Torn between Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus, we elected to remember that Kristen Stewart usually demonstrates the same acting ability as a popsicle stick with a picture of her face glued to it, and went to see Ridley Scott’s latest.

Nearly 30 years ago I learned that “in space no one can hear you scream,” and was pinned to a living room couch in terror.  Strangely I was excited to see this despite promises of the same.

The previews for this film make it fairly obvious that it was intended to be a prequel to Alien.  There are a lot of suggestions that some the origins of the xenomorphs encountered by the Nostromo are after affects of this film.

However, such suggestions are wrong, Prometheus is intended to be another story in Ridley Scott’s Alien Universe.  It just happens to have a lot of the pieces which appear later in Alien, such as H. R. Giger’s “The Pilot” (a.k.a. Space Jockey).

Apparently it was going to be a prequel but then Ridley Scott decided, mid-production, it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, the film suffers from this disparity.  It is so obviously constructed and littered with prequel material that it feels like it just doesn’t pay off.  It’s a duality which, instead, leaves confusion of rationale and motivations.  The Prometheus has a crew of 17, according to a caption.  Of them, there are probably 4 half way explored characters, and 4 others with enough depth to justify speaking roles.  Leaving nine “warm bodies in suits.”  Why are any of these people on board?  Mostly, we have no idea.  But that’s okay because we don’t really find out why anyone does anything in this film.  And that’s its real flaw.

In writing reviews, I do a little research about the film to make sure I spell actor and director names correctly, get shooting locations right, etc.  Prometheus had a library of supporting web content and mini promos on YouTube which might be necessary to fully understand film, and the motivations of some of the characters.  Requiring such material is the mark of a bad film.

Despite all this, Prometheus is not a bad film.  “I was entertained the whole time, but I don’t know if I liked it.”  There’s lots of little cool things, once we get past, “oh the air on this alien planet was toxic, but now it’s breathable?  Cool let’s ALL take off our helmets,” and “there’s some kind of snake living in that liquid, I want to touch it.”

Prometheus doesn’t have the terrifying chill of Alien, or the hopelessness of Aliens.  But it is abundantly clear that if you work for Wayland Industries: you will be put into a situation where you will have to be positively horrible to another human being, and someone will suggest that the “best” thing to do is to freeze you so you can bring the unkillable monster you’re reluctantly incubating back to Earth.

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.