been phoning it in for years? Or is there a Director’s Cut in which every character doesn’t come across as so stupid that you’re hoping they’ll die sooner?

    Find a hammer, aim it at your temple, and pound away– you’ll feel less stupid than you would have for spending your money on this absolute stink bomb. To paraphrase Charlize Theron’s character, “I’m just– I can’t — I — grrr!”

    • Jake Errs says:

      The Phantom Menace.

      Attack of the Clones.

      Revenge of the Sith.

      I think that we can all use a reminder of just how astonishingly terrible a prequel can be. This movie is not temple-bashing bad. It has some serious problems, yes. It also has some interesting aspects to it that are worthy of discussion:

      David, his motives, and what he’s thinking and feeling but not saying. At the end of the film, is he still a thrall of Weyland, or, having rejected his maker, perhaps the Engineers? Or has he rejected both and formed his own agenda?

      What were the Engineers really up to, and why? Were they angry because, as some suggest, their avatar was crucified 2000 years ago? Or perhaps the opposite: They, with all their bioengineering prowess, could not control the viral idea of a human-centric godhead who the humans chose to worship rather than the Engineers. Did they hope to use the transformative goo to, in effect, wipe out a belief system?

      Weyland, his search for immortality through his corporation, children, and finally the Engineer fountain of youth. His bitter disappointment in and rejection of both of his two “children”, and their differing ways of fighting back.

  19. Jake Errs says:

    Good review, quite amusing, and spot on in places. But having worked on a founder’s special project before, I can say from first hand experience that this movie accurately presents how things go.

    There’s no leadership, plan, or even coherent idea because the founder and CEO are too busy sparring over who’s really in charge to ever explain anything to anyone. And besides, it’s secret.

    There’s no curiosity because the “team” is a rabble made up of the founder’s wide-eyed believers who already know the score, the CEO’s tigers who don’t ask questions, plus random seat-fillers pulled together at the last minute by Human Resources.

    Likewise the equipment is a strange mixture of the founder’s personal spare-no-expense kit jumbled together with whatever the CEO is willing to approve, given that this goose chase has no actual budget or funding but is costing the company a fortune.

    Throw that all together, and you’ve got a founder’s project. One that will invariably be a complete and utter clusterf–k. Or it would be, assuming a yardstick exists to measure its success or failure.

    So: Prometheus? Weyland’s repurposed, renamed personal yacht. Space buggies? Last year’s demonstrator units from the agribusiness division. Flame throwers? No one really knows where they came from, but yeah, they’re older than Weyland. They still work, so good enough.

    • Oomu says:


      It’s not acceptable. It makes terrible characters than no one cares when the big bad alen eat them for breakfast. “I was so hungry” told the alien in its dark language “grmgmrgjerqhr grr ksssssss”

    • Professor M says:

      I would actually have enjoyed a movie that took that premise seriously. The right air of “none of us have any idea what we’re doing” and “we’re all pretty much going to die, aren’t we?”, along with some bitter sniping among the factions and a perpetual headache for the one or two competent members of the project…

      It could have made the movie watchable, with cynical gallows humor oozing out of the gaps instead of just crap.

      • ENKI-2 says:

        It would be unrealistic to allow incompetent and unprofessional ‘professionals’ to be aware of their incompetence.

        • Eric says:

          And rude.

        • Professor M says:

          True, but they would all be aware (painfully so at times) of each other’s incompetence. But that would make the movie a bleak comedy, and apparently filmmakers aren’t allowed to deal with Big Ideas in those movies.

    • AntiDuck says:

      Private secret project, started by old crazy billionaire, who has nearly died and therefore couldn’t supersive or control it, so it went crazy ways – you know, you can be right here …

      Even mature and health men do billion-dollar mistakes – having all data and time they need.

  20. Max says:

    Excellent and hilarious review. I haven’t even seen the film and now I’m not sure I want to. Thank you for being brutally honest, no really, thank you. :)

  21. Michaelc says:

    After seeing this movie it struck me that it was like a public service warning for archeologists, showing all the things they could do wrong and the possible consequences.
    So, to reiterate,
    Do not take off your helmet in the untested alien atmosphere.
    Do not attempt to pet the unknown alien lifeform.
    Do not accept “Because I choose to believe it” as an explanation for anything.
    Do not forget to quarantine anything coming from the alien planet onto the ship.
    Do not sign up for a multi year voyage without knowing the purpose and destination.
    Do not trust the robot with the Peter O’Toole fetish.

  22. Michaelc says:

    It made me sad to see how in spite of the very impressive special effects, the movie “Alien” was far more plausible and effective than this expensive spinoff.

    It is a mystery to me how movies like this, where 99% of the cost is in the production have 95% of their problems in the script, which probably cost a little more than the catering and dry cleaning budgets. Any half decent writer who had taken a single science class could have saved this film.

    • AntiDuck says:

      You’re right, through the whole movie I wondered how back to Alien 1st times then can achieve such high level of viewer involvement with such simple and let’s say it straight – primitive technical tools.

      And where did it all went now, when, now almost for 15 years – they can actually create virtual worlds, but they choose it to create mooving comics “boom, Bang, Aaargh! Run! Shoot! Boom! The End”

      I believe Mr. Scott is just old. And was used as sandwitch man in this movie, while the evil producers intentionally made it all marketed for 14 y.o. audience, who’s favourites are these vampires saga and so on – some noisy yet hidden sex&relations line, life&death and enigmatic mystique enigmas – for the girls and lots of action and killing for the bored boys.

  23. Huge says:

    You missed the best bit – when examining the space jockey’s head, the machine that goes ping announced that there were no pathogens (no need to pull up the paper mask, right?), and then they took the helmet off to find an alive head filled with exploding green goo. Oh, THAT kind of pathogen.

  24. cato2 says:

    Yeah visually I *loved* this film. I walked out deliriously happy that i’d seen it, my mind whizzing with fantastic images.
    But even though I was on a high, the crew intro scene was very close to popping my bubble of suspended belief. I hung on to it and luckily the action never stopped and i left the cinema with a huge smile on my face.
    But the script was pretty damn woeful, in retrospect.
    Particularly the way they had to do & decide on everything *immediately* – like they couldn’t wait a day and think about anything, send in a robot first to poke about, or do any scientific process… it was more like Indiana Jones looting a site than anything. And why a zombie? That doesn’t fit in with anything at all!

  25. Louie Dejesus of the World says:

    Whoa, the guy in Starcrash is wielding a lightsaber. What’s up with that? Far out.

    • Bubs says:

      That’s no mere guy wielding a “Laser Sword” in Star Crash. That’s David ****ing Hasselhoff, who turns out the be the Emperor of the Universe’s son. The Emperor is played by Christopher ****ing Plumber. Also, in one scene, Caroline Munro jumps out of her space ship, while in space, to avoid the crash. Starcrash is so epic a bad movie that it turns out to be awesome.

  26. urza9814 says:

    You forgot one other important point. The snake aliens infect the dude and they turn him into a “Titan”. They infect the chick and they create a giant squid. They infect the “Titan” and they create one of those green aliens. How the hell does the same species of alien elvolve into three entirely distinct species? Especially considering that everyone it infects has allegedly 100% human DNA.

    • Benjamin Telford says:

      100% human DNA which makes people into 12 foot tall, bald albinos, don’t forget.

      • Tom says:

        The black goo stuff, corrupts creatures DNA.
        It infects the worms in the ground, and they turn into horrible snake things and kill the biologist. It infects the tom hardy look alike, and geologist and turns them into zombies. The tom hardy look alike has sex with shaw, and its his sperm, which has been corrupted that impregnates noomi. She gives birth to the squid thing, which does the facehugger trick on the engineer to create the alien at the end. I’m not defending this movie, but at least pay attention and get it right.

      • Tom says:

        Also, there are very tall, bald, humans. And they have human DNA. There has been a person who was an inch off being 9foot.
        If we all had IDENTICAL dna, then we would all be identical twins.
        It just said there DNA was human. Which it could have been.

        • No. The whole race of Engineers are approximately 12 feet tall, bald albinos. This isn’t an anomaly, it’s their phenotype, which is drastically different from that of homo sapiens. Why didn’t Doctor Shaw think that maybe, just maybe, her sample had been contaminated?

  27. dooski23 says:

    I. Love. This. Review. Very well done, sir.

  28. I haven’t seen the movie but it sounds a lot like the Monty Python expedition to the two Mount Kilimanjaros —

  29. Kovacs says:

    I am sincerely hoping Prometheus becomes the new “Armageddon test” for NASA engineers…

    Holloway and Shaw’s thesis committees must have been having some uniquely horrible off days while napping through their PhD defenses. The amount of anti-depressants he must have been guzzling to somehow survive a PhD in archaeology when he becomes disconsolate that he can’t have a conversation with the subjects of his investigations were likely truly mind-boggling.

    And nepotism at Weyland Industries has reached a new low when the daughter of a mega tycoon industrialist can’t comprehend that 10^14 kilometers is more than the half a billion she claims they’ve come.

    I’m also glad to see that my undergraduate biology degree way overqualifies me for a position as expedition biologist aboard an interstellar spacecraft. I think I might actually have the common sense to suggest following basic biohazard protocols when dealing with a likely encounter with alien biological materials, even if they magically happen to contain 100% human DNA (sequence identity algorithms have apparently taken a massive leap backwards 70 years into the future).

    The list goes on and on and on and on and on… but makes for a fun diversion!

    That said, a beautifully shot film. The visuals were sumptuous and mesmerizing. Too bad Ridley and Lindelof told their sicence advisors (the grade school kids they ran across during an investigatory trip to their local planetarium) to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    • Fred the Fourth says:

      Agree, except (pedantic mode on) I think that the match with human DNA makes the biology vastly MORE dangerous than if it were more alien / incompatible.

  30. Re:Designed says:

    Thank you. Reading this review was 100x better then watching the movie. Scary how accurately you verbalize the though processes going on inside my head when i watch most sci-fi movies.

    I have a suggestion to the movie industry…if there is absolutely NO REAL SCIENCE in a movie, then it should just be called FICTION, even if it is in space.

  31. DJ COLA says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think Prometheus was an awesome movie is on crack! If you want to bash a movie PLEASE bash Snow White and the Huntsman. THAT SUCKED!!!!!

    • Blanche Davidian says:

      Uh oh! Mr. “Cola’s” become an inverse barometer for me. His incisive review guarantees I’ll have to See Snow White and the Huntsman. It must be brilliant.

      • RabidFantastic says:

        If you’re a true fan of Charleyz Thron, you won’t miss it. But the best one she was ever in was gots to be Aeon Flux. Now there was a sci-fi movie that didn’t not make any sense.

  32. I usually give horror/Sci-fi movies a ‘three boneheaded moves’ allowance, otherwise I wouldn’t enjoy any of them. That’s why I liked Alien. At least they were dragged there against their will. Not a ton of idiotic character decisions. 20 minutes into Prometheus, I just gave up and enjoyed the visuals. Has there ever been a horror movie where after a character say they’re barren, 15 minutes later they’re NOT three months pregnant with monster baby? Or that we’re reminded Androids have no souls (BTW scientists, prove scientifically y’all got a soul). At least Fassbender didn’t say, “What is this thing you call love?”
    So, Stephen Stills survives the ages and is kept alive by Stringer Bell (or for Brits, Luther) no less?
    And how did this black goo end up evolving in creatures that share the same DNA as their creators? A little tip about DNA, if it’s a 100 percent match, that DOESN’T mean one creature is twice the size of it’s doppelgänger with different skin, innards, etc. It means it’s a 100 percent match.
    Does make me want to rewatch Lawrence of Arabia again. And that Fassbender would be good choice for The Peter O’ Toole story.

  33. Joseph Nobles says:

    I did enjoy this movie, though all the science talk bothered me. Then I read this and realized what a sucker I was for IMAX 3D eye candy. It really was this bad.

  34. Drew says:

    Its a SciFi film, not reality folks, get a grip

    • Brian Raney says:

      It seems you lost your grip long ago when this full extent of your comment.

  35. Murdo MacSween says:

    It’s the Isle of SKYE not the Isle of Sky…

  36. SewWatt says:

    You forot the most important part,the ghey robot gave that one dude a drugged alienish cocktail,so then that dude slept with that one chick, who space aborted the octopus (facehugger)that later face humps the engineer(host). And thus the QUEEN (xenomorph or alien) is born!! Long Live the Queen!!!

  37. MattL says:

    Spot on, spot on! It’s a fun movie, good two hours, amazing 3D (actually, the first time I’ve experienced 3D that immersed rather than simply impressed).

    Buuuuttt … Hollywood has too many stakeholders, investors and the like to let this one go without cashing in, fast. There’s a reason kids don’t play with Space 2001 toys. Annoyingly, Scott & Co allow their vehicle to be prostituted on the altar of commercialism, and in comes the merchandising machinery – what video game of Prometheus would feel complete to a 10 year old without running away from a rolling engineer ship, unable to divert left or right? How many figurines can you sell without there being a 30 foot post-op crotch-shot? How can you avoid engaging the rage of denizens of fans who expect integration with the entire xenomorph background? Don’t forget the Alien vs series … urgh vom.

    Bringing up the Star Wars Prequels is entirely appropriate here – numerous scenes were clearly designed with games designers at hand (or indeed, directing the action) to allow an easy port to the x-box. It’s sad.

    And old master Weyland – so patient in building his empire, so brilliant in his creations (81 years from now, an interstellar beyond light speed ship??), so incredibly brilliant – but can’t wait to go and chat to the engineer? Credible to a 10 year old.

    Aaannnd apologies to those who believe in the sky-gods, but listen for a moment: Alien has a global following, yet the heavy themes of christianity appear tailored to the US market and its unhealthy obsession and belief in biblism. The whole thing twists on it, and that’s irrelevant, and silly, in a sci-fi flick. You can go so far as to say the Engineers were happy with the old testament world, but very cross with the A.D. world. A bit of clever script sleight of hand to focus on bringing in the maximumum religious audience?

    Ach. Fun movie, holes galore.

    This could have been a worthy prequel, it could have astounded us, and should. It could have reinvigorated the Alien vs and Predator vs and Engineer vs and whatever franchises that could have profited off the loss-leader headline title of Prometheus (note production costs were only $130m or so – small change these days for big movies). So Ridley could have made the sci-fi epic this deserved, and the studios could have profited off the off-spring of that, but no – they wanted instant reward and will get it, but lose their legitimacy in the process.

    And that, unfortunately for Mr Scott & Co, leaves the mantle of sci-fi supremo open for recruitment.

    If no-one else steps up, I will. And I will munch Aliens for breakfast.

  38. MontySerge says:

    They have faster-than-light travel and archaeologists who just get stuck in and throw things around like they just don’t care? In a Sci-Fi film? How dreadful. Maybe you should stick to classics like Star Wars or Raiders of the Last Ark. I enjoyed this myself, but then again I was watching it as if it was a film and not a documentary.

    And to be snarky about the review’s snarkiness, it does rely on pretending to miss bits of the plot to enable the sarcasm. So, for instance, there has been a paranoid level of secrecy, and the crew are split into those in the know who are ‘believers’ in something and mercenaries. It is something flagged up by the geologist stating he is just there for the money.

    Also, while they do dumbly take off their helmets without further checks, this is seen as a rather stupid thing by the characters in the film itself. It is a drawn-out significant element as Holloway exposes himself to the atmosphere as an act of faith in his ‘Engineers’. Yes, we get to see the actors’ faces from there in, but it has also driven the plot and characterisation.

    There is a internally consistent narrative about a quest for meaning and to what extent faith is rewarded, bound up in a thrilling visual spectacle. There isn’t a description of how scientists actually do science bound up in a film that sticks to science-fact and stubborn practicality.

    • Charming Charlie says:

      You’ve well highlighted the distinction between thematic truths and logistics which is so painfully lost in this review.

      Art is designed to promote thematic truths. In all forms, art deliberately distorts (or dispenses with) time, distance, order, and other logistical constraints in order to highlight thematic truths. The more you’re going “you can’t take off your helmet, idiots!” the stronger your understanding of art (or literature or screenwriting) should be chiming in “oooh something thematically important is happening here!”

      Perhaps you feel films should be more scientifically or logistically grounded. Perhaps you feel the way they disregard time, distance, order, and other rules is distracting and actually diminishes the thematic impacts. I would certainly agree that the crew introduction scene, which felt like being punched in the brain, sullied my enthusiasm for the rest of the film’s facile philosophy. But these are entirely different matters than the influence of money or stupidity on the part of filmmakers. They are different critiques.

      This “archaeological perspective” was enjoyable and helped exercise some of the stupidity from my brain after watching Prometheus. But I also hope its author and audience realize the degree to which it deliberately ignores the purpose of art and how art functions. Sometimes taking helmets off is not a statement about science. As a viewer, you should be asking what it is a statement of.

      • Kovacs says:

        I would like to think that most of the commenters here understand that great art sometimes requires a few logical fallacies. Problems arise when there is little need for those fallacies or they distract from the point being made. A stronger script and a more nuanced and satisfying exploration of the big questions Prometheus tried to address would have made all of its inconsistencies forgettable. Great science fiction enthralls you in the story and its themes to an extent that any artistic license is barely noticed or easily forgiven. But when a film has as many “Wait, what? Are you kidding me?!” moments as Prometheus did with little to no reason or payoff, it drags you out of the movie.

        As you mentioned, the visual splendor of the film more than made it worth my time. I plan on seeing it again and shelling out for IMAX to boot, but I’ll go into it not expecting much other than eye candy.

        The original Alien, like Blade Runner, sucked you in and kept you firmly in its grasp, never letting a genuine WTF movie wrench you out of the story. I was hoping for something similar in Prometheus.

      • Ray Ingles says:

        Sorry, no. You can’t play the “theme or allegory” card by itself. That card only works when it’s part of a strong hand of other cards like “motivation” and “dialogue” and “plot”.

        Look at “Signs”. I’m aware that the entire movie is a setup for the payoff moment when Gibson’s character rediscovers his faith. The entire movie can be seen as an allegory, where the aliens in some ways represent his turmoil over his wife’s death – that he ignores, then runs from, then finally confronts.

        But that’s not an excuse for how awful the movie is; the allegory and the story need to complement each other. The allegory needs to be a layer on top of the story, it needs to grow from the story. It cannot drive the story.

        To take just one example from “Signs”: Why the hell are these aliens trying to conquer Earth, when spoiler alert they can be killed by exposure to water? The majority of Earth is covered in water, and most places it falls from the sky several times a year at minimum. I suppose anywhere it rained had a quiet Invasion Day…

        I can think of any number of substances that could be used as a poison to the aliens, retain allegorical sense, and make some kind of rational sense. What about milk, which like water is symbolic of life?

        “Suspension of disbelief” is real, dammit, and takes effort and craft to maintain. If your characters are behaving implausibly, if your magic plot McGuffin is behaving inconsistently, if the dialogue is full of errors that a simple Google search will correct, then you’re doing it wrong.

        • Jeff says:

          Ah, but if they’d been poisoned by milk, people would have claimed it was a rip-off of “Ernest Scared Stupid”.

    • Charming Charlie says:

      Some uses of “you” are specific to the poster I’m responding to, and some of them are directed at the larger “you all.” I apologize for the confusing way that makes my post read.

    • mpatricke says:

      I suspect the reason they took their helmets off was because providing some form of functioning anti-fogging measures inside them was obviously another casuality of the budget cuts required from building the SBS. There was cetainly no danger of dying from thirst if you were wearing one – just lick the condensation running down the inside. Plus, a glass helmet that is fully 360 degrees transparent? Really? We have eyes in the back of our heads now?

  39. Em says:

    You forgot to comment on that universal Hollywood movie trope: “If you are sick you will try to hide it from everyone else even if you are an expert in alien viruses or whatever.”

    And also, the REAL news about the shagging non-scene is that the Cap’n was black and Charlise Theron white as day. Normally that’s a disallowed notion in US movies (ie, white female and black male).

    • Ross Presser says:

      Well, both Cap’n and Charlise died, so they were appropriately punished for their scandalous miscegenation.

      • lorq says:

        Furthermore, the black captain Sacrifices Himself For The Good Of The Greater (white) Group — which is the fate of the major black characters in 3 out of the 4 earlier “Alien” films. (“Aliens” merely gets rid of its two black characters before the first hour is up.) Lovely ol’ Hollywood convention: reassuring white audiences that those nervous-making blacks are simultaneously On Our Side and Not Our Problem Anymore.

  40. Jim says:

    That was fucking brilliant! Very well written, and more enjoyable than the film.

  41. Papples says:

    Another example of “We better market this heavily cos we cant sober up the writer and the director doesn’t want to spoil the movie by reading the script”.
    I wonder why the aliens would invite us to see how they were planning to get rid of us?
    If there are other alien ships in working condition, why did the alien go to the humans shuttle when his crashed?
    Having the “same” DNA as humans he would need a suit to get from his crashed ship to the shuttle, cos humans had to.
    Why the alien go into hibernation, I wonder if he delivered a pizza, tripped and fell in.
    I wonder what David said to the alien to piss him off badly, you know you’ve got the lingo wrong when the locals rip your head off.

    • Brian Raney says:

      All very good points. As to the engineers looking very different and having the same DNA as us, that all comes down to genotypes and phenotypes being expressed differently than us. Just as there are different sized poodle genotypes, so too, in theory, could there be different sized human genotypes.

      Maybe the engineer could just hold his breath longer. The crash must of damaged his breather and he needed to get to the human lifeboat to retrieve some sort of breathing apparatus for the journey back to base. After all, isn’t that why Elisabeth Shaw ran to the lifeboat.

    • supersonic says:

      – perhaps the engineers wanting to kill the humans went rogue post-cave paintings being made. there’s an analysis about the analogy of the story to persian myth that explains this better here: there’s also the jesus-was-an-engineer theory which will never officially come out due to fox meddling.
      – the alien went to the human shuttle because he wanted to kill shaw, with the motive that killing her would prevent her sharing her knowledge of the engineers plans for earth and WMDs.
      – what did david say to make the engineer rip his head off and kill the other humans? i don’t think its important, the engineer would have fought them anyway given its mission is to kill humans via the WMD/goo drop on earth. that the engineer patted david’s head after the alien language message, showed an admiration that the engineer’s creation (human) could create something in its own image as sophisticated as it was (david) – followed by an intense jealousy owing to the ego of the engineer feeling it should be the master race as the original creator. (?)

      • Eric says:

        Maybe not rogue. Maybe at the time of the cave paintings they thought everything was cool. It was only later that they decided they’d made a mistake. The “2001 A Space Odyssey” “star people” apparently reached the same conclusion leading up to the events of “3001.”

  42. pallandrome says:

    Yanno, I won’t say that the movie made a whole lot of sense everywhere. It didn’t. The script had hella issues. I will say that the original post seems to get pretty nitpicky as the poster becomes more and more fed up with the movie. This does a disservice to his entertaining satire/review, as it starts to sound petulant and snarky, rather than insightful.

    All that being said, in spite of the hella issues, I thought the creator/createe relationship between David/robots, Wayland/humanity, and the Engineers/space jockeys was interesting. I also enjoy using slashed every damned where. Finally, positioning the engineers are furious Christ figures was inspired. They stopped coming to earth 2000 years ago, huh? They have the tech to cause ‘virgin births’? We came to visit at Christmas time? One of the core themes is faith? The giant albino gets pissed when David prattles at him in what sounds like proto-Hebrew? Yeah, somehow these don’t seem like coincidences.

    Did the movie have some pretty serious flaws? Yes it did, I’ll agree with you there. Does that make it worthless in it’s entirety? I vote no, but maybe that’s just me.

    • Two Horses says:

      Was it proto-Hebrew? David was learning what looked to me like proto-IndoEuropean at the start of the film. I was snoozing by the end of the film so I’m probably wrong.

  43. paul says:

    yeah……..could you now do one for jurasic park, the dark knight, the fly , 300 , the little shop of horrors , beetlejuice , alien ….oh hang on they are all fantasy movies….i should pick more movies that are grounded in hard fact right??

    • Emperor Norton says:

      You do understand 300 is based on a real life battle and the Iranians are mighty outraged how their ancestors are depicted in it?

      • Charming Charlie says:

        I’m not sure how the Iranian reaction to 300 is relevant. It makes me think you missed his point, which is that all film makes concessions of logic in the service of promoting it’s thematics truths. No films, even highly regarded ones which probably wouldn’t have drawn this kind of “archaeological perspective,” would satisfy the standard put forth in this review. The point is that if you criticize Prometheus for these failings you need to criticize Jurassic Park, The Dark Knight, The Fly, 300, the Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice, and Alien. Either apply the standard fairly or realize it’s set too high to be practicable.

        • SaneMovie Goer says:

          That’s not true at all. Prometheus is NOT in the fantasy genre it’s in the science fiction genre which has completely different rules. In Fantasy, you CAN unexplainably jump 30 feet in the air and ride a Unicorn because it’s FANTASY! It’s right in the name so there’s no confusion. With Science Fiction there has to be a certain amount of credulousness. Yeah, it’s fake… hence the fiction part but it needs to be based on something that could be real… hence the Science part. It’s such a tricky genre because of this. You have to walk a fine line between pushing the envelope and keeping it believable. Too far one way and it’s BORING and too far the other way and it’s a B movie. Prometheus was a very expensive B movie. No believable science and a whole lot of unbelievable fiction.

          • Professor M says:

            Even fantasy needs to be internally consistent if it wants to avoid being crap.

          • Ray Ingles says:

            Bingo. Consider “The Abyss”. The aliens do impossible, magical things. Fine. But all the human tech is either possible now or else reasonable extrapolations from existing tech. (The liquid-filled diving suit? Based on developments at the time. That scene where the rat was breathing fluid wasn’t an effect – they really did that, with an oxygenated fluid. True, because of the square/cube law, it doesn’t work for an adult human – yet. A fluid with an improved oxygen-carrying capacity would change that.)

            If the point of the movie is an encounter with things so far beyond us they seem like magic, then fine. But if you’re going that route – you’d better emphasize that contrast by having the humans behave like human beings, not equally-incomprehensible humanoid weirdos.

  44. Raider One says:

    What a gigantic self=serving waste of time. Ridley Scott will win in the end as he did with Alien and Blade Runner and be assigned another cult classic awaiting the director’s cut.

    • George says:

      Really? What makes you think that? Lets see here, going of metacritic (or pretty much any site that records the avg. of movie scores):

      Blade Runner : 88/100 critics 8.5/10 user
      Alien : 83/100 critics 8.8/10 user

      then here comes the downfall after these movies :
      Gi Jane 64/100
      Gladiator 64/100 (but the academy loved it!!)
      black hawk down 74/100 (ok, it was pretty good)
      kingdom of heaven 64/100
      american gangster 74/100 (not sure how that happpened)
      robin hood 54/100

      drum roll……..

      PROMETHEUS 64/100

      Just like this movie your logic is rally flawed, I doubt a 64’er will be worth a shit in the future. Your right though, it may be a “cult classic” as cult classics are is ” a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans”.. those fans in this case being people with bad taste. Alien and Blade Runner are all around classics, they are good films because they are just that… good films.

    • Professor M says:

      Ridley Scott can do good directorial work — when the script he’s working from isn’t garbage. Alien and Blade Runner are great movies; but if you replaced the plot, characterization, etc. with Prometheus-level work, nobody would remember them no matter how good the visuals.

  45. John Hudson says:

    “a raffle at an arsehole convention” – What a superb line!

  46. Emperor Norton says:

    Sort of sounds like this movie deals with the whole faith verses science thing by constructing various strawmen, setting them on fire and then saying “see, both sides are bad” Never mind science is about doing things methodically (ie, thinking it threw) and Religion is about philosophy (as in so fucking what if it’s we were created by some rather seriously stupid space aliens) Since both sides disagree, both sides must be wrong.

  47. Strokeybeard says:

    Great review. Prometheus reminds me a lot of Bladerunner. Fantastic visuals; messy story; terrible acting (bar one person). Mostly it made me want to watch Alien.

  48. lesley brice says:

    Its not real folks! Its entertainment! let the movie makers make movies ,enjoy them or dont watch them and put your passions into the real world. I loved the movie .I laughed at the review, it was funny but seriously folks put your passions into things that matter .

    • Gralgrathor says:

      It’s not entertainment. It’s a poor attempt at entertainment. Real entertainment is more entertaining. In order to enjoy a movie, it has to be coherent and consistent about the issues it intends to explore. Otherwise it’s just silly. Prometheus is a poor movie.

  49. Mike says:

    What about the FLUTE SHIP?!

    • Addicted says:


      How in the world are beings which are capable of terraforming, interstellar ravel, and creating life, using a musical note from a flute as an authentication system? Human beings have had better authentication systems for millennia.

  50. covebysea says:

    I went to see this movie last night with my husband. When the film first mentioned they have traveled 2 years, I immediately had a ding, “wait a second..” in my head. Then like lots of reviewers here, I kept noticing issues when the movie continued. So I spent my whole morning today to search reviews. I am glad I found this one, 100% accurate and thorough from the perspective of the science.

    but I still have a few questions. first one, why David intentionally infected Dr. Holloway? because his dad told him so or he dislikes the way Dr. Holloway treats him? He is not familiar with alien stuff, how dare he try this kind of experiments without fully aware of his actions/consequences?

    second is, searching for Engineers and the fountain of youth are totally different two things. Even the crew find the Engineers, it doesn’t necessarily mean the Engineers are more advanced or powerful than us. E.g. they created David, who is more advanced/knowledgeable than those so called scientists in the ship. It turns out the Engineers are mortal as well in the movie.

    Personally, I enjoyed watching it in the theater. A good one from the entertainment perspective. But, still, the big question for me is if this movie is anti-science?

    • Gralgrathor says:

      the big question for me is if this movie is anti-science?

      Yes. Yes it is.

    • Yes, it is anti-science. Or, more specifically, it is nursing a pseudoscientific and pseudohistoric delusion that Scott personally believes in (and says so himself unambiguously): that of Chariots of the Gods and Ancient Aliens, etc. It’s Creationism mixed with impossible alien visitation scenarios.

    • BaronVonAwsm says:

      “why David intentionally infected Dr. Holloway”

      On the order of Weyland, David was looking for things that may extend Weyland’s life. The black goo was a candidate. He had to test the candidate on someone.

      “searching for Engineers and the fountain of youth are totally different two things”

      Yes, but finding the engineers brings them a step close, no?

      “the big question for me is if this movie is anti-science”

      We can only speculate. I don’t think so.

    • austin says:

      absolutely, putting the same old point, that science is based on faith too.

      • Brian Raney says:

        I think you meant *trust*. Nobody has faith in science, least of all scientists.

    • Kevin Thoman says:

      Not to mention, how the hell did she extrapolate the existence of Engineers, from a few handfuls of dots on cave walls?

      I can see how you could come to the “We were visited by alien beings and they left this pattern of dots to let us find them, when we had developed the requisite technology”conclusion.

      But how do you jump from “Aliens may have been here” to “The aliens that were here genetically engineered us”?

  51. Jack Dodge says:

    Having seen all of the Alien movies in the theater and owning them all on DVD, of course I had to run off to the theater to see Prometheus. I saw it on IMAX 3D and it was well worth that. Ridley is great at visual storytelling. I got the feeling that he was sort of a kind in a candy store playing with all the neat special effects he had at his disposal that he didn’t have with Alien. And the movie suffered for it. I’ll buy the DVD and watch it from time to time, sure. What the heck.

    One hole that Henry didn’t mention, though: The alien straps himself in to the couch that we find him in, in the first movie. Great, that tells us how he ended up that way. But then the head tells Noomi that “he’s coming to get you” and suddenly the alien is at what’s left of the Prometheus, and, well, getting her. So, wouldn’t the couch be bereft of alien then?

    • Anon says:

      This was not the planet from the original Alien. The dead space jockey from that film must have died in different circumstances.

    • Gralgrathor says:

      True, it’s not the same planet, unless planets change designation over time in the Alien series. The planet from Alien is called LV-426; the planet in Prometheus LV-223.

    • supersonic says:

      it’s a different planet.
      apparently there are two more movies-worth of story between prometheus and alien that you would assume explain how/why they got to lv426 in alien.

  52. Troy Britain says:

    I couldn’t get over the reaction of the Grumpy G. and Nice B. to the first discovery of an “alien” corpse (the headless space-jockey). Here are two supposed scientists who show zero curiosity or wonder at the finding of remains of an alien organism; whose only desire at that point is to be somewhere else? That is incomprehensible to me (and I am only an amateur naturalist), doubly so for the Nice B. in that situation.

    Then for same incurious biologist to recklessly stick his hand into the “face” of a rearing (as if to strike) alien snake-thing; WTF? He got what he deserved.

  53. Teresa says:

    LOL. And I rarely laugh.

    Most deplorably executed science fiction movies could have been saved if only someone thought to consult a physicist (or at least someone in some science field) for a mere 10x-7$ of the total budget.

    I’m going back to my nth read of “The Forever War.”

    • Brian Raney says:

      They did have a science adviser for the Prometheus. He was JPL/NASA scientist Dr. Kevin Hand. He’s done a lot of work for James Cameron as well as appearing in Cameron’s 2005 IMAX documentary, Aliens of the Deep, as a featured scientist. Maybe Ridley Scott should ask for his money back.

  54. J-F.S.S says:

    Good idea, I haven’t went out to see Prometheus but I’d go see StarCrash instead. Speaking of which, it’s featured to play as part of the Fantasia Festival this July. :)

  55. unsure says:

    this movie was a disappointment I think it was an attempt at making a movie out of a giger picture. I love how deep sleep for two years has made noomi quite a good drug addict four shots of strong pain killer and still able to function quite normally. Or how easily she can pull her full body weight up from almost falling into the opening door for the alien ship.
    The constant need for the answer to why were we created answered early in the movie from fassbender ,”why did you create me?” … “because we could.” my only thought is haven’t you people seen blade runner?!? Come on now. Scott is a perv I think… just a little showing how the alien snake things kill by deep throat. Ridiculous btw how does a three month old aborted squid grow to ten feet or more in a matter of hours on nothing to eat? And Aliens were created by a huge vagina squid monster raping pre humans and then hours later a alien crawls out of this giant pre humans tummy.. hmm… Just my thought but is anyone ever dry in this movie everyone is always moist from crying sweating just gooey from whatever products they are laying around in. The captain seems happy to drive himself into the escaping alien ship but I think the co-pilots were misinformed. They should have seen that movie, the black guy dies at the end. I must say Noomi has a great thought process (she witnesses the hatred the pre humans have for normal earth humans ripping off the head of fassbender and killing the rest of the group but luckily the doped up just operated on Noomi is the only one quick enough to get away) after everyone dies earth is saved and she has a capable getaway ship to return her to earth she decides I should find the planet full of these angry prehumans and take a broken droid with me as translater cause they should be nicer the second time you see them. Plus why is the prehuman at the start a junkie shooting up a virus and diving into a waterfall?

  56. unsure says:

    I don’t know about you but after having a full c section a 12 inch incision on my stomach then ripping a squid and whatever is attached to it out then only having staples enclose it I would think you would rip those out dangling from the edge of a huge hole and trying to pull your full body weight up then running not stop for the remainder of the movie might affect this open wound just a little bit or might put you out for a bit. The pain killer injections enough for surgery or to knock her out the first time all of a sudden don’t slow her down slur her words or even make her off balanced on a normal person one Vicodin will usually do more damage than those injections did. Final analysis… she’s a closet drug addict.

  57. Eric says:

    As an archeological perspective, I’m surprised you didn’t call out something to the effect of “Scientist from solar system A carbon dating dead alien from solar system C while in solar system B.” Even if the carbon dating gadget had done an off-camera calibration for the current locale, it wouldn’t have made any sense for an alien of unknown provenance who’d spent who knows how much of its life breathing who knows what for an atmosphere. That said, this was the kind of movie that should have left me feeling charged up by the end, and it completely failed to do that. The standard tropes were all too predictable. The notion that the original “Alien” creature was a run away bio-weapon is neat, but they didn’t need this whole confused movie to tell us that.

    • Eric says:

      Oops–the alien guy’s carbon content would have been from whatever food the ship provided. Still, the dating gadget would have no idea what kind of cosmic ray history things would have had.

      • John B says:


        Ok, the way i see it.

        Space Jockey Race are life creators, opening scenes intimate that they created us – tall bloke in nappy, drinks dodgy DNA concoction, it breaks him down, from destruction new life evolves – event at beginning could have been earth or another planet billions of life years away, today. Note this could be all life, plant and animal or just us!? Maybe just us, as time line would be much shorter – would not include dinosaurs etc etc.
        Same DNA concoction in banana ship / alien warehouse. Seems to indicate that they were going to hit Earth with another dose, (maybe a large dose) around 2000 years ago (when green alien smelly stuff hit the fan – holo flight recorder recounted last hours of much running about the ship). Recall we are shown loads of the stuff, enough to wipe anything out with DNA anywhere on a planet maybe.
        Why, create all life/human life on earth – millions/hundreds of thousands of year earlier to then, 2000 year ago attempt to go back and wipe us out?
        I don’t think it is religion related. It won’t be technology related, as e didn’t have much to speak of then – unless they predicted at an early stage that we would be a threat to them at a later date some how?
        What about the queen alien we have on earth asleep in the Arctic / anarchic (very cold place) in the temple (ref AvP film in snow).
        How do the predators fit in here 
        Were they crated by the jockeys too?
        I bet you “trip to the choppa” that any future films will have Aliens, Space Jockeys, predators and humans involved.
        I don’t think for a moment that the birthing alien at the end of the film it is the beginning of our acid for blood friends, just more hints that they are part of the space jockeys creation, that perhaps they wished they never created!
        I think the dark horse comics ran a story where the jockey had intended to put aliens on earth, so that it could be terraformed – don’t think that fits now though!
        I liked it for what it was – a film in its own right set in a universe where the aliens are around.
        Yes plenty of holes, but there always are.
        David and the actor that played him was the glue in my opinion, without David i think it would be some what empty! Looking forward to watching it again.

        • Eric says:

          I really enjoyed the Dark Horse story. Their space jockeys didn’t like androids much either.

  58. Kas Zalot says:

    Anyone who read this ‘review’ and took it seriously is a sorry-ass-twat. NomadUK, how can you even comment on something you haven’t seen (as I deducted from your 1st statement: “[Starcrash was] probably more fun than Prometheus”) and you’re way too serious man, way too serious.

    It’s EntertAinmenT not a scientific/educational documentary. It’s 130 min long (how thorough can you be in such a short time?). It lightly touches on a question of belief and faith in a scientific mind which is a valid contemporary issue yet it isn’t much elaborated on, not as much as it deserves to be! After all, what drives our existence is our choices. Both science and religion, enslave us in pre-structured perspective, the “it’s what I choose to believe in” is the only liberating decision a person is allowed to make. Ehhh, I don’t really feel the need to disprove more of the sarcastic points Henry Rothwell, the writer of this ‘review’, made. I enjoyed it, although don’t agree with most of it. A good sense of humour is an attribute of an intelligent person, judging by some of the comments, many of you lack this ingredient.

    • zarkov says:

      There’s this thing about people with intelligence: sometimes they like a bit of this ingredient in their entertainment.

  59. S.L. says:

    Brilliant…Friends hate watching movies with me, because I’m one of those world-class question-asking plot hole sleuths, too…

    I hadn’t seen it and wasn’t planning on it — Thanks for saving me the $$$$

  60. Yuska says:

    Actually, there are seventeen people on board Prometheus, not less than ten people.

    • andy says:

      depends on your definition of a person, i reckon there were a good number of disposable dummies

  61. Anonymous says:

    I hope you guys do this to every movie and never enjoy anything ever again.

  62. Tim H. says:

    The biology guy with the alien worms was totally accurate, that “Crikey” Australian naturalist was always doing stuff like the with dangerous animals, eventually it killed him. An interesting, humorous review. I liked the film but recognize several wtf’s. The one that threw me was when Shaw went from being archeologist to medical/alien biologist, not impossible but the movie didn’t set that up. Or was it in the Shaw viral clip? I’ll have to look for it again.

    • Gralgrathor says:

      “that “Crikey” Australian naturalist”

      And that’s the guy they send a billion billion billion miles away, in a spaceship costing trillions, to make contact with alien life? A guy who shows behaviour that’s likely to get himself killed?

      • Adam says:

        You mean Steve Irwin. In fact he did get killed, by a stingray – which are usually passive and attack only if threatened. God knows what he was doing to it at the time.

    • Gyre says:

      Specialists tend not to follow Mr. Irwin’s example. He was a performer surrounded by people and with relatively easy access to hospitals, not someone I would want to guide me around the Australian wilderness.

  63. andy says:

    I have one question and one answer.
    The Question:
    If the star maps on earth are an invitation then I’m confused. Why would the engineers invite us over to their biological weapons factory, the one where they are manufacturing our doom ?

    The Answer:
    I know why they did so much, B-movie, so stupid you deserve to die stuff. (you know; taking the helmets offf, experimenting on the head, coo-cooinh the snake thing, opeing the door for the mutant geology-guy-thing). Its a metaphor for the huuman race and the way this planet is going – so stupid they deserve to die – thats exactly where the Engineers are coming from.

  64. Ann says:

    Thanks for articulating why I disliked Prometheus, after really looking forward to it.

    The female characters really irritated me: Charlize was perfectly made up and spanxed, but Noomi: her skin looked like the surface of a basketball. Maybe it says something about Prometheus that I spent time wondering about one of the lead’s lack of skincare knowledge!

  65. Sindred says:

    “Chunky unconvincing CGI chap chases a departing ufo to the top of a hill. Drinks something the aliens left behind. Disintegrates into a nearby waterfall.”

    You can stupidly-simplify any scene of any movie in such a way and look like a clever chap doing it. I ain’t buying it.

    The same applies to the review. It doesn’t make the writer any more clever. There isn’t a single sci-fi pic that doesn’t require some semblance of disbelief. Otherwise, we’d be living in those science fiction worlds now, because all of the technology indicated would be easy to replicate.

    • Gralgrathor says:

      An enjoyable sci-fi movie requires at least some plausibility. It requires that we be able to imagine such a world, imagine the what-ifs of it, perhaps even imagine being part of it.

      Prometheus doesn’t do that. Its story is so inconsistent and incoherent that we cannot become part of it. It fails as an enjoyable story because of this.

      • Tripp says:

        It does it for me (and I’m guessing something like another 80% of people who saw the movie)

        • 80% of people are idiots, though.

          • Thanatos says:

            My theory is that it’s closer to 95%. Was going to do my master’s thesis on it before I decided it would’ve inevitably offend everyone reading it thus preventing me from actually earning my degree. Having said that, guess its possible some smart people like the movie too. Roeper called it brilliant; can’t take that guy seriously ever again. At my screening everyone left in a deathly silence with eyes to the floor like they were ashamed of what they’ve just witnessed.

  66. DaveDPDX says:

    Thank you so much for this marvelous writing. My wife and I were laughing so hard, we woke our kids whilst reading it last evening. We had so looked forward to this film. We arranged a sitter months in advance, purchased advanced tickets for opening night, and were ready for something really amazing. This review is an absolute bullseye. Most acting was decent (Fassbender better than that). Cinematograpy and effects, not bad. Plot: worse than an amateur’s first draft. Character development: absent. Thought-provoking big idea about our origins: absent. “We are the creators of our own ultimate doom” may have been fresh and new in the early 1950s, but it’s pretty tired now. Also, after being bludgeoned throughout the movie by myriad inanities, the “exclamation point” at the very end was about as predictable, unnecessary, and pointless as a Jeremy Clarkson essay critical of bicycles.
    However, all that said, we could not have attained the cathartic joy we did in reading this piece had we not seen this modern day Shark Sandwich.
    Cheers, and thank you!

    • Tripp says:

      “‘We are the creators of our own ultimate doom’ (…) but it’s pretty tired now” Dude, what planet are you living on?! This is still relevant today, maybe even more than in the “1950s”! Humanity with it’s untamed curosity is going down down down…

  67. Ben says:

    Snarky PO’ed archaeological chap and fellow mincing uber-snarks chase brilliant Ridley Scott film to cliff’s edge, become intoxicated with own sense of personal brilliance and fall over. Review quickly disintegrates into nitpicky, bitter tit-for-tat exchange between film buffs and disgruntled science-types who’d remain invisible were it not for the interwebz.

    I can’t wait to see what the amazing Ridley Scott does for the next segment of the “Alien” franchise. BRILLIANT stuff! Loved it.

    Remember guys….it’s called “science FICTION” so don’t get your C3PO pajamas in a bunch if it’s not 100% — or even 1% scientific. Don’t like it? Go make your own film.

    • Charming Charlie says:

      I enjoyed your candor. If only the same person who wrote paragraph one had written paragraphs two and three.

    • Yes. It’s called SCIENCE fiction. The “science” part is relevant. Besides that, it’s just an overall pretentious piece of shit script.

  68. Jujubees says:

    “When his name is called, he instantly throws the sieve to the ground, and pounds up the hill to the cave. Because, as we all know, archaeology can be extraordinarily hard to catch.” This is super petty. Is it not okay to be excited about a ‘find?’ Come on, critic, get over your pathetic existence and pitiful attempts at sardonic witticisms.

    “You get a feel for the size of the spaceship, and his lonely existence within it. For a crew of less than ten people, the financiers and engineers behind the expedition have sensibly decided that creating a space-ship the size of a cathedral would be a good idea.” Okay, right here is where I lose all respect for you, whatever was left. There were 17 crew members (or was it 19?). If you are going to be an ‘arsehole’, at least do it right.

    “[T]he balls on the pool table (yes, the pool table – what about it?) are all sliding over to one side by themselves – the destination threshold has been reached and the spaceship has, believe it not, put the brakes on at the last minute.” Really? Sigh, I was expecting more from this review.

    “[A]lmost like something out of a 70s horror movie[.]” Alien, anyone?

    “We realise that the crew selection procedure was yet another casualty of the cuts required to ensure that they had a sodding big spaceship (SBS from here on in).” There is a purpose to the characters, and I feel bad that you are too stupid to realize that.

    “You’d think they’d shown a little curiosity when, for instance, they were packing and saying goodbye to their loved ones.” Maybe the mission was a secret. I am guessing you never saw Alien, Aliens, etc.

    “Ok, let Holloway have the galactic faux pas[…]” Dude, where the hell is your imagination? Did you ever watch Star Trek? None of it made sense… hence the words ‘Sci-fi.”

    “ ‘I don’t – it’s what I choose to believe.’ ” There is an explanation for this statement. Go back to English class and learn a thing or two about symbolism, theme, and motif.

    “Noomi [vigorously] runs around the place and jumps up and down, and wrestles enormous alien monsters, and runs across an alien landscape trying not to get rolled on by a large alien spaceship[.]” Did you totally see the same movie as everyone else? Did you forget how many freaking times she shot herself with an anti-pain medicine distributor mechanism? Plus she took MORE pain pills on top of that. By the way, learn how to spell.

    • lorq says:

      “[A]lmost like something out of a 70s horror movie[.]” Alien, anyone?

      Er, that’s what the reviewer was referring to. That joke went right over your head. (Always enjoyable to see that sort of gaffe in a post castigating another writer for being stupid.)

      • RobThom says:

        ““[A]lmost like something out of a 70s horror movie[.]” Alien, anyone?”

        He didn’t get.

        He’s not even being an arsehole right.

    • Massive says:

      “When his name is called, he instantly throws the sieve to the ground, and pounds up the hill to the cave. Because, as we all know, archaeology can be extraordinarily hard to catch.” This is super petty. Is it not okay to be excited about a ‘find?’ Come on, critic, get over your pathetic existence and pitiful attempts at sardonic witticisms.

      He didn’t know what she wanted – what if she’d wanted a sieve?

      “You get a feel for the size of the spaceship, and his lonely existence within it. For a crew of less than ten people, the financiers and engineers behind the expedition have sensibly decided that creating a space-ship the size of a cathedral would be a good idea.” Okay, right here is where I lose all respect for you, whatever was left. There were 17 crew members (or was it 19?). If you are going to be an ‘arsehole’, at least do it right.

      If it was 50 people it would still be stupidly big. Anyway, you lost your respect at this point? You called him pathetic and pitiful for the archaeologist thing. That was you being respectful?

      “[A]lmost like something out of a 70s horror movie[.]” Alien, anyone?

      Yeah Alien. You didn’t get that?

      “You’d think they’d shown a little curiosity when, for instance, they were packing and saying goodbye to their loved ones.” Maybe the mission was a secret. I am guessing you never saw Alien, Aliens, etc.

      Ok. You really didn’t get the Alien joke about the computers. Also, on secret mission? The people actually going are in on the secret. They lie to everybody else.

      “Ok, let Holloway have the galactic faux pas[…]” Dude, where the hell is your imagination? Did you ever watch Star Trek? None of it made sense… hence the words ‘Sci-fi.”

      Sci-fi does not mean bullshit, even though Prometheus is.

      “ ‘I don’t – it’s what I choose to believe.’ ” There is an explanation for this statement. Go back to English class and learn a thing or two about symbolism, theme, and motif.

      But you said it didn’t have to make sense? And now he has to go back to school to do lessons in how to understand Prometheus?

      “Noomi [vigorously] runs around the place and jumps up and down, and wrestles enormous alien monsters, and runs across an alien landscape trying not to get rolled on by a large alien spaceship[.]” Did you totally see the same movie as everyone else? Did you forget how many freaking times she shot herself with an anti-pain medicine distributor mechanism? Plus she took MORE pain pills on top of that. By the way, learn how to spell.

      If she took all the painkiller on board the big spaceship, it wouldn’t change the fact that her abdominal muscles had been sliced through – you can’t do all that stuff she did after that damage. Try a c-section. I have. It’s more than a little stingy.

      And that link you provided? Wow – if you thought this guy was wasting his time, that guy has turned it into an art-form. He’s obviously obsessed with symbolism, so uses it to make sense of the movie – you can do that with anything. For instance, did you know that in the early versions of the original Alien script, the Nostromo was actually called the Snark? Maybe the guy that wrote this is having games with you too?

    • Adam says:

      Well done picking on the few questionable pieces of the review, but spend any time really trying to find consistency in this lazy film and you’ll probably agree with most of what was said.

      This isn’t even about putting the “science” into a sci-fi movie – it’s simply about internal consistency. Presenting a story and characters that have depth, meaning and relevance.

      But sure, if you want to take it as a bit of fluffy entertainment, that’s perfectly fine too. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting more out of a purported sci-fi film, especially when it has such big shoes to fill. Expectations were naturally fairly high.

      • Ashbishopcal says:

        Man, you and the rest of the film police/serious critics/scientists expecting significance from such sombre project as a (science-fiction) movie about creatures out of space which engineered us…deserves an Inflated Reviewer of the Year Award!

        “Presenting a story and characters that have depth, meaning and relevance.” – Really? In an hour-and-a-half long movie? Really? Is this entertainment ya’all talking about or a science project?

    • Brian Raney says:

      “Did you ever watch Star Trek? None of it made sense… hence the words ‘Sci-fi’.”

      I’m sorry to learn that Star Trek never made sense to you. Of course, that leaves us to wonder how do you know what is good or bad science fiction. Do you believe that all Sci-Fi is bad because it doesn’t make sense, or do you believe that nothing in Sci-Fi requires any amount of sense to be good?

      This still leaves us the question: what makes a good science fiction film?
      First, we must decide whether it is a good film or not. If it is a bad film, then it is a bad science fiction film. There is no reason to believe that something bad will become something good just because it is science fiction.

      The reverse, however, is not true. A science fiction film may be a good film and yet bad science fiction. A science fiction film requires more than good dramatic story telling and an understanding of good filmmaking; it requires that the film have some understanding of science.

      The amount of scientific understanding depends on the story told and should include just enough causal reference without becoming a science lesson. Any references, however, must be correct, and any liberties with the science must be justified, least the filmmaker look like an ignoramus.

      Maybe, you and the audience know so little science that you both would not recognize any ignorance on the screen. On the other hand, maybe you and other members of the audience do know enough science to recognize the ignorance on the screen but you just don’t care. Either way, do have some measure of pity on the rest of us who do recognize the ignorance on the screen and do care. We came for the entertainment, which is the same for any other film we see, but what may have otherwise have been a great film is now reduced to good, and good is now reduced to fair.

      No one is demanding we must take a science course before enjoying a science fiction film, but neither should anyone demand we must lay our brains out to rest before entering the movie theatre. If the film really is good science fiction, then it requires neither option.

      So, what makes a great science fiction film? I would say a great science fiction film incorporate its scientific references into the plot of the film and whose resolution and climax depends on a good scientific solution, and such a seamless incorporation of science into the plot should turn any good film into a great science fiction film.

      • Heather says:

        I totally agree with you about what makes a good science fiction film. It has to be a good movie! “Alien” is a good movie. It tells a classic story and involves us in the characters so that by the end of the film we’re desperate to see Ripley survive. The science fiction aspects of the film add to the story and make the movie more of a visual spectacle.

      • Eric says:

        I want to “me too” on this. The “science” in Star Trek is largely preposterous. All things seem to be solved with new physics, and with all their amazing computers they don’t automate squat. That said, it largely had compelling or at least fun stories. The techno-babble was a big part of the charm.
        Even “Spaceballs” had a clear story line.
        Prometheus was just a scattered mess. I was constantly thinking, “Don’t do that,” “What a good idea!,” and “Huh?”

    • ““ ‘I don’t – it’s what I choose to believe.’ ” There is an explanation for this statement. ”

      Yes, it’s called bad science. And you’re an idiot, by the way.

    • Thanatos says:

      I’ve seen this write-up posted elsewhere. It is very well written and obviously a lot of thought went into the analysis. Unfortunately I think it’s just matter of looking for deep meaning where there is none. Ridley Scott himself said that he wanted to call the movie Alien: Paradise. It was studio chief Tom Rothman who made him change the name to Prometheus. So any ties to classic mythology and Christianity is purely coincidental. And given the rest of the script it’s obvious Damon Lindelof, the writer, is not capable of such deep thought or analysis.

    • Thanatos says:

      Additionally, in case the viewer missed the association of the engineer at the beginning with Prometheus from Greek mythology, Weyland’s 3d speech during the briefing blatantly pointed it out. To me it came across as the writer giving himself a pat on the back for being smart, while insulting said viewer at the same time.

  69. Thanatos says:

    Just want to put in my 2 cents regarding scientific fallacies in this movie. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I’ll try to go in chronological order of the movie.

    1. The engineer takes black goo from the x-files, disintergrates and seeds life on earth.
    Ignores evolution as we currently understand it, plus what about the DNA for all the other species on earth. That came from him too?

    2. Finding 35,000 year old cave paintings on the Isle of Skye. Isle of Skye was uninhabitted 35,000 years ago because is was under ice glaciers from the last ice age.

    3. Traveling 3.27 10^14, or almost 35 light years, in 2 years, 4 months, 18 days, 36 hours.
    Ignores theory of relativity. Even if that was observer time, 35 years or so would have passed on earth. Yet they say the movie starts in 2089 and they arrive at the moon LV 226 in 2093. Of they went faster than the speed of light, a common Hollywood conceit, then the journey would not have taken that long (observer time)

    4. Shaw: how long?
    David: 2 years, 4 months, 18 days, 36 hours, 15 minutes.

    Really, 36 hours?! Was no one paying attention? Only possibility was they launched from a planet with a longer day/night cycle than earth and they kept that clock. But that wasn’t mentioned in the movie so I’ll chalk it up oversight.

    5. The dots they found in the pictograms signified what exactly? Hollowoway mentions they corresponded to a galactic system, and they found it. It has one sun and only one planet, with LV 226 being a moon of that planet. Well there’s no such thing as a galactic system, so what are the 6 dots? Stars? Planets? Constalation? It’s ignored.

    6. The “pyramid” they venture into supposedly has a breathable atmosphere. Yet it has a big hole in the roof when they look, plus the big entrance which come through. What’s keeping in the air?

    7. David pushes a bunch of buttons and: opens doors; starts hologram projections; opens space jockey star maps, etc. He may have innate knowledge of earth languages but come on, have at least some trial and error!
    7 b) David speaks alien language without having heard it first. Unless he spoke an earth dialect I didn’t recognize.

    8. Engineer DNA a perfect match to human DNA. Our closest relative, the pigmy chimp, has a 98% similar genome. We don’t look like chimps, but we don’t look like hulking albino aliens either. And how did they know it was an earlier version if it was identical?

    9. Shaw was barren yet gets impregnated by the infected Holloway. Way too many problems with this one. If a woman does not produce eggs, most likely cause for infertility, how did she get pregnant? Then there’s the whole inter species thing; can a dog and a frog produce an offspring? Also, the squid does not look like it contains any human traits. You know, its mother’s…

    10. Phifield zombie. Really?!

    11. Generally the black goo. It seems to magically do whatever the script calls for in order to advance the plot.

    Phew, that was pretty long. There were other logic flaws and stupid character actions, but they were addressed elsewhere so there’s no need to include them in this, already lengthy, post.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a big fan of the Alien franchise and many of Ridley Scott’s movies. I wasn’t just disappointed with Prometheus, I was angry and its stupidity. And no, it’s not because of the movie I wanted and didn’t get, but because of the one we actually got.


    • Ray says:

      You are smart enough to see the many flaws in this movie. What does your intellect say about why Scott, certainly no idiot, allows this bs to happen?

      • yawnie says:

        Yes-man bubble and lack of criticism both of self- and peer- variety. Same reason why Lucas, who is also far from being a drooling moron, concocted Phantom Menace.

      • Thanatos says:

        Sorry, I’m still trying to decide you’re being irreverent or if you really want an answer to your question.

        I’ll err on the side of decency and offer an opinion.

        I don’t know Ridley Scott personally so far be it for me to assume that he’s anything less than an intelligent person. Actually, going by interviews and commentaries I’ve seen I think he is every bit the craftsman many say he is. As another poster pointed out, a part of the problem is yes-men. Not in the sense that he purposefully surrounds himself with them in order to feed his ego (wink at you George Lucas). I think it’s more people looking out for their own best interests lest they jeopardize their place in the movie-making machine. It’s like anywhere in big business: you get further sucking up to people and kissing their butts than questioning their wisdom.

        From what I’ve read about the Prometheus production, Ridley Scott wanted to do a direct prequel to Alien, all the while dealing with the space jockey. He thought it was interesting that no one tackled the subject in the sequels. Before starting the shoot someone, Tom Rothman (head of 20C Fox)?, suggested that Damon Lindelof be brought on polish the script. Apparently, after he read it, Lindelof suggested to Scott that they drop all the Alien crap. Lindelof was then tasked to rewrite the movie, which Scott originally wanted to call Alien: Paradise. Rothman also made Scott change the name of the movie to Prometheus, with all the references to the Titan and all that beginning of human kind stuff being added by Lindelof. Mostly what survived that original draft was the search for the space jockey ship, with all the xenomorphs removed.

        On productions such as Alien and Blade Runner, the development process involved months, if not years, of preparation and script fine-tuning by writers and producers. The script did not go before cameras until they, including Scott, were satisfied with it. In case of Prometheus, I think it more of case of Lindelof selling Scott on a bunch high-brow ideas that ultimately didn’t amount to anything. In my opinion Lindelof is a much better pitch man than he is a writer. His scripts, especially Lost, amount to nothing more than elementary-school-level fanboy junk. Throw enough nonsensical stuff on the screen and some of it is bound to stick. People will think it’s deep and complex. It isn’t, it’s still crap. And this is how the Prometheus script turned out as well. But Lindelof must really have sold Scott on his shtick, that’s my only explanation.

        That’s the last long post, I swear! At least I had fun watching 2001: a space odyssey while writing this.

        Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

        • Ray says:

          Thanks for your reply, my question was in earnest. You make some good points, however yes men or not, Scott still must have seen the movie before it got released. At that point why didn’t he do something? (Like shoot Lindelhof in the head).
          He is my theory: Scott ot his millions for a half-assed effort, and probably is too old and weary to argue about the details.
          I used to be a big Scott fan, this movie has made me lose all respect for him.

          • Thanatos says:

            “Like shoot Lindelhof in the head” – LOL, couldn’t help but laugh!

            I don’t disagree with your assessment at all. But, for the time being at least, I’m going to hold out hope the Ridley Scott didn’t deliberately insult his audience (whether they realize it or not) and give ‘Alient’ universe fans a giant middle finger. Because Prometheus turned out to be nothing more than a big F U to anyone who’s enjoyed the Alien films and was looking forward to a worthy addition the franchise. I wonder if there’s a chance he’ll apologize for this mess like Spielberg did with Crystal Skull.

    • Brian Raney says:

      1. What if what the engineer took was not the black goo from the x-files but the thing from “Who Goes There?” I think it was a sea of nanobots, myself.

      The scene promotes the allusions of Sumerian creation myths. Although, technically, I doubt the engineers really needed to sacrifice anyone in order to seed any planet with any particular DNA.

      3. I could be wrong, but isn’t 2089 when they found the cave paintings?

      Given the time they spent in stasis, if they used FTL drive, then Prometheus was traveling at about 14.5 C. I don’t remember when Prometheus left Earth for LV-223. I do know that at 3.27 10^14 km or 34.5646655 light- years away, LV-223 should be somewhere in the Gleise 86 system, but the official Prometheus web site film plot synopsis says LV-233 was one of three moon (along with LV-426 from Alien[s]) orbiting the gas giant Calpamos in the Zeta 2 Reticuli system some 39.16 light-years away.

      8. If the film is asserting the engineers have the same chromosome DNA, then does that include the mitochondrial DNA? Are there female engineers? The might be a race of clones. It’s obvious from their size why they didn’t permanently colonize Earth. They instead seeded Earth in their own image using different genotypes and phenotypes to produce us, Humanity, the miniature poodles of engineers, who are better-adapted long term with Earth environment.

      11. Deus Ex Machina? Yeah, that trope is as popular as FTL drive. But, nanobots are cool.

      • Thanatos says:

        I admit my saying the black goo was from the X-Files was being a bit facetious. It was never explained what it was and what it was really intended to do. Watching the movie we are led to assume it was meant to be used as a weapon but there’s no proof of that. The engineers had a ship-full of cylinders containing the stuff, and David says they meant to destroy us, so the audience is left to put two and two together. For all we know the engineer ship had photon torpedoes and meant to bomb us back to the stone age.

        Yes, the Isle of Skye discovery was dated 2089. Prometheus arrived at LV-223 on Christmas 2093 according to the graphic. So it makes sense if they took 2 years to mount the expedition, followed by a 2 year 4 month journey. The movie doesn’t say where LV-223 is but I believe they do mention in Aliens that LV-426 is in the Zeta 2 Reticuli system. I’ve never seen mentioned that LV-223 and LV-426 both orbit the same planet. However, in the Prometheus graphic you see at least one other moon orbiting the planet. I have wondered if that may be the case but this would be the first time I’ve seen it confirmed. I’ll check out the Prometheus website later. Regardless, if they went 15-20 times the speed of light the journey to them would be near instantaneous, provided they could survive the acceleration and deccelaration forces. I can accept FTL travel in sci-fi that’s no biggie, it would have been nice if they acknowledged that time passed differently on the ship than on earth though.

        For #8: your guess is as good as mine. It’s never addressed in the movie.
        For #11: yes a convenient out. It would have been nice if they established a set of rules and followed them. But given how the rest of the story is such a mess it’s the least of the problems. Besides, not providing answers is deep, complex and mysterious.

      • Ashbishopcal says:

        “(…)They instead seeded Earth in their own image using different genotypes and phenotypes to produce us, Humanity, the miniature poodles of engineers, who are better-adapted long term with Earth environment.”
        AT WHAT POINT IN THE MOVIE THEY ACTUALLY CONFIRM that story of origins? I watched a movie called Prometheus, where engeneers were a thesis, an unconfirmed speculation. Yes, they were found – so what? We still don’t know much about their intentions all there is…a few surviving imprints on Earth…Most of you are either seriously overinterpreting the movie or blasting it for not being scientific enough. This is so high school…

        • Brian Raney says:

          The very beginning–sorry you missed it–you must have been buying popcorn.

          At the beginning of the film, we see a large humanoid alien (what we would latter learn to be one of the engineers) standing near a large waterfall as he disrobes and opens a black jar and drinks the contents of black goo inside. Almost immediately, his body begins to transform as the black goo breaks down his body at the cellular level, going so far as to transform his chromosome DNA to purines and reconstruct them back into DNA. His body falls into the water as he continues to disintegrate, seeding alien biogenesis on the planet.

          Not only did I see this in the movie and instantly realize what it was I was seeing, Ridley Scott has since confirmed my observation in subsequent interviews given about Prometheus. The only caveat he offered was that particulate scene may or may not have happened on Earth, implying the Engineers were in a habit of seeding life on many planets throughout their sphere of influence in the galaxy.

          And if you did see the same movie we did, then you knew they had an android by the name of David who confirmed much of Elizabeth Shaw’s speculations about her Engineers. Maybe you were out buying a candy bar during those scenes where David was learning all he could about the alien base and its origins.

          • Ashbishopcal says:

            …see, the problem with your interpretation of the movie is that IT IS just AN INTERPRETATION. Engineers as creators was only a hypothesis examined by a couple of scientists and sponsored by a crazy rich guy, not an official, earthly version of human origins (as far as my sense of observation goes). None of you considered that the plot was vague (call it missing puzzles if you will) because there is more to come in the sequel to this prequel? (I never eat in the cinema, one – food is bad, two – it might bother people sitting next to me)

          • Brian Raney says:

            No, Ashbishopcal , that is called an OBSREVATION. I am sorry you cannot tell the difference, but I would not expect a bible thumper who is offended by a Sci-Fi movie’s interpretation of biogenesis to agree with me, so I will leave you with that.

          • Ashbishopcal says:

            Brian Raney, you are so desperate to sound authoritative that you forget about common sense. I’m not offended though, someone that uses invectives to belittle an inconvenient commenter, is not really worth my time.

          • Brian Raney says:

            Okay, and thanks for proving my point.

          • Ashbishopcal says:

            Don’t you know that making the very last comment doesn’t prove anything? You are a trol, and if you’re using your real details unashamedly like that you truly must be a stupidly cocky person. Give yourself a break will ya?

          • Brian Raney says:

            Oh…you’re back. ‘Cannot say I missed you, but if you are going to be a fool, then you are surely becoming my tool. Troll away, and, again, thanks for proving my point.

        • Scott has unambiguously said that this is what the film is about in interviews, so the “interpretation” is correct. He’s a fan of such nonsensical theories as seen in Ancient Aliens and Chariots of the Gods–takes them seriously because the Vatican confirms their scientific validity. Moron.

    • Ashbishopcal says:

      You don’t seem to get an important cue from this movie. When talking about what happened on the Isle 35000 years ago, you’re so very certain (as if you had watched it in person). You ‘ve decided to trust some scientific evidence that in fact is in majority a speculative elaboration on some very little factual evidence. Same goes for whatever happened 65milion years ago…To hear you all being so cock-sure about our past, when all you have is some vague evidence from not even that long ago is just mind blowing. You don’t ever question science, not even when it’s not empirically verifiable? Ridley Scott is messing with you people, and his doing it darn well.

      • Brian Raney says:

        Oh! You’re a bible thumper. Well, that explains everything…

        • Ashbishopcal says:

          I see…lack of counterarguments brings out a simpleton in you. Curious. (and no, I’m not convinced by religious dogmas either)

          • Brian Raney says:

            I disagree. Bible thumpers like you are the real simpletons, who refuse to accept reality in favor of the Bronze Age sky daddy. The giveaway was your classical ‘Answers in Genesis’ arguments against believing in science. Nice try, though.

      • Professor M says:

        There’s a difference between lack of epistemological certainty (which is, uh, kinda just a fact of life, as much as some might insist otherwise) and “We don’t know completely for sure, so any explanation is as good as any other.” The former is just the situation we have to work with; the latter is solipsistic bullshit.

    • supersonic says:

      9. Perhaps the squid came only from Holloway’s infected sperm and that Shaw was only the carrier. This feeds into the Prometheus-as-perpetuator-of-Christian-faith theory somewhat.
      10 and 11. A theory of emotions-influencing-the-actions-of-goo holds some weight, in the areas of:
      i) Fifield wasn’t one for getting stuck in and involved, perhaps he secretly longed to be stronger/tougher/braver.
      ii) Holloway wanted for Shaw to have his child.

    • OF says:

      In response to your #5:
      Scott took this pictogram from the real-life Betty Hill, one of the first people to have claimed to have been abducted by aliens in 1961. Under hypnosis she drew the star map.

      Its also mentioned on the official Prometheus viral site:
      Where did Ridley draw from for all of this? From the Betty and Barney Hill UFO Abduction incident in 1961. Download Project Prometheus Shaw Archives here:

  70. STarCRash! says:

    Quick, let’s all abandon the Alien franchise in favor of StarCrash! The sequels can only get better, never worse!

  71. Priyanka says:

    You forgot to mention why Fassbender intentionally poisoned Dr. Holloway with alien fluid!

    • andy says:

      That one is easy.
      Holloway was being pathetic and he was rude to David, frankly I’d have done the same thing. I didn’t se the need for the “how far would you go” question though, just do it man (robot). Then of course this script seemd to think that kind of telegraph was necessary.

    • Thanatos says:

      From what I’ve read at least, most people seem to think that David was following orders from Weyland. My problem with that is that once Holloway was infected no one, not David or anyone else who knew Weyland was aboard, tried to study or even observe what the result of the infection would be. Vickers was more than happy to fry him with a flamethrower. Personally I think this was a missed opportunity.

      • Brian Raney says:

        No, both David along with Meredith Vickers knew that Peter Weyland was on board ship. David was in charge of all the stasis tables during their 2 years, 4 months, 18 days and 36 hours [sic] trip.

        On the slimiest of chances, a terminally ill Peter Weyland joins a mission to LV-223 with the hopes of finding aliens who might have some cure for his old age. How desperate is someone in that position, with only an uncertain amount of days left upon revival, is there any limits to his desperation. Are there any real limits to what David must do when he shares with Meredith Vickers his conversation with Weyland to try harder. What everyone thought was a grand scientific expedition was really a sad, desperate quest from an old, dying trillionaire with a big ego to match.

        David found what he thought might have been the engineers fountain of youth. The expedition had no expectation of finding anyone left at the abandoned base. If what they left behind could cure Weyland’s old age, then David needed a guinea pig to find out, and he chose Holloway because he expressed the most willingness to do anything in the quest for knowledge.

        • Thanatos says:

          That’s a very thorough analysis and I agree with everything you’ve said.
          By missed opportunity, which I sadly neglected to present, I mean that the film could have expanded on the depths to which the Weyland company was willing to in order to discover something which could be turned into a source of potentially great profit. This theme would tie perfectly with the other movies. But, as you say, the act of poisoning Halloway was merely to determine if the goo could double as a fountain of youth.

          Having reflected on the movie a bit more I’ve come to an interesting question: if Weylands quest for eternal youth is somehow a metaphor for Ridley Scott’s own life; having gone back to making a movie directly related to one of his oldest and most highly-regarded films. It seems like by making Prometheus Scott is searching for his own fountain of you. Any thoughts on that?

          • Brian Raney says:

            AS for Ridley Scott’s own quest, he seems health enough, but, at 74 years of age, I cannot help but think he has more on his plate than is possible for him to finish. Aside from the possible Prometheus sequels, he may direct Joe Haldeman’s Forever War, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and a Blade Runner sequel right after he finishes The Counselor with Michael Fassbender in a non-robotic role. Given his current rate of output, he’ll be in his mid to late 80’s if he survives. He obviously has no plans to retire.

            I think with the Death of Peter Weyland and Meredith Vickers, once word got back to the Weyland Corporation, there would be that fight in the boardroom Vickers warned about, which would spark the inevitable merger with Yutani Corporation to save its share price-point from falling any further on the news of tragedy. No doubt, there would be an investigation.

            I don’t know what would stop a follow up team from revisiting LV-223, which is what the next movie would likely be about. Of course, they will likely find that the Alien queen had been busy laying eggs, some curious fools on the follow up team will investigate, and hilarity will ensue.

  72. Flex says:

    I was willing to suspend my disbelief, although it was hard at times, up until the point where the engineer ship is flying away, being chased by the Prometheus, which runs up it’s ass. Then the combined wreckage of both ships ends up at it’s starting point.

    I mean, really, was the debris light enough to be caught in the wind once the engine cut out? Did Shaw attach a big ACME rubber band to the engineer’s ship?

    Then, of course, the run-away Ferris wheel crushing Charlize Theron which Noomi rolled out of the way of. It really doesn’t get any campier than that. Suspension of disbelief, popped like a soap bubble.

    As for Grumpy Geologist and Bubbly Biologist, they were marked out from the beginning as dead men. They were the Rozencratrz and Gildenstern of the mission, which may have been why they were chosen.

    On a positive, however, the graphics for the universe in the engineer’s ship was very, very pretty.

  73. Cora says:

    Hey!!!! What about the FLUTE?? The freaking flute!!!

    And what about the green glowing goo? And what about David, the dick robot, who decides to infect humans and seems to know everything about everything? What about the women running in the same direction the huge alien ship was rolling, instead of any other direction, for a few hundred meters??

    What about the “Oh, a threatening looking alien snake in our way trying to get our of here cause we’re scared!! What a cutie!! Hey, baby! Come to daddy! Come on baby, I won’t hurt you!” logic???

    What about the “We have a dead alien head in the surgery table, we decide to take the helmet of (because we know it’s a helmet and we know exactly how to take it off), we see something weird (of course it’s an alien head!!)… they’re living cells changing into something (how do they know?), let’s find out into what by sticking this syringe I had ready here by chance, with green thing on it, behind the dead alien ear (how do they know??) logic??? And by the way, take your face masks off anytime you want during the procedure, it’s just a long dead alien body part we know nothing about what we’re dissecting.

    What about the: a few dots in some caves = an invitation from our creators, and nothing else????? How do they know??? Because that’s what a scientist (A SCIENTIST!) decided to believe?

    And what about the “I just decided to kill myself and destroy the only ship that could take the survivors out of this place crashing it into the alien ship, because I assume that will stop it, because I assume they’re heading to Earth to destroy humans, I assume there are no other aliens or alien space ships, I assume that would save humanity, and all this because that hysterical scientist down there convinced me in one single line” logic???

    And what about the FLUTE??

    Biggest disappointment ever. The trailer was 1,000,000 times better that the movie.
    Please, old legends of film-making: give me my money back and stop ruining my childhood!!!! They just make prequels to fool the fans of their old master pieces and take our money taking advantage of the success they once had. And they do it in trilogies so they can make 3 times more money. Mr. Scott, if you finally do the other 2 movies… don’t count on me. I’ll stay with Ripley in my good old Nostromo.

    I had to watch Alien last night so badly….

    • Thanatos says:

      Lol! I was so disappointed I went out and bought the 2001 steelbook edition on Blu-ray. Going to watch it now.

    • KN says:

      God almighty you’re so right…. I thought this creative team was going to do so much with this story. I’m always willing to suspend my disbelief for a very good story. i wasn’t expecting this movie to be 100% scientifically accurate at all but wow, so many glaring inconsistencies were impossible to overlook. The whole friggin’ trip was based on “That’s what I choose to believe?!” It’s over right there! Someone somewhere in this story is supposed to be a scientist! Can we get just one shard of science?

      • austin says:

        all this big question movies end up as this sCrap. as was ‘2012’. too hard to come to the point cause that might hurt the people who come to watch the movie or will hurt the sales.

  74. shawn says:

    If I had the time to poke holes in your 101 snarky comments I would…you lack imagination on how to answer your so many questions you think are inconsistant…or important to understanding the move. It’s not perfect…and the same could be said of every other sci fi movie ever…

    • Gyre says:

      Failing to actually give any reasons for why you disagree means that your argument cannot be judged and should be discarded.

  75. Meet the crew of the Prometheus. They went into an alien pyramid acting like drunken teenagers on Spring Break, and did a lot of dumb shit that got most of them killed. This could have been averted if they’d had a Sassy Gay Friend.

    SGF: What are you doing? WHAT WHAT WHAT are you doing? Just wandering into some abandoned alien disco like Indiana Jones and letting Mr. Roboto over there open random doors? Scientific protocol too 48 seconds ago for you? I don’t think so, Missy!

    SHAW: But–

    SGF: Forget about your conveniently unspecified religious beliefs and fire up a few brain cells — don’t be going in that thing unless you’re double-gloved. By the way, have you lost weight? Girlfriend, you make that moon suit work.

    SHAW: (blushes) Oh, thank you!

  76. THE Jeff Goldblum says:

    I enjoyed watching Prometheus.

    I mean for fuck’s sake, it’s a film, a story, not a manifesto for the advancement of the scientific method!

    What next? Are you going to dissect Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? (another archaeology based, scientifically inaccurate romp, with a factually laughable conclusion)

    Having said that though I did enjoy reading this review.

    • Brian Raney says:

      It does not need to be a manifesto for the scientific method; it just needs to express some basic scientific references right, and if the filmmakers are going to take liberties with the science, then justify them.

      Ridley scot hired JPL/NASA scientist Dr. Kevin Hand to advise them on the science. Do you think he got his money’s worth? I know I did not get my monies worth.

      Imagine you saw a comedy film but it was not funny. I looked like it could have been funny and the premise seemed funny in the trailer, but when you saw the film there were no laughs. Would you not feel like you were cheated? On the other hand, would you be satisfied that you saw what would have been a good film if it was funny?

      You have a perfect right to enjoy Prometheus regardless of its lack of good scientific references, but have some measure of pity on the rest of us who cringed all the way through this film.

      The Android David said the crew spent 2 years, 4 months, 18 days and *36 hours* in stasis on the ship. Really, *36 hours*?!? They could not even do something as simple as have the time right.

      • Zaionara says:

        Can’t wait to see your movie Brian Raney! What’s it called? Ahhahahaha…that’s righ, it doesn’t exist. Quit hating mate, don’t like Prometheus then create something of your own and show it to us!

        • Brian Raney says:

          Gee, did you grow the straw yourself for that strawman you knocked down? That’s pretty impressive.

  77. Spen says:

    My theory: The movie is a 124-minute teaser ad for the inevitable $29.99 Director’s Cut DVD/re-release that will promise to fill up the gaping plot holes.

    In the meantime, Scott/Lindelof/Spaihts crowd-source plot development to fans worldwide, with the hodge-podge ‘clues’ and symbolism they’ve set up, so that they can cherry-pick the best to continue the franchise.


  78. Fernando says:

    Pfft! All you people who disliked the movie don’t get it; the same way the expedition in the movie cost a fortune to fund but was staffed by idiots who didn’t have a clue, it’s the same ironic way in which Ridley Scott and his crew mis-directed and mis-produced this movie! See? It’s a postmodern joke! See?!

    This is the worst PROMISING movie I’ve ever, ever seen. I’m not an “Alien” fan (mindless killing things chasing people through hallways is boring) but I was promised this was only tangentially about it. This was worse.

    This review is excellent but it leaves a few outrageous moments out (and really how can it?):

    1. Why is the movie called “Prometheus” since there is no reference to the myth?

    2. Why does David need to learn by watching movies? Couldn’t these things be downloaded into him?

    3. Dr. Holloway didn’t get infected for breathing the air. David poisoned him with the drink. Why? I dunno. By the way, I’ll stop asking “why” things happen in this movie.

    4. When the head of the alien was being examined, Dr. Holloway sat on the side drinking. For all intends and purposes, this is, according to the movie: the face of god. Holloway couldn’t be brought to really give a shit about it. In fact, during the autopsy/examination: David LOOKED surprised. Yes, the robot was more surprised than Holloway.

    5. Why is the humanoid alien in hibernation so mean and hell-bent in destroying the earth? Damn, here I go again asking why!

    6. At the end, how does David know the humanoid alien is “coming for” Noomi Rapace?

    7. Why does the alien monster kill in a homo-erotic fashion?

    I could have spent my night daydreaming while staring at a wall and eating a tuna fish sandwhich. Instead I wasted my time going to see this.

  79. vince says:

    I wish I had written this review. It seemed to me that the criteria for qualifying as a scientist on this “mission” was to say some science words from time to time.

    The more I think about this flick, the more pissed off I get.

  80. RobThom says:


    Great review and spot on.

    Strange lindelof-ed details (spaceship?) and all.

    Copied, pasted, saved.

  81. dooski23 says:

    So after following the Internet sniping back and forth since the movie came out — Is it crap? No, really, how horribly shitty is it? No, you two have it all wrong, it’s epic. Actually, guys, it’s just a movie, don’t overthink it. — I finally saw it today.

    And now I appreciate this review even more. Wait, you think it’s too snarky? For a movie that weaves facehuggers, the cross, octopus babies, black oil … er, black goop (apologies, Chris Carter), body-building Ahnuld Schwarzenegger-in-Conan-like “engineers” and Space Jesus into some nonsensical galactic theology? Eh, really?

    (BTW, my grandma’s velvet painting? Totally does not capture Space Jesus’ likeness.)

    Look, I get it. It’s hard to pack real “science” into science fiction these days for fear of giving the audience an annoying headache. It’s only natural for that to happen, what with all the Cupcake Boss and America’s Next Top Iron Kardashian stuff rolling around in there.

    Prometheus is two hours of stupid people doing stupid things for stupid reasons. I’m all for suspension of disbelief in movies. But said suspension of disbelief should not require me officially being pronounced as brain dead as a prerequisite.

    But, hey, at least that nailing-the-three-pointer-via-sky-hook-while-riding-a-bike-bit was cool, amirite?

  82. Joe R. says:

    Prometheus was not a great movie, but my movie-going experience was entirely worth it solely for the Noddy Holder reference. I’m going to edit the flamethrower scene with Noddy dropping in and singing “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”.

  83. tj says:

    And why is it that all of our engineers or creators (or whatever you call them) are all identical and look like Woody Harrelson? Yet we, who have their same DNA, all look different–millions and millions of us. Only one us turned out to look like Woody Harrelson…

    • Brian Raney says:

      Another trope sometimes used in science fiction is that the military of an advanced race often composes entirely of genetically modified clones. If they had bothered to collect more DNA samples on all those dead engineer bodies lying around, or were able to retrieve a second live DNA sample from Mr. Congeniality, then we might have found a conformation answer.

  84. gb says:

    i can not remember too many sci fi films that were better than prometheus. people talk trash….lets see you write and direct something so epic. the set pieces alone are amazing. good analysis though.

  85. mugwort says:

    i just got back from watching the film, and wasn’t disappointed because i’d already heard so many bad reviews of it, so wasn’t expecting too much.

    it was kind of ok, and i kind of enjoyed it despite having to forcefully suspend disbelief every couple of minutes – and that always jars my enjoyment of a film. it wasn’t the bad science that bothered me, so much as the utter lack of depth to those elements of what should make a film enjoyable – attention to a cohesive script and interesting characters.

    i’d give it a c- as a generic sci-fi film; but as part of the alien series, it’s way off the scale of dumbness somewhere like an x–!

    BUT … i have to say that by far, the best thing about this film has been reading this review and some of the comments that have been posted here :-) thank you!

  86. Skel says:

    Carbon dioxide isn’t toxic to humans at 3% concentration.

    OSHA’s maximum safe level is 3% (30,000 ppm); lethal concentration (death in 30 minutes) is 10% (100,000 ppm)

    Don’t they have people to check really simple stuff like that?

  87. gbowles says:

    of course my most anticipated movie of the year is mediocre at best! the movie/film genre has greatly deteriorated… or at the very least the writing has or it has been meddled with to the point that it is utterly useless to contemplate. I’ll make sure to unplug my brain before I go to the next movie.

  88. JArnold says:

    The biggest head scratcher for me was where did the cave drawings come from?

    Bearing in mind that these ‘invitations’ were to a military bio-weapons facility that’s purpose is to destroy all life on Earth… Indeed we learn that this desire to wipe out the Earth only kicked in 2000 years ago (though we never find out why) so why were there directions to the facility 34998000 years before it even existed?

    That’s irked me for a while now.

    • JArnold says:

      My bad, 35,000 years old not million. Still doesn’t make it any more logical

  89. dotlineform says:

    i’ve read so much about this movie both before and after seeing it, the 2 hours of the actual thing are actually the least entertaining part. i still have a nagging doubt that should really have been buried by now that i’ve completely mis-read it as a pile of poop. people have to realise that if you were a kid when Alien came out, it was the most seriously awesome shit. it was unlike anything else, stripped back, with a look that was just so impossibly sure of itself.

    i mean you’d never watch Alien and wonder how fast the ship was travelling, or whether that was physically possible. it just wasn’t relevant. and this movie was built up by Ridley to be part of that scene, so it’s not unreasonable to have expectations. things are maybe more critical these days, probably because we realise that in a hundred years we’re more likely to be a planet in a heap of shit rather than being able to get to Mars, let alone ‘the darkest corners’

    i just wanted to get (a little) sense of awe, whether it makes sense or not is not really important. i also wanted to feel scared, or even slightly spooked. given that the movie had none of these things, and rehashed Giger concepts without really understanding or exploring them, and is based around characters who are mostly complete twats and look bored most of the time, people saying ‘oh but yeah it was an entertaining movie’ are completely missing the point of what rants like this and the genius-rant of Henry are trying to articulate. it is vaguely entertaining shit, and that is why i’m not happy, because these fuckers with all the resources at their disposal have gone for a lowest common denominator and dressed it up as an enigmatic plot and in the process completely trashed the possibility of making something wonderful out of the Alien backstory.

    heh, i’ll probably go see it again just cause Charlize looked cool. and i liked the bit where the SBS went into the clouds. mmm…

    • OF says:

      @dotlineform You just hit the nail on the head for me. I’ve been trying to express this same sentiment to friends and couldnt really explain it thanks. I was 9 when Alien came out and for its time it was seriously awe inspiring. It was a top notch horror movie with multiple horror angles: the actual creature and the confusion and mistrust between the crew. Not only that it was scifi with plausibility just like Blade Runner. Prometheus wasnt really scary at all, it had a few gross scenes (the squid baby) but it was heavy handed and really unbelievable. Sad since it had a lot of potential but was based around the same plot concept as the terrible ‘Lost’ show (basically make it up as we go and leave huge gaping holes for people to argue about with no real intent of actually validating anything)

  90. Brian Raney says:

    I have an answer for you about what David said, but it doesn’t explain the Engineer’s mood.

    Dr. Anil Biltoo — the London-based linguistics expert who taught actor Michael Fassbender the Proto-Indo-European language that David speaks in the film — was too happy to reveal what the happy android said during the big moment with the Engineer.

    “This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life.”

  91. OF says:

    Very entertaining read. Made me feel better about seeing this movie lol. Noddy Holder “ITS CHRIIISTMASSSS!” lololol classic. =D

  92. justsomebody says:

    I thought the movie was okay. Definitely not without its faults. Though I still read your article I have to say that I stopped caring right as soon as I read the first sentence. This unconvincing cgi chap you’re referring to was not cgi.

  93. yeuellysses says:

    I’m glad I saw this film… might see it again. But it is clearly ripe for criticism. Can anyone explain why the adroid David infects the lead geologist with the goo he’s brought back from the alien structure?

    • Brian Raney says:

      At the risk of repeating myself, I have already posted my thoughts on the matter in an earlier post to Thanatos, but I’ll repost the last paragraph here:

      “David found what he thought might have been the engineers fountain of youth. The expedition had no expectation of finding anyone left at the abandoned base. If what they left behind could cure Weyland’s old age, then David needed a guinea pig to find out, and he chose Holloway because he expressed the most willingness to do anything in the quest for knowledge.”

      • OF says:

        I’m pretty sure David didnt think they goo was the fountain of youth, in fact I’m pretty sure he knew it was a bio weapon. The thing that everyone overlooks is David could actually read & speak the alien language. The ship was full of writing all over the walls, its how he opened the doors, found his way to the bridge etc. David infected Holloway with the drink because Weyland told him to. David was talking to Weyland the entire time thru the dream helmet thing and basically doing what he was told. David in his own twisted way gave Holloway what he wished for, so he satisfied both Weyland’s and Holloway’s wish.

  94. Brian Raney says:

    True, David would eventually go on to find his way through the Alien base on one of many cargo/Horseshoe ships, containing a stockpile of black goo, and then make his way on the bridge and find the remaining Engineer in stasis. That was, however, all well after he infected Holloway with a drop of the black goo, not before.

    Remember David said, “Big things have small beginnings.”

    Does that sound like the rational of someone about to test an Alien bio/nanobot-weapon or does it sound like the rational of someone expressing hope for an answer. I don’t believe he knew exactly what would happen to Holloway, but he was determined to *try harder* and find out.

  95. Syscrusher says:

    Hilarious review — better, in fact, than the film.

    I’m an engineer. Partway through the movie, my wife noticed my twitching and gave me some great advice: “Just roll with it.” So I did: Cool special effects, and gotta love that Dolby multichannel sound for the rumbling bass of a crashing ship. This attitude prevented me from gnawing off my own arms and legs, and quite possibly hers as well, in a futile attempt to escape.

  96. Vermicula says:

    Millions for special effects. You’d think they could have afforded a writer!

  97. Gonuts McDie says:

    I agree with the points raised in this very funny critique of Prometheus. I was a bit drunk when I watched it, and it was still shit. For the purposes of nothing more than catharsis, I have the following thoughts to add:

    The bit where they’re just about to set off onto the planet’s surface for the first time, and some idiot is all “what are you doing with that flame-thrower? This is a scientific mission, yo”, really pushed my buttons. When Captain Cook went off on his voyages of exploration, HMS Endeavour was packing some heavy shit, and the fucker still got stabbed to death on his SECOND visit to Hawaii.

    Did we learn nothing? Darwin was farting around drawing birds and looking at tortoises, but HMS Beagle was still tooled up, just in case. You brought a flame-thrower that far, what the hell are you leaving it behind now for?

    Every single character was so reprehensible, so devoid of any redeeming character traits, and so lacking in empathy that I didn’t give two tiny shits when people were ripped up; flame-throwered by the boss; bummed in the gob to death by worms; poisoned by Fassbender; squashed – anything. In fact, my reaction was more along the lines of “good, one less braying idiot”. Especially that mohawk prick. There’s always one.

    It’s almost as if they were trying to reinvent the Big Brother format, and someone chipped in with, “let’s keep the selection process the same, but send the contestants off in a big spaceship for two years to answer the most important questions in history”.

    Guy Pearce as old Wayland looked like a retarded kid dressed up as The Thing (Fantastic 4, not John Carpenter) doing its worst Mrs Doubtfire impression.

    Finally, if I inhabited a world where everyone expresses contempt or disdain for their fellow human and not a lot else, and my boss said, “there’s nothing else for it, we’re going for ramming speed on that giant, half-eaten Krispy Kreme, who’s with me?” I’d have told him to go fuck himself, I’ll take my chances on the planet.

    And if the answer to all these criticisms is, it’s artistic licence for the purposes of story-telling, then gather round, kids, for some very clunky, deus ex machina-laden, supremely shitty story-telling. Jackanackanory.

  98. Speedracer2 says:

    Wow, I stopped reading at the first paragraph. The big alien at the waterfall was not chasing “a departing ufo to the top of a hill”. He was dropped off and on a mission. Go see the movie again, please. I’ve seen it twice (3D and 2D which was best) and going back again tomorrow.

  99. Sebastian Trump says:

    Interestingly, after reading about 60% of the comments, I’ve noticed that the comments of those who liked the film and are angry at this hilarious and accurate (in my opinion) review/synopsis of the film seem to boil down to the same thing:

    “You’re mean. Wanting entertainment to be intelligent and consistent is wrong and inconsistent with being entertained. I like stupid things so shut up.”

    I think some of the vitriol is associated with why people liked this movie. It’s okay to like bad movies. I like a lot of bad movies. But I still know they are bad, bad movies. Sometimes, it hurts a little bit to hear good, sound reasons why something sucks and realize you liked it because you’re a sucker. To realize that, if one waves some fancy CGI in your face and gets your blood thumping with some emergency surgery by a machine that should have never been given a medical license, your rational thought processes shut off and you could walk out of the theater with a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge and an empty bank account. It’s why otherwise intelligent people will sometimes defend as honest and sincere the Nigerian email spammer who conned them out of their life savings with a ridiculous story.

    My opinion about why the Engineer started killing everyone is that he looked at the android, everyone around him, thought to himself, “Don’t even have helmets on. Dumb as rocks. Sigh. We’ll try again.”

  100. latty b. says:

    just one question i haven’t seen yet: what’s up with the big stone head?

  101. latty b. says:

    Also: is it possible that Vickers has an exclusive med pod that’s calibrated only for a male human… because it’s not intended for her at all? Perhaps her quarters are intended to be the escape module for none other than (dun-dun-dunnnnnn….) the immortal Weyland himself.

    i dunno, just trying to make this somehow relate to itself.

  102. AntiDuck says:

    Dear Mr. Rothwell,

    This is abour your Prometheus: An Archaeological Perspective (sort of). | Digital Digging:

    Thank you for this quite entertaining reading. Through the whole movie
    I got a feeling they used some late 80-s scenes and episodes, and they
    just “washed them up” a bit or just pufff the dust away – costumes look
    extremely old-future-fashioned, and Mr. Robot wears Mao-like french
    in the beginning, which is ridiculous.
    Not to mention this sexy-latex thing, which captain _really_ needs
    to wear to be on captain duty.

    What you have, unfortunately, completely missed out – was this strange
    action by Mr. Robot – who somehow brought back to the ship the “slime”,
    injected it into some … blood samples, and then poisoned alcoholic drink
    of male Archaeologist with a single drop of this blood to “speed up things”.

    This part I completely misunderstand. Like he either knew/planned smt.,
    or … I don’t even have further ideas on this – as only this crazy action
    made further funny show with fights and chasing – possible.

    If you have some thoughts on that, I really appreciate to hear your opinion.

    Thanks again for revealing this crazy plot back to the people like me,
    who just don’t like scripts without meaning.

  103. Ed says:

    Love it!

    The perfect reply to 90% of all emails I get from Undergrads

  104. AntiDuck says:

    Dear John,
    Try to separate your flow of thoughts with paragraphs.

    Like this.

    Otherwise, it’s really hard to understand you.

    I like movies which ask questions, but this movie is like American Life by Madonna –
    “I tried to be a boy
    I tried to be a girl
    I tried to be a mess
    I tried to be the best
    I guess I did it wrong”

    They pretend to be smart, but give out music video style content
    with advertising like pack-shots of things they think are great.

    The whole problem is, actors can’t perform well in empty room with green background – later filled with computer effects and stuff.

    And that’s why we don’t believe to them, and that’s why we’re not involved into the movie – and that’s why we start ask questions, which normally we just wouldn’t have time to think of.

    • Brian Raney says:

      What green screen would that be?

      I don’t know what’s more annoying: people who complain about CGI graphics were there was none or people who complain about green screens when they used real, practical sets.

      Oh, but you can tell the difference, AntiDuck.


      Oh, and if you want to know why the robot David acted the way he did, then read some of my earlier comments on the subject. I’ve been told that the audio commentary on the Blu-Ray/DVD by the screenwriter fairly matches my explanation of events.

  105. iggyo says:

    Best line of all here, “who is by now just a head, because that’s just what happens to robots in Alien movies.”

    Indeed. I wish smarter heads had prevailed on this film. I enjoyed it, visually, but that’s about it. Scott should have gone back to Duncan Jones’ “Moon” for a tip or two about how to make a modern SF film that is not space opera.

  106. Shane Dopson says:

    OK, finally saw this.
    First let me say it looked great! The sets, the wardrobe, environment, cast, everything looked great! The general story was great, the whole idea was just cool!
    The character writing on the other hand was put together by teen-agers. The decisions they made, the dialogue, not to mention the minuscule amount of reasoning and planning these characters did was just plain stupid. These were not scientists; they were high-school students stumbling around in a place they had no business being in. These characters did not belong in this movie, they belonged in the next slasher film, getting drunk, having sex and then getting slaughtered in gruesome and hilarious ways. If I’d known that was what this was, OK, great, but don’t sell me a smart sci-fi movie and then dump a “teen-agers in trouble” flick!
    I didn’t care about anyone in this movie. They were all so stupid they deserved to die. Please indulge me in a short list of their stupidity:

    1. Just to start off, an “expert team of scientists” is brought together and all say, Sure, I’ll go on a 2-year journey into random space without knowing where, or for what reason.
    Comment: This is already hard to believe. It seems to be a trend in these movies that none of the characters know why they are going somewhere and then wait to tell them WHY they are going, only when they get there. Imagine some guy offered you a job in Togo, Africa. He tells you the transportation will be paid for as well as your food and lodging, but then says I’m not going to tell you why, or what you will be doing until you are in Togo. What would your answer be?

    2. They start talking about the star-map and say, “they found the system, and it has a sun”.
    Comment: Of course it has a sun! It’s a SOLAR-system. Annoying, but let’s move on.

    3. They are going there because they think the star-map is an invitation. One of the other “scientists” says something like, “How do you know that?” She replies, “Because it’s what I choose to believe.”
    Comment: This is just plain stupid. Scientists don’t choose to believe things. They hypothesize, test and observe. All the other “scientists” are OK with this. They have just put their lives in danger (because let’s face it folks, space is just plain dangerous), because some chick “believes” in something. This is were they really started losing me… and it’s only 15min in!

    4. One of the “scientists” takes his helmet off. Then the rest of them do it to because he’s obviously the cool one.
    Comment: Even if you were some back-water, living in the sticks your whole life, moron, you would not take your helmet off. This is where I realize, “Ah, this is a stupid people movie.” and all my hopes for it are dashed.

    5. The guy with the map gets lost!!!
    Comment: OK this is out of sequence, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. He’s a “geologist” with (really cool) radar, map-making, ball-thingys that are still mapping out the whole cave complex, and he apparently forgets all about them and gets so lost he has to spend the night there, along with stupid dope #2, the biologist.

    6. So they find the body of one of the “Engineers”. It’s looong dead, but the “geologist” (who hasn’t looked at one rock yet) gets freaked-out and says he is going back to the ship. The “BIOLOGIST” is also nervous and decides to go with him…
    Comment: The “BIOLOGIST” gets freaked-out about a DEAD ALIEN BODY!!! Isn’t this the whole reason he is here!!! Now he is leaving it to be studied by the “archaeologists”. Is it because he feels it has been dead too long?! This guy is just as useless as the geologist -why is he here?

    7. Later the biologist and the geologist are in the “egg room” with the big head statue and encounter a big worm alien. The geologist is scared, but the biologist thinks it’s cute and tries to touch it.
    Comment: Where do I even start… This guy runs away from a dead alien, but now finds a live one and treats it like a puppy!! This is a snake-sized, live, unknown, alien life form, that is 500 times-over-dangerous, and he tries to pet it!!!!!!! AAAAAARRRRGGH!!

    8. The male archaeologist discovers he is infected. He doesn’t tell his girlfriend, that he just had sex with.
    Comment: This guy is not only stupid, he is scum and deserves to die, because he doesn’t care about himself (he’s also the one that took his helmet off first), or anyone else on the crew, never mind his girlfriend. This also leads to #9…

    9. There is no quarantine protocol in place while they are looking for the alien life.
    Comment: the whole reason they are there, is because they think alien life is there. Alien life that they believe spawned life on Earth -their home planet. Over the course of man-recorded history, there have been about a million different kinds of plant and animals(including viruses) that have killed people. This is on our HOME planet where we all evolved together!! Now, they are on an alien planet -sure, it may be to find a common ancestor, but they are millions of years removed form life on Earth by now and they have to even just guess that some of it will be slightly-incompatible with modern humans. Right?!… RIGHT?!!! Note: This goes back to the dork that took his helmet off.

    10. The girl is now pregnant with an alien baby and tries to get it removed with the Automated-Surgery machine.
    Comment: It’s a Larry Niven -Autodoc!!! -Yay!!! (I’ve always wanted to see one of these in a movie!) Yes, it is kind of prototype Autodoc, but there it is! Trouble is in the execution of it’s functioning. All they had to do was make-up some futuristic operating tools and they could have sold the idea, but no. They go too far trying to make it look like modern surgical tools that it gets wasted. She gets closed up with staples. -Dumb. All they needed to do was have some kind of foam spray that magically closes wounds and I’d have bought it.

    OK, I feel a bit better. Will I watch it again? -Of course. But I’m not giving them money for this badly written slop. I’ll get a copy and watch it without sound and make up the dialogue in my head to make them all seem smarter than they are.


  107. vdfv says:

    He wasn’t CGI, faggot

  108. Uwe Brauer says:

    finally I saw the movie and was rather disappointed.
    But reading your critics saved my day. Extremely funny and sadly true.
    Thanks very much.
    Mr R Scott if you read this: please add this critics to the special edition DVD I am sure you will
    release soon.

    Uwe Brauer

  109. Paul Hill says:

    Just read your review of Prometheus. I just wasted £10 on the DVD and was thoroughly pissed off with the sheer f*cking stupidity of the thing but your brilliant hatchet-job cheered me up no end.
    It almost made it worthwhile watching it!

  110. Adam says:

    This is absolutely typical of a Ridley Scott film. They’re well shot, but the plot usually makes little sense, the script is poor and the acting is poor quality too. And if the plot has a historical or scientific background then guaranteed it will be utterly wrong in some fundamental way. For example people have compiled massive lists of anachronisms and goofs in Gladiator. Almost every single film of his suffers from similar issues and it’s not excusable or necessary either.

  111. ben says:

    I remember going to see Prometheus and being instantly irritated about why in this far future Noomi Rapace can’t just PHONE down to the guy in the valley ? Or use a f*cking radio ? Why does she need to have SOMEONE ELSE shout down to him. For a movie to irritate me so thoroughly in first 20 seconds is indeed impressive. As we all now know my ennui would only worsen for the next 100 minutes.

  112. foozy says:

    great review!! super funny!!! ridley must’ve been high on something. how wrong could they go with this..

  113. Caprica TOnks says:

    Maybe a sequel will explain why the ending of Prometheus doesn’t line up with Alien and/or Aliens. Was it so hard to put the Engineer in the chair that it was found in Alien(s?)? Then this would be a prequel, rather than an extremely similar reimagining.

  114. fabian says:

    While a lot of people were raving about Ridley’s genius in creating ‘Prometheus’ I think the movie is rubbish. It defies one’s common sense. The characters are irritating except for Fassbender. I felt I wasted my time and money for it.

    Nice write up. It was entertaining too. More power…

  115. alexarmstrong says:

    Haha. You reminded me of “How Star Trek Shouldv’e ended”.

  116. BillTed says:

    Admittedly beans are a philosophical, even cosmic fruit.

  117. The best critique of ‘Prometheus’ I’ve read this far!

  118. Kris says:

    The reason I think the original “Alien” movie worked so well as opposed to Promethius is because the Alien plot worked perfectly independent of most of the character’s reactions to events in the movie… The “Alien” plot was solid because they were set up from the start (via Ash) by “The Company”, and were subsequently forced by the threat of “no money”(FORGET equal shares)to go in there and investigate. Sure, the crew each has thier character flaws, but the plot wasn’t ABSOLUTELY DEPENDENT on each and all characters completely ignoring (or completely defying, actually) any and all protocal, as was in Prometheus. In fact, in Prometheus, even the android had no sense of protocal, or sense of protecting any of the crew. In the tunnel, for instance, when not a single crew member had thier protective helmets on (because, hey – why not..) the android procedes to open a big giant hatch without telling anyone what he was attempting to do – and WOULDN’T have said anything except that she asked him from the bottom of his handy ladder (that came out of nowhere) “What are you doing ?” – Just simply a terrible sequence of unrealistic events strung together to “make stuff happen”… way too transparent. I wanted to enjoy watching it, but was dissappointed from the start, and then all the way through to the end. They shredded the “momentary suspension of disbelief” – part of the contract the day before they began filming.. I was watching Prometheus again last night on DVD (rented it from the library so it was free this time), and instead of really watching it, it was by far more interesting toread all of this thread, and I missed (didn’t really miss) most of the movie. Oh well… – I think Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was WAAAAAAYYY More beleivable

  119. I just love how everyone on here is an expert on how to make a movie and what the backstory is on something that wasn’t even their creation. Just watch the movie and be done. Stop pretending it’s anything more than that. This was probably the most amateur-hour article that I have ever read. This thing makes the reviews on IGN look masterful.

    Then you have these self-professed English professors telling others how to construct their sentences. Again, just stop pretending that you have this high and mighty authority over others. I thought the movie was great. It has a story, unlike other movies these days. I enjoyed this more than I did The Avengers. There are too many high-octane action movies that blow stuff up every other minute. Prometheus was different as it made you wonder what would happen next.

    Your arguements are based on what would happen if someone actually ventured that deep into space. No one has so shut up. There’s a reason why they call it SCIENCE FICTION. Hence the “fiction” part.

    Maybe in the future, you can enjoy a movie for what it is and not pretend it was supposed to be based on historical events. It’s a movie. That’s it!!

  120. nardac says:

    Its really simple to explain what happened that made everything go wrong:
    Damon. Lindelof.

    • John C says:

      Despite all of the many valid reasons for why this movie sucked the idiots in the comment section have managed to the most nonsensical little things to rant about. It was “anti-science”? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Does people acting moronically in any other movie automatically imply some agenda against something?

      At least half of you would somehow manage to make an even worse movie than this.

      It’s nothing but bad writing.

    • John C says:

      Damn reply system. I didn’t mean to reply to you in specific, it was supposed to be a standard comment.

  121. Thinker says:

    Please explain to me what scientific basis a robot would use to infer that putting any unknown liquid into a body would extend life? I can actually make the argument that a high enough number of liquids would short life and zero would extend life.

  122. Thank you! says:

    I still can’t think of this film without thinking of a “raffle at an arsehole convention” and archeology being “extraordinarily hard to catch”. More than a decade on here I am, rewatching the film and rereading the review which is undoubtedly the finest film review that has ever been written. You are a credit to our species.

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    By going to LV-223 in the first place even though most of them don’t have any idea what the mission is all about (the terraforming bet, the first mission briefing). Here’s a funny “review” of the movie, pointing the numerous plot holes in the movie…

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