Ten Lame “Prometheus” Complaints: A Rebuttal

By: Heather Seebach

The following article is intended only for people who have seen Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Needless to say, it is full of MAJOR SPOILERS. Herein I respond to some of the more ridiculous nit-picking that this film has endured, particularly regarding character motivations (or lack thereof). The movie is ambitious, visually stunning, and presents us with thought-provoking questions, but countless people are so hung up on insignificant bullshit that they deem the entire film "garbage." So the following are my responses to their so-called "flaws."

This is the second of two articles about Prometheus. Part one is an explanation of the film's more common (and sensible) questions. That can be found HERE.

1) Why did Millburn try to touch the snake-like alien when he was so scared before?

Actually it was Fifield the geologist who was shitting his pants earlier in the film. While Millburn had an aversion to piles of dead Engineer bodies, he WAS a biologist whose sole purpose there was to handle any wildlife they might encounter. So when a cute (yes, it was cute) snake-like alien pops up, of course he's gonna be interested. Have you ever seen biologist Steve Irwin? Biologists have a tendency to do dumb shit, especially when it's a new discovery.

Secondly, this is a science fiction/horror film which means at some point a character is inevitably going to get too close to something bad and pay the price. And what a pay-off it was! It's a trope we've seen countless times on film but it served its purpose here. Oh, and it's probably worth noting - the first thing Millburn did when he met Fifield? Extend a hand out to him ;)

2) Why did the holographic recordings not show what was chasing the Engineers?

Because these are not camera recordings - they are holograms. Presumably the suits the space jokeys wore had built-in tech that recorded their physical form and could later project it as a recording. There is absolutely no reason why any Xenomorphs or related creatures would be picked up on such holograms.

3) Why would the scientists take their helmets off on a strange new planet?

The obvious answer here is the computers and David recorded a breathable, Earth-like atmosphere. But the real answer is faith. Against his better judgement, Holloway removed his helmet to prove a point - that he and Shaw were right about a superior being creating life on this moon. Nay-sayers will go, "But what about alien microbes and diseases?" Well, exactly. Until David practically confesses the poisoning to Shaw at the end of the film, the crew assumed Holloway's sickness was because they stupidly removed their helmets.

 4) Why were the Engineers running into the mural room with the vases?

Remember that room was preserving the vases until the human beings entered and altered the atmosphere (presumably because they took those damn helmets off). It may have been a secure area, or just another room with a door (like the other one where space jockey bodies were piled up). It is also possible they ran into that room to preserve themselves, just as the decapitated head was preserved (and stuck in a state of new cell growth).

5) Why is Guy Pearce playing an old man?

I suspect a scene or two featuring young Weyland was cut from the theatrical version, but he was also featured that way in the viral marketing. And who is going to argue with casting Guy Pearce? The guy elevates everything he is in. I found the old-age make-up weak-looking only when he was a hologram. Toward the end, it looked quite good. Check out this photo courtesy of the make-up artists.

 6) Why does Janek listen to Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With” 123 years after it was released?

Yes, this is an actual complaint I have heard. Mozart composed his works over 200 years ago, but we still enjoy his music today. Who the fuck is hung up on this detail?

7) Why were Millburn and Filfield lost when they had mapped the area?

They were not so much lost as left behind. They basically lost contact with Prometheus when the storm hit (and Janek was dealing with Shaw and Holloway being swept away). When they spoke again, Janek informed the guys they had to wait out the storm. They even knew to go East, so directions were not a problem. Being lost had nothing to do with it, as they were stuck in those tunnels no matter what. 

8) How did Shaw rebound from her surgery so easily?

Easy - she didn't. She injected herself not once but three times with a pain killer (likely morphine). Even after that, she continued to hobble across the ship, grabbing her abdomen and crying out in pain numerous times. She then downed a handful of pain killers, and even while suiting up, let out a scream. Then with Weyland and David, she continued to move cautiously and wince with pain pretty often. After hearing this complaint numerous times, I paid careful attention during my second viewing, and found the claims of her "running around like Ellen Ripley" to be completely unfounded.

9) Why would David, an android, dye his hair, eat food, etc.?

David stated out-right to Holloway that his goal was to "fit in" with human beings by acting like them. Just as he insisted on wearing a suit and helmet, David also ate, exercised, etc. to feel and appear like a human being. As for the blonde hair, Scott could not have made it any more obvious. David was emulating Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (even watching and quoting it as he dyed his hair blonde). This also explains the British accent - something no other sci-fi movie ever bothered to explain.

10) How did David know the Engineer's ship was going to Earth?

When David activated the holographic recordings on the spacecraft, it showed him a hologram of the galaxy, and ultimately it was Earth that ended up on the console - obviously their destination.

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