This review contains spoilers. If you plan to see this movie (despite my suggestion otherwise), don’t read this post.
This movie, like Avatar before it, is visually stunning, but in the end is a vapid effort. It is sci-fi horror film that tries unsuccessfully to be something deeper. Three of the main actors are good in their roles and deserve credit: Noomi Rapace (tough-as-nails heroine), Charlize Theron (mission field manager and ice queen), and Michael Fassbinder (sarcastic robot). But in the end, they can’t overcome their idiotic material. Director Ridley Scott laid an egg with this one.
The movie plot concerns an intergalactic exploration mission in search of the beginnings and mean of life, which involves landing on the moon of a distant planet that looks strangely like our Saturn. After landing on the dark moon, and without any real preparation, the crew heads off in search of an alien race, somehow related to humans.
The crew, which looks like volunteers from a federal penitentary, is strangely inept. They take off their helmuts when they determine that the air is okay to breath, without concern for pathogens and other organic substances. Some of the crew members can’t decide if they are risk adverse, or crazy risk takers.
There is no decontamination facility on the space ship. So the mission field director is forced to use a flame thrower, a fairly gruesome procedure. But Steven Peck describes the biological problems with the movie much better than I can.
The highlight or lowlight of the movie is when the main character gives herself a c-section abortion (in a special medical-treatment tank). I don’t know who should be the most offended by this scene: the Catholic clergy, the right-to-life folks, or PETA. Then right after the abortion, the heroine heads out looking for aliens; she has remarkable recuperative powers.
And, of course, there are silly scenes with the heroine’s crucifix necklace. They are an attempt at religious symbolism, but the writers’ and director’s effort falls flat. And the end of the Prometheus is just plain stupid. And sets up the possibility for a sequel. Ugh.
This movie is unintentially funny. I laughed during much of it, occasionally outloud. According to Steven Peck, it is “worth seeing, if you are willing to set aside much.” Sean Means of the SLTrib gave it 3-1/2 stars and it had a 74 percent approval rating on rottentomatoes.com (last time I checked). My recommendation: skip it, unless you want to see the visuals. At the moment, sci-fi movies seem much better at creating alternative worlds and spaceships than they are at plot development.