“Prometheus” was a prequel to “Alien,” that tries to explain how the killer alien originated. While visually interesting, the story suffers from a lack of focus and clarity.
The overall theme of “Prometheus” revolves around discovering that the people who created the alien were called Engineers, and they share the same DNA as humans. These Engineers even created the human race on Earth. Inexplicably, these Engineers have now created the killer alien creatures so they can wipe out the human race on Earth. The reason for this is never explained, which is the first major failing of “Prometheus.” A second major flaw is the main character.
There are simply too many characters so we never get to know any of them. The hero is a scientist who wears a cross to show her faith, but this idea isn’t explained further so we’ll understand. Her father apparently died studying the ebola virus, but this information comes out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly, playing little role in the story. What’s even more confusing is why the scientists have even sent an expedition to this strange planet under the theory that someone created humans based on ancient drawings created by civilizations that couldn’t possibly contact one another.
Some more flaws in “Prometheus” occurs when the hero asks the captain to keep the alien starship from taking off. Neither the captain nor his two assistants fully understand the threat that the alien starship poses except for what the hero says, yet the captain and his two assistants willingly kill themselves by crashing their ship into the alien starship, keeping it from heading to Earth. When the audience doesn’t have a clear idea why characters should sacrifice themselves for a vague idea, the characters certainly don’t have a valid reason to do so either.
While searching ruins on a planet, two characters get scared and decide to head back to the ship. Yet these two are inexplicably left behind when the heroes do get back to the ship. Not surprisingly, these two abandoned characters get killed, but we never see how their deaths contribute to the rest of the story. One moment those two characters are there, the next they’re both dead and that’s the end of that.
“Prometheus” is an example of a lot of good ideas thrown together without a coherent thread keeping everything together and focused towards a definite conclusion. “Prometheus” isn’t a bad movie, but it’s not a good one either, and it fails to make us care about any of the characters so when they die or suffer, we don’t know what’s going on and we don’t really care. If you want to see what happens when you throw a bunch of scenes into a movie that are predictable or have no bearing on the outcome of the story, study “Prometheus.”
Sometimes learning from bad movies can be just as useful as learning from good movies. In the case of “Prometheus,” it’s visually stunning but emotionally empty. With the lack of clarity for why the villain (the Engineers who created the human race) want to kill the humans, the story makes little sense and leaves us just as confused as we were at the beginning. Study “Prometheus” for how not to make a movie.