Looks like Ridley Scott put some Doctor Who in a blender and set it to “insipid”.
- Elizabeth Shaw? DOCTOR Elizabeth Shaw? Are you serious? She may be an archaeologist and not a physicist, but you can’t tell me that isn’t a Doctor Who reference. Especially since her boyfriend’s name is Dr. Holloway. (And does Captain Janek = Captain Jack?)
- The plot of Prometheus was The Lazarus Experiment plus Voyage of the Damned. Weyland is simultaneously Lazarus and Max Capricorn without the sparkle.
- Captain Janek is a poorly done version of Shaun Parkes’ fantastic Zachary Cross Flane in The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. “But hey, first human beings to get killed by a black hole, how about that?” I’m sure Idris Elba could have done a better job… the man was Heimdall, for crying out loud! But he was wasted here.
For a movie that was supposedly not an Alien prequel (although Scott says it takes place in the same universe)… please. It would have been a far better movie if they’d just gone ahead and admitted it’s a prequel.
Plot: Nonexistent. If you’re familiar with the Alien franchise then you were not surprised by anything you saw. You could peg who was going to die, when, and how. Yes, let’s leave the two scientists alone in the creepiest room with alien artifacts we don’t understand. Yes, the robot is going to turn on you. Wake me up when the movie starts.
Acting: Wooden. Everyone says how much they liked Michael Fassbender as the android David but even that wasn’t enough to save the movie for me. And if you didn’t want Shaw to be compared to Ripley then why cast a similar cute brunette?
What would have improved the movie:
Make Shaw Weyland’s daughter instead, the heir to the conglomorate. It would have been more interesting and poignant. Let the archaeologists be the redshirts (with apologies to Daniel Jackson). And give us a taste of how this company becomes The Company we know later on.
Put less white guys on the crew. Try not to make its composition EXACTLY the same as that of the Nostromo. (We have one black dude, w00t!) And, although this may be contradictory, the movie could have used an injection of 100% pure Lance Henriksen.
Eliminate the entire “Shaw is infertile but impregnanted with an alien” thing. There was no point except for the self-surgery scene which was entirely gratuitous. You are NOT going to be running around and rapelling down the side of a spaceship immediately after major surgery, no matter how many staples are in your stomach!
Also, when she ran into the room and discovered Weyland and David – did you notice how no one even blinked when a bloodcovered woman with a gaping hole in her stomach burst in? David simply gives her a coat, like she stepped in out of the rain. Uh, medical emergency, anyone?
Related: “This medical device is only calibrated for men?” It would have made more sense to say, “this medical device is calibrated for a particular person [Weyland] and does not contain that procedure.”
Get rid of stupid props. The all-terrain vehicle looked so much like a Landram that I expected Noah Hathaway to pop out of it with Muffit. And the Tron-like outfits with the orange trim, wtf? Also, helmets that don’t get scratched during a silica particle storm, yet can be shattered in single blow and dissolve instantly in Super Alien Acid.
Don’t bring stuff up and then drop it. So… it’s dangerous to operate the ion drives in the atmosphere, which implies a Sontaran Strategem/Poison Sky atmosphere-on-fire concept, except NOTHING happens and they simply fly Prometheus into the alien mothership to blow it up instead. So… the aliens created us but now they want to destroy us and we don’t know why. (See Faith Erin Hicks’ hysterical cartoon review of Prometheus.)
Get rid of the religious references. The whole “Shaw is Christian because of her dad’s death” thing was trite and tried to overlay a heavy-handed spirituality on the movie. We can explore the mysteries of the universe without forcing it into a religious context. In fact you would expect scientists to do just that. Related: Holloway being upset because he was wrong made no sense. Every scientist I’ve ever known has loved unexpected results because it gives them more data.
Put in more one-liners. Good one-liners. The reason we cared about the crew of the Nostromo, and later the Marines in Aliens, was because we got to know them before they started getting killed. There was an attempt at this in Prometheus during the Christmas tree scene but it fell flat. This movie seriously needed some one liners to save it from itself. Decades later, everyone STILL loves Hudson and Hicks. None of the characters in this movie will be remembered like that.
Overall, it was a yawnfest. Apparently my husband and I weren’t the only ones to think so, because the theater was practically empty on opening night. Compare that to when we saw Avengers a few weeks ago and couldn’t even get tickets for the first two showings. Thanks, but I think I’ll go back and watch the original Alien instead. It’s still scarier even though I know what happens.