Don't Worry, We Didn't Understand It Either: A Discussion About Prometheus

Don’t Worry, We Didn’t Understand It Either: A Discussion About Prometheus

 |  by  |  DualReviews  |  Share

 (Note: This is less of a review, and more of a discussion about Prometheus, so if you haven’t already seen the movie, there’s gonna be some spoilers coming your way. Also, much like the movie, there’s a high probability that none of this will make sense. Sorry.)

Nic D: Have you ever watched a movie and at the end felt like what the hell did I just watch?  Did I miss something?  Or like, 8 things? I gave myself a week to think about this movie and come up with a few things to write, but I kept arriving at the same thing…There has to be a second Prometheus and this is why.

Nothing was answered.

Going into Prometheus I was under the impression that this movie wasn’t based on Aliens, but did have a loose affiliation, so I tossed that in the back of my mind when I started this ride.  I’ll just say that this is correct…sort of.  Sorry, you know what, I’m so glad that this is a dual review, because if one of us had to do this on our own, we’d be in trouble. At least this way we can bounce ideas off each other and express just how confused we really were when we left the show. I’m pretty sure if I was trying to review this movie by myself, I’d just say “Go and see it for yourself…Good luck…(eye roll)”.

After about 5 or 10 minutes of silence on the car ride home, we started our questioning.  What just happened?  Where we watching the Prometheus crew meeting our makers or our destroyers? Or both?  I honestly don’t know what I watched.  Ridley Scott must have read this script and went in saying, let’s just blow everyone’s minds, but at the same time leave the audience in complete disarray when they leave.  I’m not sure how anyone could have left that theater saying, Ohhhh, I get it.  People who say that are liars, nobody got this movie and if you think you did, you’re lying.  The only people that got this movie were the writers and Ridley…and maybe a couple of the movie nerds that came up with the Giant Person language for Ridley (which apparently wasn’t just jibber-ish and had some secret translation, but nobody knows, because Ridley Scott is being an ass and won’t tell anyone what the Giant Person said).  All that we know is that the Giant Person listened to what David the Cyborg or Android (whatever, nerds) from the Prometheus crew had to say, and instantly popped a vain and had a major temper tantrum.  Not to mention this whole cockamamie mission of Prometheus was planned by a couple of adventure seeker scientists that had found a bunch of ancient markings on Earth that apparently had a map to this LV-223 Moon where they thought our creators were, but didn’t REALLY know.  They just were winging it.  Look, I’m gonna stop here and hand it over to Zac, because I’m sure I could write 10 pages about Prometheus and STILL not even be CLOSE on scratching the surface of what we watched…

 

Zac: The best barometer of a movie’s success is the conversation that it generates among people after they’ve gone to see it. As most people walk out of the theater, they’re already starting to prepare for this conversation by forming an opinion and developing a point of view about the movie. Most movies don’t generate much of a conversation outside of the car ride home, or some small talk with friends over the next day or two, however the movies that are most successful are able to create lasting buzz among the people who go to see it. They can’t wait to get home and talk to all of their friends about it, quote lines, start speculating about a sequel, and even offer to go see it with them a second time. Excited moviegoers are the best marketing tools a movie can have.

On the flip side, movies that do exceptionally poorly (either in reviews, box office, or both) generate this same level of excitement in a negative way. People can’t wait to talk about everything that was wrong with it, why the ending didn’t make sense, and why none of their friends should waste their money going to see it.

Prometheus was the rare movie able to straddle the line between these two extremes. People couldn’t wait to talk about the movie after they’d seen it, but it wasn’t necessarily because they loved or hated it. They just wanted to understand it. No doubt there were many conversations over the weekend with people insisting that their friends go see the movie, not because it was great, but because they needed another opinion on what actually happened. In some ways this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof was also responsible for LOST, one of the most debated and discussed TV shows of all time; he’s obviously got a knack for stirring up controversy on screen.

So, what did I think? Well for starters, no one can accuse this movie of being shallow or predictable. Right from the opening scene, Prometheus made the decision to dive head on into a “try to keep up, million things going on” type story, and never looked back. They set up mystery after mystery, and tried to bring the viewers up to speed on a complex (and slightly convoluted) backstory. Then when it came time to deliver the punch line, they left quite a few of those mysteries unanswered, either by choice or because they simply ran out of time.

Part of me thinks that this was all by design. They were confident that they’d do well enough to warrant a sequel, and planned the story accordingly. In fact, if they had announced the movie as part 1 of 2, or the beginning of a trilogy, none of this would be an issue. People would understand that everything needed to be set up, and the next movie(s) will provide some answers. But that wasn’t the case, which always leaves open the possibility that they just ran out of time. It’s not hard to envision the filmmakers spending countless hours and days crafting an intricate outline that covers every aspect of the world they’ve created, then arriving on set and realizing “Holy shit, this is never gonna fit into 110 minutes”.

A while back I talked about how Jurassic Park made the complex business of cloning dinosaurs accessible to everyone by boiling it down to the essential elements and creating a brief cartoon that the characters watched near the start of the movie. Was there an opportunity for Prometheus to do something similar and make sure that everyone was one the same page? Possibly, but even if there was they probably wouldn’t have done it. I think that the level of discussion, and confusion, that this movie has created is exactly what they were aiming for right from the start.

Mission accomplished boys…

 

Nic D:  Ok, now that I’ve had a chance to cool down after my first approach I’ve come up with a few more things to say, but let me just say I’m still heated, just a little bit more level headed…I guess.  I mean, I get it, maybe they had a million more things to add to the movie that they ended up having to cut because it’s hard to pull off a 3 hours movie, or yeah, maybe they wanted to make a couple movies and this was just a kick off point, but what’s with the amazing ratings?  Little lenient, right?  Other than a badass CGI clinic they put on what are we looking at?  An alien horror movie that has no ending and sparked a million questions. I love Lost, and I acknowledge the fact that a million people were a little upset now and again with it, but I’d say this movie all by itself left more unanswered questions than all 6 seasons of Lost put together.

I don’t want to take too much away from this movie, because in the end, I did enjoy myself.  I was entertained.  I’ll admit to that, but once the f*#@er (probably too much) got over and still to this very moment as I’m writing this, I want to know more.  I’m going to be pretty upset with some people if this is it.  Every day that Ridley Scott waits to announce a Prometheus 2: Sorry About the First One, I will slowly lose more and more respect for this movie.  At this point, shouldn’t there be a team of people just thinking shit up (that was from Armageddon) and getting ready to write a second movie and answer some questions?  I’m not over exaggerating, I can think of 15 questions, right now that I want answers to and that would just be scratching the surface.

1. Who was that guy at the very beginning and what was THAT all about?

2. Was the Moon they went to the original place of origin of the Giant People?  My guess is no….

3. Why is there a MAP to this place?

4. Why were the Giant People so pissed at Earth?

5. Why did David the Android poison Scientist Holloway? Just to see what happens?

6. Is the black goo made or alien related?

7. Were the Giant people running away from a black goo mishap?

8. The Giant Person head that was salvaged was “around” 2000 years old.  Does this have to do with Jesus? Jesus, probably…

9. Why do scientist touch things that obviously shouldn’t be touched? (Because it’s a movie)

10. What made oxygen inside the structure and why would people just fling their helmets off because it “seems” safe? (Hell with it, right?)

11. If the Giant Person could just go ahead and take off in another ship, why the hell does he come back for Scientist Shaw? He’s THAT pissed at humans?

12. Is David the Android a good guy at the end?

13. Stones or Beatles? (Beatles)

14. So it’s not about Aliens, but it’s kinda about aliens when a Giant Person and the Squid-ish Alien mix?

15. At the end, was Scientist Shaw going to the Giant People planet?

Back to you Zac…I give up…

Nic D. Movie Scale – 3.5/5

 

Zac:    Okay, I’ve spent some time reading the different theories that people have about Prometheus (this one in particular is well done). Some I agree with, some I don’t, but they’ve given me some more perspective and ways of looking at the movie. Although, no one seemed to be quite as angry as you are about it. Cool down? Because of a movie? Careful, before you know it you’ll be screaming “Shut Up Little Man” at people rapid fire…

We could probably fill up 10 more pages with answers to these questions, but since I’m guessing no one will even make it this far, what’s the point? I’ll try and keep it brief…

1. Who was that guy at the very beginning and what was THAT all about?

– That was one of the architects knocking back a shot of black goo and then falling apart, but creating life in the process. Maybe this is supposed to be the beginning on Earth?

2. Was the Moon they went to the original place of origin of the Giant People?  My guess is no….

– Wouldn’t it have to be though? If it’s not their home planet, then what is it?

3. Why is there a MAP to this place?

– I think the idea was that once people got their act together and got it all figured out, they’d find the map and come meet up with the architects. The better question is what was going to be the plan when people actually got there? “Hey guys. Didn’t expect to see you here so soon. Uh, come on in, let me see if I’ve got a few beers in the fridge or something.”

4. Why were the Giant People so pissed at Earth?

– The consensus here seems to be that since whatever the “incident” was that caused them to get upset happened about 2000 years ago, it probably has something to do with Jesus. I guess it’s also possible that they just made humans as an experiment and decided it was time to end it.

5. Why did David the Android poison Scientist Holloway? Just to see what happens?

– I was under the impression that David was taking his marching orders from the guy who was about 150 years old. He probably wanted to see if that was the magic formula for making you live forever, so he told David to test it on someone else first.

6. Is the black goo made or alien related?

– Didn’t we decide that the black goo is what the Architects were going to use to exterminate humans? No?

7. Were the Giant people running away from a black goo mishap?

– What kind of mishap do you think took place? I’m guessing it was something similar to this, only they didn’t have Nic Cage there to bail them out.

8. The Giant Person head that was salvaged was “around” 2000 years old.  Does this have to do with Jesus? Jesus, probably…

– I think so, yeah.

9. Why do scientist touch things that obviously shouldn’t be touched? (Because it’s a movie)

Curiosity I guess?

10. What made oxygen inside the structure and why would people just fling their helmets off because it “seems” safe? (Hell with it, right?)

– This needs to stop happening in movies, people are WAY too eager to just whip their helmets right off. Call me crazy, but if I’m exploring some alien planet, I’ll go ahead and keep the helmet on until I’m back at the ship.

11. If the Giant Person could just go ahead and take off in another ship, why the hell does he come back for Scientist Shaw? He’s THAT pissed at humans?

– Maybe he only knows how to fly the one that he was in the sleep chamber for. I’m guessing his is an automatic, but the rest of the ships were manual.

12. Is David the Android a good guy at the end?

– I think they purposely left that one open. Despite being an android, I really got the feeling that David had some ulterior motives going on.

13. Stones or Beatles? (Beatles)

On the count of three…

14. So it’s not about Aliens, but it’s kinda about aliens when a Giant Person and the Squid-ish Alien mix?

– I think the ‘Alien Prequel’ talk was a good way to get people into the theater, but I get the impression that they’re headed in a completely different direction, and that one shot of the Alien at the end is about as close as the two movies are going to get.

15. At the end, was Scientist Shaw going to the Giant People planet?

– She and Dave were headed to find the people who created the Architects (Giant People). Good luck with that…

Your move, sir…


Comments are closed.