Prometheus

 

 


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |Chapter 16| Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Comments


Prometheus is a science fiction thriller released in 2011 to much fanfare and speculation.

In one of the more poorly guarded secrets in Hollywood history, it was discussed as a prequel for the popular Alien series.  Unfortunately, it has none of the claustrophobic tension of Alien, or the frenetic action of Aliens.  It is even worse than the third and fourth installments of the Alien franchise. I won’t go so far as to rank it below the “Alien vs” catastrophes, but this is a pretty stupid film.  It is beautifully shot, but once you start paying attention to what is happening with the characters, its banality is laid bare.  It has a high production value and a very talented young cast, but the story is a waste.

A good thriller creates a stable setting and has the characters interact within it.  You know who the characters are and why they are doing what they do for the most part.  Prometheus’s narrative moves along like the story of a hyperactive child.  It starts out with a scene that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie AT ALL, and things become worse from there.  It has a moment near the beginning where it looks like a serious science fiction film, but what follows is a series of unbelievable and irrational actions by the characters, who are supposed to be professionals.  Their actions become less and less believable and the movie starts and drops plot lines when it can’t figure out what to do with them, or it seems to lose interest.  I have heard that the original cut of the film is much longer and there is a lot more explanation that makes for a better movie.  That makes sense as the scenes don’t really seem to have been shot in sequence, with moments of high tension being followed by calm characters in the next scene.  The entire movie is uneven and seems like two or three other movies crammed together into one super shitty movie.



 

Chapter 1: 0:001 – 05:10

The camera pans over a world much like Earth, with a river running through mountains.  A robed figure looks up to the sky and sees a ship rising from the ground.  The figure doffs his robe and is revealed to be a large, muscular, light blue-skinned humanoid.  The humanoid opens a container, inside of which is a black substance.  The humanoid drinks the substance and his body begins to disintegrate. The camera shifts to the inside of the humanoid’s body and shows the black liquid attacking the DNA double helices inside the cells.  The humanoid falls into the river below and completely dissolves.  The title screen then appears.

Analysis

Make certain to remember this scene because it will not be referred to the rest of the movie.  It could be cut and you’d never miss it, or you could just start the movie at the 5:10 mark.  The director doesn’t even try to hint at what is going on in this scene.  What is going on with that ship that’s taking off? Does the muscular alien know he’s about to die?  He looks surprised when the black liquid starts to destroy his DNA.  Why was he drinking that stuff in the first place?  How does something so small rip through a body that large in such a short amount of time?  Maybe these buff aliens have a hyper fast metabolism that allows their cells to replicate quickly with bad DNA.  Of course, that does nothing to answer where the guy’s mass goes.  His body parts fade into nothingness.  The disintegration also seems to happen from the outside in, even though the black fluid was ingested.  Whatever, this is a wasted scene so why bother with these details?

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Chapter 2: 05:11- 12:46

In 2089, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, a team of archaeologists is excavating a cave.  Doctors Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway find markings on a cave that are over 5,000 years old.  The markings also correspond to markings that have been found in other locations.  Looking at the drawings, Dr. Shaw opines that “they want us to come and find them”, and Dr. Holloway agrees.

The scene shifts to outer space where the scientific exploratory vessel Prometheus is traveling to an undisclosed location. The year is 2093.  An android named David dons a helmet and presses his hand on the cryogenic tube in which Dr. Shaw sleeps.  David is able to see events from Shaw’s memory.  David then walks around the ship with a basketball.  He is shown learning languages and watching old movies. The ship lurches, and a computer voice tells David it has arrived at the “destination threshold.” The ship moves into orbit.

Analysis

This is a standard scene of space travel in which the crew is in cryogenic sleep.  It also shows how the android kills time.  Learning languages makes sense, although you wonder why the android wouldn’t just be preprogrammed with the language.  Perhaps the science in 2093 is so advanced that it’s easier to create an artificial intelligence that can learn rather than one that can just have the information put into it.  Regardless, who thought it would be a good idea to have a basketball hoop on the wall, and then a row of treadmills below it?  How are they supposed to play hoops?  Or is the idea that someone will run on the treadmill and try to make a lay-up at the same time?

There is one thing, though, that is truly amazing.  Somehow, while in cryogenic sleep. Dr. Shaw’s memories/dreams are accessible by the android.  This technology is fantastic.  It can find the information in her brain and then somehow extract it and play it back for an android.  More fascinating is that Dr. Shaw’s dreams are in the third person, where she sees herself as a little girl.  It’s also interesting that her dad is apparently American, yet she was a very British little girl, and then grew up to be Swedish. I wonder if Dr. Shaw was aware that the android had the capacity to do this.  It seems like a terribly invasive thing to permit.  I assume she signed some sort of waiver.

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Chapter 3: 12:46- 20:03

David walks to a cryogenic chamber and sees it is already open.  There is a path of wet foot prints that he follows.  David walks up to Meredith Vickers, who is doing pushups.  Vickers asks how long they have been in stasis (a little over 2 years) and if there were any causalities in flight (none).  She then tells David to wake everyone up.

David brings the crew out of stasis and Holloway and Shaw are happy to have made it.  The crew is ill from being in stasis and David gives them information on how to counteract the effects.  The ship’s captain, Janek, is putting up a Christmas tree and Vickers tells him the briefing will commence soon.  The ship’s botanist tries to talk to another crew member, who states he isn’t there to make friends – he just wants to make money.  The crew assembles in the gymnasium to learn about their mission. Two of the crew members (Chance and Rivell) make a bet on what the mission actually is.

Vickers shows a holographic video of the crew’s employer, Peter Weyland.  Weyland is the owner of a large corporation and says he is most likely dead by the time the crew hears his message.  Weyland talks about David being an android.  Weyland introduces doctors Shaw and Holloway and the hologram disappears.  Holloway shows the crew images of carvings from Earth’s various ancient civilizations.  The same pictogram appears in each one and the only star system that matches is too far from the Earth for the civilizations to have known about them.  The ship they are on, Prometheus, has traveled to a planet with a moon that can support life.  The crew asks if the symbols are a map and Shaw says it is an invitation.  She calls the beings whom she thinks live on this moon “Engineers”.  When asked about what they engineered, Shaw replies, “they engineered us.” The Botanist asks how she knows this and she replies “I don’t, but it’s what I choose to believe”, which is a quote from her father – one that David saw when he was spying on her dreams.

Analysis

The effects of cryogenic sleep seem to have varying effects on people.  For example, everyone on the ship is awakened and their bodies are in “shock”.  Shock is a rather serious reaction the body has to trauma.  However, the irrepressible Meredith Vickers wakes herself and walks down the hall to a room full of jumpsuits but decides to bang out a few pushups before getting dressed.  Not only was she not in shock, not hungry, and not fatigued, she had the urge to exercise.  Side note, the pushups she’s doing are terrible.  Everyone knows you have to make your elbow at a right angle while doing a proper push up.

On a ship that is so large that it has its own gravity without having to resort to rotational gravity, there is apparently no conference room.  Everyone goes to the nicely appointed kitchen then sits in tiny folded chairs in the gymnasium like they’re in middle school.  Luckily, this gymnasium, while poorly set up for basketball, has a state of the art hologram projection system in it.  Weyland, for his part, knows he is the first person with answers for a curious crew and he spends half of his preamble talking about how his android is like his son, but alas has no soul.  I’m sure the crew appreciates his Pinocchio fetish.

Crazily, no one on the ship aside from Vickers, Shaw, and Holloway are aware of why they are on the ship.  What kind of ad did Weyland put out to find these people?

“Wanted – intrepid group of random scientists and space survival specialists for mission to do something somewhere at some point in the future. No fatties.”

It seems Weyland must have put a lot of capital into this expedition ($1 trillion).  Why would he hire only the experts who would answer his crazy Craigslist ad?  You’d think he’d want the best people available, as opposed to whoever agreed to go on an interstellar trip without knowing where they were going or what was going to happen when they arrived.  Are these some sort of intergalactic day laborers whom Weyland picked up on the corner? And how do they not even meet before the ship takes off?  Were they blindfolded and put into cryogenic sleep one by one?

Also, Weyland decided to fund this mission because Dr. Shaw, who is supposed to be a scientist, decides she wants to believe that cave paintings are an invitation to Earthlings to come visit their giant Engineers out in space.  There is no proof of this; she just wants it to be that way.  This belief ignores many important questions you’d think SOMEONE would have asked.

  1. If the cave paintings are done by civilizations ruled by interstellar travelers, why is the picture quality so shitty?  Maybe these Engineers forgot how to draw?
  2. Why would they leave a map?  If they wanted humans to be with them on their travels, why not just take them? Or are these Engineers just running around the universe creating smaller versions of themselves like Johnny Humanseed?
  3. What makes Shaw think that there would still be living beings on that planet 5,000 years after they first appeared on Earth?
  4. If there were space giants who ruled other civilizations why is there no mention of it in any ancient history?
  5. Why not send a probe first?

Instead, Weyland just puts the lives of fifteen people on the line without telling them that they are going because Dr. Shaw wants the aliens to have invited them.  These people are such bottom of the barrel specialists that they don’t even immediately mutiny.

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Chapter 4: 20:04 – 26:07

David tells Dr.’s Holloway and Shaw that Vickers wants to talk to them.  David takes the doctors to Vickers’s personal chamber, which is a separate module of the ship with its own life support, food, and even a medical chamber that performs surgery.  Vickers tells Shaw and Holloway that she doesn’t believe there are Engineers on the planet.  However, if there are, the doctors are not to engage them at all.  Vickers says the doctors are supposed to report back to her.  Shaw asks why bother bringing them to the planet if they can’t make contact.  Vickers tells her that Weyland was superstitious and wanted a “true believer” on board.

 

 

 

 


We brought you scientists here to do nothing.

Prometheus

— MOVIECLIPS.com

 

 

The ship sends a signal to the moon but they receive no response.  David tells Holloway that he spent the two years of the voyage deconstructing ancient languages and that he is confident he can speak with the aliens if Holloway’s thesis is correct.  Captain Janek tells everyone to brace for entering the atmosphere.  The atmosphere of the moon is deadly for humans.  Holloway spots straight lines in the ground and has Janek land near them.

Analysis

Why would Holloway and Shaw go along on this expedition without some sort of agreement in advance about what was going to happen? If, as Vickers says, they are employees, then wouldn’t they have a contract that spells this out?  Also, how does Vickers plan on enforcing her ban on communication with the Engineers?

Vickers has a personal surgery machine in her quarters, but there’s no ship’s doctor – yet another thing that somehow doesn’t bother the crew.  One more thing about the ship: how does Vickers hide her spacious personal cabin/lifeboat?  That ship isn’t really that big in comparison with the humans, as we will see later.  When it lands on the planet you can see that it is mostly engine.  Did the crew walk on and go right to sleep without a tour or anything? Were they taken aboard blindfolded, or were they already in cryogenic sleep and then loaded onto the vessel?

If the doctors aren’t supposed to talk to the Engineers, why bother taking them down to the planet?  Weyland is dead now, so Vickers is in charge of the company interests. Just run things your way, ma’am.  Or is Janek, the ship’s captain, in charge?  Either way, they spent $1 trillion on an expedition to some foreign planet and they choose to land at some location they selected at random, until Holloway is the only one to see a giant landing strip and point it out to the navigators.

At the briefing, the moon was purported to support life, but when they arrive its atmosphere is poisonous.  What made them suppose the place would support life in the first place, since it hadn’t been explored before? Maybe Dr. Shaw merely wanted to believe it supported life. Also, I like that Janek says “Initiate landing sequence” which implies an automated ship response, and immediately after says “Switch to manual.”

Which languages was David studying?  I can only presume that it was the languages of the various civilizations that had the star map that Shaw and Holloway found.  Since David had to study them and make some mongrel language out of it, it would mean that the root languages had nothing in common.  This would work against Shaw and Holloway’s theory of humanity being created by the Engineers.  Also, it’s the sort of step you think might have taken place in the two years between finding the carvings in Scotland and taking off for a distant planet.  Actually, it’s the sort of work that linguists have been doing since linguistics was created.  David taking the scraps of ancient languages and forming an entirely new, possibly a root, language is an enormous breakthrough in that field.

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Chapter 5: 26:08 – 34:00

The ship lands and Dr. Holloway wants to explore immediately.  Janek cautions that there is only six hours of daylight left and that it might be risky, but Holloway insists.  Holloway asks David why he is donning an environmental suit and David replies that he is built to look human to put humans at ease, and not wearing a suit would ruin the façade.  Expedition security, Jackson, carries a flame thrower and Shaw tells him it’s a scientific expedition – no weapons.

The survey team goes out towards the structure Holloway spotted and scans indicate the structure is hollow.  They approach, and then enter the structure through a hole in the wall.  Mr. Fifield releases a series of floating probes that map the interior of the structure, sending a hologram model back to the Prometheus.  The team enters a large chamber, which has an atmosphere as well as water dripping from a hole in the ceiling.  Holloway surmises that the beings who made the structure were terraforming and he takes off his helmet to prove the air is breathable by humans.  The rest of the team does the same.

Aboard the Prometheus, Chance and Rivell talk about their bet as to why they were sent to this moon in the first place.  One says to terraform it, the other that Weyland wants to talk to aliens.

Analysis

I understand Holloway’s hurry to immediately go into an alien structure after having traveled for two years in cryogenic sleep.  However, didn’t Vickers just tell him to run everything by her?  Who is in charge on that ship? You’d think someone would have told Vickers.  Why do the doctors, who have to report to Vickers, have the authority to overrule the captain of the ship and security personnel?

Let’s talk about security for a moment. Of all the possible weaponry available to a giant corporation, which can spend a trillion dollars on a space trip, Weyland Enterprises selects a flame thrower.  Are there no lasers or rail guns or anything?  They go with a weapon that might ruin any archaeological evidence, that has no range, that won’t work in an atmosphere without oxygen, that would burn up precious oxygen on the ship, and that is dangerous to everyone around.  What if the atmosphere is a mix of oxygen and methane? That flame thrower could set the whole moon on fire. Also, Shaw figures that because (she believes) that the Engineers are inviting them, that there is no risk. But, of course, she has no proof.  There might be dangerous animals, or who knows what on that planet.  It’s wise to take a weapon since Holloway decided to rush in without scanning or taking any readings on the area first.

Here’s the best part about the security guy, Jackson.  He never appears again!  He doesn’t accompany the team to the alien structure and he is absent from the rest of the events that take place.  No one seems to care about this, either!

Cool special effects and concepts with the little floating probes. Although, you’d think that they’d send those into the structure before entering as opposed to following on their proverbial heels.  Still, Holloway – ever the pragmatist – decides he’ll take his helmet off because he’s sure the Engineers were terraforming. He knows this because he’s able to deduce the actions and intentions of a race of beings he has never met and about whom he knows nothing, from seeing one part of one structure on one moon, which has never been explored.  It’s like looking at a lump of stone that has an unusual shape and deducing that some unknown sculptor was, in fact, sculpting, and that the sculptor intended to create the likeness of Napoleon.  Luckily, the crew has total faith in Holloway since they just met him and they agree to take their helmets off when he doesn’t die immediately.  What’s that you say – bacteria in the air?  Who cares?  Holloway assures us it’s safe, off with the helmets!

Why is the crew of the Prometheus discussing why they are on this planet?  They were just told it’s to find aliens.

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Chapter 6: 34:00 – 41:18

The exploration team continues to walk through the alien structure.  They remark that the temperature is -12 degrees Celsius but the water hasn’t frozen.  David notices a wall with markings on it and wipes off some goo, finding it interesting.  He then presses some of the etchings, which make a noise and light up.  A grainy hologram moves down the corridor, showing large humanoids running.  The team chases after the hologram, which shows one of the humanoids falling in front of a door.  They find a humanoid body in front of the door that appears to have been decapitated by the door.

 

 

 


Fuck Caution!

Prometheus

— MOVIECLIPS.com

 

 

Two of the team, Fifield and Millburn, grow worried and decide to return to the ship while David tries to decipher the writing above the alien door.  Dr. Shaw determines that the body on the floor has been dead for around two thousand years and David opens the door. Inside the room is a statue of a giant humanoid head, the well-preserved head of the alien who died at the door, and many small containers.  There is a mural on the wall and little centipede-like creatures crawling on the ground.  David examines one of the containers and notices there is condensation on it.  The container then starts to melt into black ooze.  David touches it with his finger and says it is organic.  Shaw sees the murals changing and realizes they have altered the atmosphere in the room.  She tells Ford, one of the team, to help her bag the head of the alien.  Aboard the Prometheus, Janek realizes there is a storm moving towards the ship.

Janek tells the ground crew to return to the ship and Shaw says she needs time.  Vickers cuts in and tells Shaw that she will close the doors to the ship in fifteen minutes and hopes the ground team can make it.

Analysis

So why even have the scene where Vickers tries to intimidate Dr.’s Shaw and Holloway when as soon as they encounter an alien structure, alien bodies, and alien technology, Vickers cedes all control over the mission to them?  Again, who is in control of the mission? Do they have any defined structure of authority or is this Occupy Prometheus?  The ground team is recklessly dangerous.  They have probes that are mapping the entire structure and yet they don’t bother to wait to see what the probes find.  They haphazardly walk through the structure without helmets, hoping that there is atmosphere wherever they go.  They blithely ignore the fact that the air temperature is -12 C (or 10 F) and that they don’t feel cold.  You can’t even see their breath.  Maybe they should check their instruments before going further.  Even on Earth, who would walk around in that weather without a helmet, if one were available? Sure, the air is breathable, but frostbite.

Instead, they charge ahead, not even bothering to report to the ship that they just saw a hologram because that sort of information isn’t important.  It’s much more important to literally run around a corner without knowing what’s there, or if the ground is structurally sound, or if there is a toxin in the air or anything.  They don’t even wonder why the hologram is in such poor definition or why it would show people running.  Really, what’s the point of this hologram?  Is it some sort of running training simulator?  Why would the Engineers create a visual that immediately sprints out of view?  That would be like Weyland’s holographic greeting having him roll around at high speed in his wheel chair while the crew chases and tries to hear what he has to say.

Ignoring Vickers’s orders,  Shaw finds an alien body and immediately interacts with it.  I guess Vickers didn’t tell the rest of the crew about the “don’t feed the aliens” policy.  The crew has made the greatest discovery in the history of humankind – the actual discovery of extra-terrestrial life.  There is a body with all sorts of important information in it – physiology, DNA, anatomy, etc.  The crew should be immediately trying to preserve the body and return it to the ship for analysis.  There can’t be anything more important than this at the moment.

For some reason the existence of dead bodies creeps out the geologist and mercenary and they decide to run off.  Finding the body is probably the least frightening thing about the place but they’re unnerved by it.  This is what happens when you hire a space crew on Craigslist.  Maybe they knew that the childish David was going to open a door, which might unleash anything into the atmosphere of the hallway and decided to beat feet before that happened.  Honestly, the team hadn’t even looked at the door yet and David opens it.  What kind of researchers are they?

Well, David opens the door and low and behold the atmosphere from the hallway is different from the one in the room.  If only they had someone on that team familiar with the effects of sealed rooms being exposed to atmospheres, like an archaeologist, and an android with any caution, they could have avoided this.  Instead, they have two shitty archaeologists and an android that is more touchy-feely than a drunk Arnold Schwarzenegger.  As soon as that door opens and the expedition team sees all of the things in it, they should stop what they are doing and bring every piece of scientific equipment they have available to that site.  Instead, they barge in, literally not even looking where they walk as they trample little worms.  Those worms, by the way, would be the first discovery of  living extra-terrestrial life – a HUGE discovery but these people are so bad at their jobs they actually step on them.

To add drama to the situation, a storm is approaching.  It’s good to know that the science of meteorology has actually taken a step back and now storms can only be predicted fifteen minutes in advance.  Maybe the moon has unusual atmospheric quirks like sudden silicate storms, but the crew has no idea of this because they landed immediately and left the ship without even checking.  If they crew were composed of David and a bunch of cats it would manage its curiosity better (and have a better Texas accent than Idris Elba).

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Chapter 7: 41:19 – 46:19

Shaw and Ford collect the alien head, while David freezes one of the containers on the ground and then collects it.  Holloway looks at the room and laments that it’s just another tomb.  The team runs to the vehicles and races back to the ship.  As they are boarding, the Engineer head bounces out and Shaw goes after it.  She collects it but is hit by the storm and knocked against the ship.  Holloway drives out to pick her up as the storm rages around them.  They are being blown around and their vehicle is blown away, but David and the other crew members are able to attach them to a winch and reel them back into the ship.

As the vehicles are being decontaminated, Janek realizes that Milburn and Fifield have been left behind.  Janek contacts Fifield and Milburn via radio and tells them that they have to stay in the structure until the storm passes. Fifeild and Millburn walk down a hallway.

Analysis

How did Fifield and Millburn not make it back to the ship?  They left like five minutes before the rest of the people!  Did they get lost?  How the fuck did they get lost?  The ground team made one turn inside the construct.  Not only that but they have the geologist and the guy who is in charge of the probes!  Where were they when Janek was telling everyone a storm was coming?  Why didn’t they say “Hey, I think we’re lost. Do you see where we are on the little 3d map my probes are making?”  Didn’t anyone realize that even though Fifield and Millburn were nowhere in sight, all the vehicles were still parked outside the structure?

When the shot of the storm racing over the structure is seen, there’s a giant carving of a human skull, like it was Castle Greyskull.  How did the team not see that?  Here’s a better question, why bother having that in the movie?

If that storm is so dangerous because it can destroy their suits, why didn’t it destroy the their’s suits?  You can hear the foley effects of things bouncing off the suits as they try to save Dr. Shaw and the alien head (Dr. Shaw and the Alien Head is a great band name). After rescuing Shaw, the ship’s crew is taking special care to disinfect the vehicles, so why didn’t they notice that David walked on board with a duffle bag full of some alien shit?  For that matter, why didn’t anyone on the away team notice him stuffing the alien container into the bag, then carrying it down the corridor, then getting into a vehicle with it, then exiting the vehicle and walking, to some part of the ship with the same duffle bag?

How does Janek know how long the storm is going to last?  He says he’ll get Fifield and Millburn in the morning, which means either the storm will last until dawn or they’re just afraid of the dark and won’t rescue their teammates nocturnally.  If there are giant storms that roll across the landscape from time to time, why is the road to the structure so even and paved? Finally, where the hell are Fifield and Millburn walking?  They’re lost and awaiting rescue, and supposed to be scared, yet they decided to make themselves harder to find.

Shaw put the alien head, the most precious discovery in the history of humankind, into a bag that isn’t even zipped up.

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Chapter 8 46:20 – 51:56

Back aboard the Prometheus, Shaw, Ford, and David examine the alien head while Vickers and Holloway look on.  Vickers wonders if any Engineers are still alive.  A scan reveals that the head is wearing a helmet and they try to remove it.  David removes the helmet and they notice cells on the top of the alien head that look like new cells changing into something.  Ford inserts an electrical probe into the brain of the alien and tries to send an electric charge to trick the nervous system into thinking it’s alive.  When she does, the new cells start to move and the head seems to come alive.  The head begins to bulge and Shaw has David put the head back into containment.  Shortly after being put back into the containment cell, the head explodes, spraying fluid against the glass.

While the storm is still raging outside the ship, David is seen wearing the helmet he used to access Shaw’s memories and speaking to another tube, calling it “sir”.  David leaves that chamber and Vickers is awaiting him. She demands to know what “he” said and David initially refuses to tell her.  She threatens him and David tells her that “he” said “try harder”.

David goes to a freezer where the alien container is sitting.  He opens it and removes one drop of black liquid.  Meanwhile, Shaw and Ford compare the DNA of the alien head and find that it matches human DNA.  Shaw wonders what killed the Engineers.

Analysis

So, is Shaw an archeologist, a xenobiologist, a geneticist, or all of the above?  Why is she the one conducting the autopsy?  Isn’t there anyone else more qualified? Or is she really just the Earth’s preeminent genetics specialist who gallivants across the Earth in search of alien cave writing in her spare time?  I’m going with – she’s not an expert, as she’s examining a two thousand year old head that looks like it might crumble at any moment without even eye protection.  Does this mission have ANY safety protocols?  They are conducting perhaps the most important examination in the history of humankind and they are making no effort to do it carefully.

How does Shaw know that the creature has a nervous system?  Why would said nervous system still be in a condition to be fooled after having lain on the floor of a sealed room for two thousand years?  How does she know that the black stuff on the creature’s head is new growth and not just makeup, or acne, or anything since she doesn’t know the first thing about the creature’s body?  How does a simple electrical charge create enough energy for the creature’s head to explode like a Gremlin in a microwave?  Shaw realizes that the Engineers share the same DNA structure as humans and immediately wonders what killed them.  Well, I’m no archeologist/geneticist/biologist, but I think the one on the table died when a door severed its head from its body.  As for the rest, who knows because they haven’t even searched the rest of the structure yet, much less the rest of the moon.  Maybe all of the Engineers are alive and well, but just left the moon because it has those terrible storms.

How big is the Prometheus?  From the exterior it doesn’t look that big.  You see Janek and his pilots on the bridge and you have a sense of the size of the bridge in comparison to the rest of the vessel.  You see the engines and how much room they take up.  Still, to this point we’ve seen the kitchen, the chamber with the cryogenic pods, the gymnasium, the vehicle bay, Vickers’s private studio apartment with surgery machine, a medical examination room, another private room with some mystery person in a cryochamber, and another medical chamber with a refrigerator.  This refrigerator is stocked with all sorts of supply liquids but no one noticed that David had stashed an alien thermos in it.  The ship also has hallways connecting all of these rooms so that people can have private conversations.

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Chapter 9: 51:47- 59:23

David walks into a room where Dr. Holloway is drinking and mourning the fact that all the Engineers are dead.  Holloway laments, saying he hoped the Engineers would answer his question of why they made humans in the first place.  David asks Holloway what he would be willing to do to get his answers and pours a drink for him, putting the drop of black liquid in it before handing it to Holloway.  Holloway drinks down the entire glass.

Whaaa! The Engineers aren’t actually here Whaaa!
Prometheus at MOVIECLIPS.com

 

Fifield and Millburn continue walking through the alien structure.  They come upon a pile of dead aliens, who appear to have been killed by something bursting out of them.  Janek contacts them and informs them that the probes have located a life sign somewhere near them.  As Janek is telling them this, the signal disappears and Janek assumes it was a glitch.  Fifield and Millburn decide to walk in the other direction in case it wasn’t a glitch.

On the ship, Shaw suspects an outbreak took place on the moon that killed the Engineers based on her viewing of the hologram from the alien structure.  Holloway comes in with a rose for her, again expressing his disappointment at not being able to talk to the Engineers and ask them why they came to earth and then abandoned the humans.  Shaw shows Holloway the DNA results, stating the Engineers’ DNA predates humans, proving the Engineers made humans.  Holloway talks about creating life and Shaw says she can’t make life, implying she is infertile.  Holloway tells Shaw he loves her and they have sex.

Analysis

What is wrong with Dr. Holloway?  He claims to understand that they have made the most significant discovery in the history of humankind and yet he’s moping because he didn’t get to talk to the Engineers.  What makes him think they’d even be able to understand him?  I assume that as a doctor, he must have written a paper about his discoveries in the caves and his theories regarding them.  This must be how Weyland heard of his ideas in the first place.  I sincerely hope, however, that he didn’t use language like “why they abandoned us” in his paper.  There’s no way acting like a Dickensian orphan would past peer review.  Clearly, Dr. Shaw is the driving force in that power couple as Holloway seems to be dead weight, while she has expertise in at least two diverse fields.  And really, Holloway, cheer the fuck up. You just found the body of a humanoid on a moon orbiting a planet far from Earth.  This is the most important discovery in the history of humankind.  You have proven that there is extra-terrestrial life in the universe.  This is a race of beings that probably created a giant structure and seem to resemble human beings.  The only appropriate reaction to that is to be out-of-your-mind excited.

Luckily, Shaw can cheer Holloway up a bit by showing him a bar graph that “proves” that the alien DNA predates human DNA.  Obviously the genetic science in the future has advanced over our current abilities as they can now carbon-date DNA.  You’d think that an exact match wouldn’t lend itself to predating.  Of course, since she’s a woman in a movie, even while she has made the most momentous discovery in human history, reaching the pinnacle of her career and receiving the gratification of years of work, she still is more worried at this moment about her inability to have a baby.

I have reached the stars and the pinnacle of my career in two disparate fields of study.  I have solved one of the oldest and most pervasive mysteries of humankind.  But all I ever really wanted was to be a mother.

And how does Shaw manage to have the hologram of the aliens playing in her room?  It was being projected into the cavern by some alien projectors.  Did she just stick a flash drive into the USB port in the wall and download it?  Did they find an alien Slingbox off camera?  Shaw is also wondering what killed all the Engineers.  That’s some serious supposition – to assume they’re all dead.  She found exactly one body.  She wonders why the head exploded; ignoring the fact that she electrocuted it.  She also assumes an outbreak took place – an outbreak of what, Dr. Shaw?  The video shows people running and looking back.  Who runs from a disease like it’s chasing them?  Was it an outbreak of bears? Given that she knows nothing about the Engineers, everything is a possible reason for their supposed demise.  I guess they didn’t teach much critical thinking in medical/archaeology school.

I can’t figure out why Fifield and Millburn are still walking around the complex.  They have probes for that.  They were more frightened than Shaggy and Scooby after seeing a spooky ghost and now they’re as adventurous as Fred and Velma.  They can’t be receiving this newfound courage from their support on the Prometheus. Janek hears a ping on the three dimensional map that shows life signs in the alien structure.  On par with finding some signs of human life on another moon is finding an actual living creature on it (that you don’t step on).  This is what Janek has possibly done.  Does Janek alert any of the crew, like the imperious Ms. Vickers who demands to know everything but shows little interest in anything?  Maybe he should contact one of the doctors who are supposed to be conducting research here.  Perhaps someone in security should know.  Nope, armed with this potentially groundbreaking, momentous information Janek decides to tease Fifield and Millburn.  This is the worst crew in space exploration history.  Here’s how Janek should have reacted:

“Guys, I’m picking up a life sign…holy shit.  Holy motherfucking shit it’s a life sign.  We found alien life.  (On the intercom) This is the captain.  I just saw a life sign reading in the alien structure.  HOLY JESUS GODDAMN FUCKING CHRIST, WE FOUND ALIEN LIFE, EVERYONE GET HERE AT ONCE.”

Let’s also add to the room count on the ship.  There’s the room with the pool table where all the balls are the same color, and Shaw seems to have her own room.  We’re up to nine rooms now on this ship.

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Chapter 10: 59:24 – 1:04:17

Vickers walks up to the map that the probe data is making and talks with Janek.  Janek makes a pass on her and she agrees to sleep with him.

Fifield and Millburn have worked their way back to the chamber where David and Shaw found the containers.  They wonder about the black ooze and the giant carving of a face in the wall.  They see a snake-like creature swimming in the ooze and contact Prometheus but no one is on deck to hear them.  Millburn tries to interact with the creature and it bites his hand.  It then wraps itself around his arm and breaks his arm.  Fifield cuts the creature’s head off with a knife and acid spurts out, burning Fifield’s helmet and Milburn’s suit.  The creature immediately grows a new head and slithers inside his helmet and into his mouth.  Fifield falls face first into the black ooze and it attaches to his face.

Analysis

What the hell are Janek and Vickers doing?  They’re supposed to be in charge and they leave to bump uglies while they have two crew members trapped inside an alien building, with an intermittent life sign reading.  Janek doesn’t even bother to tell Vickers about the glitch of a life sign.  How did this guy even get to be a captain?  I don’t think he has any real experience, he just falsified his C.V., put on a terrible Texan accent, and was hired by the same group of incompetents that hired the rest of this crew of nincompoops.  Couldn’t they have waited until someone else came on to watch for anything on the probes?  He’s the captain of the ship, and she’s the CEO of the company – just call someone and assign that person to guard duty, and then go fuck.

Look at the end of the above video, just after Janek abandons his post watching over Milburn and Fifield. It’s Castle Greyskull, again!

Why the fuck would Fifield and Milburn go back to the chamber with the containers?  That was the whole reason they are alone in the first place.  That chamber creeped them out and they left.  So, we’re supposed to believe that when they are scared by a life sign glitch they go back to the place that scared them initially? How about they just wait by the hole in the wall so they can be closer to the rescue team? Then they see snakes in this place and rather than try to capture them or be cautious, Millburn wants to pet them.  They were terrified at the prospect of another living creature there with them and when they come upon a large snake, Millburn suddenly wants to keep it.  I can somewhat understand his fascination as these are some serious snakes.  Not only can they constrict hard enough to break a man’s arm, but they can regrow a head in seconds.  Look at how quickly that happens.  Head goes off, boom, just like that another head pops out of the tube.  It’s like the snake is a tube full of heads that come out like Kleenex.  The snake doesn’t even seem to lose any mass.  This snake has learned to defy the previously immutable law of conservation of mass!

Finally, I don’t know much about the scanners these probes have, but how did they miss the life signs of two 3-foot long snakes?

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Chapter 11: 1:04:18 – 1:11:22

Day breaks and Dr. Holloway looks in the mirror as he washes his face.  He looks closely and sees a tiny worm-like thing squirming in his eye.  He doesn’t tell Shaw, though, as Janek calls and tells them he is going after Fifield and Millburn.  Before they head out, Janek mentions the life form reading glitch saying it comes up every hour or so and then disappears.  David volunteers to find and fix the probe.

As the rest of the crew searched for Fifield and Millburn, David drives his vehicle down towards the malfunctioning probe.  Vickers contacts him and tells him to upload his video feed to her room.  David reaches the probe, which is floating in front of a door.  David presses a panel and the door opens.  The probe flies through.  As Vickers looks on, David follows the probe into the room.  It is full of the containers of black ooze.  They are stacked along the walls and in the center of the room.  David proceeds to another door and opens it. David enters the room and turns off his video feed.

The rest of the crew searches the original chamber for Millburn and Fifield.  They find the vases, the black ooze, and Milburn’s body.  Holloway is showing visible signs of being sick, with blue lines on his skin.  Shaw calls Janek saying Holloway is sick and they have to leave.  Ford, Chance, and Janek look at Millburn’s body and a snake jumps out from his throat and slithers away.  Shaw calls Vickers and tells her they need a full medical team with quarantine because Holloway is sick.  Vickers asks, sick with what?


Analysis

Holloway again shows how much of a nimrod he is by looking into the mirror and seeing something in his eye but deciding it’s not worth investigating.  People are always getting eye parasites on alien moons, nothing to worry about. Then, Janek tells the entire crew that there have been intermittent life sign readings all night and no one reacts.  No one says, “hey maybe they were real – that’s very important.”  Instead, Janek takes all of the research personnel out on a search and rescue mission while David roams alone to where there are intermittent life sign readings.  What are Janek’s qualifications to lead?

Even when the crew returns to the original alien chamber and sees black ooze seeping out of the vases, they still don’t think it’s a good idea to wear helmets.  Holloway becomes sick in about two hours and a snake jumps out of Millburn’s mouth and they realize they might have made an error.  Shaw laughably calls for a medical team.  Uh, who’s left on the ship?  There are two people there and neither is a medical doctor.  They didn’t bring a medical doctor, remember, that’s why Vickers has a surgery machine.  Also, they have a quarantine room?  That’s ten rooms now in that ship.

David’s behavior becomes stranger and stranger.  Although, the crew ignoring the fact that the probe ran into either a door or a dead end is also strange.  Do these probes just go in one direction?  Don’t they ever double back?  What is the point of a probe if it can’t send information back to the main ship?  David turns off his video feed but the probe should still be sending information back, right?

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Chapter 12: 1:11:23 – 1:18:00

David finds a large table-like structure with buttons on it.  He presses a few and a giant chair slides out.  David sits in the chair and holograms start being projected in the chamber. Holographic humanoids enter the room and one of them “sits” in the chair.  The chair swivels to face the table and the image picks up what looks like a flute and plays a few notes.  The image then presses buttons and green energy appears over the table as well as the image of a sphere.  An enormous, holographic, spherical map of the universe appears and David stares.  An image of the Earth descends to David and he holds it in his hands for a few seconds before releasing it.  It floats back up to the map and then the entire thing disappears.  David sees a humanoid in a sleeping chamber and moves close.  He listens and can hear a heartbeat.

Holloway’s illness causes his skin to turn black and he is almost dead by the time they return to the ship.  Janek demands to know why the ship door isn’t open.  When the door opens, Vickers is waiting with a flamethrower, stating that Holloway is not going to be allowed on the ship while sick.  Holloway walks away from the others and towards Vickers, forcing her to set him on fire as Shaw collapses and cries.

Analysis

This is a chapter with little wrong.  David’s part shows him being impressed by the holographic map, and it is some fine special effects work.  His refusal to tell anyone what’s going on is in line with his other strange and secretive behavior.

The only silly part is burning Holloway.  Why not let him stay in his suit?  A quick examination of the past day would reveal that he hadn’t been anywhere anyone else hadn’t and if he was exposed to something then so was everyone else.  Burning him won’t save anyone as he would have already infected the people around him, if he were contagious.  However, if they had the multi-talented Dr. Shaw examine him, maybe she would be able to figure out what happened. Instead, Vickers incinerates him.  Is that the same flamethrower the now missing security officer Jackson had, or is it her own?  You’d think seeing the flamethrower would remind people that Jackson is no longer around.

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Chapter 13: 1:18:00 – 1:24:56

Shaw wakes with David removing her crucifix.  He tells her it might be contaminated but she tells him everyone might be contaminated and that blood work has to be done on everyone.  David runs a scan on Shaw and sees she is three months pregnant.  Shaw says she only had sex with Dr. Holloway ten hours ago and her pregnancy is impossible.  David tells her that the fetus is not normal and Shaw wants to see the image of it.  David doesn’t let her.  She says she wants the fetus out of her, but David says there is no one on board to perform the procedure and recommends they put her in cryogenic sleep until they can return to Earth.  David gives Shaw a shot to calm her down and tells her how he watched her dreams.

Ford and another crew member come along to take Shaw back to a cryotank.  Shaw feigns unconsciousness, then attacks and incapacitates them.  She makes her way through the ship to Vickers’s medical pod.  She asks the machine to perform a caesarian but the machine is only calibrated for men.  Shaw programs a foreign body abdominal extraction surgery and the machine accepts.   The machine opens her abdomen, and extracts a sac from inside Shaw.  The sac bursts and a squid-like creature erupts from it.  Shaw rips the umbilical cord from her abdomen and exits the pod, selecting “decontaminate” to kill the creature.  She then exits the room.

Analysis

How did Shaw end up unconscious on David’s operating table?  The scene before, she was lamenting the immolation of Dr. Holloway, and then she’s in different clothing and lying asleep on the table.  Did she faint like some Victorian London maiden?  Is she woozy from her pregnancy? If the crew removed her from her environmental suit and put her into her smock, why didn’t they take her crucifix as well?  Kudos to Shaw for finally realizing that everyone could be contaminated.  Too bad she had to wait after until Vickers cremated Holloway.

Shaw is totally correct to be astonished by her pregnancy.  First, she had only had sex once in the previous two years as she was in cryogenic sleep on the voyage there.  Second, she was barren before having sex.  Third, she didn’t seem to have any signs of pregnancy.

This would mean that the little black drop that David put in Holloway’s whiskey was able to do the following.  It survived being in that alien structure on the moon for two thousand years, and then being dropped into the sterile environment of the alcohol.  It then entered Holloway’s digestive system, survived the acids there, and made it into the blood stream.  While there, it was able to spread almost immediately into the gonads to hitch a ride on Holloway’s sperm, or it was able to rewrite the DNA in Holloway’s sperm.  Either way, rather than just kill Shaw by creating black lines on the skin as it did with Holloway, it fixed Shaw’s infertility.  I’m not sure how it did this from within the confines of a sperm cell that joins with an egg, but it did it.  Then it was able to hide itself from Shaw for ten hours as it gestated into a squid.

This is one of the basic bad science tenets of science fiction movies. In film, mass can be created out of nothing. The creature that is removed from Shaw’s abdomen has to weigh at least ten pounds.  It’s the size of a small dog when the machine pulls it out.  That would mean the mass came from Shaw’s body. So she either ate ten pounds worth of matter, or for each pound she didn’t eat the mass came from her body. You’d think she’d be aware of that.  Pregnant woman eat a lot more than normal because they have to feed themselves and the growing child.  Shaw did no such thing and as you can see when she strips down to her skivvies, she wasn’t carrying a lot of extra weight to be transformed into that baby squid.  Somehow her womb was turned into an extra dimensional portal through which this black dot scion could pull mass to help it grow.  Also, Shaw had an extra ten pounds of squid in her gut and was still rocking a tight six-pack.

In addition, in the future, there are his and hers medical pods.  Those men-only machines are really sexist.  “You want a caesarian? Sorry lady?  What did you say now? You want me to make a lateral incision in your abdomen and extract something growing in there?  Right away, buddy! That’s a good manly operation.”

Since the Prometheus is so large on the inside, Shaw is able to stumble through empty hallways and into Vickers’s quarters to her medical pod after attacking two crew members without being noticed.

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Chapter 14: 1:24:57 – 1:30:44

On the flight bridge, Captain Janek contacts the hangar bay to tell them that Fifield’s monitor just reappeared outside the ship.  Fifield appears with no helmet and a disfigured face.  He backhands the first crew member to reach him, breaking that man’s helmet.  Janek hears screams from the hangar.  Fifield attacks the rest of the crew in the hangar, killing several of them with his bare hands.  They attempt to shoot him and burn him but nothing works.  Janek and Chance go down to the hangar to help and Fifield is finally incapacitated when he is run over by a vehicle.

Shaw staggers along the ship’s corridors. She enters a room where David and two other crew members are tending to a very old man – Weyland.  Shaw wonders why Weyland is on the ship, realizing he has been there all along, sleeping.  Weyland tells her she convinced him that the Engineers created human life and he hopes they can save him from dying.  David tells Shaw that there is still a living Engineer and he and Weyland are going to see him.  Shaw tells him they were wrong, the moon is not what they through it was, and that they should leave.  Weyland asks if she can leave now when they are so close and Shaw decides to accompany them.

Analysis

Why is Fifield bent with his feet in front of his shoulders when the crew makes it out of the hangar?  Why wasn’t the crew looking for him and Millburn anyway?  Those poor guys had been wandering around the pyramid (why did they start calling it a pyramid?) for a day.  It was daylight but they weren’t mounting a rescue operation because Holloway was sick?  Why would Fifield’s suit not send a signal to track where he was until he appeared outside the ship? Did Fifield receive a different batch of the black goo than Holloway?  Holloway’s just ate him up from the inside, but Fifield’s made him able to breath the toxic air, made him really strong, impervious to the bullets of the future, and made him angry and homicidal.  Actually, it might not have been the goo that made him so angry; they did just leave him out in the alien pyramid for a whole night.  The goo also seemed to make improvements in the spacesuit as Fifield is now able to climb up sheer metal surfaces, like a spider, with gloves and boots on.

Janek realizes something is going wrong when Fifield starts killing people.  He tells Chance they are going to suit up and they are down in the hanger in approximately fifteen seconds.  I assume they have their own environmental suits handy in the bridge rather than having to go to an airlock.  I also have to assume that the bridge is directly connected to the hangar for some reason and that’s how they make it there so quickly.  Clearly, donning an environmental suit only takes seconds. I’m curious where all those hanger crew members have been hiding, though, as this is the first we see of them.

Weyland.  What a crazy old man.  This guy spends $1 trillion dollars to fund a mission to some remote moon because two young archaeologists think there are beings on that moon, and that these beings created humans.  They aren’t related or some evolutionary branch, no they created humans.  Not only does he think they created humans but he also assumes they have the ability to stop or reverse aging, and they will help him out if he merely goes up to them and asks.

The best part about this is he decides to keep it all a secret.  As if the Engineers only have one cure and they’re going to hand it out on a first come, first served basis.  So, in addition to the other rooms we’ve seen, there’s an entirely secret room where Weyland has been asleep and his nurses have been hiding. How did Shaw happen upon that room, anyway?

Shaw’s reaction to all of this – and I understand she just had an elective surgery where a big ass squid was removed from her Tardis-like abdomen – is to tell Weyland this moon isn’t what they thought.  Well, what did they think it would be?  That isn’t really clear.  Regardless, after the death of her sweet Charlie, her miraculous pregnancy, finding out that David is lying to everyone and that Weyland is secretly aboard and plans to leave the ship and talk to the living alien, Shaw decides to wash up, take a few pills and go with them.  How about you contact the Captain or the crew or someone?

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Chapter 15: 1:30:45 – 1:34:45

As Shaw dons her suit, Janek comes to her quarters asking where she is going.  He tells her that the moon is not the Engineers’ home but an installation.  Janek says it is maybe a military installation where the Engineers developed weapons and one of the weapons, the goo in the vases, got out and killed everyone.  Shaw tells Janek that one of the Engineers is alive.  He says he doesn’t care, he just flies the ship.  He tells Shaw that no matter what, he won’t let any of the stuff on the moon go home with them.

In Weyland’s room, he is being outfitted with an exoskeleton to help him walk.  Vickers enters and Weyland is surprised as she had tried to prevent him from coming on the trip.  Vickers explains that she had to come along because she wasn’t going to sit at home and discuss who would lead the company while Weyland went out looking for a miracle cure.  She calls him “father” and leaves.

Shaw meets with Weyland, Ford, David, and another crew member.  David is surprised Shaw decided to go, stating “I didn’t think you had it in you”, then stating it was a poor choice of words.  Shaw asks David what will happen when Weyland is no longer able to program him, if he will be free.  He says he is unfamiliar with the concept but asks Shaw “Doesn’t everyone want their parents to die?” They all enter the large truck and head to the pyramid.

Analysis

The movie is really going off the rails now.  The plot device of Weyland’s secret Fountain of Youth search makes the storyline about Fifield entirely unnecessary.  It’s just added flash and scary music.  Or maybe it’s included so that Janek can make the astounding leaps of logic that lead him to deduce that they are on a military weapons development installation.  Of course, they weren’t just making any weapons, but weapons of mass destruction because nothing destroys a moon faster than black goo that has to be ingested. That, or snakes.  That would also mean that the Engineers went to Earth, made human beings, and then left them a star map to their weapons manufacturing facility. Why the fuck would they do that? On what is Janek basing his determination, anyway?  Finally, if he’s so concerned about being on a moon and being surrounded by weapons of mass destruction, then why is he allowing Weyland to truck off to meet with one of the aliens?  Again, who is in command here?

One more point on Janek.  Shaw tells him one of the Engineers is alive and Weyland is going to meet with it.  He replies by saying he just flies the ship.  He just flies the ship?!  That’s it?  Is there ANYTHING he cares about other than Christmas, having sex with Vickers, and the Prometheus?  Shaw just told this guy that there is an intelligent humanoid alien in the pyramid, and they’re going to talk to it, and Janek DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK!!!?

Where does Weyland get all these guards?  These guys were nowhere to be seen when the other crew members were examining the alien pyramid or being briefed in the Multipurpose Room.  Suddenly, Weyland has a four man security detail, complete with guards outside the door to his bedroom (ANOTHER ROOM!).  Were they also in secret cryogenic sleeping pods?  Who knew about Weyland being alive and on the ship?  Janek seems unsurprised, as does Ford.  David and Vickers clearly knew.  Why have the little holographic show in which Weyland claims to be dead as soon as they arrive at the moon? Why even bother to hide the fact he’s on the ship when everyone seems to know except Shaw, Holloway, and the two guys who bet about why they were on the moon in the first place?

Vickers is Weyland’s daughter. I guess Vickers is her…stage name?  How old is Vickers?  Did Weyland sire her when he was 65?  How is it that no one knows of her?  She’s the very attractive daughter of an eccentric owner of a massive corporation, and she is apparently on the board of directors.  And how does Weyland not know his daughter is accompanying him on the ship?  Who. Is. In. Charge?

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Chapter 16: 1:34:45 – 1:40:13

Weyland, David, Shaw, Ford, and a security member walk through the alien complex.  David tells Weyland he can safely remove his helmet and Shaw worries the others might become infected like Holloway.  David assures her Holloway was not infected through the air.  David leads them through a chamber, which he calls a cargo hold, on the way to the bridge. Janek sees what is happening through Shaw’s video display.  There are thousands of containers in the cargo hold.  Janek studies the schematic of the structure and realizes it is a ship.

On the alien bridge, David tells Weyland and Shaw that the structure is a ship, and that the aliens were leaving and heading for Earth with intent to destroy.  David wakes the living alien.  It exits the sleeping chamber and Weyland tells David to communicate his wishes to the alien.  Shaw tells David to ask it where it came from, why it wanted to destroy humans – what they did wrong. David speaks to the alien in an alien language and it places its hand on David’s head.  It then lifts David up by his head and rips his head off.   The alien strikes Weyland and Ford, knocking them down while the security guard shoots the alien with a shotgun.  The alien kills the security guard and Shaw runs.

Weyland dies and Vickers says it’s time to go home.

Analysis

There are only a few bizarre things in this chapter.  One is Janek suddenly deducing that the alien structure is a starship.  All that schematic shows is a wire graphic of the exterior.  There is no propulsion system shown, no controls, nothing that would lead Janek to that conclusion.  How does Janek deduce it’s a starship?  Also, why did he wait until that moment to take a look at the schematic?  Why is the schematic suddenly a nice crescent ship when before it was a spiraling pyramid?  Did they enter a different structure?

David tells Shaw that the aliens wanted to destroy humans, presumably with the black goo.  How is this supposed to destroy all human life on the planet Earth, when it apparently has random effects on individuals?  It’s not even an airborne pathogen! Maybe they just wanted to test the stuff on humans?  Also, that would mean the aliens were, I guess, fed up with humans two thousand years ago.  That’s basically 100AD.  What had humans done that was so bad by then? Did they have a problem with Rome?

I understand that the humans in the chamber with the alien are strange, obsessed people but they don’t seem to understand the enormity of what is going on around them.  They just revived an alien creature and immediately start peppering it with inane questions like “Can you make me immortal”?  How about something like “My name is David and I come from Earth on a peaceful mission of exploration.”?

The scene where David is decapitated is excellent, as it’s such a surprise.  The alien is very sturdy as it takes two shotgun blasts in the chest and isn’t even scratched.  I guess they have very thick skins or they go into hyper sleep with body armor on.  That is also one ornery alien.  He was in stasis for two thousand years and he hops up and just kills the first people he sees.  Maybe David said something about his mother.  You’d think he’d be curious as to why he was resuscitated by these puny humans as opposed to one of his buddies.  You’d think he might be hungry or thirsty.  Also, how does he stay so muscular and shredded when he has been lying on his back for two thousand years?  These Engineers don’t atrophy?

Let’s pour some out for Ford, also.  She doesn’t die on screen, but we never see her again. Maybe she’s having a drink with ship security guy Jackson.

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Chapter 17: 1:40:14 – 1:49:45

Shaw runs out of the complex as the alien starts its ship.  The ground opens as the ship exits.  Shaw contacts Janek and tells him he has to stop the ship because it’s going to Earth and it carries death.  Janek ignores Vickers’ demands to take off and tells Chance and Rivell to prepare ion engines.  He tells Vickers to go to her escape pod and ejects p just before Janek rams the alien vessel.  The ships collide and the Prometheus explodes while the alien ship crashes to the surface.

Run to the side, Vickers!
Prometheus at MOVIECLIPS.com

 

 
Vickers lands on the planet and she and Shaw run as the alien ship falls.  Shaw rolls aside but Vickers is crushed under the rolling ship.  Shaw is almost crushed when the ship tips over but survives and crawls out.  She barely makes it to the escape pod before her air runs out.

Analysis

Why ram the alien ship? All they have to go on as to the alien’s intentions are what David thinks was happening two thousand years ago.  David has already proven to be a liar and wrong, so why believe him?  Also, if Earth is in such danger, how about you try to send them a message?  I guess humankind is advanced enough to send a giant spaceship there but not a radio or light signal. Unless that alien ship can travel faster than a radio wave (roughly the speed of light), Earth could have a bunch of warships just waiting for this alien.  Instead, Janek decides to ram the alien ship.

Also, David said the ship was going to Earth two thousand years ago.  Who knows what that alien is going to do now?  Did he wake up and think, “That was a long nap, what was I doing?  Oh right, I was going to destroy that planet on which we put smaller versions of ourselves.  I’m sure I was only asleep for a few hours so I should get right to it, now that the threat from which we were all running is assuredly no longer a threat.” You’d think the alien would assess the situation a little.  Maybe he just panicked and wanted to get the hell off that moon.  Regardless, destroying Earth was probably far down the list.  At some point, the alien would realize two thousand years had passed and more investigation of Earth is needed.

Vickers and Shaw commit the classic movie sin of not running sideways.  It’s a mistake made even more glaring when Shaw finally goes to one side after she falls. Vickers, smarty pants that she is, figures she’ll just outrun the massive rolling alien horseshoe of death rather than take fifteen steps to her right.  It’s a death so stupid and unnecessary. It fits in with all the other stupid and unnecessary things in this movie.

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Chapter 18 1:49:45 –  End

Shaw enters the escape pod, which is slightly damaged.  She hears a noise and grabs an axe and goes looking for the source of the noise.  She walks up to the bay where the surgery machine is and a tentacle slaps against the window.  David contacts via her suit Shaw and tells her that the Engineer is coming for her.

The Engineer enters the life boat and pushes Shaw up against a wall.  She opens the door to the medical bay and giant tentacles grab the Engineer.  Shaw leaves the escape pod as the Engineer and the creature fight.  The creature is able to push a tongue into the Engineer’s mouth, and they both collapse on the floor.

 
Outside the escape pod, Shaw lies on the ground crying.  David tells her he needs her help to leave the moon.  He says there are other ships and that he can operate them.  Shaw finds David and asks him where her cross is.  She retrieves her cross from his belt pouch and he says he can find a way to Earth.  She tells him that she instead wants to go to where the aliens came from.  As Shaw extracts David’s body from the crashed ship he asks her why she wants to find the aliens.  She says it’s because they created humans, and then tried to destroy them, and she deserves to know why.  David says the reason is irrelevant but Shaw disagrees.

Shaw makes her final report as a member of the Prometheus stating she is the only survivor, that no one should come to the point of origin of the transmission and that she is still searching.  Another alien ship is shown taking off from the moon.

In the escape pod, the Engineer is lying on his back.  A different alien creature erupts from his body, resembling the aliens from the Alien movies.

Analysis

Shaw is smart to head to the escape pod, but whoever designed that thing isn’t that smart.  Most escape pods have little jets to allow them to land safely, but this pod plummets to the moon’s surface in a ruined wreck.  Why did Vickers insist that it be part of the journey when it was so unwieldy?

The creature from Shaw’s belly wasn’t killed by the medical pod’s sterilization procedures.  That’s also a bit of a design flaw.  More importantly, how did that thing grow so large?  In the time it took Shaw to find Weyland, go to the alien ship, meet the alien, then tell Janek to ram it, the thing went from the size of a small dog to a veritable kraken.  It can barely fit in the room.  It’s enormous.  What was it eating to build that mass?  Perhaps it still has that wormhole to some interstellar buffet, high in protein, allowing it to grow to 11 times its size in a matter of hours. Why would the black goo combine with the DNA of Shaw and Holloway to form a land squid?  How is that thing supposed to survive on the moon?

Luckily, Shaw’s baby is on hand to save Shaw by grappling the Engineer.  For a member of a more highly evolved species, the Engineer is very unprepared.  It has its ship rammed and it crashes on its moon.  It races after the escape pod because it could somehow see who was left alive after the crash and it knows where that survivor is.  It’s going to exact vengeance and yet it has no weapons.  It doesn’t even bother to bring its helmet, which proves fatal, even though running through the moon’s previously toxic atmosphere doesn’t.  Seriously, why is there a different atmosphere on the alien ship if the Engineers can breathe the air on the moon?  The real question is how does that thing make it to the escape pod in such a short time?  Shaw only had two minutes of air so she made it to the escape pod in two minutes.  The Engineer made it out of his cavernous space ship, across the moon surface and into the escpae pod in roughly the same time.

Here’s another problem with the escape pod: it lets anyone in.  It recognizes Dr. Shaw, so you’d think it has some ability to determine who enters and leaves, but nope, come on in homicidal Engineer.  This is a major design flaw.  What if tumbleweeds, or a bird, or one of those super strong snakes from the Engineer compound come knocking?  Does the escape pod open up and let them in?

David suddenly wants to help.  I guess he was freed by the death of Weyland.  That freedom allowed him to deduce the actions of the Engineer – it was going to kill Shaw.  Either that, or the Engineer finally decided to say something and told David it was going to kill Shaw.  Another good moment is when David contacts Dr. Shaw and asks her to come help him.  Shaw is lying on her back out in the moon’s atmosphere with no gloves.  I guess the sleeves are airtight and none of that toxic air makes it up them.

Shaw saves David so he can pilot the other ships.  That makes sense.  Then she sends the worst message in the history of humankind.  She just found the single most important thing in the existence of humankind and does she tell anyone?  Hell no.  Instead, she gives a cryptic message about there being death on the planet and that she is not going back, she’s going to continue searching.  What the fuck, lady?  How about you fly one of those spiffy machines home and advance the technology of humankind?  Or, maybe you can destroy all those canisters to prevent death from spreading?  The mere fact that she can send a message home makes the entire ramming scenario from earlier unnecessary.  It also begs the question of whether or not they were sending messages back the entire time.  Shaw says it was the last message, so there must have been others off screen.

And for one final coup de bullshit, we see the Engineer lying on his back.  The Kraken has disappeared, perhaps having slithered off in search of a sperm whale to battle.  Regardless, from the abdomen of the Engineer comes a knife-like appendage that slices the body open.  Blood spurts from the wound like the fountains at the Bellagio.  I don’t know what sort of pressure is in that being to create the spray, but there it is.  Then this new alien comes crawling out.  This alien is about 60% the size of the Engineer.  Again, where does it get the mass?  How does it feed inside this dead body, then cut its way out?  And is the Engineer a female because there appears to be an umbilical cord attached.  The makers of the movie could have had a small alien sprout from the Engineer’s belly but instead they decided to have a full sized one pop out like the Engineer was hollow the whole time. Also, why would the alien species, or whatever it is, impregnate Shaw to give birth to a quickly growing and eventually massive land-squid, so that creature can jam its proboscis down the throat of an Engineer to make a much smaller alien?

Finally, why is Shaw so obsessed with this “why did you try to kill us?” line of thinking?  There is no proof of this. I guess she just chooses to believe that.

I choose to believe this movie is stupid and so should you.

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5 Thoughts.

  1. Pingback: Prometheus | The Plot Pedant

  2. Well…I veered off course and ended up on the Prometheus review rather than finishing the Face/Off one. I highly enjoyed your take here Senor Pedant.

    When I saw Prometheus for the first time, I was quite disappointed in it. Then for some screwy reason, I can only imagine it is because I dig Sci-Fi (even cheesey Sci-Fi sadly), upon later viewings i started really appreciating the movie more. I wondered why. i now see why. Atmosphere. Mood. Special effects. And Michael Fassbender. Really…Fassbender is usually excellent in any role he plays.

    Reading this review reminds me of why I disliked it so much in the first place. It’s indeed a nightmare of anti-logic.

    Also, remember this line prior to Vickers and Janek shagging?

    “But then it wouldn’t make sense why I would fly myself half a billion miles from every man on Earth if I wanted to get laid, would it?”
    -VICKERS

    I just checked on Google. Jupiter is an average of 365 million miles from Earth. Saturn is an average of 746 million miles from Earth. So logic, which as we all already know does not have a strong presence in Prometheus, dictates that apparently this “SYSTEM WITH A STAR”, which has a “PLANET WITH A MOON” lies right between Jupiter and Saturn…and WE NEVER KNEW ABOUT IT UNTIL NOW!

    UGH. I hate it when movies look so fricking cool and the director and cinematographer and set people do such a good job at creating a nearly seamless alien environment…and the script ends up making no fricking sense.

    I still like watching Prometheus. Fifield is a riot. Fassbender as David is excellent. I like the homage to Lawrence of Arabia. But ultimately…I have to tell myself to consciously ignore the bullshit script and just enjoy the surround sound, the widescreen, and the eery soundtrack. 😉

    • I can somewhat forgive Vickers for her lack of knowledge on distances. It seems Weyland put the expedition together, so she might not have any idea how far they traveled. Plus, I hear she’s supposed to be a replicant from Blade Runner so maybe she was never imbued with that knowledge. My guess is the writer(s) never bothered to check distances, or to at least throw in the term “light years” to make it more amorphous.

      As for the quality of the movie…the term “shiny turd” comes to mind.

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