In Space, No One Can Hear You Get An Abortion:
A Review of ‘Prometheus’
“And then, I dunno, fucking squid babies represent Space Jesus or something. Just film whatever you want.” – Ridley Scott, first day of production, Prometheus.
So three weeks after it came out, Photo Boy and I finally got around to seeing Prometheus – The Superficial: Poignant, timely, penis jokes. – which resulted in me spending pretty much the entire weekend reading and/or watching online diatribes to try and figure out what the fuck was happening in this movie and fortunately arriving at an answer. I even read James Franco‘s fart-sniffing review for The Huffington Post which I should’ve realized was biased considering all the aliens had a dick nose and he practically invented the medium. Anyway, this review is going to be filled with unavoidable spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie, I’ll give you my quick recommendation: I enjoyed the shit out of it even moreso than The Avengers. Granted, it’s purposefully vague, breathtakingly nonsensical at times and filled with shit characters save Michael Fassbender, but it’s fucking gorgeous to look at and in case I haven’t bitched enough, I spent the entire weekend not being able to stop thinking about it. It’s a cool little film in spite of its flaws which I’m about to get into:
SPOILER ALERT: In case you skipped my opening paragraph (I WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN.), I’m not even trying to be coy with this one because I want to be able to point out the ridiculousness of some of the plot points because, at the end of the day, Prometheus is a movie that attempts to piggyback a very high-concept, mythological story on the back of a shit-ass, stereotypical horror movie complete with shit-ass stereotypical characters doing stupid shit-ass things.
The Shit That Worked:
– Michael Fassbender as David, the Lawrence of Arabia-obsessed android with advanced being a super-huge asshole programming. Take Ian Holm’s Ash and then also make him a smarmy psycopath. Best character in the film and really the only one holding the whole thing together.
– The production design and visuals. Just fucking top notch. And I didn’t even see it in 3D because I respect myself as a person.
– The first few hours I spent rethinking the movie in my head minus all the stupid shit the Prometheus crew did. You’re gonna want to not do that, or you’ll end up like this:
Hilariously awesome videos aside, Ridley Scott wanted people to see clues in the movie and then fill in the pieces themselves. Granted, this works for a short while, until you realize there are some huge fucking holes in this thing and the majority of them can’t be filled without explanations after the fact from screenwriter Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott whose explanations specifically just make shit even worse which I’ll get into shortly.
– Damon Lindelof’s explanation for the main impetus of the plot: Did the Engineers even want humans to visit them? Of all the explanations this is the one I like the most because unlike every other theory floating around out there, you could deduce it from the film itself and not require a viral video and/or information from the filmmakers. Via io9:
You look at a cave wall, there’s somebody pointing at some distant planets, and one interpretation is “This is where we come from” another is “We want you to come here.” Where are we drawing that from? I think another thing that’s interesting about the system that they visit is that the moon the land on in Prometheus is LV 223. And we know LV 426 is where the action takes place in Alien, so are they even in the right place? And how close are they to the place that these aliens on cave walls were directing them. Were they just extrapolating “This is the system that has the sun with the sustainable life.” So there’s a lot of guesswork. There’s a small line in the movie where David and Holloway are talking about David’s deconstruction of the language based on Holloway’s thesis, and he says “If your thesis is correct” and Holloway says “If it’s correct?” and David says “That’s why they call it a thesis Doctor.”
Long story short, “Whoops, wrong planet.” Which is essentially what Noomi Rapace’s character says to David. “We were wrong about everything.” You look back at the movie like that, and the clues are definitely there and gets rid of the pesky question of, “Wait, why the hell would the Engineers invite them to a military base? Or anywhere?” They didn’t.
– Making me want to a sequel. There’s clearly going to be one, and despite all the problems with this one, which mostly have to do with the crew of Prometheus, and fuck, they’re all gone, I legitimately want to see what happens next. Whether that says more about the movie or me being a giant fucking nerd is open to debate as long as nobody goes, “Wait. I got it: Space Jesus!”
– Pretty much all that stuff I just said about a sequel but applied to the Director’s Cut Blu-Ray with 20-30 minutes of extra footage added godfuckingdamnyou, Ridley Scott!
The Shit That Kinda Worked:
– Figuring out what the hell the Engineers fucking do. In the first scene, on a very Earth-like looking planet, you see a robed Engineer drink a cup full of black, oily goo as a UFO takes off above him. He drinks the shit, his body starts disintegrating causing him to fall into a waterfall and completely shatter apart, and then you see strands of DNA separating. For the rest of the movie, THIS SCENE IS NEVER REFERENCED AGAIN. So just from watching Prometheus, you have absolutely no clue what happened here and are left to your own devices. My own devices imagined this scenario:
ENGINEER ON UFO: Hey, dude, drink this shit, and, uh, we’ll be up on our UFO watching what happens.
ROBED ENGINEER: No prob. *drinks, dies falls into waterfall*
ENGINEER ON UFO: Ohmygod, he actually drank it. HA! What an idiot. Now somebody write down that’s what that stuff does, and let’s get the fuck outta here.
Except it turns out there’s a much more boring explanation which Ridley Scott freely offered after the movie came out because, again, there’s absolutely no goddamn way you would’ve deduced this yourself:
That could be anywhere. That could be a planet anywhere. All he’s doing is acting as a gardener in space. And the plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself.
So basically these Engineer show up on a planet, drink a cup of black goo and toss their disintegrating bodies into the water to create life. Which is incredible because NOWHERE IS THIS PROCESS MENTIONED OR EVEN ALLUDED TO IN THE FUCKING MOVIE. Which brings me to:
– SPACE JESUS! Sometime after the film came out, Ridley Scott gave an interview with Movies.com where he reveals a possible, keyword: possible, scenario of why the Engineers want to wipe out humans on Earth, if they’re even trying to wipe them out. For all we know, they just want to drop black goo on us and see what kind of crazy squid shit we turn into “because they can” which while I’m on that line, an answer from one of the scientists to Fassbender’s David when asked why humans created androids, is really the more nihilistic approach I’d like to see be the reason why the Engineers (and/or their not-yet-seen master(s) if there is/are any) create and destroy life: “Eh, there’s nothing else to do.” But anyway, here’s Ridley Scott potentially shattering that illusion by revealing why all the Christian symbolism was (possibly) mashed into the film with all the subtlety of a drunk pressing his dick against a bus window and screaming “BLOWJOB!” Although, it could’ve just been Damon Lindelof trying to be clever by throwing in whatever religious theme seems clever at the time ala LOST which worked out really well for that show:
You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?
Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him.
Catch all that: Humanity killed Space Jesus and that’s why we’re going to be birthing squid babies and/or turning into Peter Skarsgard’s character from Green Lantern or however the fuck that black goo stuff works. Let’s not pretend anyone knows. Now keep in the mind, this is Ridley Scott talking about a subplot that he claims he abandoned, yet that didn’t stopped some dude on LiveJournal from writing what has basically become the most heavily-cited online Bible for why Prometheus was about Space Jesus, even though a.) the dude couldn’t figure out those snake/dick-monster things came from the worms that conveniently happened to be there (Although, he did embed some sweet YouTube videos which I’ve used liberally.) and b.) there’s absolutely no way to draw this conclusion unless Ridley Scott said something. On that note, here’s Comic Book Girl 19 shooting down the Space Jesus theory and pretty much nailing why the fuck Ridley Scott even brought it up along with highlighting the films Lovecraftian subtext in case the alien squid baby didn’t tip you off. (Can you tell I got way too fucking into this movie?):
– Prometheus as a “stand-alone” film. Kind of, but let’s not stop bullshitting everyone, Damon Lindelof. And why do I say that? Via io9:
But I do feel like, embedded in this movie are the fundamental ideas behind why it is the Engineers would want to wipe us out. [Ed. Note: Embedded so deep you need a sequel to pull them out.] If that’s the question that you’re asking. The movie asks the question, were we created by these beings? And it answers that question very definitively. [Ed. Note: No, not really. We share the same DNA is not "definitively."] But in the wake of that answer there’s a new question, which is, they created us but now they want to destroy us, why did they change their minds? That’s the question that Shaw is asking at the end of this movie, the one that she wants answered. I do think that there are a lot of hints in this movie that we give you quite an educated guess as to why. [Ed. Note: It's Christmas Eve, virgin birth, something happened "2,000 years ago," ah, fuck, you are going with Space Jesus!] But obviously not to the detriment of what Shaw might find when she goes to talk to these things herself.
Shorter Damon Lindelof: “We provided what we, the people who know what the fuck is happening so it’s super obvious to us unlike you retards, are clues to answer all the questions the movie asked – but not really, so see Prometheus 2 in theaters June 2014!” You wrote this thing to set up a sequel. Just fucking own it and don’t blow Space Jesus sunshine up our butts.
The Shit That Shat:
– The entire Prometheus crew and everything they fucking said or did. Just what a complete collection of random assholes, acting incoherently and doing horribly cliched horror movie things in a supposedly intellectual movie presupposing ancient astronauts created man not God. I could make a giant list, but I feel like the Internet has done a million of them in the three weeks since the movie came out, so let me hit the most ridiculous one: The Squid-bortion.
Minutes after pulling a goddamn alien squid fetus out of a giant, open cut in her abdomen, a half-naked, bleeding Noomi Rapace stumbles into a room full of people prepping Guy Pearce in the worst movie makeup I’ve ever seen in my life, including David who fucking knows she had an alien squid baby in her uterus, and looks at her bleeding with her stomach stapled like that shit happens every fucking day and go right back to what they were doing. Apparently, that’s the equivalent of seeing a bird in the future. “Hey, dude, how’s it going?” “Eh, some half-naked chick self-aborted an alien squid on my car again. So, catch the game?” Even worse, they’re all like, “So we’re going to talk to the Engineers?” And she’s like, “Yeah, sure, I’ll come,” and we all pretend the abortion didn’t happen until it conveniently pops back up to save the day, because again, alien squid babies being yanked out of chick’s stomach? NBD. Which brings me to:
– The xenomorph. If your vagina suddenly grew a spiked vulval wall to specifically ward off me for typing that word, a xenomorph is the alien from Alien which Prometheus started out as a direct prequel to until Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott diluted that down to just “in the same universe.” That said, there are a lot of heavy-handed references to the Alien films, the worst one being the xenomorph, or fine, nerds, a cousin to the xenomorph, inexplicably bursting out of the Engineer’s chest after Noomi Rapace’s aborted squid-baby fucked him in the mouth. (Not an exaggeration.) It was just a horribly tacked-on scene that I’m almost positive went down like this:
RIDLEY: And that’s a wrap- Aw, fuck, I just remembered this thing is supposed to tie into Aliens. Uh, make one burst out of that Engineers’ chest.
FX GUY: That makes no sense whatsoever.
RIDLEY: Your point?
Well, I’ve rambled way too long as usual, but before I leave this bloated mess of a review, I’d like to offer up my answers to some of the lingering questions left by Prometheus. Like I’ve said, I’ve spent all weekend going over this movie, and I’m almost positive I’ve nailed what’s happening in it. So here’s what I propose an answer to:
Who are the Engineers?
Why can’t Charlize Theron run sideways especially considering she’s an android?
What was the Engineers ship made out of?
Who was David really taking orders from?
Why did Stringer Bell not give a shit about the lives of the two guys in the cave, but was willing to sacrifice himself to save the Earth?
Why did Holloway, a scientist, not immediately tell someone fucking tentacles were coming out of his eyes? Particularly the woman he just fucked and more than likely contaminated? And how, I might add.
Who created the Engineers?
Why do they really want to bomb us with black goo?
The answer to all these questions:
MICHAEL FASSBENDER’S PENIS
How do I know? Because Charlize Theron said she’ll work with it again, yet we never see it in the movie.
Photo: 20th Century Fox