As this movie was released exactly three years ago, I feel it appropriate to watch and see what “the fuss is all about” so to speak. Prometheus is a prequel to Alien (1979) and as such promises to answer the questions raised in that film, primarily the nature of the “space jockey” and the “xenomorph”. What this movie does though is just raise more questions. But what do you expect when one of the writers is Damon Lindelof, co-creator of confusion incarnate Lost?
Prometheus taken as a whole is very similar in structure to Alien: the mysterious alien ship, the android with ulterior motives, and the lone survivor. It comes off a tad predictable if you know the first film. And there lays the movie’s weakness: the plot. I felt like I barely got to know some of the characters; that really puts a damper on my feelings when they finally croak. One death in particular bothers me, it’s when one of them talks to a tentacle like it’s a dog. You can see his death coming from the other side of the universe and when it finally happened, I laughed. I hope that was the screenwriter’s intent because knowing what’s going to happen kind of negates it being scary. And no, jump-scares aren’t scary.
The title Prometheus calls back to Greek mythology where the eponymous Prometheus steals fire from the gods for mankind, and is rewarded with having his guts eaten by a vulture for all eternity. But who is Prometheus in this story? Is it us or the precursors? What we learn at the end of the movie is that the creation of mankind is seen as a mistake by the precursors. Why is never explained. Perhaps it is similar to the reason why people created the androids, to improve upon our own design; they do not age or need to breathe or eat. But in perfection something is lost: the soul. The precursors are in many ways like the android, in that they are manifestations of the ideal.
From what we see of them is that, they are identical to one another (perhaps cloned), are warlike and brutish to a frightening degree, and still see the value of primitive religious ceremonies. They are not perfect, nor are they gods. They seek to snuff out the fire they made as man, because they are afraid of it; they see in us a perfection they cannot have. The themes and questions it raises are by far the strongest part of the film, and if you want a film that makes you ponder the biggest questions, then I believe you will enjoy this film. I did. Prometheus is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.