Prometheus – Why It’s Not As Good As Everyone Says

I like to take movies that I don’t think are quite awful but trick audiences into thinking they’re deep and engaging, when they’re really just kind of dumb. Prometheus is a really dumb smart movie in that it thinks it’s smart but it really loses it’s grip in good storytelling.  Once again I won’t go as far to call this movie Overated. I’m glad I saw it and after watching it again .. well it’s still pretty dumb, but I can say I still slightly enjoyed it.  This is the worst kind of movie, because I can tell the stems of every single problem in this film.  The actors are good, Ridley Scott made the film beautiful and atmospheric, but one guy fucked up. Damon Lindeloff.  I’ll come back to this guy a little later.

Set up and pay off

This movie has gaping problems and the start of it is that it’s a film that does nothing but set up for future films and ask questions.  The problem is that this isn’t a standalone movie. This is a prequel to a franchise that already made a habit of answering very few questions.  Now people compare to negatively to Inception in being overly complicated and overly simplistic at the same time. While I agree Inception isn’t the perfect movie it is a great movie that strikes the balance between casual movie gooers and hardcore film buffs.  Where Inception sores is that all the questions it asks the answers are inside the movie.  

You can rematch Prometheus a million times and still not get a decent solution for a lot of the questions it set up.  Now people who love the movie will sit up and speculate, but anybody whose unbiased will not find the movie fascinating.  Had this been a little independent film and that was the overall point of the film was to keep you in the dark and it actually had a satisfying climax i’d forgive it, but everything just feels like such a let down.  I have a feeling that the next movie won’t answer any questions either and will leave us in the dark once again.

Tone

I can only say this so many times.  A movie is supposed to have a consistent tone throughout.  It may get darker as the story progresses, but generally speaking you’re supposed to get an overall feel for the movie.  This movie just feels kind of stuck.  Part of it is a hard core scifi movie and then part of it is a horror movie, and at other times it’s just a typical action movie, without really smoothly going from one to the other.  As a horror movie it’s not very scary, as an action movie it’s not very visceral and anti climatic, and as a sic fi movie the characters are kind of dumb and the science fiction loses it’s way in the second act.  Even when Alien came out there was still a sense of dread or looming threat, Prometheus just feels like it might not even be a horror movie anymore. Minor complaint not a deal breaker just something I noticed.

Rules Rules Rules Rules Rules

Nothing is more important in a horror movie then setting up the rules to a universe and sticking to it.  Ex. once you get attached to a face hugger that’s game over. You’re dead. Also they set up that Android are kind of dicks.  This movie doesn’t necessarily break any rules as much as it ill defines them.

 Actually that’s too generous it doesn’t define the rules at all.  The whole black goo thing can literally do anything and everything the script requires.  Now this is a fascinating idea , that should’ve been saved for the sequel or maybe a completely different movie. David is obviously sentient but nobody acknowledges this, It just doesn’t explain shit basically.  And they had no answers for the questions they presented.  

Too Many Themes and Ideas

This movie really should’ve been it’s own trilogy. Every act should’ve been it’s own individual movie. It’s reaching too far.  This movie tries to Set up a franchise, Act as a prequel to alien, explain the mythology of man.  Now because of this the entire themes of the film fail completely.  There are in fact some fascinating ideas in here.  Humans are a cousin to the xenomorphs.  Humans are created from a weapon of mass destruction, There’s a bigger threat to the universe then xenomorphs.  But these themes don’t really play out a whole lot it’s just messy.  Take one movie to tie into alien and set up the franchise, take the next movie and use the goo as a sort of omni villain, and then use the next one to explain how man was created.  Sounds like  a pretty epic trilogy to me.

Logic and Characters Doing Dumb Shit

I’m tired of these movies having characters doing dumb shit.  They take off their masks, they put themselves in dangerous situations, that act in human, and all kinds of other stuff.  Now I don’t mind a dumb character here or there even though these are all scientists.  I can sit here and pick apart how illogical this shit is, but I won’t. Basically if you have to speculate on why a character whose in charge of mapping a site would get lost, and then his scarred buddy would engage an obviously hostile alien, then the movie fails.  But it doesn’t fail as hard as the script.

Damon Fucking Lindeloff

I hate this guy.  If I see him I might smack him.  This is someone whose notorious for introducing crazy ideas and not explaining them, because he can’t.  He’s clearly somebody who works better as a producer.  The dialogue in this movie is bad, the characters are generic and stupid, the story progression sucks. The only good thing I can say about him is he has fantastic ideas and concepts.  Had he only been a producer or just a consultant and they got somebody like Joss Wheedon or another good genre writer to fix up the gaps this would be a fantastic film.

This guy is Micheal Bay’s evil twin.  Micheal Bay makes movies unnecessarily dumb and Lindeloff makes movies unnecessarily smart and complicated.  Where as micheal bay might say ” This scene needs explosions and boobs” Lindeloff says ” This scene needs pseudo intellectual jargon that has nothing to do with the actual story, but will make it sound smart”.  What really makes me mad is that instead of being defensive like Micheal Bay he smiles and says ” Yeah I messed up again” and taking all the blame.  This guy got a lot of flack for not answering questions and making anti climatic decisions. So what does he do instead of learning from his mistakes. Does it right over and then makes lames jokes about it. Such a douche.

Solutions

Bring Tony Scott back and keep Lindeloff on only as a consultant. Don’t let him touch the actual script, bring someone who writes good genre movies like Drew Goddard or Drew Pearce.  Also don’t get rid of David he’s the only good thing that wasn’t ruined by Damon’s script.  Don’t look at the movie as a failure or a success look at it and try to improve on it and keep most of the elements the same.

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