William's Review of Prometheus
Never boring, very entertaining and hugely flawed. So I both really enjoyed it and found it very frustrating. Beautiful and impressive but the actual narrative was poorly done. Almost none of the characters' actions make sense within the context of what unfolds. Huge, epic characterization issues were inserted into this movie by an invisible facehugger in Act 1 and then burst through its chest as an incoheromorph in Act 3.
Everything else remaining the same, it would have been a better movie (probably much better) if they had explained nothing. Their desire to spoonfeed the audience answers was a problem. The answers themselves were often idiotic, which was a separate problem. But the spoonfeeding process and the way in which getting the audience answers forced the characters into being plot peons really ruined what was built-up in Act 1.
The rendering of the world and the Protohumans and their ship and Prometheus and the moon was impressive. The AVCub review likens it to a BBC nature documentary of an alien planet.
It was never boring -- it moved from tense, to absurd, to eye-rolling, to tense, to how many sexual suggestive tooth mouths can a giant facehugger have?
Good related reads:
To the movie's credit. The David scenes in the beginning were all kinds of awesome. David was fantastic throughout. And they gave a convoluted but at least interesting explanation for the origins of the aliens and the space jockey.
But really a missed opportunity. They should have let a lot more time lapse on the planet as they studied and learnt more about what was happening, yknow like how modern people deal with discoveries and the unknown (supposedly they were there a week, but I don't understand how it wasn't 48 hours), not had the schlocky slasher deaths of Geo and Bio, let the tension build, and found a way for the 30 odd crew members to be infected/killed slowly and believably. Instead Act 3 was a rushed traditional slasher movie and made about as much sense.
Watching Alien last week really made the contrast stark -- all the actions of the characters in that movie mostly make sense given the context created. But Prometheus was ripe with characterization issues.
Inconsistencies and Incoherence:
Holloway spent his life trying to find the engineers. He does! It's fucking amazing! He breathes air in their home on another planet (moon, whatever, go fuck yourself pedant)! Outrageously awesome, one of the most important efforts in the history of fucking science! He is despondent within 6 hours because...they aren't alive there and he couldn't talk to them? What? Is that it? Sad it's a tomb? Seriously, within 6 hours he is blackout drunk and depressed. It makes no fucking sense.
Weyland. Why did he need to pretend to be dead? It makes no sense. Why would he authorize David to experiment on the crew in an uncontrolled way? IF he didn't authorize David, why wouldn't he design David with some sort of checks? People who make a trillion dollars and/or who profitably mine unobtainium understand risk management.
The geologist and the biologist were so scared by the Protohuman corpse that they wanted to go home...ignore that the guy who maps shit gets lost...why would they feel comfortable hiding out in the room that creeped everyone out? That had weird organic life going on? Why would they not freak out when an unknown life showed itself? Forget its threat display, wildlife is dangerous and unknown. High risk shit. And they were risk averse to be freaked out by a dead Protohuman.
Idris Elba's Captain being not at all worried about those two when he saw that they just found a pile of fucking corpses, Protohuman ones, AND that there was evidence of life per the pups.
Charlize's character. I'm not sure anything she made sense for who she was supposed to be except the flamethrower and that she ejected from the ship. She seemed extraneous.
Everything at the start of Act 3 for about 20 minutes straight, roughly when Shaw had her cross taken off by David. Why would people be hunkydory with an alien baby? Why would they be ok and not freak out when a weird alien creature took over a former crew member and killed half dozen of them? Why would anyone continue to listen to orders? Why wouldn't self-preservation kick in? How could Noomi do anything post c-section?
To be honest, some of the scenes in Act 2, in the Protohuman egg room with Geo and Bio, were not that dissimilar from Aliens vs Predator in terms of feel and character stupidity.