33 years ago I walked out of a movie theater forever changed.  O.K., I rode out really, It was a drive in… for all you 20-somethings… ask your mom what a drive in was. A monster that would, for me, remain the epitome of horror was forever etched in my 11 year old mind.  Even the terror of the movie The Exorcist, which I saw at another drive in theater at the tender age of 9 (no, my mother had no sense), did not damage me the way Geiger’s xenomorph did.

Alien was a visceral horror, Scott took something primeval and placed it on the spaceship Nostromo and in our minds forever.

Since then, the story has gotten muddled.  The xenomorph has become a bit less potent, and our fear has become a bit more muted.

We went to see Prometheus last night and I don’t think that I have never left a theater so disappointed at what could have been a great movie before in my life.

First, let me say that the movie is beautiful.  I saw the 2d version so I cannot comment on the 3d which has been said to be “unusually elegant.”  Visually the movie is pretty.  But not stunning.  I know LV-233 (the moon the Prometheus lands on) is not the same moon as LV-426 (the moon from Alien and Aliens), but…  Scott chose a nice, safe planet for our crew to explore.  LV-233 was a garden paradise compared to LV-426, which was a mistake.  The explanation, “they were teraforming” has become as weak a plot tool in general sci-fi as “They traveled through a temporal wormhole” and the like has become for Star Trek. Never mind the aliens, the moon itself; LV-426 was busy trying to kill the crew of the Nostromo. Whereas the friendly…”Gosh the air is breathable” environment of the pyramids on LV-233 seriously takes away from the suspense and makes a dangerous mission more of a picnic.

The plot is Titanic in nature.  By that I mean it’s full of holes.  I’m not even going to start on that, it is well and truly covered in the myriad of other reviews out on the net. Additionally, I don’t want to write a ten page rant. I will simply say that there are numerous things, many things in fact that happen that leave the viewer wondering…. “huh?”

The characters are two dimensional.  The crew of the ship is surly and act more like 18th century steamer sailors than astronauts on a high-end mission. The “main” characters act less like scientists and more like “adventurers” who don’t have the first clue as to how to behave like scientists (GOSH! Let’s take off our helmets in this unknown environment and touch everything!).  In fact, they act more like theologians than scientists spouting gibberish the whole time.  What purpose did Charlize Theron’s character have other than to be the company stooge…and the OBVIOUS company stooge at that? At least you thought Burke was your friend.  David, the robot – I am sorry, synthetic person – did not come off as evil, or plotting, or confused, or tortured, he came off as bland. Sadly, he may have been the most interesting character in the movie.   Our two scientist main characters are obviously alien food.  Even the surly Scottish geologist isn’t likeable, he is a generically surly, pierced and tattooed freak who Scott has managed to make boring. The vast majority of the rest of the characters are cannon fodder.

It was overly complicated, in a bad way.  There are several side plots that should have just been done away with.  When the ancient Weylan turns up on ship, having been in stasis this whole time, I just rolled my eyes.  Turns out the old man spent a trillion dollars to defeat death…oh, gosh, we don’t know how this will turn out do we?  Just once, I want to see someone actually cheat death.  In fact, if you did away with this one side-plot which is way over done and just boring at this point, the movie would have been 100% better because the writers would have actually had to do something!   Additionally, I have said since TOP GUN that there are movies that DO NOT NEED A LOVE STORY!  Will Hollywood please listen to me on this, please? PLEASE???  Knock out the gratuitous love stories!  Good grief!

Ridley Scott seriously lets his fan base down with Prometheus.  It is a muddled, hodgepodged, schizophrenic movie that can’t decide of it is sci-fi adventure, sci-fi horror or sci-fi drama and as such, it’s none of those.  As horror, there was no tension at all.  As sci-fi, it was re-hashed. As action/adventure, it was a snooze fest. In the end, it was a slow, plodding, non-scary sci-fi horror inaction flick and an incredible disappointment. It really felt like a massive, two hour long trailer for some next movie which I won’t go see.