Ok friends, fair warning: if you intend to see Prometheus and you have an aversion to spoilers, you’d probably better just stop reading now. Because this motherfucker right here is chock full of spoilers. You have been warned.
Ah, Ridley Scott. He made some of my favorite movies: Alien, Blade Runner…uh…Gladiator was pretty good. Oh, Thelma and Louise! Yeah, if you forget about such cinematic abortions as Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood you’d be inclined to think that Scott could do no, or at least very little, wrong. But recently the director took some time out from his busy schedule of endlessly recutting Blade Runner to produce a new movie, Prometheus, and in the grand tradition of every Scott movie since – and I’m being really kind here – American Gangster, it sucked big hairy sweaty balls.
The worst part is that I had so much hope for this movie. I put my dreams and fondest desires into a gilded box, which I gift-wrapped and placed lovingly at Prometheus’ feet, and Prometheus took a dump on them, set them on fire and used the fire to roast my heart. Below is a chart neatly explaining what I expected out of the film, and what I was given.
|This is going to be a movie that will expand and explain the Alien universe, paying fan service while delving into the formation of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, the development of androids and the story behind the mysterious Space Jockey. All of this was promised in the advertising, so it must be in the movie!||This is a movie that begins after the Weyland Corporation was founded and androids were invented. The only real delving into either subject happened only in the “viral” video marketing campaign that preceded the movie’s release. There is no Yutani anywhere to be found. And as for the Space Jockey…well, yeah, they explain who he is, but as to what happened to him and why he’s on LV-426 with a cargo of alien eggs, well…let’s just say the movie raises more questions than it answers. Which is not difficult, since the questions it answers number exactly zero.|
|This is going to be a movie with something profound to say about humankind and its relationship with the universe, particularly alien species that have visited us in the past and may or may not have created life on earth in the first place.||Ok, so we established that the Engineers created life on earth. That’s literally the first moment of the film. But as to their relationship with humans…all we ever get is the fact that for some reason they decided to come back and wipe us out two thousand years ago, but something (probably the weapon they were preparing for us, though that is never actually said outright) killed most of them on the moon that they were staging their attack from. Anything else is wild speculation, and though some of that speculation is amusing, it’s all pretty far-fetched.|
|Sure, this is the movie that drove the last nail in the coffin of At the Mountains of Madness, but it’s going to be all creepy and Lovecraftian, so I will grudgingly accept my fate.||Yeah, it has some similarities to Mountains of Madness in that a group of explorers in an inhospitable environment discover horrible monsters and a clues to the origin of human life on earth, but to call this waste of celluloid Lovecraftian because of that is like calling pretzels Reese Cuppian because they’re made in a factory that may contain peanuts. Lovecraft’s stock-in-trade is the existential terror that there are things lurking in the shadows of the universe that we should never know about, and that gaining that knowledge will only drive us mad or kill us. Prometheus is about some people who look for knowledge that is shocking but ultimately benign, except that finding the truth requires awakening a giant sleeping bald dude who will only freak out and try to kill you, then all of humanity. There is no existential terror to be found here, only monsters that make absolutely no sense at all. Speaking of which…|
|This movie is going to be chock-full of space terror!||I’m going to say it: Prometheus is less scary than Alien Resurrection. The first two thirds of the film have no scares at all – which is fine when you’re building up to a big terrifying ending – and once the monsters do show up, they are completely inexplicable. How come it’s a reptile-worm thing that has acid for blood in one scene and a giant vagina-penis-octopus in another? Why does it go down the throat of one hapless scientist who seemingly just dies, but its acid blood appears to possess his comrade? What the fuck was the thing in Charlie’s eye? Why doesn’t any of this make any fucking sense at all? The “horror” portion of this “sci-fi horror” movie is a bad rehash of the greatest hits of the Alien series, which was scary for the first three or so movies but, like any horror franchise, becomes hackneyed with age.|
|Michael Fassbender!||Ok, I gotta give them this one. Fassbender is so fucking awesome. I mean, look at him! He’s the new Jude Law but without the fucked up teeth!
|This movie is going to make any fucking sense at all. Like, seriously – any sense.||Guys, I’m not stupid. I’m really not. I have a college degree in – uh, let’s not talk about that. But I took a lot of classes in analyzing stories and composing plots and shit like that, and I have no fucking clue what is going on here. Ok, so there are aliens that created life on earth. And then we find them but there’s some black goo and it either kills you by turning into a cobra or it possesses you and makes you impregnate your girlfriend with an octopus that is made of vagina dentata then beg someone to set you on fire. Then the alien tries to kill us, but we kill him with vagina dentata. Then we go off to find more aliens, presumably to kill them with vagina dentata too? I mean, honestly, I’m beginning to think this whole movie was produced solely to give people like me an excuse to use the phrase “vagina dentata” like fifty times in a review. Wait, now I love this movie.|
|Ooh, Guy Pearce! I love him!||Here’s the thing: I wanted this to just be a picture of Pearce in his horrifically, comically bad old age makeup. But apparently the makeup is so bad that it defies the internet. I spent an hour looking for a picture of the aged Peter Weyland and came up completely dry. So thanks, Prometheus, now you’ve wasted yet another hour of my life.|
|Charlize Theron in the absurdly skimpy underwear that every female protagonist in an Alien movie has to wear.||And doing pushups?! Oh man, I may have been wrong about you, Prometheus…|
|This will be a good movie!||It is not.|