Sure, the characterizations are not perfect, fighting an alien in the light just is not as scary. Lines such as “because you’re a robot” do not work after establishing connections between robots, aliens, Gods, and humans the whole time.
I was a bit upset after Damon Lindelof stated this in an interview:
“[Scott] was also talking about very big themes in Prometheus. It was being driven by people who wanted the answers to huge questions. But I thought that we could do that without ever getting too pretentious. Nobody wants to see a movie where people are floating in space talking about the meaning of life.”
The film has the search for the origins of man and the theme of life and death. It’s better than Star Trek and is very close to an actual episode of something pre-Enterprise. It is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 going on a mission on a planet to discover the origins of man, the episode where Wesley encounters an advanced life form. Some films use too much telling and not showing. This is not one of those films, even though everything in this film looks great. I just wish they would take some tricks out of Alfred Hitchcock’s book and write in a little about suspense, while most fans prefer if the film went more in depth with the story behind the Engineers.
But it’s not made by Alfred Hitchcock. It’s made by Ridley Scott. The same man who brought us Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. One of the film’s key points was questions and answering them just would have destroyed the film and make you feel like eating a steak after eating at Golden Corral or Outback Steakhouse. I think one of the most scariest enemies is an enemy that you do not understand, and it is even worse when that enemy created you, an actual being that has all of man’s worst elements, rage, need for war, profiteering off war, etc..
Don’t get me wrong. It does not excuse poor characterizations without “common sense” and killing off characters without getting to know them enough to create a mystery behind them, but there were key moments of absolute brilliance that came from a great mind such as that of Scott. He wanted the film to be a unique mix of horror, action, science fiction and mystery, rather than just pure science fiction.
I think audiences have certain double standards when it comes to this film. Mass Effect took a long time before players had their mysteries solved. A lot of popular action films such as Steven Spielberg films like Adventures of Tintin do not have intellect making you contemplate anything near this type of philosophical relevance, one Ridley Scott improved and will continue to if there is a sequel. The film is more fun when you think about it rather than when you have some details implied or even left to the imagination of the viewer, like a book. I must ask “how many people enjoy that the sky is blue without not knowing why?” and compare that question to the questions regarding the film. The creators are there and their motivation is not what mankind desires.
This is an introductory film that blends horror, action and thought all in one. It may be a disappointing movie for fans of Damon Lindelof (or it may exactly be the type of movie that fans of Star Trek enjoyed), but it does not mean it is a bad movie. No, not at all. In fact, there was another great film of Scott’s that did this that no one complained about.. and apparently other people’s favorite films do not have as much strength as this film has.