Fuck you, Ridley Scott! Fuck you and the mudflaps you rode in on!
I just watched your 2012 disasterpiece, Prometheus, on a DVD rip site, after being advised not to waste a cent on it by any number of other watchers- and I feel no guilt for seeing it for free, even if- at 118 minutes, it’s 6 minutes shorter than what must be the ‘official’ version. You clearly have no care for art not its enthusiasts, you bastard! And, yes, this is a prequel to Alien, although you clearly thought by jamming in references to almost every major sci fi film of the last 50 years (and a good number of minor ones, as well) would distract the viewer from that manifest fact. Yes, I know David (Michael Fassbender) the robot’s name is a nod to Dave Bowman, from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the line the doctor utters when awakened by David, from hypersleep, is a nod to the opening of Planet Of The Apes, when Taylor laments the death of his female colleague, due to a ruptured sleep pod, and the many smaller nods to Forbidden Planet, First Spaceship On Venus (the penis snake scene), your own Blade Runner, Dark City, Star Trek, Star Wars, Logan’s Run, The Terminator franchise, The Matrix Trilogy, all the other Alien and Predator sequels, plus many others, from the obscure, like the Japanese anime film, Memories, and the influential French and Czech cartoon, Fantastic Planet, to the mainstream, like Andrei Tarkovsky’s two great science fiction films, Stalker and Solaris, and on and on. Shit, Ridley- do you think all moviegoers are deliterate assholes who think classic science fiction starts from the shitwell of Frank Miller’s fuckin’ pen? And, no, you bastards that wanna be smug- there is no meta-commentary at work, just a blatant indulgence of all the worst of science fiction tropes and big budget excess. Do you think there are NOT people like me who a) understand what art is, and how it is good or not? Fuck you! You think you can take every half assed idea of yours for the last 30 years and just foist it on us and we not care? Not know?
Goddamn! Even the worst of those aforementioned films is light years ahead of this bilge, which is so saturated with reused crap from your own Alien film and all the others that it makes Alien Vs. Predator seem original and good. As the drill sergeant in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket said, you skull-fucked me! And I ain’t pleased! You are a mind rapist. So much so that I can unequivocally state that there is not a single redeeming quality to this film, starting with the mind numbing script, propelled 100% by the Dumbest Possible Action trope. Literally, everything that goes wrong in this movie is a result of a level of stupidity in the character’s basic intelligence, that one might think this is a Bizarro World version of the Alien franchise. The ludicrous plot, and the enormous gaps that, literally, infest every scene, from random mutations and monsters; to scientists in constant contact with the ship, in a building wholly mapped out getting lost as a storm, which would have been easily discerned from space, bears down on them; to random sex acts; to an android that likes watching Lawrence Of Arabia randomly plotting to poison and mutate the lead scientist; to the ship’s female head being the daughter of the ship’s company’s founder, and making her get away, crashing, then instead of taking off, running outside and getting crushed by an Engineer ship, that is round and rolling to her, when merely jumping ten feet sideways would have save her; to the lone survivor getting impregnated by the monster that destroyed the Engineers, performing an abortion on herself, stapling herself up, then still being able to outsurvive everyone else who is killed by the lone surviving Engineer who randomly goes berserker, then decides to, instead of warning earth of a possible attack, go off to the Engineers’ homeworld with the android that killed her lover, and on and on and on and on and on….
But, even on a technical level- that last refuge for critics to try and say SOMETHING positive about a film, this film is a disaster. The CG effects are just BAD. The Engineers, clearly modeled on Fantastic Planet’s Draags are so clearly NOT real, that it seems like they stepped out of the long awaited LSD tinged Roger Rabbit sequel film. They look and act like cartoons. The screenplay, by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, is a vampire off virtually every prior Alien film’s scenes and themes, but dumbed down from a chef;s gourmet to tenth rate baby pabulum. Dariusz Wolski’s cinematography is muddy, poorly mixed with the special effects, and shows the compositional complexity of a finger painting, and the editing, by Pietro Scalia is as bad, or worse. The film’s scoring is simple minded, and does nothing to complement the poor visuals. For that, Marc Streitenfeld can burn next to you, Ridley!
But, more galling than the film’s utter incompetence at all levels is the general lack of recognition of this fact by most critics, who, oh, fuck, give this movie a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics as well known as Roger Ebert, who gives it 4 of 4 stars, and James Berardinelli laud it:
Whatever its pedigree, however, one thing is clear: Prometheus is the antithesis of the “big, dumb summer movie.” Its visuals and special effects can stand toe-to-toe with any of the season's spectacles, but are audiences ready for something with an intelligent, thought-provoking screenplay where the action is secondary? Prometheus is flawed, but stupidity cannot be numbered among its missteps.
Well, yes it can, Jimmy Boy, and its stupidity could fill hours of Youtube videos, and that’s just the surface level plot machination variety. I won’t even waste my breath on the ten levels removed from attempt to inject 2001 level existentialism into a film that is, in all honesty, so bad in every level that it’s really Plan 10 From Outer Space, save that Plan 9 From Outer Space, actually, is an unintentional comedy that rocks. Prometheus isn’t even funny- it’s just arid, and I apologize to Ed Wood’s zombie by demeaning Plan 9 with a comparison to this toxic bilge. Naturally, I suspected it would not be good, and not even in a league with the first two Alien films, but even I had no idea it would be Mystery Science Theater 3000 level mockable. You just want to rage at the screen! Hell, it’s worse. You don’t even want such talent wasted on merely demeaning this film. Sodomizing Ridley Scott onscreen with the jaw within a jaw of an Alien is, possibly, maybe, barely, a fitting thing to display my anger with.
Many of the complaints on the film revolve around supposed unanswered questions, or how the film is so stupidly propelled by its inane plot, but worse than that is that, even were all the questions answered and the plot a bit less mechanistic, the sheer staggeringly bad technical flaws would doom this film to horrible status. It is simply the worst science fiction film of this century, and not just comparatively so, dependent upon its budget, but regardless of money spent. Among many possible plaints to be made, in this vein: as if an inexplicable zombie from space are not enough- because of skull-fucking penis snakes, then there is the main female character who gives herself an abortion, staples herself up, and then out action survives large, buff, heavily armed males, and decides to head to the planet of Engineers with the head of David which has not moved an inch from where the rewoken Engineer tossed it, in spite of the ship crashing into the ground from several thousand feet. On a barely related note, is it not time to end this ridiculous cliché of the action babe? I mean the petite woman- often short, and no more than 120 pounds, who can overpower men literally twice her weight, with a few kicks, while wearing skintight clothing and high heels? I mean, at least when Alien started this nonsense, with Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, it was semi-believable, as Ripley was intelligent, and did not rely on unbelievable prowess.
In short, Prometheus is worse than modern PC garbage like Brokeback Mountain or Crash. It is a staggeringly bad, insultingly stupid (on macro and micro levels, and all between, in all forms and ways: it is omnidumb), old man ripping off earlier self, indulgent piece of shit, cobbled together from a raft of leftover ideas from a bad Hollywood pitch meeting, in a desperate and cynical moneymaking gambit, right down to its self sodomizing final shot of a baby Alien emerging from the husk of the dead Engineer (sequel alert!). There is no drama, and nothing of any positive value. At least Plan 9 had Tor Johnson!
Ridley Scott proves, with this film, that he is and has always been a studio hack director, who simply got lucky with Alien, and that film, alone, has helped him cruise the rest of these decades through mediocrities like Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, and all the others. Why didn’t they get James Cameron for this? At least he can make competent bad films, like Titanic. But, just as I no longer will believe anyone who claims that the latest tripe by Steven Spielberg is any good, I now know to avoid Ridley Scott films, for he is a hack who has undershot even Spielberg with this tripe. So, to reiterate: Fuck you, Ridley Scott, and your mother! Or, to leave this review on a literary note, to paraphrase Sylvia Plath:
There’s a goat up your fat white ass
And the filmgoers never liked you.
It is blowing its creamy load inside you.
And licking its excess deep from in you.
Ridley, Ridley, you bastard, I’m through.
Talented, prolific British director whose background in set design and advertising always brings a stylised, visually stunning sheen to often mainstream projects. Scott made his debut in 1977 with the unusual The Duellists, but it was with his next two films - now-classic sci-fi thrillers Alien and Blade Runner - that he really made his mark. Slick fantasy Legend and excellent thriller Someone to Watch Over Me followed, while Thelma and Louise proved one of the most talked-about films of 1991. However, his subsequent movies - the mega-budget flop 1492, GI Jane and the hopeless White Squall failed to satisfy critics or find audiences.
Scott bounced back to the A-list in 2000 with the Oscar-winning epic Gladiator, and since then has had big hits with uneven Hannibal, savage war drama Black Hawk Down and his Robin Hood update. Prometheus, tentatively sold as a spin-off from Alien, created a huge buzz in 2012, then a lot of indignation. His Cormac McCarthy-penned thriller The Counselor didn't even get the buzz, flopping badly then turning cult movie. Exodus: Gods and Kings was a controversial Biblical epic, but a success at the box office, as was sci-fi survival tale The Martian. Brother to the more commercial, less cerebral Tony Scott.