(I don't write movie reviews...but this film was so bad I felt it necessary to warn you.)
"Prometheus," which opened to wide acclaim from both critics and audiences, is an absolutely terrible film, but it represents a summation of Ridley Scott's career by revisiting the same themes he explored in in "Alien," the 1979 hit on which he made his bones as a theatrical film director.
"Alien," for anyone who doesn't know, was the classic entry in the "aliens are out to get us" school of science fiction films.
In that film, the crew of a salvage tug is awakened from hibernation to investigate an alien distress signal that is emanating from an uninhabited planet where the crew discovers a derelict spaceship loaded with a strange cargo of amphorae that appear to contain a strange alien life form that attaches itself to any available host, impregnating said host with a spoor that incubates into a very different, and ferociously hostile life-form.
Early on in "Alien," we get a brief glimpse of the deceased star travelers, who appear to be humanoids but much bigger than we are....but we are left guessing about where the aliens were going, and why they were transporting their deadly and apparently useless cargo.
(Spoiler alert...except that if you actually go to see this film, well, let's just say you were warned: if you've seen Alien, you've already seen this one.)
Prometheus was designed to answer those questions....and the answers are quite disturbing, because it turns out that the aliens who were transporting the creatures were the same aliens who seeded the earth with the DNA that eventually became us, the same aliens whose occasional visits to these precincts have been documented by various disconnected ancient cultures whose depictions of strikingly similar pictures of "the gods" appear to indicate frequent stopovers by our alien makers.
I use the term "makers" advisedly because there is a vampire-ish quality to the aliens and the creatures they are transporting.
Aside from the really bad science involved at every turn in the plot, the ultimate answer to the question of where the ancient aliens were going is, of course, Earth....and their mission was to wipe out the human race by introducing the equally alien monsters to our planet.
In other words, the aliens...not God....created us and the aliens...not God.....were bent on destroying us for some unknown reason.
Let's get back to the bad science.
The concept that, by dumping alien DNA into our water supply, we would eventually come into existence is simply beneath comment.
Let's not even get into the impossibility of faster than light travel (because there are always some morons out there who will always want to argue the point) which would render the entire plot moot.
Let's focus instead on good expedition management.
You do not take off your space helmet on an unknown planet with unknown disease vectors possibly present, nor do you bring samples of the shit you find out there into your spaceship. People do not disobey mission leaders. Period. Groups never break up while exploring underground facilities. Sometimes, people don't come back when you do that.
Aside from those caveats, there's a scene where the female heroine jumps into an automated surgical unit, has an emergency C-section performed to remove the alien growing inside her, then jumps out of the surgical unit....after just having had the incision stapled together....and starts running around like a maniacal heroine trying to prevent the aliens from delivering their fatal cargo to Earth.
We actually broke out laughing during this sequence.
The only thing more ridiculous was the sequence during which the last surviving alien, awakened from hibernation, jumps up - after 2,000 years in cold storage - tears the head off the android (there's always an android in a Ridley Scott science fiction film and I have my doubts about Russell Crowe), immediately jumping into the driver's ship of his derelict aircraft and proceeding to make ready to take off for Earth to deliver the death knell to humanity.
He's not even surprised to wake up to find himself surrounded by human beings, doesn't even give it a second thought.
Of course, he's foiled by the intrepid Earth ship's captain who crashes his starship into the alien's ship , preventing it from leaving the planet...and leaving our erstwhile heroine stranded there.
The beheaded android comes to the rescue, suggesting that there are other alien starships on this planet that might be used to get home again....but our heroine doesn't want to go home: she wants to find the alien's home planet. She wants to know why they want to kill us.
Oh my God, is Ridley actually thinking of making a sequel to THIS?
There are some problems with this outcome.
First of all, if all of the alien ships on this planet are derelict - and they must be or they wouldn't be on this planet - there's no reason to assume that they are functional.
Even if they are functional, there's really no point in visiting the alien's home planet because, after 2,000 years during which the aliens have been hibernating on this derelict planet, no subsequent expedition has arrived on Earth to wipe us out....leading us to the inevitable conclusion that the aliens have managed to wipe themselves out in the process of trying to wipe us out.
This makes our manic heroine's expedition to the alien planet a useless endeavor because they are almost certainly all dead.
Besides which, it doesn't take a genius to figure out why they want us dead.
Imagine a group of chimpanzees have gotten hold of several thousand nuclear bombs, and we find them playing around with the trigger mechanisms.
What would you do?
Attempt to gently remove the triggers from their possession....or blow the shit out of them on the reasonable grounds that they might just do it again somehow?
The 1979 version of this film launched Scott's career, giving us Blade Runner, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, American Gangster and his revisionist version of Robin Hood, but Scott is now circling around to revisit old themes, with Prometheus and a currently untitled take off from Blade Runner, according to IMDB.
The 2008 remake - and really is a remake with the same basic plot elements - of his classic might just put the kibosh on science fiction monster films....and good riddance to them.
On second thought, the box office numbers seem to suggest that there's no bottom to the reduced expectations of the movie-going public.
You have been warned. Don't make my mistake. Don't go. Your ticket purchase will just encourage them to make more shit like this.