After the movie Prometheus was released, it was met both both positive and negative reception. Some people praised the great performances of the actors and the stunning special effects while others claimed the movie had numerous plot holes and a flat story line. Whatever your opinion about the film may be, I believe that Prometheus is a very unique story that deserves some attention.
Prometheus is a 2012 film by director Ridley Scott and stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, and Guy Pearce. It is set during the year 2089 and is a prequel to the classic 1979 science-fiction film hit Alien. Although it is a prequel, it is not just a tacky set-up for the Alien franchise. This film, in all respects, is a stand-alone film with its own rich plot that is entertaining for anyone, whether you have seen Alien or not.
The film starts with a waterfall view and a spacecraft hovering over the scenic landscape. You see no animals and no hint of life other than plants. That is, until a humanoid creature with pale skin takes center screen. This being, later called an “Engineer” by the main characters of the movie, drinks a mysterious liquid that causes his body to deteriorate. As his body breaks down, his remains fall into the waterfall and stream where his genetic DNA make-up begins to break apart and reform. It cuts to a transitioning scene that shows DNA molecules moving and reforming, implying that this is the genesis of man kind and evolution.
This opening scene makes quite a bold assertion. It implies that man-kind, and all of life for that matter, was created by extraterrestrial beings. For what reason is unknown but it is heavily hinted later in the film that it may have just been an experiment and that this race of “Engineers” have been doing this long before Earth. This is just one of many questions that are left for the audience to decide.
The movie transitions to the future where the crew members of the spaceship Prometheus are under a sleep stasis and being cared to be the android named David (Michael Fassbender). As the crew awakes, they undergo their post-stasis routines and gather for a meeting. Two archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall Green), have been discovering similar images around the world across many ancient civilizations. These pictures, which shows a large being pointing to celestial bodies, is believed to be linked to the origin of man. The two archaeologists have used information gathered from their archaeological sites to construct a star-map to the planet being shown in the pictures. The exploration is revealed to have been funded by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) of Weyland Corporation. (In case you haven’t seen any Alien movies, The Weyland-Yutani Corporation is the conglomerate behind many space exploring expeditions, especially those involved in space colonization This is a glimpse at the the origin of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation).
As the crew lands on the planet, there are doubts among the team if they will find anything. They enter a cave-like area that mysteriously has an atmospheric condition that is breathable by humans. They search the cave and discover large dead creatures with what appears to be a bony exoskeleton. Now, a fan of the old franchise will immediately recognize these aliens as the Space Jockey from the original Alien film (and if they are like me, they would have yelled profanity at the screen at of pure excitement). They also discover a room filled with containers. Their presence in the room triggers the containers to open and they begin to release black ooze, which worms happen to start swimming in.
The crew is called back to the ship after news of a storm that will be in the area soon. A severed alien head is brought back to the ship while two of the crew members get lost in the cave. The crew member happen to make their way back into the room where the containers of black ooze are held. One of them sees a creature slithering in the ooze and approaches it. The creature is a mutated form of a worm that came into contact with the black substance. The mutation has caused the worm to dramatically grow in size, develop new anatomical features, and become extremely violent. The creature attacks the two men; one is killed and the other escapes, only after coming into contact with the ooze. If you ask me though, with the way the man approached this obviously dangerous creature, he kind of deserved to get killed off in the movie. I mean for Pete’s sake, this thing looked like an alien snake ready to attack .
After the crew examines the DNA of the Engineer, they discover that their genetic structure is extremely similar to our own which means they played a role in the development of the human race. This is the information that they have been searching for and they finally have made a huge break through. But they aren’t the only people who receive new information; after discovering that the bony exoskeleton on the Engineer is really a suit, fans finally gain more knowledge about the “Space Jockey” seen in the first Alien film.
David, the android who has been ominously following the crew in the cave and has been acting very suspiciously, spikes the drink of Elizabeth Shaw’s love interest with a drop of black ooze recovered from the site. After this, Elizabeth Shaw has a….very special night with this man. A lot more special than she knows because he has just impregnated her with an alien creature. Holloway, the man who has been tainted by black ooze, becomes gradually more sick until he requests to be burned alive by a flamethrower. The other man from earlier who came into contact with the ooze when he was attacked by the mutated worms becomes deformed and violent and attacks the crew. After a large struggle and a few deaths, the crew is able to subdue him. This same fate that might have happened to Holloway if he had not died.
Once Shaw discovers the alien creature inside of her, she runs to the medical bay and has the squid-like creature cut out from her body in one of the best, most intense scenes of the film. She then accompanies David, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), and a very old Peter Weyland who has been hiding on the ship the entire time, to an area in the cave where David had discovered a live dormant Engineer. Peter Weyland had funded this exploration and hid on the ship in order to find the creators of man in order to make some sort of deal with the Engineers to extend his life. His plans go down the drain when David attempts to communicate with the Engineer and the tall pale alien disembodies David’s head and attacks the crew, killing Weyland.
As Vickers and Shaw escape, the alien activates his ship that contains the black ooze and is headed towards Earth to release it there and destroy the population. Shaw informs these intentions to the pilots of the Prometheus and they decide they would rather die than let that happen; they fly their own ship kamizaki-style into the alien ship, destroying both crafts. The alien ship then crashes downward, destroying the escape pod Vickers is in and kills her.
Shaw makes her way back to the medical station she was at earlier to discover the squid-like alien that she has dissected from her body is not only still alive, but has grown to massive proportions. At this moment, the crippled David informs Shaw that the Engineer survived the crash and is now on his way to kill her. As he enters the medical station, Shaw is able to trick him to get close to the massive squid alien where the Engineer is then ensnared in his tentacles and has an appendage shoved down his throat and he is assumed dead.
Shaw returns to the helpless android David and repairs him. He tells her there is another ship and that he can take them back to Earth. She then convinces a reluctant David that she does not wish to return home, but wants him to take her to the Engineers’ home world in order to discover why they wanted to kill off humans. They enter a ship and start the journey into the stars. The movie cuts back to the Engineer lying on the medical station floor. His body jerks and convulses. The camera shifts more to the side to reveal a creature has burst from his body and is now standing beside his corpse. The creature, who was implanted into the Engineer by the squid-like monstrosity (perhaps an early, larger version of the “face-huggers” of the Alien franchise), comes into view. The lights flicker on and off as the camera zooms in and what is shown is absolutely heart-racing; the creature is a pre-developed Xenomorph of the original series!
Prometheus was a Greek Titan that created humans and stole fire from the gods to help them prosper. For aiding the humans, he was tortured for eternity. This is an important message in the movie: through the attempt to better mankind, you might find your own destruction.
For me, Prometheus is a work of art. This film had its own plot line but it also had many easter eggs for hardcore Alien fans. An argument held by critics is that the movie left too many holes in the plot. Well, I do not see it as a bad thing and in fact, it is the reason I love this movie so much! I am tired of movies who have plots made for 5 year olds. I am tired of writers and directors who expect a stupid audience and force feed us all the info we need. I am tired of plot lines that leave no room for interpretation. This movie however answers many questions, not only from here but also from the original Alien franchise, such as: What is that bony monster thing that Sigourney Weaver discovers sitting in the chair? It also leaves many important things up to the audience to string together and decide, such as: Why did the Engineers create humans in the first place? But most importantly, these plot holes leave room for more sequels to Prometheus! Which I am eagerly awaiting! So if you have not seen this movie yet, don’t let this summary keep you from watching it. I guarantee that you will still enjoy it !