Sunday, June 10, 2012


I'm going to start with listing some of the Prometheus flaws that I've heard:
  • Being a prequel to Alien, it doesn't answer enough questions
  • It's too open ended
  • Too slow
  • Not the movie that was advertised
If you are looking for the action that was introduced to the series by James Cameron and continued on with Paul W.S. Anderson, chances are you will not like Prometheus. The trailers and promos are sort of misleading and strangely enough, it gives away a lot and at the same time it doesn't spoil anything. Even after watching Prometheus, I am left with more questions than answers. Ridley Scott had left most of the ideas introduced in this movie to be vague and open for interpretation. It's really tough to talk about the movie with the mindset of not spoiling anything while, I'm not even sure if there's anything to spoil. With that said, I'm going to have a spoiler section after the review at the "JUMP!."

I found more strengths in Prometheus than flaws. With most Sci-Fi stories, more questions are asked than answered. This is the same with the original Alien movie. The first act introduced a lot of questions which some were finally answered 33 years later in Prometheus. Then there was Blade Runner, we didn't get answers to the replicants' story until it was analyzed many times over since the movie's premier in 1982. What about 2001: A Space Odyssey? Some of the ideas from that movie is still a mystery and it is considered one of the best Sci-Fi movies ever if not one of the greatest films of all time. I consider Prometheus not being a true prequel as a huge plus. The movie introduced a lot of concepts which expands upon the universe that the Alien Series is a part of. This gives the stories more depth and makes it richer. The Star Wars Prequels were sorely missing this. The universe is a BIG place, if you have every single thing connected in the saga, this makes it feel like a small community and not a "saga." When I first heard Ridley Scott say that Prometheus is not a prequel, at first I thought to myself, "yeah, ok. Have you gone insane? How can it not be a prequel? This is set on the same planetoid that the Nostromo in the original Alien film explored (Update: actually, according to the Prometheus website, the moon the Nostromo crew landed on was designated LV-426 while the Prometheus crew explored LV-223)." I finally realized what he meant after watching Prometheus. The movie is set in the same universe as the Alien Series. Weyland Industries funded Prometheus' expedition. The space jockey  (Update: I found out that there's a strong chance that this might not be the same Space Jockey in Alien) A space jockey (called an "Engineer" in this movie) made an appearance; which answered some of the first movie's mysteries and also interjected more ideas. Xenomorphs invaded (raped) and terrorized the expedition crew. Xenomorphs, not necessarily THE Xenomorph. Those are the connections that I can remember. The movie opened up a bunch of concepts and veered off into a tangent that moves sideways from the Alien Series.

What the hell am I talking about? Well, let's go with what Prometheus is about. Simply, it's about searching for the origin of life. As you can tell from the trailers, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Halloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discovered a star map from the art of Earth's ancient civilizations which pointed towards a distant moon, LV-233. Once they touch down on the moon the crew of the Prometheus discovered what they didn't expect and had their faiths shaken. Impressively enough, even the android's, David's (Michael Fassbender) faith as well. Surprisingly enough, even the "Engineers' '" faith was put into question. Essentially, Prometheus is about procreating and the relationships between Parents and Children. What the hell am I still talking about? Actually, I don't really know what I want to say, especially without giving away too much of the movie. Let's see, how is it not a prequel? Again, there are xenomorphs in this movie which are different from the ones we are used to in the previous Alien movies. We were introduced to, what I can best describe as a parasitic type of organism that breaks down DNA and reconstructs it into another type of being. Hmmm... that still sounds like THE Xenomorphs. Let's start from the beginning then. I don't think I'll give too much away talking about the beginning of the movie. There is no secret that human DNA comes from the "Engineers." All the trailers had introduced this. So, the movie started with who I like to call Prometheus (an "Engineer"), standing on a cliff, near a waterfall on Earth. He drinks out of a vial, the contents causes his body to break down immediately. Eventually, he falls into the waterfall. As his remains washes down river, the camera zooms in and gives us a look at his DNA string. It breaks apart and reforms and then the camera zooms out and shows us a familiar cell mitosis. Then the rest of the movie is about finding out why this happened. What was the reasoning behind it? Was there a meaning? Was it deliberate? With these questions being the background of Prometheus, we don't get the survival horror movie or the action movie. We get a philosophical movie.

Prometheus was not what most people expected it to be but, it was still creepy and scary. I liked it a lot and I have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head while I'm still digesting the movie. I was talking to RFblues after watching the movie and he had an interesting observation. Prometheus is a haunted house movie. The characters sticks their nose into where they shouldn't and gets haunted and possessed. To go a bit further, I thought it was like The Mummy from 1932. With the expedition, the infections (cursed), the "Engineer" being... well, I'll touch upon that after the "JUMP!" Is the movie for everyone? No. For me, Prometheus is along the lines of Solaris (both versions), Moon and Sunshine. It's thought provoking, haunting and exhilarating. Sure, there are action sequences in Prometheus but it's mostly built by tension and less of the "Get away from her, you Bitch!" type. It's atmospherically scary and not the slasher movie/cat scares type. If you are still curious, ignore the trailers, and go in with an open mind.

The acting was great as you might have already heard from other critics. Prometheus had an awesome cast which includes Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce and Michael Fassbender. Even the minor characters played by Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong and Kate Dickie were really good as well. But Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw and Michael Fassbender as David, I just need to mention that they were amazing. Noomi Rapace plays an annoying idealistic archeologist in the beginning of the movie which convincingly grows into Perseus by the end (keeping in the theme of Greek Mythology). Michael Fassbender as the android David, stole the show. If you liked Rutger Haur's Battie in Blade Runner you will like David. Actually, there are a lot of parallels between David and the Battie. Hmm... My absolute favorite scene with David was when he confiscated one of the crew member's rosary because he believed it might be "contaminated." At this point in the film the crew member's faith was shaken. When David said it might be contaminated, did he mean physically or spiritually? Keep the rosary in mind because it comes back later near the end of the movie. It's a small subtle scene but, it's a huge statement on faith and the soul.

Ridley Scott is both amazing and insane at what he wanted to show us in Prometheus. His statements on reaching the heavens and finding the creator/s and procreation is both familiar and alien. With the screenplay written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof... Lindelof being one of the head writers on Lost, no wonder Prometheus has a similar tone in mystery and faith as J.J. Abram's TV Show. One thing that absolutely met my expectations were the visuals. Prometheus is such a terrifyingly beautiful movie. Even the weird looking phallic designs were captivating. Was it worth it in IMAX 3D? It was worth waiting one and a half hours in line to get good seats at the IMAX theater. It was also worth awkwardly wearing the stupid 3D glasses over my own prescription glasses for the great atmospheric 3D. If you care about the visuals and not too opposed to 3D movies. I highly recommend watching Prometheus in 3D. There are some great 3D shots: the Prometheus shuttle traveling in space, the storm on Moon LV233, the "Engineers' " star map...those were the scenes that stood out for me. The 3D was not distracting at all. Nothing poking you in the eye. Speaking of atmosphere, the music was built a lot of tension and really sets the mood. It was done by Marc Streitenfeld who also worked on most of Ridley Scott's films like American Gangster and Robin Hood.

Prometheus is a great film and works as a stand alone movie (from the Alien Series). It introduced THE Xenomorphs in a way that allowed the story to veer into another arc. As for the flaws, I really don't consider the open ended ideas as a flaw. I also didn't believe Prometheus is a ploy to create more sequels. I think as movie goers we are so used to the devices that film makers set upon us that we tend to look for gimmicks and it has become hard for us to see pass the cynicism. Ironically, the Prometheus trailers being cut like the Alien trailer was a gimmick to get us back into the survivor horror mind set and it worked. The movie is not entirely different from the advertisements but it is different enough to disappoint certain viewers. It was a bit slow at times but, there's always some sort of mystery and tension. I found the mysteries to be more compelling than an annoyance. It's unfair to judge Prometheus with the same expectations as Alien. The 1979 movie gives off a claustrophobic feel, while the 2012 addition opens up the universe and reminds us why we fear the unknown.. For me, Prometheus is Sci-Fi at its best!


  • In the beginning of the movie, Prometheus the "Engineer" was left on Earth. Was he an outcast?
  • Prometheus drank the vial willingly. I believe the "Engineers" are a-sexual and they procreate by creating the xenomorphs which are able to break down DNA and reconstruct them into new beings. There is a theme of procreation in Prometheus. Elizabeth Shaw is not able to conceive children and is sadden by the fact. Interestingly enough, after the infected Charlie Halloway made love to her and passed along his genetic material along with the infection, Elizabeth needed to abort the creature before it kills her.
  • There is also a theme of Creators destroying their creations. Children killing their parents. Parents/Creators dying to make room for their Children. According to Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) it's the natural order. She wanted her father, Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) dead so she can have absolute control of Weyland Corporations. Peter Weyland did not acknowledge Meredith Vickers as his child since she's a woman and there by flawed in his eyes. That is why he created David in his image. Peter Weyland believes himself to be a god and seeks the ultimate initiation, immortality. He's still not satisfied with David since he's an android and is soulless.
  • Why do I think Peter Weyland doesn't want Meridith Vickers to be his child because she's a woman? She over compensates on what her father believes to be her flaw. Meredith Vickers has a very masculine demeanor throughout the movie. When she seeks out Janek (Idris Elba) for companionship and has no idea how to be feminine about it or even know how to ask. In fact, she rejects his suggestion once he realizes that she's lonely. She doesn't even know how to react after she got an open invitation until, she turns her back to him and tells him to meet her in her quarters. At the end, she still needed to assert her masculinity. Even knowing that her father, Peter Weyland only have days to live, she tries to be emotional but only comes off mechanical. I would have thought that she's a Weyland Industries' Android if Janek did not ask her if she was. She answered no and confirmed that she needed sex (a basic human need; passing along genetic material).
  • Along the lines of the destructive nature between Creator and Creation: Near the end of the movie, the "Engineer" smiles at the human facsimile, David before ripping his head off and using the head to bash in Peter Weyland's head. Then the Engineer disposes the other two Peter Weyland's escorts. I believe the smile was a "puny human" type of smile. The "Engineers' " creations were playing god to create their own lesser being. As for killing the humans, I think the "Engineer" saw them as inferior. The "Engineers" and Homo-Sapiens share the exact same DNA but why are humans not as strong, smart or share the same physique as the "Engineers?" Why are there female humans and no distinguishable sex with the "Engineers?" Maybe he killed just because he could. Same with the reason why they created, just because they could. RFblues thinks that there might be different teams of the "Engineers." Maybe the Science Team was responsible for accidentally killing the crew of the Space Jockey ship and the Flight Team/Military Team just wanted to kill off the infections (humans being part of it)
  • When David saw the head of the found "Engineer" explode he was amused that they are still mortal after all. David comes into realization that he's the only immortal but he's soulless. He seemed noticeably agitated when Charlie Halloway makes fun of his humanity. David was able to fire back with sharp quips of his own. Is the ability to recognize and deliver sarcasm solely a human trait? David also wanted the human race dead. With his creators gone, him and the rest of the androids can be gods without any noticeable higher being standing in their way. Here's an entertaining observation: David being a robot and wanting to "kill all humans," with Michael Fassbender playing the role... FassBENDER... Bender in Futurama wants to kill all humans! Hmm... David even stole! David told Elizabeth Shaw that her rosary might be contaminated and confiscated it. Later it was found in his utility belt. Also, after the "Engineer" rips David's head off, he is willing to help Elizabeth Shaw. Does he have some sort of selfish agenda in mind or is he genuinely helping her? I believe that once he's ripped from his body (vessel), he was lost the ability to move around and literally stuck in a disembodied form. Did he realize a soul at this point? Or did he realize his own mortality or whatever passes for David's mortality? Maybe Peter Weyland's last words of "being empty" resonated with David? Then there's the physical notion of being stuck as a head, not being able to move around, not being able to die, he'll be stuck in "Plato's Cave" for the rest of eternity or maybe until someone comes along to move him. Maybe his energy will drain and he'll power down but, how long will that take? Also, David wanted to create life of his own. Being an android he is not able to procreate like humans can. So, he uses the Xenomorphs to infect Charlie Halloway and hoping Charlie would be intimate with Elizabeth Shaw. This way, David is able to create life. In one of the best scenes in the movie, Michael Fassbender plays David amazingly with subtlety and deliberateness in his motions and line deliveries, he infects Charlie Halloway's as he dips his finger (which is infected with the Xenomorph) into Charlie's drink. Deceitful, stealing, anger... are these things manufactured through David's learning to synthesize being human? Stealing the rosary and keeping it for himself, obviously, he wants to be more human. Is "wanting" a human quality or is it the "needing?" He "needs" to be human because his program demands it. How much of our humanity is programming? Did he want to be human or did he want to be a god? There are two very basic things that David cannot do which prevents David to become human: Procreation and Death.
  • David finding the "Engineer" in the cryogenic chamber is like finding the Mummy in its tomb. The Prometheus crew even call the structure that they're exploring as the "Pyramid." Opening up the "Pyramid" got the crew cursed (infected). The cursed (infected) dead (Geologist Fifield played by Sean Harris) returned to attack the Prometheus and attack her crew. The curiosity and seeking of knowledge: Pandora's Box.
  • Elizabeth Shaw is an idealistic character chasing her beliefs. In the beginning of Prometheus we were lead to believe that she's the character that people need to take care of. It wasn't until when her faith was shaken after the death of Charlie Halloway that Elizabeth grew into a stronger and more practical character. The c-section scene was bad ass and it showed her will to survive no matter how much pain she has to endure. Throughout the rest of the movie, I could not take my mind off of how she's running around with the pain from the surgery. At the end of the film, I drew a parallel between Elizabeth and the Greek Hero, Perseus (a bit of a stretch here). Elizabeth was willing to fight off the giant Face Hugger before the "Engineer" interrupted her. She was able to slay the "Engineer" (a Titan) with the unintentional help of the Face Hugger (not the Kraken because that's only in the Clash of the Titans movies and not in the original Greek Myth). She then finds David's remains. As she puts his head in a bag, I thought of Perseus having Medusa's head. When David offered to navigate her back home to Earth using another one of the "Engineers' " ships, Elizabeth refuses. She wanted to question her creators as to why they want her dead. So with the help of David, they are headed (riding the Pegasus) towards the "Engineers' " home world.
  • The Xenomorph that we all love shows up at the end. It's pretty awesome. After Elizabeth Shaw left the "Engineer" fighting with the giant Face Hugger (I kept on thinking H.P. Lovecraft). The Face Hugger wins and the Alien theme starts to play while our familiar Xenomorph bursts out of the "Engineer's" body. It's not messing around, not a small penis like creature but an almost full grown... I believe it's a queen! One of her eggs will eventually get Kane (John Hurt) from the Nostromo (Update: Even though if the Nostromo landed on LV-426, there's still a chance that one of the "Engineers" from the other ships on LV-223 was infected and crash landed on LV-426 as a Xenomorph bursts out of his chest). Thanks for the fan service Ridley Scott!
  • Ridley Scott said he wants to do a Prometheus sequel and it'll be titled Prometheus 2: Meet the Titans. I'm just kidding about the title but, Ridley Scott wanting to do another Prometheus story is true.

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