Since the release of this film there has been a lot of debate online, some say the script was poor, others that people were expecting something Ridley Scott had never intended and yet others are hailing it as an outright masterpiece. As a result of coming late to the party I didn’t think I would be watching something amazing, but as it is set in the same universe as the Alien films I was hoping for something with good suspense and a bit of intrigue.


There are a lot of questions which people had before going into this film, many of which went entirely unanswered which is probably a good chunk of why the internet has so many decrying the movie, and you can also come out of the film with plenty questions as well. What I decided to do to figure out how I felt about this film was just to take it on its own, ignoring the fact it is set in the same universe / timeline as the Alien films and has Weyland corp in it as they are in a way merely tangential connections.

Opening with a highly symbolic scene did make me wonder what Scott was going for, and the symbolism certainly continues throughout the film despite the growing tension as the plot takes the characters further and further down the rabbit hole they find themselves exploring. Obviously the motives of the crew brought together for this mission are established fairly early on, and the level this was explored to varied quite a lot with the various characters. Only Peter Weyland seems to be clear, he does make a statement to that effect, however none seem to be what they are on the surface.

David's motivations and desires

Clearly David could be seen as the bad guy, after all he plays with Holloway’s drunken emotions to infect him with alien bio matter he has secretly brought on board, cuts off Vickers from his feed to secretly explore the bridge of the Engineer ship amongst other things. Oh, and there is his comment about everyone wanting their parents dead.

However, as an android he may simply be doing as ordered by Weyland, forced by programming, whilst trying to become more human through his exploration of language, culture and watching people’s dreams, at least those of Shaw who is the only clearly religious member of the crew. It is all too easy attribute evil to him because of his actions, but without being certain he has true free will he may only be evil because of his maker. Which in itself may be a commentary on the Engineers, as if they made us and we are evil then perhaps that is because they are evil themselves?



Of course the mission and the events which play out in Prometheus are as a result twisted and turned by these various motivations and the actions of the different crew members. There is various exposition and a little bit in the way of deus ex machina which contrives to create situations which they have to deal with but essentially it boils down to what they decide. Several events overlap each other to create a growing pace in the middle of the film which I must say works well, the interplay between Holloway, David, Vickers and Shaw is really at the core of it.

Fifield and Millburn

I found the use of the two scientists rather forced. Fifield produces units which can scan and map the entire structure by floating down the corridors, yet he can’t get a basic read out on his equipment to guide them out? Seems too convenient, but I suppose you can put that down to ‘the jitters’.

These fears seem to be completely lost when confronted by an alien snake, which I think is an early form of the face hugger since it appears to put its ovipositor down Millburns throat. Really Ridley? Are they going to freak out a bit at a beheaded body and then later not be so bad when something is actually alive? I’m not sure I can buy that one so easily.



By the end however the choices made by the crew lead to the conclusion which I think is fairly easy to predict, if not necessarily how it gets there. This left me feeling a little flat as a result, there were lots of things which were deliberately left vague so why leave the ending the way it was? My suggestion would be to perhaps end at the line “I just can’t anymore.”, but perhaps I am missing something Ridley is trying to get across with the final section.

Conjecture about Vickers

I do find myself wondering if Vickers is actually dead. Though it is probably fair to assume that she is, it could be interesting if she was merely knocked unconcious and left on LV 223 and that is where the next film picks up.

If she is indeed an android, as is suggested by the Captain Janek and further supported by her ability to pin David to the wall, then she might have survived even if only partially damaged. Not to mention that if so then she wouldn’t need the pod life support, being essentially immortal in that sense, which considering the med pod is programmed for operations on males only suggests to me that the entire pod was intended to keep someone else alive.



I’m still not sure what to make of the plot overall, as you can probably tell!  I left the cinema feeling underwhelmed as it simply didn’t seem complex or deep, merely deliberately too vague in areas to hook my interest and drive a desire to understand or interpret. Perhaps I need to watch it again to give it another try.


Noomi Rapace (Dr Elizabeth Shaw) and Michael Fassbender (David) absolutely dominate the cast list for me and though Charlize Theron (Meredith Vickers) is strong as ever, her part is much smaller which diminishes the effect of her acting.

The journey Shaw goes through in the course of the storyline is, I feel, twinned with that of David’s and perhaps a deliberate juxtaposition. As a result Noomi’s performance of raw emotions coupled with Michael giving us what I think is one of the better android portrayals in many years (in particular I’m considering AI a poor show, Blade Runner set the tone I think).

The supporting cast however is nicely picked, though I do wonder at Guy Pearce. Why bring in Peter Weyland and make Guy Pearce look old for this part? He isn’t terrible, but it does seem odd.

Visuals & Effects

It really isn’t a surprise that this film is absolutely visually stunning. You can see the Geiger influences clearly in various areas, some nice hints here and there to the Alien series and a great deal of attention to detail (though I did chuckle quietly at the windows taskbar which few people notice and I only did because I knew beforehand …) is given throughout the rest of the film.

The ship itself both outside and in is very well done, a nice modern and baroque mix through the VTOL style engines and apparently random crenellations of sensor spines. Yes you could compare it to the ship in Firefly but I imagine you could find another SF ship which looks like that which is older than Captain Mal’s old piece of junk. I found the flight scenes to be really impressive and watching in 3D you really got some nice depth to it, though you really get the benefit of 3D viewing with the holographic sections as they were spectacular.

My favourite though was the wardrobe, the environment suits were brilliant and the Engineers looked impressive with the subtle yet different muscle structure. What makes this films styling stand out is that every character was styled to fit their personality and role. From the tattoos on the head of Fifield (Sean Harris) to the baseball capped ghetto style of Janek, David’s clinical mannequinesque appearance to the sharp and business look of Vickers they all looked the part. I could really believe they were people doing their jobs.


My feelings on the soundtrack are mostly good, there were just a couple of sections where I thought it became a little over bearing but then if you are in a silica storm with 200kph winds then you probably aren’t going to be whistling yourself a tune either … yet as a cinema goer I don’t want to actually be uncomfortable due to sound levels. What I liked was the lack of shipboard function sounds. All too often SF offerings will give every button a tone to beep when press, which would be fine if the person wasn’t sat at a bank of dozens to choose from which would in reality create a cacophony not some melodic sequence.

In truth I didn’t notice the musical score a great deal, it was there and carried along nicely with the film without intruding. What that might have done, at least for me, is lessen the impact of some scenes because there wasn’t a beat to drive your subconscious along with your conscious mind.


At the end of the film I felt I hadn’t really been asked anything new by the film, nothing really leapt out or struck me as a reason to watch the film again to think about it further and seek deeper meaning either in terms of the movie plot or its part in the Alien universe. However it also didn’t really give me anything beyond some good tension in places and some cool new aliens, I honestly don’t feel terribly compelled to find out who the Engineers are. Perhaps Ridley will do something else with future films, who knows, but it didn’t make me suddenly want to make conjecture about face huggers, time travel or the various other theories I have seen all over the internet. I felt underwhelmed and wasn’t sure why.

All in all I was entertained, made to cringe a bit, given a visual feast and had a couple of hours of SF romp which were good. It isn’t “a serious version of Firefly” which I saw it referred to previously, however it is also not going to redefine the genre overnight because it has nothing utterly new. Worth a watch over the other offerings at cinema right now if you are an SF fan I would say (Men in Black 3 and Storage 24 just aren’t as strong), and if you want to there is apparently plenty to read into the storyline and characters.