Spoiler Talk on Prometheus

This post is more than 2 years old.

I saw Prometheus last night. It was cool. Stop reading now if you haven't seen it. Seriously - this is your last warning...

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, and some of the shots on the large screen made me so happy I was seeing it in a theater. I loved how the show began. In ways, it reminded me of Green Lantern. I know that show wasn't liked by most folks, but I liked how it began in a very alien, sci-fi manner. Ditto for Prometheus. The opening was confusing, alien, and just off-putting. I loved it.

Now - while I liked the film - here are some things I felt were a bit off.

One - why in the hell would David do an experiment on the scientist? I mean - I get that the Company (Weyland) has long been shown to be uncaring, cruel, etc. Fine. But it seems incredibly random and dangerous to just drop some black goo into a human and see what happens, especially while your millions of miles away from home. Sure, as an android he may not have much to fear, but I don't see why he wouldn't have just kept the 'jug' in storage until the return.

Two - the guy who went crazy. That seemed odd and out of place. It seemed clear to me that the main mode of attack for these creatures was to burrow into the body and gestate. But for this one guy it made him super strong and homicidal. Why?

Three - not a nit pick, but I loved the Engineers. I loved the design of their ship. I loved the user interface for the ship. I especially loved that they were incomprehensible, uncaring, evil bastards. Evil may not even make sense. Perhaps to them we were nothing more than defective robots. But I just love that we got no real clear answers from them on why they wanted to destroy us. It felt cruel... and perfect.

Finally - the last scene was amazing. I loved the 'proto-Alien' creature. The movies have shown that the creatures were adaptable based on their host, so this may actually have been the 'final' evolution of them. But it was just amazing. I was perfectly happy with all the more subtle connections to the Alien series. To be honest, I didn't need this scene to be satisfied with the film. That being said though I was on the edge of my seat once I realized what was happening.

So, what did you guys think?

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Ash Davies posted on 6/10/2012 at 3:14 AM

I think David's intentions could be ruled out as his own as he was acting as proxy to the owner of Weyland and his intentions seemed nefarious and unpredictable, yet the plot suffered many discrepancies as you have mentioned. but what made me wonder is why the geologists weren't breifed for the mission they spent 2 years in cryostasis for. seems like the kind of thing you'd ask about really.

Comment 2 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/10/2012 at 4:19 AM

Well, I could imagine, as a scientist, being told that my salary for 4+ years would be covered and that I'd be going on an incredible adventure, I could see that being enticing.

Comment 3 by Will Swain posted on 6/10/2012 at 2:48 PM

Interesting to see your views Ray. I saw it a week or so ago on Imax here in the UK. I really enjoyed the movie personally, but I'm surprised at how badly it seems to have been received by a lot of people. I have a few criticisms about it myself, mainly to do with character development, of which there was precious little, and character motivation, which made little sense at time, but overall I thought it held together very well and like you I loved the final scene.

It seems to me that many of the criticisms that have been levelled at the movie amount to one of two things. Firstly, it's not Alien. Secondly, it doesn't spell everything out.

Personally, I like movies/stories that let you fill in the blanks yourself. Was that the seeding of life on Earth at the start? Was that the same black liquid the Engineer took that we later see in the urns? Why were they coming back to Earth to kill us, if that is what they were doing? Ridley Scott has said in interviews that there are at least two more films between Prometheus and Alien, so to expect answers to all these questions in the first prequel is unrealistic IMO.

IMO, Alien is as close to a perfect horror film as you can get. Prometheus didn't have the menace and claustrophobia of Alien, and it's a very different film in many ways. But it's beautifully shot, paces along nicely and has a few genuinely creepy moments.

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/10/2012 at 5:48 PM

@Will: Yeah, I think your criticisms are dead on - in terms of what people seem to be complaining about. To me, both of those points are -bonuses-. I didn't expect this to be Alien, just in the same world. And I loved that we didn't get that answer about why they wanted to kill us. As I said above, it "felt" appropriate to me. The idea of God (or our creator) being uncaring is certainly not a new one.

Comment 5 by Michael Long posted on 6/10/2012 at 10:56 PM

"The movies have shown that the creatures were adaptable based on their host, so this may actually have been the 'final' evolution of them."

I think they were a different "version" of a bio-engineered weapon altogether. Previous movies have shown they tend to incorporate elements of their hosts, true, but keep in mind that in all of the previous films they start with the same "face hugger" whereas this creature starts from the parasite crawling down your throat.

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/10/2012 at 11:03 PM

Fair point Michael. Maybe it is the same version, just an earlier version. Alien V0.2 ;)

Comment 7 by Mattb posted on 6/11/2012 at 1:08 PM

I calculated the distance of that planet at 210 trillion miles from earth, people have trouble comprehending that and say things like "millions of miles", in the movie she says "a half billion miles from earth" Neil Tyson mentions this as roughly Jupiters position lol.

Comment 8 by Pete posted on 6/11/2012 at 4:20 PM

Ray, I had the same thoughts as you about the crazy guy who beat everyone up.

But I managed to justify it to myself. He fell in the black ooze when his helmet melted, and came into contact with or ingested the ooze. The same for the scientist that David poisoned, he drank the ooze.

The way I see it, the ooze changes you into a crazy monster that grows at an alarming rate (like the worms that turned into arm-breaking eels), but once you've become a crazy monster, you can lay eggs inside something else.

So the poisoned doctor laid his eggs in Dr. Shaw, and maybe he would have turned into a homocidal super-human killing machine if he hadn't been torched by Charlize Theron's character - who by the way, didn't deserve to die!

That theory almost works for the engineer at the beginning who drank the black ooze. He changed too, but instead of turning into a crazy monster he turned into the basis of all human life... possibly?

Anyway, I did enjoy the film, brilliant visuals, cool monsters, and it does set up Alien a little bit which is cool, and I really loved the wierd eel, arm snapping, helmet melting scene.

Comment 9 by Brian Rinaldi posted on 6/11/2012 at 4:46 PM

@Pete - I was wondering about that opening scene - that's an interesting take.

Also agree with those who note that the black ooze seems to have caused different effects than the creatures. That being said, it goes to show a bit of a disjointed mess when you have ooze turning humans into creatures that can then impregnate others with some octopus-type alien that then can place its offspring inside another creature to become Alien? WTF!!! And what of the eel like creatures? Same as octopus like thing? And they live for thousands of years in there feeding on nothing?

As you can see there were a good number of plot holes that bugged me. Not the least of which is that you wake an alien after some two-thousand years of hypersleep and he sees some humans (who, you assume, he should be familiar with seeing as he was headed to Earth) and one is even speaking his language, and he just decides to kill them all and immediately get on with his mission to destroy humans? Not even a moment to try to figure out what the hell happened to him?

Some of these plot twists seemed too convenient. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the movie overall. It was good - not great. I had hoped for great since Ridley Scott has done two great sci-fi movies. Maybe my expectations were too high.

Comment 10 by Will Swain posted on 6/11/2012 at 4:50 PM

I took the black goo thing to be something that adjusts the dna of whatever injests it. In the case of the engineer at the start, this results in seeding life on earth. In the case of the human, it results in a proto Alien that then uses an engineer as a host to create, possibly, the first Alien. The implication of this is perhaps that the Aliens are a genetic mutation of humans.

Comment 11 by Matt Bourke posted on 6/11/2012 at 4:53 PM

are we all not missing the main flaw in the whole film.
the film was set 80 years in the future, in the last 40 years Humans have not even gone beyond 400km of the earths surface, to propose they'll be traveling 210 trillion miles in 80 years time is the hardest part of the whole film to grasp

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:18 PM

@Mattb: heh, I didn't pick up on that. Kind of a dumb mistake to make.

@Pete: I saw the eel as a prototype face hugger.

@Brian: I can accept the 1k years of eating nothing - we have creatures on this planet that can do that. Granted, they are microbes, but there are some things that can go into super deep hibernation (thinking waterbears).

@Matt Bourke: I don't know - consider how far into space we went from 1900 to 2000 - from nothing to at least the Moon. I think it's within the realm of possibility.

Comment 13 by Brian Rinaldi posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:27 PM

I agree also with Matt - the timeline was not particularly believable. So much so, I thought I originally misread it. I tried to ignore it which may be why it didn't bother me. He boxed himself into a timeline though by being an Alien prequel.

Comment 14 by Will Swain posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:33 PM

I don't think the eels were there before. There were some worms obviously, which had survived presumably living off microbes in the soil. When the seal to the room with the black goo urns was broken, and the goo started leaking out, it came into contact with the worms and mutated them into the large eel like creatures which we later saw.

Comment 15 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:35 PM

I can see that Will. It's almost like there is a 'base' code: Create creature one which either attack or impregnates a host which leads to a strong creature.

And what we see then are multiple versions of it - both in this and in the latest Alien films (as again, it is part of the Alien "rule set" that they are impacted by their host).

Comment 16 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:38 PM

I was just talking to Brian about this - the absolute best scene in the film was the medichamber one. First off - cool tech in general. I loved how she got around it being programmed for men. But the rest of the scene was just intense. And when she was getting out - I swear I felt myself "contract" when he face went under.

Comment 17 by Will Swain posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:41 PM

Agreed Ray. That scene was excellent. Have to say though that it led to the most unbelievable part of the whole thing, namely her running around after having major abdominal surgery and being stapled together.

Comment 18 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/11/2012 at 5:46 PM

I chalked that up to women just being much tougher than men. :)

Comment 19 by matt posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:08 PM

210miles vs 210 trillion, the next 80 years could be the best technological revolution in history.

in the last 40 years we haven't been anywhere.

the medchamber was brilliant scene, except for the flaw it also had, the machine was designed for men, yet the device that grabbed the Alien from her stomach were medical forceps used for child delivery

Comment 20 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:10 PM

I thought they said it was _programmed_ for men. It doesn't mean it wouldn't have all the hardware. Although shit - considering the amount of storage we have now I'm not sure why they wouldn't ship it with everything. ;)

Comment 21 by Jack Poe posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:17 PM

I think David was just driven by curiosity. He had made a theory and had to test the hypothsis. I absolutely loved the way he dipped his finger in the drink - almost made me think Charlie could have said something else and David would have not done it.

As for the insane crazy guy - It appeared that the black goo stuff was mutating all the time. Maybe the thing that attacked him was a different kind of creature than the stuff that David dipped into Charlie's drink. I loved the way his body was folded up when the airlock opened. Nasty!

I agree about the engineers - in many ways they were as terrifying as the creatures. That opening scene was a pure Ridley Scott masterpiece - watching the engineer destroy his own DNA to create life on a planet....for some reason the discussion about the Genesis device in Star Trek II popped into my head...."what if this thing were used where life already existed?" I get a feeling that the engineers use planets as petri dishes for their experiments.

Overall - totally awesome film - however, I think, like Blade Runner....it will take a few viewings to catch everything - and I am hoping for a director's cut too :)

Comment 22 by Matthew Fabb posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:18 PM

Regarding the abdominal surgery, it's almost 100 years into the future, that injection could have had something with nano-technology that healed her from the inside. However, they could explained that more visually to let the audience know that her stomach was healed. With staples it seemed very old fashioned tech.

The aliens obviously were in touch with early human civilization. Something caused the human race to go off course that they decided they needed to hit the reset button on earth. However, something went wrong and possibly their own biological weapon managed to wipe them out first.

Also the alien head that was found in the helmet was dated as 2000 years old. So the white aliens turned against humans around 2000 years ago. Some are claiming that one of the subplots in an earlier draft of the script was that Jesus was one of the white aliens, returned to earth to give humans a bit of direction. When humans crucified him, the white aliens decided human race was to be destroyed.

I enjoyed the movie despite having problems with it, but either way the movie certainly leaves enough unanswered questions that there is plenty for people to talk and discuss about it.

Comment 23 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:20 PM

@Jack: Yeah, David was pretty cool in general. In all the films the androids were well done. The "not quite human" aspect was done great.

@Matthew: The Jesus thing - wow - I can see this thread going crazy now. :P

Comment 24 by Matthew Fabb posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:32 PM

I just looked it up and Ridley Scott is the source of the space Jesus theory:

Movies.com: You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?

RS: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an "our children are misbehaving down there" scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, "Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him."

Comment 25 by Will Swain posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:33 PM

@Ray and @Jack

I read an interview was Fassbender where he said he based David more on the replicants in Blade Runner then on Ash and the other Alien androids. That came across for sure.

It's also interesting that in some ways he's the most developed character in the movie. I don't think that's by accident, and indeed his relationship to his creators can be seen as a mirror of human's relationship with the engineers.

Comment 26 by Will Swain posted on 6/11/2012 at 6:35 PM

Sorry, should be with Fassbender of course.

Comment 27 by Gary Boyle posted on 6/11/2012 at 7:00 PM


I use the following to try and understand the magnitude of millions, billions and trillions

1 Million Secs ? 11 days
1 Billion Secs ? 32 years
1 Trillion Secs ? 32,000 years

Comment 28 by Michael Long posted on 6/11/2012 at 7:13 PM

@Mathew, there's no doubt that they would have something better than staples by then. Hell, a lot of surgeries today are completed with glue!

But the staples could be seen as an emergency quick closing device. Plus the minor fact that wounding the protagonist is an old horror trope. (Injured ankle back in Halloween.)

Amps the suspense when you know the heroine can barely walk, much less run away.

Comment 29 by Dom posted on 6/11/2012 at 7:28 PM

Saw it last week when it opened here in the UK. I heard a few negative comments about it being too dialogue heavy and not true to the franchise but went with as open a mind as possible. I generally have a downer on 3D films but I think they did a brilliant job - the opening sequence where we are flying across (as it turns out) earth were breathtaking and that was before the Engineer appeared! And then the DNA. WOW!

I can see why there's been comment about plot holes etc, and I agree there are a few times you can say why didn't this or that happen, but on the whole I think they had a really difficult job to do. The worst thing would be to have the film ending just as the Nostromo hoves into view. There is so much space in the story (I love this idea Matthew introduced about Jesus being a White Alien).

For my part, in retrospect I felt that David's motivation for poisoning the crew was clear, that he was on a mission that Weyland had originally set him - get to the planet, assess as quickly as possible by whatever means necessary the possibility of any available alien technology to interact with the human body and extend Weyland's life. If you check out the weylandindustries.com site David introduces himself as being a product that can conduct a customer's wishes exactly as required - however (pause) "unethical" they maybe.

In fact have a look at Weyland Industries - there is a corporate timeline which explains how we get from 2012 to interstellar travel in 80 years!

Comment 30 by Tai posted on 6/11/2012 at 7:34 PM


Comment 31 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/12/2012 at 12:01 AM

Check out this article:


They specifically talk about the "David/drop of oil" crap thing that bugged me.

Comment 32 by Nick Hill posted on 6/14/2012 at 9:34 PM

While I have a few complaints and likes, my biggest one is one that shows up all the time and it really bothers me. In the scene ***********SPOILERS************ where Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace are running away from the tumbling ship...WHY OH WHY do they run in a straight line. Perpendicular people! Perpendicular. It was like Avatar all over again. It's a little gripe but it irks me everytime!

Comment 33 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/14/2012 at 9:36 PM

I wonder if this happens in real life? I don't mean giant space ships crashing, but tall thin objects falling and people running parallel with the object instead of perpendicular.

Comment 34 by Jason M posted on 6/28/2012 at 2:55 AM

Disappointment. Visually it was fantastic, but not much else going on. Too many damn holes in the plot and STUPID scenes that killed the movie (suspension of stupidity?). How come the guy who led them through the tunnels in the beginning was lost on the way back and he left earlier then the rest of the group! Where was everyone and how come no alarms went off when she removed the alien from her body? How come no one even checked up on the alien later? Plus it doesn't really explain nor really link to the original 'alien' movie. It did look cool though, lol.

Comment 35 by Chris Long posted on 7/2/2012 at 10:56 PM

I enjoyed the movie at the time, but left the theater disappointed by the reaction of the Engineers because it made no sense to me at all.

Afterward, I made the mistake of thinking about the movie and the motivations of the various characters. Then ALL the ridiculous plot-holes reared their ugly head and my opinion of the movie has been dropping ever since. Those have got to be the stupidest scientists ever. It felt like everything they did was only because the script said it had to.

And the black goo was just a little too magical for me. Why did it keep producing monster after monster? All different. Why were they always different? It was a new monster every 10 minutes! There's entirely too much hand-waving you have to do for that to make any sense at all.

So... visually stunning... some great individual scenes... but not a lick of sense to be found in the movie. I couldn't care less if it lines up with Alien or not, so that's not it. The characters just weren't doing anything sensible.

My favorite, non-sensical part: The guys who are lost on the planet head in the opposite direction of the life signs as soon as they hear about them, and then immediately encounter life. What do they do? Touch it. Up until then they were freaked the hell out, but now because the script says they have to die, they are suddenly going to touch the mysterious snake-like life-form that's HISSING at them.

Comment 36 by Raymond Camden posted on 7/2/2012 at 10:59 PM

@Chris: I still say what you call out in your first paragraph is to me - the coolest part. Having the Engineers just flat out what to destroy us for no reason just added to the movie for me.

But yeah - the whole 'touch the snake thing' was really insane.