What Did We Just See?: We Dissect Prometheus
Since its release last weekend, Prometheus has sparked a wildfire on the internet blogosphere. This amount of controversy and talk is usually reserved for the likes of geek monoliths such as A Song of Ice and Fire and Lost. So, what did we just see? (SPOILERS THE REST OF THE WAY)
The movie is probably the most beautiful to come out this year, and the horror set pieces are terrifying enough to make you suspend disbelief very easily. It’s a fun ride. When the final credits of Prometheus roll, it feels like you’ve just seen an amazing, classic movie. Then the doubts seep in. Was this a great movie? Was this even a good movie?
Let’s start with the beginning. Darth Albino beams down to a young planet, drinks a black goo cocktail, and then dissolves into a waterfall, as strands of DNA pass by on the screen. This was Earth, and this is the beginning of all life. Isn’t it? Then again, this planet has vegetation. So, it’s just dropping off its DNA on a lark? In an interview, director Ridley Scott said that the planet doesn’t even have to be Earth. It’s just an Engineer and a planet. So, it could be an fable meant to represent something else that actually happened in this fictional universe. That’s a lot of mind-bending in a short amount of time.
The creator of Lost, Damon Lindelof, penned Prometheus. Many of the complaints leveled toward Prometheus are similar to the ones that we saw with Lost. The complaint is that both use symbolism and allegory to create captivating universes with too many unanswered questions. Lindelof is like a kid who’s a mathematical genius in the 2nd grade. He jumps forward without showing his work. And sometimes he’s lazy.
This leads to some of the other questions we’ve had about the movie. We have included our best explanations:
Why did David decide to poison Holloway with the black goo?
He was previously shown talking to Weyland and was told to try something bolder. This was his bold experiment. It didn’t turn out well. He was acting under Weyland’s orders. As the viral video showed, David’s willing to do things humans would find morally wrong.
Why were the scientists so buddy buddy with the albino cobras?
Okay, this is bad writing. These guys are terrified of their own shadows the entire movie, but they treat slimy white vipers like golden retriever puppies.
Why was the surgery machine only configured for a man when it was in Meredith’s quarters?
It wasn’t Meredith’s machine. It was meant for Weyland, her father.
Why did Guy Pearce play someone sixty years older than himself?
This is mind-boggling. It would be silly to do that just so he could be young for the viral video.
Why didn’t anyone care that Shaw had just pulled a tentacle monster out of her belly?
This one is almost inexplicable. Maybe the other characters were too entranced by the fact that Weyland, who they thought was dead, was still alive, and they were about to make first contact with our creators. Still, a “Wow, that’s crazy” from another character would have been nice.
Why can’t Charlize Theron run sideways?
Some mysteries aren’t meant to have answers.
What does the black goo do?
Over the course of the movie, the black goo makes an Engineer disintegrate, poisons Holloway, creates ivory anacondas, infects Shaw with a tentacle baby, and turns the geologist into a space zombie. Why the different outcomes? Personality maybe is the key here. The Engineer drinks the goo selflessly, sacrificing himself in order to create. Holloway’s a decent man, so he isn’t warped or distorted. The monsters come from things that either have terrible personalities, like the geologist, or have no personality at all, like the worms, and uh, sperm.
Why did the Engineers become angry with humans 2000 years ago?
Because we killed Jesus. Ask director Ridley Scott. Yes, Jesus was an Engineer (Maybe).
Now, the most important question: was this movie good?
Yes it was. It’s fun to watch, and almost as fun to poke holes in. A flawed movie that sticks in your mind for days and weeks is always better than a good movie that you forget about in a few hours.
Did you like Prometheus?