Saw Prometheus. Review in one word: “Meh”.

Longer review with ‘spoilers’




(If you can call it that — there were ZERO surprises in this plot, so it was pretty much born spoiled).

It’s very thinly-plotted around the bones of an idea that occurred to me not long after seeing the original Alien. I am not surprised that other people thought of it too, because it was a fairly obvious idea: “The ‘space-jockeys’ are military, the aliens are biological weapons — they got loose, killed the pilot, ship crashed”. Duh. It’s the only explanation for their biology or life cycle — they simply don’t make sense as natural organisms.

The idea that the aliens actually made us too would be worthy of being called a “twist”, if they weren’t about the 100th SF movie plot to use that use that idea. But if you’re going to make that kind of counter-factual claim, you’ve got to earn it with a little bit more original thought. If we’re really engineered alien life forms, then how come we look so much like all the other animals on this planet? You’ve got to pay off that kind of debt, and they didn’t even try. With “because it’s what I choose to believe”, anti-rationalism reared its ugly head.

The “ancient evidence of a constellation of stars” thing is both tired and implausible. It’s not nearly enough information, and so, once again, you lose credibility.

And whenever they had a choice whether to do something interesting or to go for a cheap horror movie thrill… well, they took the low road.

Now the good: the art design was not bad. The characterization of David was interesting, and Michael Fassbender was pretty convincing as an android. We hated him by the end — but you know, for the reasons we were supposed to hate him. In fact, Shaw’s acceptance of him was a bit less plausible considering the circumstances, but I suppose she’s able to just think of him as a “soulless” robot. They tried anyway — that plot had some substance.

And of course, some of the art design was really not theirs — it was just derivative of the excellent design for Alien and some of the brilliance showed through.

Worth watching once. Might give it a second chance as a movie rental.


About Terry Hancock

Terry Hancock is the producer and director of "Lunatics" ( ). He is also a regular columnist for Free Software Magazine ( ), and a lifelong advocate for space, science, and technology. More at
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