Prometheus (2012)

Crews of explorers should just not go into space unless they are with a freakin’ army.

Prometheus centers around a team of explorers who discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Let me just start off by saying that after watching Alien and realizing it to be the true sci-fi/horror classic that everybody has ranted about, I was very pumped for this quasi-prequel of sorts. Problem is, when you watch Alien, there isn’t really any need to see this flick.

What makes this “prequel” so different from many others out there, is that it’s directed by Ridley Scott himself. The thing with Scott, is that he won’t just go for a quick and easy job where he’ll just make some moolah. No, instead he’ll put his heart and soul into production that quite frankly, deserves it and that’s what makes this film better than plenty of the other prequels we see out there. Scott brings us back to the universe he made famous and expands it, answering more questions for us that we already had. But even though this film’s big selling point is it’s tie-in to Alien, it’s a real beautiful film to just gaze at.

Scott always has a great attention to detail and his production design for Prometheus just totally backs that up. There’s some cool, futuristic stuff here like space suits, vehicles, holographic displays, medical devices composed solely of robots, and plenty of other impressive treats to see here as well. Everything looks so dazzling, especially if you see it in 3D, where a couple of scenes may just take you by surprise by how you feel like you can just reach-out and touch whatever it is that’s on the screen. Some real beautiful stuff here, mainly because Scott feels something for this universe that he’s created and has given all of his might to make it work.

The problem with this flick isn’t really Scott’s fault, it’s more of the story itself. The core of this story is basically Alien done all over again. Crew wakes up out of deep sleep, spaceship lands on mysterious alien planet for some strange reason, crew discovers some ancient alien crap, alien force is awakened by them, people get others infected, and then they are all picked off one by one. It’s pretty obvious where this story is headed, because it’s pretty much the same thing around and that took away from the surprise factor for me. I knew that only a few were coming out alive and the only sense of guessing with this film, was who was it going to be. Sadly, I guessed right.

Even though this film is about 2 hours long, for some odd reason, a lot of it feels like there were some actual big scenes cut-out from the final product. The main reason for me saying this is because there’s a lot that goes down here, that makes no sense and seems somewhat random. One example is how Captain Janek is able to explain the purpose of aliens and what was inside of them so damn quickly. It almost comes out of nowhere, without any clues or signs to how Janek must have known this and comes off like a way to make the finale hit harder. Another example is how David knows how to work the Space Jockey devices without any faults whatsoever. How did he know how to do all of this? What, did he just learn it all by reading a bunch pictographs from Earth or is it just that he’s so totally uber smart cause he’s a robot and all? Not explained at all and it gets even worse when he can apparently speak the alien language fluently, as if he has been doing it his whole life. Yup, didn’t make any sense.

Scott does do a pretty good job with the pace of this film and I can easily see that he put a lot of effort into making this film thrilling, just like he did with Alien. However, there is a huge difference between both of those films and it’s pretty obvious considering the whole hour and 50 minutes of that movie was filled with tension out the wahzoo, whereas this one, had about 4 to 5 scenes of actual tension in it’s whole 2 hour run-time. I don’t know what it was about this flick that made it so different but for some reason, I wasn’t really on-the-edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next to these characters. I just sort of sat there and kept on waiting for Scott to really knock me out of my seat. Which was a shame too, because there seemed to be plenty of opportunities for Scott to do this but just ended up, well, keeping me somewhat satisfied. Somewhat satisfied is not something I want to feel with a product like this, especially when it’s coming from Ridley Scott.

As for the performances, everybody is good but nothing out-standing by any means. Noomi Rapace is fine as our leading lady, Elizabeth Shaw, but feels too much like Ripley and definitely isn’t as strong as her considering we never fully see her lash-out and get “tough”. She just runs away and screams, except for one scene that feels too much like the infamous “chest bursting” scene from AlienLogan Marshall-Green looks like Tom Hardy, but is fine as Charlie Holloway even though the character comes off extremely dicky at times, to the point of where you don’t care if he lives or dies. Charlize Theron plays a villain for the second week in a row, but is more subtle and stoic this time as Meredith Vickers and does a good job with her, even though I think they could have done more with her. Idris Elba is good as Captain Janek and probably has the most likable personality on the whole spaceship.

Probably the stand-out performance from this cast would have to be Michael Fassbender as the robot David. David is a pretty unsettling character the whole way through this flick as you have no idea whether or not he’s going to be good or going to be bad. He’s also a character that sort of just goes his own way the whole movie and doesn’t really care about the others, but you still can’t let that get in the way of what you may think of him since we all know that robots in sci-fi movies usually aren’t the nicest “things” around. Thankfully, those results are told to us by the end but for some very brief moments, he kept me guessing and I think a lot of that is credit to Fassbender’s skills as an actor. Wish I had more to say about him considering he was the best but it’s just one of those good performances that are notable once you see the movie.

I usually love Guy Pearce in everything he does, but his casting here as Peter Weyland just didn’t seem like it belonged in this movie at all. Peter Weyland is an elderly character, so why did Scott feel it was necessary to cast a younger dude as him and just keep on stuffing his face with make-up and effects. First of all, it looks stupid and fake, and secondly, it just seems like such a waste of a talent like Guy Pearce.

Consensus: Prometheus has some great moments that dazzle and excite, but still has plenty of pot-holes that make this story more confusing, makes the characters seem very one-dimensional, and also make a lot of the genius opportunities Ridley Scott had here, seem to go right out the window.



  1. Yep, agree with you. I was hoping for big things, but it never met my expectations. And I don’t understand why they used a young actor in the Weyland role, either. You can tell from the start its really dodgy old-person makeup. Just use an old person! lol 🙂 Awesome review.

  2. I guess I liked it more than you, Dan, especially the ways it played with religious tropes in its design. Weyland/David works as a fascinating God/Jesus metaphor, and Shaw’s own crisis of conscience was fascinating to ponder. I haven’t seen Alien in a while (and personally never really cared for it), so I can’t say I went in expecting anything similar, so except for the last minute of the movie that felt completely tacked on, I had a blast.

    • Thanks Danny! I don’t know what it was with me and this flick but things just weren’t clicking in my head as well as it seemed to be in yours.

  3. Hey man thanks for reading the review on my blog. I am really just getting into the whole review thing so I am still figuring out how to do it best. You have a solid review here man, I agree with pretty much everything you said. I am glad you brought up captain Janeks revelation about what the ship was. When that line was thrown out in the movie I was like…..wait, is that for real? Is that the actual explanation for what has been going on this whole time? Because if it is, why was it thrown out that way? Should it not have had a slightly more important moment? I love how they play up the reveal that the old guy that no one cares about is alive. But they gloss over the answer to the question everyone has been asking since they sat down in the theater.

  4. I agree with your statement on this movie feeling like it had big scenes missing. It seemed very disjointed near the end especially, and that final scene just felt shoehorned. Very fun movie still, hopefully the sequel will be better.

  5. Even though it is a good sci-fi I can’t help but be disappointed by it too. I guess the saying is true: The more you expect the less you get.:) Good review!

  6. This was easily the biggest disappointment of the year so far, purely because I was expecting so much more. One question that just occurred to me though: how do we know what David actually said to the Engineer before he went on a sudden killing spree? Maybe it was all his fault…

  7. Haha, yes he does look like Tom Hardy! I was thinking that all the way though the film, thought it was just me. I agree with much of your points like Guy Pearce (it’s like casting an American to play a German, just cast a bloody German actor for goodness sake.) and Fassbender.

    Also yes the film had some scenes of tension, but only when the link to Alien was apparent.

    Nice review/

    • Definitely agree with you Alex! People’s expectations have made this film out to be worse than it actually is. Look at the recent pure space sci-fi films recently released. I can’t think of any!

      In terms of pure sci fi fun, this is on it. I thought it did a great job. The plot and story weren’t the most original, but it threw out some interesting questions which kept buzzing through my mind long after the film finished.

      • I don’t know but for some reason this film just wasn’t hitting the right buttons for me as it did with everybody else. I did like it but I wish there was more to it than what I got.

  8. I think that the Alien comparison is a dangerous one to make, mainly because they are aiming to be such different films. That one is so small, simple and tightly structured whereas this is a massive and complicated movie and ultimately becomes a bit of a mess because of that.

    This leads to a lot of those questions you mentioned; some of them have hidden answers ( David is shown learning that exact language at the start of the film during his lessons) though just as many are not ( How did their language come to be in our data banks? What language is it? And just what in the hell are they?).

    I mean really Alien is a horror movie and Prometheus is a philosophical treatise, it’s not interested in tension or character so much as it is themes like creation and if you go in looking for one only to find the other… Well you’re going to have a bad time.

    Good review though man, as always!

    • Thanks! I just didn’t love it like so many other people are boasting about. But I still think it has some very good qualities to it as well. No doubt about that.

  9. I would be more positive about Scott and Lindehof’s clear aim to discuss deeply personal philosophical ideas if they had actually made a decision about which ones they felt were important.

    By the time we had the origins of man, the relationship between parents and children and what is means to be human I began to switch off the film seemed more intent on throwing the ideas out into the ether than really digesting just one of them.

    Plus I have no idea what David’s motivation was at any point in the film.

    Nice penis/vagina combo mutant snake though.

    • I never really knew what Scott or Lindehof were actually ever talking about, but all I know is that I wanted something more. Something a whole lot more.

  10. I disagree with much of the criticism that certain aspects happen out of nowhere or characters learn about or how things randomly. I think there is plenty of time in between the scenes i they are in for them to gain knowledge. I think Prometheus may be one of the best of the films in the Alien franchise, if not the best by far.

  11. Very fair review. Regarding Guy Pierce, I wonder how much of that was set up for the sequel-to-this-prequel to answer a few more questions, and may give us some flashbacks. It does tie in nicely with the viral promotional videos where we see a younger Weyland in 2023, but the film has to be able to stand on its own. I also agree that characters like Vickers should have had more to do… something which could have been more focused with less ancillary-and superfluous-characters.

    • Vickers would have been bad-ass but they don’t really give her all that much to do with everything that’s going on here. Maybe a couple of scenes here and there.

  12. Great review Dan. Badly written and Incomprehensible to say the least. I was quite insulted by the plot holes involved. You’d think after 30 years that Scott could have came up with a better story than the one he went with.

    • Yeah this one left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth by how amazing Alien is. Who knows, maybe he’s waiting for bigger and better things with this franchise? Who knows? Thanks Mark!

  13. David knew the language because for two years he learned and studied all the ancinet languages – it is clear if Engineers existed and visited the Earth surely some clues to their language would be left. He knew how to opporate ship because of the holograph he watched, also keep in mind that he responds ‘perhaps’ when Holloway asks him if he can read the writings in the temple – later on in the movie we have a proof he indeed could. Janek knows the place for what is because he sees what it did to the crew. There really aren’t any plot holes here.

  14. I just saw the movie, and really enjoyed it. The script is the film’s weakest link that holds the film back from being great, but there are strong performances from Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron. It certainly isn’t as good as Alien, but it’s at least it’s better than most big budget films today. Good review.

    Oh yeah, I also agree about your comment on Guy Pearce. I thought his character was a little annoying and unnecessary for the story, though I think he’s a fine actor.

  15. Good review and I agree with you completely that it felt like there were some really pivotal scenes that were edited out of this movie. The entire thing felt off in its pacing. I recognize the visual mastery that Scott has but this movie fell flat in the storyline and really was a disappointment to me.

  16. wow, sounds like you were really underwhelmed by it. i, on the other hand, loved it. every minute of it. it was wonderfully intriguing and it made me feel like i was on the ship with them. beautiful to look at, engaging, luscious plot that i wanted to sink my teeth into, and marvelous acting. i wasn’t expecting any of it.

    • I’m really glad you loved it Candice! It wasn’t perfect for me but it was still a fun enough time none the less and that’s really all that mattered to me.

  17. Definitely sounds like I enjoyed it a tad more than you. I don’t think it was ever going to match the mammoth expectations it had riding on it. But it was a smart, cerebral sci-fi flick with impressive production values and some stand out performances from the likes of Fassbender and Rapace. That’s something I loved about it.

  18. Once again, I’m with you, Dan. There were too many plot holes and head scratchers that preventing this from being more. It’s disappointing because with great cast and visuals it had so much promise, but I ended up feeling cold after.

    • Thanks Erik! We always see eye to eye. It could have been so much better but it was just fine. Not what I was expecting from Ridley Scott.

  19. Great review Dan, I felt that since I was so revved up for it, and expected it to end where Alien started, I kind of spoiled it for myself. It’s better as its own stand alone movie, and I think the scene at the end (we all know what scene it is) is purely to keep Alien fans happy and dampens any effort to make the film original. I still really liked it though.

    • Thanks! I was pretty bummed out by this considering I was expecting something awesome but I guess it was fine with what I got. Just wanted more. Like a little kid with candy.

  20. I totally agree with what you say about it feeling like scenes are missing. Stuff just seems to happen with no build up or explanation which i think also accounts for the lack of tension. Like you, I was waiting to be knocked out by Soctt, but it just doesn’t happen. Disappointing.

  21. I agree with most of what you wrote. I would have it at a six out of ten. By the way, David could operate the controls because he had been studying both the languages and the motions of the hologram pilot.

  22. You make some great points Dan. I definitely agree with your overall thoughts on the film. I liked it but was at the same time underwhelmed.

  23. I see, you turn out to be a hard core critic for this 🙂 I didnt find the movie all that bad 🙂 May be had my expectations set right.
    I came across your profile when i saw your comment on one of my reviews “The Avengers”
    You quite are extensively into writing and that looks really good.

  24. Oh my, it’s been way too long since I’ve stopped by! You seem to be voicing the same opinions I’ve been reading on other blogs. From what I’m gathering, the visuals were great, but the story and character development was a bit of a let down. Loved this review! And good luck in the Lammys!

  25. Great review. It was definitely a letdown as far as being a prequel to alien. It was amazing to look at though. My big problem with the film were the characters. Weyland/Vickers managed to assemble the dumbest group of scientists ever.

  26. Nice review, man. One thing I did notice, how David could control the space jockey devices, I thought this was covered through those holographic scenes where he sees the crew in the past operating them. Since he is, in fact, a cyborg, I guess I just figured he was able to just watch and pick it up immediately, something a regular human likely couldn’t do. But yeah, look at me, defending things in a movie that I didn’t even like! XD

  27. Good review. I agree about Janeck suddenly having so much info about the alien but I heard that there was a lot of the story cut from the movie so we will probably see an extended version when the video is released. Ridley Scott is good at doing Director’s extended cuts of his films.

  28. Dan, as usual, I love your reviews. Prometheus promised a lot, and for the most part, for me, delivered. Ridley Scott is an amazing talent who provided the setting and visual fantasy along with a philosophical story. What really lacked was the script as the somewhat TV-esque writing that reeked schmaltz… Agree 100 percent with your assessment of Guy Pierce, as well with Michael Fassbender.

  29. I completely understand the part about the robot being able to understand the aliens… where did that even come from? I think that is one of the reasons the movie was so unattractive to me is that things just happened without any explanation!

  30. I knew exactly you thought about Prometheus. It may be just a good movie if it weren’t confusion towards the plot. The acting and visuals have overcome the differences to this sci-fi movie.

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