Red Box Review: PROMETHEUS

by Steve MacDonald

PrometheusPrometheus is Ridely Scott’s ostentatious pre-boot prequel of the Alien franchise and if you had $1.20 and were not sure whether to buy 0.32 gallons of gas, one-third of a box of cereal, 0.15 pounds of steak, pay full price for a compilation of every Pauly Shore movie ever made (weasel!), or to rent Prometheus…Prometheus is not the worst value for the money.

Actually, the effects are worth the $1.20.  It’s quite beautiful to look at.  But I was never all that invested with the plot or the characters (except for Captain Janek), and while there was nothing wrong with any of the performances I just never got into it.

You want to hear the premise? (Spoiler Alert)

In 2089 ish…a scientist (Katherine Shaw–played by Noomie Rapace) and her partner (Charlie Holloway–Logan Marshall-Green) connects identical references in the art of ancient earth civilizations that leads them to conclude that humanity was put here by beings from another planet and they know which one.  They convince an incredibly old .00001 percenter to drop a trillion dollars on a mission to this mysterious planet… to essentially say Hi.  You know, meet the makers.

Why did you make us?

Why are we here?

Did you make any more of us on other planets?

How the hell could you let us produce someone like Pauly Shore, the Octomom, or the entire co-dependent audience responsible for making the train-wreck voyeurism of reality television the Herpes of the entertainment medium, not to mention those blasted progressives–or the fact that they are all more or less the same frikkin people.

When our crew of adventurers arrive on this planet there is at least one structure but the planet seems dead, and there is no evidence of our biological “parents.”  There is lots of black goo at which point things get creepy and the mission starts running off the rails.

The per-requisite Alien movie artificial person (David) begins to reveal the actual purpose of the missions financier–the cranky old gazillionaire Peter Weyland (stowed away in secret on the ship with them); the old coot isn’t ready to die just yet.   David also seems hell bent on making sure the artificial person tries to get a xenomorph secured in cryo-staisis.   Katherine is impregnated by her scientist/partner/lover during celebratory hey we did it sex, (whom David infected with the black goo for just such an event).  But gestation is rapid and Katherine is having none of it.  With the help of a shiny piece of circa 2094 high tech medical equipment she performs a fully conscious do-it-yourself emergency c-section, extracting this nasty little squidling which the decontamination procedure fails to neutralize (see below).

In the mean time, secondary characters find themselves doomed to die like red-shirt wearing security personnel on Star Trek, and we come to discover that the planet they landed on is really just a forward operating base used to create a lethal pathogen (the black goo) whose purpose is to destroy the mistake known as the human race–something they would have done long before Pauly Shore, Octomom, and Reality Television, had the goo not managed to kill off all of the makers but one (hiding in his own cryo-stasis on planet) before they could deploy it.

The last creator alien upon being awoken by David and the Humans proceeds to kill the rest of the cast and take the ship full of pathogen to earth to finish us all off.  And it would have worked if it weren’t for those meddling, run of the mill, hard working types (captain Janek and two of his crew) and their selfless act to save all of mankind when they collide with the Makers ship and send it crashing to the planet where it rolls over Charlize Theron who as the mission director (and daughter of gazzzzilionaire Weyland) dies forgetting that had she only run perpendicular to the rolling craft she’d have only had to travel about twenty feet to safety instead of stumbling a few hundred feet in the same direction as the ship that killed her.

She was kind of a bitch anyway.

But Captain Janek and crew make us seem worth saving.

In the end the creator alien guy (they are much bigger than us by the way but have the exact same DNA) consummates an unplanned union with the multi-verses largest face-hugger (the thing left over from the earlier C- section grown to full size while no one was looking), a union which neither of them survives but which begets a proto-xenomorph whom we can only assume is the queen whose eggs are discovered by the Crew of the Nostromo some years later, resulting in the pop-culture epic chest burst that kills John Hurt’s Kane and propels Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley into a binge and purge movie sequel menagerie of acid bleeding beasties, the best film of which (IMO) is Aliens. (Pop Culture Note: Actress Carrie Henn, who played Newt in Aliens–never made another movie.)

Oh, and the goo just kills you, dissolves you into your genetic bits, unless you inject some of it (in your semen) into a willing recipient which apparently creates the super 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea sized giant squid face-hugger who then impregnates the next available warm body, which gives us acid bleeding xenomorph killing machines.

For the record, the synthetic and Katherine manage to get off the planet using another Maker craft (there are several) with the goal of heading to the Maker’s home world, but before they leave they set a beacon warning anyone who travels nearby to stay away.  No one listens.

A sequel to Promethus is expected.

You can see if this movie is available to rent in your area here.

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