Everyone on the ship is quite stupid. They might as well have shot the cast of Hollyoaks into space, for the quality of decision-making on display.
They land on a moon, they find an Engineer base, and they are endangered by thousands of tins of Plot Goo. Plot Goo is vital to this film – it serves every required narrative function. Need an alien to scatter his DNA into the ocean? Have him drink some Plot Goo. Want worms to turn into big aggressive genital monsters? Bathe them in Plot Goo. Need a character to turn into a monkey-monster? Simply splash liberally with Plot Goo!
New improved Plot Goo can even infect a man’s semen, implanting a prototype facehugger into his sterile girlfriend’s lady-tuppence. It really is marvelous stuff.
Later, Mike from Neighbours turns out to be on the ship and he owns everything, so he gets to go to the base and wake up the last Engineer. This Engineer is a bit cross at being spoken to – he reacts as you might if your colony of sea monkeys poked you in the shoulder and asked you what the hell you were playing at. Well, he reacts as you would if you were a homicidal maniac who really hated sea monkeys. So there’s the answer – man meets God, and he’s a complete a-hole.
The Engineers also look like Henson muppets. Some people might find this detracts from their menace, but remember that Ridley Scott was trying to capture the vtal demographic of people who have nightmares where they are pursued down corridors by a really ripped Beaker.
Once you’ve finished the film, you’ll be asking yourself these questions:
Why did the Engineer drink the Plot Goo in the opening scene? His friends told him it was Diet Coke. That was why he looked so surprised when he dissolved. His six mates were just out of shot, pissing themselves.
Why would the Engineers leave cave paintings pointing at an unimportant moon they used as a military installation? Originally it had some totally awesome soft furnishings, and they were hoping one day House & Garden would do a feature. This also explains the Engineer’s actions after being woken. He thought Michael Fassbender was from the magazine, and who could blame him? When he found out this wasn’t the case – Fassbender’s line translates as “We are not interested in your throw rugs” – carnage was bound to ensue.
Why did Mike from Neighbours keep his presence onboard Prometheus a secret? It might have seemed a pointless deception, but did you see how much make-up he had on? Mike from Neighbours could put up with that for two days shooting, tops.
How did Surly Uggo get lost on the way out of the temple, when he had shown everyone else the way in? Yes, initially that seems to make little sense, but remember if anything remains confusing about the movie simply repeat ‘I expect the Plot Goo did it’.
Why did a qualified biologist insist on reaching out to touch an unknown yet clearly aggressive alien genital creature? It reminded him of his mother.
Why did Charlize Theron run from a toppling ship in exactly the direction it was gradually falling? This was a clever reference to Tom & Jerry cartoons. In the original cut Charlize nearly makes it then the ship raps her on the head several times, driving her into the ground like a fence post. Then a big bump appears on the top of her head, piercing the top of her helmet and allowing the atmosphere to poison her. It would have been very moving.
Ridley, why didn’t you make a film a bit more like Alien, because that was good, wasn’t it? Because shut up, that’s why.
1st Nov 04 Above all though, it is the relationship between John and Laura Baxter which is the film’s central focus throughout, and the gradual disintegration of their relationship amidst a haze of grief.