***CONTAINS SPOILERS (AND FOR ‘ALIEN’ TOO)***
***AND IS A BIT RANTY***
***NOT SO YOU’D NOTICE OR ANYTHING***
Prometheus, Prometheus, Prometheus.
Where to start with this colossal fuck-up of a movie? Well let’s see. How about to be called ‘Science Fiction’ something has to have some actual science in it, otherwise it’s just ‘fiction’. Which is fine, obviously, fiction is often great. Fiction can be illuminating and thought provoking, exciting, moving, exhilarating, amusing, entertaining. All sorts of things. Except none of that is in Prometheus. I saw the film way back in July (nearly two months ago as of this writing) and it still makes me vein-bulgingly, blood-pressure-raisingly angry. I sat through the film and made involuntary ‘uh… Joey’ noises pretty much every couple of minutes. I’m not proud of that. So, having explained that, I’d just like to note that this is by way of catharsis rather than an in-depth examination of what is wrong with the film. I don’t plan to do this too often, as I’d rather talk about cool and interesting stuff in a more positive manner than rant about stuff, but I just need to do this..
Let’s get the easy stuff out the way first. What does it do right? Well, it’s really, really pretty, Michael Fassbender is very good and… er… well… erm, nope I got nothin’. That leaves everything else, and unfortunately getting through that is sort of like spending time on TV Tropes. It becomes a never-ending cycle of footnotes and errata. One piece of stupidity leads into another, one mind-numbing piece of dialogue reminds you of another, or a moronic character doing something idiotic leads to another memory of another unbelievable piece of behaviour.
The scientific errors, oh dear god, the scientific errors. These are many and prodigious. It seems like Scott wanted to tell the story he wanted to tell and science could go fuck itself with a sideways porcupine. Hey, I know, let’s totally ignore how evolutionary biology works. How about the idea of electrocuting an astonishingly well preserved 2000 year old head to fool it into thinking it’s alive? That’ll work in any universe.
The scientists in the film are, well, as backwards as the portrayal of science in the film. When a character tells another ‘don’t be such a sceptic’, he’s essentially telling her to stop doing her job. Science is systematised scepticism. There is a repeated faith/reason dichotomy presented and in every case faith is the ‘good’ option.
This would be… not fine exactly, but bearable if the script was great, the characters likeable, the story riveting, the set pieces tense and exciting… you get the idea, but no, the film is not only fractally stupid, but fractally bad.