Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Prequel to: the Alien movies (kinda)
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Kate Dickie
After scientists find several unrelated cave paintings and murals that all depict the same star constellation, a mission is sent out to go to the planet and find out what’s there. And at first, the Promethes mission seems a full success – much to the joy to the scientist team of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). But the android David (Michael Fassbender) seems to have his own mission.
This is a pretty, pretty movie with some pretty, pretty people in it. And the cast really does try their best. But all their talent and all the pretty in the world can’t make up for the sheer stupidity of this film.
So, before I go about taking this movie apart bit by bit, let me say this: hats off to the cast. As little as they get from the script, all of them really do a terrific job. Michael Fassbender is amazing as usual (and shows again that he has Creepydude McCreeperson down to the last detail). Noomi Rapace has a crappy role, but loads of talent. Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Rafe Spall and Sean Harris, unfortunately, are completely left alone by the script. They apparently got one word character descriptions and had to run with that. That they managed to get anything out of that is a credit to their talent, but doesn’t make for good writing or a good film.
Also, the visuals are really amazing. I wouldn’t have needed the 3D, but I can deal with that.
But holy shit, the movie was amazingly dumb. So dumb actually, that I’m gonna need to break out the bullet points (Psyriac also makes some nice points, some of which are the same as mine):
- They tried to make a science fiction movie and ended up spitting in science’s face by making it creationist. Really? If you want to make a creationist film, be my guest. But please don’t drag science into it. Because those two things just don’t have anything to do with each other.
- Generally it’s pretty obvious that none of the people involved know (or care) about even the basics of genetics. The alien and the human DNA are a 100% match? I guess that’s why the aliens look just like us. And the rest of life on earth developed independently, right? Yeah, explain that to me again, please. How does that work?
- So, you’re bringing this alien head back to the ship, risking your life in the process. As far as you know it’s the only alien head you will ever get your hands on. And the first thing you do, scientist that you are, is that you run a current through it until it explodes? Are you by chance a Victorian scientist called Frankenstein? Because otherwise your behavior doesn’t make a lick of sense.
- You have this super-sophisticated machine that operates on people automatically, though only people who have a dick, apparently. (Even though it’s not specialized on prostate surgery, so that is also very useful.) And it does everything, but anasthesia? Really? Wouldn’t that also be useful? [I'm aware that this was a hint that Wayland was on board himself, but come on, people, there are better ways to hint at this.]
- Also, Elizabeth fights her way free, runs to operate herself, goes through with the surgery, slowly walks back to where she came from (because apparently, once she was out of the infirmary, the people trying to hold her back didn’t bother coming after her) and everybody is like “Oh hai, what have you been up to? Actually, we don’t really care. Here, cover yourself up. You’re showing your belly, that is indecent. Or something.”
- I also wonder if anybody ever thought what kind of mission David was on, I mean, really. By bringing that vase back to the ship, he risks everybody’s life, also Wayland’s. Also, infecting Charlie and then letting him run around free as a bird? If you really need to experiment on anybody, you make sure that they stay in one place where you can actually keep an eye on them. If you have to hit them over the head so that they have to stay in the infirmary, so be it.
- Apparently, Wayland also had a psychic connection to David. Because as soon as he is dead, David’s programming is reset and he is able to ignore his original mission. How does that work?
- In the department of “how does that work”: how come David (and the security holograms) can suddenly interact with the ship’s navigation system?
- I also loved the sudden insight on the captain’s part. “They don’t really live here, they’re only producing their weapons of mass destruction here.” How the fuck would you know?
And that is just what came immediately to my mind and doesn’t even include how fed up I was with Elizabeth Shaw’s religious belief basically as soon as it came up.
In short, I can’t even count how many times I wanted to headdesk while watching this film. Really took away from my enjoyment of it.
Summarising: Utter crap. But pretty.