I quit reviewing movies here on the blog when I started selling stuff to Hollywood. The last thing I wanted to do was insult somebody that could potentially give me money for a book. However, I’ve just got to comment on Prometheus.
I really wanted to love this movie. I really did. It is gorgeous. This is one of the best looking movies ever. The acting from the main characters is remarkable. Michael Fassbender turns in an amazing performance. Idris Elba can do no wrong. Charlize Theron was great (especially the way she emoted in the flamethrower scene)… Noomi Rapace did a great job. The cast was awesome.
But despite all that good, Prometheus made my head hurt. I’ve heard some people try to say that it is a “thinking” movie for “grown ups”… No. And quit being a pretentious wannabe English professor. The problem with Prometheus being a Thinking movie is that the more you think about it, the less it makes sense. The more I think about it, the more things I have a hard time with. (you’ll notice that you never hear anybody complaining about the plot holes of the Avengers, because it didn’t try to be a Thinking movie. It just says shut up and enjoy your awesome).
Instead Prometheus was written in such a way that it required the cast of supposedly intelligent characters to make decisions like unto the cast of a low budget B horror movie. It was one step above “hey, we’re in the haunted murder mansion with a serial killer, let’s split up and wander around in the dark!” “Great idea. Let’s have sex and smoke pot so the slasher can murder us faster while we’re distracted!” I expect that kind of cheap cop-out writing from movies that cost $100 and the actors were paid in beer, not $200,000,000 gorgeous movies starring a bunch of great actors.
SPOILER ALERT! Seriously, this is spoilerific. Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers.
I warned you…
Captain’s log. Star date, Dec 23, 2089. This is Idris Elba, Captain of the Prometheus. We are on a mission to the faraway planet LV-223 because a couple of archeologists read Chariot of the Gods. Apparently with the bazillions of stars you can see from earth from different hemispheres and across thousands of years this was the only place in all of outer space that five dots lined up just right, and I’m not going to think too hard about that any more. Charlize Theron is our requisite corporate ice bitch and we’ve even got an android. There’s a bunch of other crew, but I’ve got a sneaky feeling that none of us are going to bother to learn their names.
I’m currently in hypersleep while our android is demonstrating that if this was a better movie he would totally win an Oscar.
Dec 24. We all got decanted from hyper sleep. Charlize did pushups to demonstrate her corporate hard-ass-itude and the archeologist with the dragon tattoo barfed a lot. The crew got to know each other so the audience could easily determine who was going to die first. I think the Weyland Corporation must not give a crap about this mission since they hired Insane Clown Posse to be our science team. (Rainbows! What do they mean?)
After a briefing where everyone was needlessly cruel to our android, we discussed our plans to find the Engineers that made mankind by melting themselves into our oceans. Our Fassbenderbot learned the Engineer’s language by mooshing all of Earth’s languages together… Okay… Since there was a beautifully shot opening bit where a totally ripped big white dude melted into DNA and fell in the ocean, then logically that means those single celled organisms would totally speak the same language and then pass that down to us today. Insane Clown Posse doesn’t seem convinced. Hey, whatever. I’m just a spaceship captain. It isn’t like I know “science”.
On that thought… If the big white buffed guy melted into DNA, and then that DNA evolved for the next 300 million years, from bugs to fish to dinosaurs to chimps and whatnot, I’m assuming that our DNA would no longer match the Engineer’s right? Oh, wait… I’m getting ahead of myself.
In one of the rare displays of logic thus far, Charlize warned the archeologists not to make contact with the Engineers… So of course they got all butt hurt about it. Because you know, it is only the most important thing ever in all history, so why shouldn’t we just rush into it and screw up our first meeting with a hyper-advanced alien species? It isn’t like they’re going to get pissed off and drop mutagenic goo on Earth or something.
Dec 25. After all of the other characters have been total dicks to Fassbender the Robot (really, I wouldn’t blame him if he decided to murder all of humanity, because we really are being pricks) we found a road and a big alien ruin. So, since this was the biggest and most important sciency type discovery ever, we approached carefully and probed—HA! Just messing with you. We said f*&k it and swooped right in there and started poking that shit. We learned our archeology from the University of Indiana Jones.
So while our science team went in and started dicking around, Charlie the archeologist decided that the air was good to breath inside the ruin, so he took his helmet off… Never mind potential viruses and bacteria, or hell, maybe the aliens really liked to decorate with asbestos. Are you freaking kidding me? You’re in a space alien ruin and the first thing you do is take your helmet off? Are you smoking crack? Man, public education in the 2080s is completely useless.
They found a door and a headless alien dude that totally terrified the Insane Clown Posse so much that they ran away like little girls, they then promptly got lost, (even though one of them was the guy in charge of mapping the place) and since I run a pretty loose operation we sorta forgot about them…
Meanwhile the Fassbendroid poked some things and opened the door. Personally I think I would’ve told the robot to quit freaking poking mysterious alien buttons and opening murder doors in the mysterious ruin, but hey, whatever. Science. The room was filled with all sorts of mysterious stuff, that didn’t really make sense, but was arranged to feel vaguely like the egg chamber in the first Alien movie. “Hey, this looks organic! Cool! Let’s poke at it!” Geniuses. But then they all had to bail before a big super storm, that we probably should’ve noted before it was only a mile away. What am I paying all of you people for?
We scanned the alien head. The scanner said it was “pathogen free” but then it came alive, swelled up with black goo, and exploded. Yeah… Note to self. Get that scanner calibrated. Oh, and that thing about our DNA being a match… Uh huh… We share something like 60% of our DNA with a banana, but I’m not buying that.
I think the robot may have slipped Charlie some mysterious alien goo, but then again, Charlie has been such an out of character whiney little bitch that who can blame him… This does however raise the question of how Fassbender knew what the goo would do. Really, since his entire knowledge of this species is looking at cave paintings of dots and smooshing words together, so how the hell… Oh, never mind…
So then Charlie whined to Noomi the archeologist. Here, let me condense this whole scene for you guys. “I’m really bummed and depressed, because even though we just made the biggest discovery ever in history, and my entire life’s work has been justified, and we found a dead alien that is only a couple thousand years old, which means their race is probably still alive, I’m going to be all mopey because I didn’t get to talk to one THIS MINUTE because they created life.” “I can’t create life, which came totally out of nowhere. Now I am sad too.” (hmmm… I suddenly have a premonition that Noomi is going to be pregnant with an alien in no time). “I am sad too. Let’s have sex.” “Cool.”
Meanwhile, back on the bridge. I was just chilling and playing with my accordion (no a real accordion, get your mind out of the gutter) and teasing the Insane Clown Posse that was trapped and alone in the terrifying alien death ruin. “Hey, look a life form… Aw, just screwing with you guys.” But then I abandoned them because Charlize Theron wanted to get freaky with me… Oh, come on. Don’t judge me. You know you’d do the same thing. (hmmm… Come to think of it, maybe I should have warned the ICP about the exploding alien head that was filled with black goo that they should avoid black goo… Nah… What’s the worst that could happen?)
MEANWHILE: “Hey, since we got lost in these ruins because we got all terrified of one specific room, let’s go back and camp in that very same room!” “That’s a great idea. Plus, there are leaking jars of suspicious organic ooze. This is the perfect place to hang out. “Hey, look. An alien worm monster swimming in the organic black goo! Let’s pet it!” “Pet it? Did they teach you that at your fancy biologist school?” “Hey, cutie. Come to papa. Ooh, look, now it has spread open a cobra hood and is hissing angrily at me. Everybody knows that nature’s universal code for let’s hug. Come to daddy, come here pretty, come—AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH! MY ARM! OH GOD! NOOOO! SNAP CRACK POP KILL IT! ACID!!! AAAArrglbrglgrlbl….”
Dec 26. Captain’s log. Yeah… about that last entry about the worst that could happen? Remind me to delete all that incriminating stuff.
The android went off by himself, but we’re all cool with that. It isn’t like he keeps on pushing random buttons and screwing with stuff or anything, so we totally trust the soulless abomination. We went back to the ruins and Charlie started getting all mutagenic on us. Charlize burned him to death with a flamethrower, which made everybody else sad, but was probably the smartest thing anybody on this whole expedition has done. I’m thinking Charlize might be the smartest person on board.
Then Noomi was suddenly 3 months pregnant with an alien that she picked up from mutagenic Charlie, and the now sinister Fassbendroid was going to freeze her (later. He’ll get around to it later). However, due to her archeologist-fu, she was able to fight her way to the really expensive medical thingy, got a C-section, and then walked it off… Yes… You read that right.
I remember reading an ancient Larry Correia novel in one of my Advanced Literary Important Literature of the 2000s class, and there being a negative review about how “terribly unrealistic” it was for a character to walk off road rash after an accident, even though the author had done it himself in real life… Meanwhile, Noomi got lasered open, had a giant combative squid removed, got 25 staples, and was able to run through the rest of the movie convincingly as long as she grimaced once in awhile.
Oh, and let’s not forget this exchange… “Computer. Perform a C-Section.” “I can’t. I’m a super expensive medical computer that is only programmed for men.” “Oh, ok. Perform a manual C-Section then.” “Sure thing!”
You know… Since now a bunch of us know about the alien squid monster that was removed from Noomi, and that is still sitting in the medical room maybe we should go check on it or something? Hell, that’s even in Charlize’s cabin. Surely, the ruthless corporate ice queen would go check to make sure it is dead. I mean, if we leave it alone it may grow into an 800 pound Cthuloid face-raping octopus monster or something… Naw… We’ll get around to it later.*
*- Note Idris Elba graduated last in his class at the Space Captain program from University of Phoenix.
However, we were distracted because ICP’s helmet suddenly showed up at our doorstep… Which makes me think, since we’ve got these helmets that read our heart beats, shouldn’t we have hooked those up to an alarm or something when we abandoned half our science team? You know, that’s a good idea… I should look into downloading that as an app for my iPhone or something.
Oh yeah, back to ICP. So the ramp comes down, and one of my team of brain surgeons sees the totally messed up body of our geologist all contorted into some very suspicious mutagenic crab walk, and what does he do? No… He doesn’t immediately burn it to ash… He turns his back on the death mutant, turns around and says to his buddy “Check this out!” So then the Zombie soccer hooligan murdered half my idiot crew. It probably didn’t help that we crossed the entire universe to meet an unknown species armed with nothing but pistols, a pump shotgun, and anemic flamethrowers that would barely pass as a weed burner in 2012.
Wow… I just realized this Captain’s log is over 2,000 words and I still haven’t gotten to all of the things that didn’t make sense in the third act. So I’ll try to hurry it up.
So Weyland is secretly on the ship. His plan is to meet the Engineers so they’ll give him eternal life and I’m really unclear how he jumped to that conclusion. Charlize telegraphs that he is her FATHER, which is really kind of pointless now and felt needlessly tacked on. So then Fassbender and the gang go down to meet the last Engineer that is in cryo, who then wakes up and kicks the crap out of everybody. I’m assuming when Fassbender said “Ergchook mahoopookalooka mim hoofaloop” which translated roughly to “We’re from Earth and we’ve come to ravish your porcupines.” Then the Engineer took off to mutagenicize Earth.
So at that point I decided, hey, I’m Idris Elba. I’m Luther. I’m mother f’ing Heimdall! Nobody messes with me! So I wrecked that Engineer’s stupid face. Since I exploded, it is probably hard to explain how I can finish the last few scenes of this movie in the format of this captain’s log, but that makes about as much sense as the rest of the plot, so bear with me.
Remember earlier when I said Charlize was the smartest person on the ship? Yeah… About that. Never mind. Or maybe she just suffered from really poor depth perception and spatial awareness. Noomi gets to the life boat (hey, did I ever send anybody down to check on the space squid baby? Crap. Forgot). So then the head of Fassbender warns Noomi that the Engineer is coming for her… Which doesn’t explain how Fassbender knew that, nor how the Engineer knew where Noomi was. Then Noomi gets out a wicked Klingon battle ax that is remarkably bad ass looking to just be a fire ax (on a space ship), but then she doesn’t use it because her baby octopus shows up.
And somehow the baby space octopus is now the size of a Ford Focus… Okay… Magic. Whatever. It then face rapes the Engineer to death. So Noomi escapes with Fassbender’s head. “Hey, Noomi. I have an idea. There are other alien ships filled with death mutagen. Let’s totally fly one to Earth!” but Noomi has a spark of brilliance and says “Maybe not totally untrustworthy robot that has tried to murder everybody, let’s fly one of these death machines to the Engineers homeworld to talk to them and find out why they are such douchebags….” Because I’m sure the super advanced Engineers will look kindly on that and totally won’t decide to utterly eradicate humanity as a result.
Oh, but you’re saying, Captain Elba, but the Engineers already were going to eradicate humanity? How do you know that? Maybe this one big white guy in cryo was just a real surly self-righteous prick that none of the other Engineers liked? For all we know our first contact was with the Engineer equivalent of Alec Baldwin. And then Fassbender had to go and threaten to ravish his porcupines, what did you think would happen?
And then at the end an alien pops out of Alec Baldwin. The end.