Plot holes in Prometheus, delivered in a monotone

This four-minute "review" of Prometheus consists of one fellow droning a list of all the plot holes in the film whilst another fellow listens, stupefied and slack-jawed. Needless to say, it's one protracted spoiler. I'll be seeing this film later today (just as this post goes live) and now I feel wholly prepared.

Red Letter Media talks about Prometheus - SPOILERS


    1. Prometheus? Actually, these guys liked it too. Their full Half in the Bag review was fairly positive. I mean, they do point out its problems but they consider it a very well made movie and recommended it. Also, I forget the exact quote, but they said something like “If you’re going to get angry over this movie maybe you should just stop watching movies.” The review’s worth checking out. 

      If you meant this video, I liked it too. To me, it’s not even about Prometheus. I don’t even care what the guy is talking about. This video is just fascinating or mesmerizing to watch. I dunno, it’s something about the delivery and the other guy’s lack of response. I just think this is great just on it’s own. 

      1. In a technical sense, Prometheus is very well-made. Clearly the production crew were very skilled and spent a great deal of time and effort to make the movie look and sound excellent.

        But in a story and plot sense, Prometheus is inexplicably sloppy and disjointed and is not well-made at all. Sure, it raises interesting “big questions” like why the Engineers want to kill us, but far more importantly it raises many little questions like why the ship’s crew is demonstrably incompetent at their chosen tasks.

        These days, it’s easy to spend a lot of money and get a technically brilliant film. It’s harder to get a film that makes sense and doesn’t insult the audience with poor storytelling and a leaky plot. Prometheus certainly failed at that.

        But in a story and plot sense, Prometheus is inexplicably sloppy and disjointed and is not well-made at all. Sure, it raises interesting “big questions” like why the Engineers want to kill us, but far more importantly it raises many little questions like why the ship’s crew is demonstrably incompetent at their chosen tasks.

        These days, it’s easy to spend a lot of money and get a technically brilliant film. It’s harder to get a film that makes sense and doesn’t insult the audience with poor storytelling and a leaky plot. Prometheus certainly failed at that.

        1.  Are you saying that these days, it’s easy to spend a lot of money and get a technically brilliant film, but it’s harder to get a film that makes sense and doesn’t insult the audience with poor storytelling and a leaky plot?

          1. Excuse me, does anyone know whether it is easier to make an expensive film that is technically brilliant or make a film that has well written story?

          2. It is easier to make a technically brilliant film with lots of money. The techies know their job and will follow direction. Someone who thought this story would make a great movie told the 100s involved what to do and they did it. I just wished the producers had thrown the money at Joss Wheydon instead. 

        2.  I’m am never surprised with just how little our culture knows about story telling. Just because a story does not tell you every single detail does not mean that it was not a good story. In fact, explaining too much, in my opinion, is more offensive than too little because it implies that I lack the capacity to fill in the gaps.

          Also, just because characters do what you would consider to be uncautious, does not mean they are dumb. You know that this is a horror movie, they do not. On top of that, I see people do really careless things all the time. Do people get less careless just because it is the future?

          Prometheus was an excellent story. You not liking it does not change that.

          1. Agreed – was going to make a similar comment (and probably will). I said the same thing in earlier BB comment threads about Prometheus.

            Almost all of the “plot holes” discussed in this video are explainable but the explanations are not given to you directly in the film, you have to think about it.

            I normally like these guys and agree with their opinions, not sure if maybe this video was made as a joke? It’s popular on the internet to jump on the bandwagon and make fun of the “plot holes” but it isn’t popular to actually think about it. 

            The fact that the second guy (who does usually talk in their videos) is sitting there slack-jawed instead of having an intelligent conversation about the plot of the film makes me feel like what they’re actually making fun of here is not the film, but the way that people have been non-critically piling on it on the internet :)

          2. Storytelling depends on the medium. As a medium, film demands a complete, well structured story. It’s perfectly fine to leave some lingering questions as the film ends, but plot holes /= lingering questions.

          3. ” just because characters do what you would consider to be uncautious, does not mean they are dumb. ”

            It’s one thing to have a character in the film who is a wildcard, it’s another thing entirely to have every single character in a film to take not ‘uncautious’ risks, but eyerollingly insane risks. 

            “You know that this is a horror movie, they do not.”

            It’s one thing for a stereotypical dumb blonde teenager in a horror film to go alone to investigate a noise in the basement.  It makes no sense for the entire, highly trained crew of doctorate level scientists to take wildly inappropriate risks and behave counter to the purported goals of their life-long professions.

            Biologists that, upon finding a dead alien body, get all skeeved out and frightened and want to run away.  An anthropologist whose discoveries lead the crew to this planet to find these aliens, upon finding them dead, becomes despondent and uninterested in continuing the mission. I mean, really? No interest in examining the ruins of the alien society that may have been responsible for human life? Just going to sit on the ship and mope?  What about an unfeeling robot that deliberately and secretly poisons the same lead crew member for no apparent reason. Either he knew it would turn him into a crazed monster who might kill everyone aboard, or he had no idea what it would do and it could have been a pathogen that would have killed everyone aboard. There is no logical case for that action, except perhaps he’s a psychopath, except then he isn’t later in the movie. 

            I can handle the horrible inconsistencies and muddled pseudo-philosophy of the plot. I’m willing and able to look past the gaping, galaxy-spanning plot holes. But I need a character I can believe in to do that. A character whose actions I can understand and respect even if I may not agree. 

            One after one the characters in this film quickly lost my respect and left me without a protagonist to latch on to. No hero to follow or care about = bad boring movie.

            “Just because a story does not tell you every single detail does not mean that it was not a good story. ”  This is absolutely true.  But this story wasn’t just missing details,  it was offering contradictory details and mind bogglingly stupid details and holes so large and vague you could fill in any of 57 varieties of details.

            It’s like a choose your own adventure. Continue on p217 (turns to 217 to find that the entire page is blank).

  1. Answer, Damon Lindelof. 

    To be honest, now that I know Lindelof is writing the next Star Trek I’m not as excited to go see it. I’m now imagining it will be 130 minutes of unexplained nonsense. Though, I’m sure it will seem like it’s going somewhere and will have nice effects. 

    1. FYI In the interviews, Lindelof claims that he had learned his lesson since L O S T, and he goes so far as to assert that Scott Ridley was responsible for the level of explanatory opaqueness in Prometheus.

      1. Learned his lesson? Six seasons of a wildly popular TV show followed by a major motion picture; his writing has got to have made him millions. Somehow, I just don’t buy him saying, “I sure ain’t gonna write like that no more!”  

    2.  You mean like the first one?  You could do the same plot hole video for that movie.

        1.  No, I was responding to the Star trek reboot.

          Which was fun but dumb. 
          What sort of super nova could destroy romuelus without enough warning to evacuate, but could be cured by replacing the star with a black hole.  Why would Nero blame Spock for just being late?  Why would it be safe for old spock, kirk, scotty to be on a planet/moon so close to Vulcan while Vulcan is collapsing into a black hole….  Why was the engine room a brewery?  Why was a mining vessel so well armed.  I could go on…

  2. Very funny. I couldn’t even suspend disbelief during the movie enough to “just enjoy it.”  Sadly, that video is just the tip of the iceberg on the plot holes. Probably the biggest letdown of a movie I’ve seen in a long, long time; and I saw Transformers 2 in the theater!

    1. I didn’t even care that much about the plot holes that were related to sci-fi elements or the motivations of the “engineers”.  I’m ok with suspending disbelief about things invented within-universe – that’s the writer’s prerogative.  But the decisions and actions of the human characters made almost no sense!  They did things because the plot required it, not because anybody would ever act that way in real life.  Many of their actions were transparently stupid (or incredibly risky at best) and caused easily avoidable problems.  When characters act stupidly despite being described as smart people, it leads one to think that the writers are either lazy or don’t actually understand their own plot.

      Despite these problems, I liked many aspects of the movie.  The directing was pretty good, the design work was great, and the character of David was used pretty effectively.  But you’re totally right – the biggest letdown in a long time.

      1.  One reason I’ve been struggling to watch Warehouse 13, the main characters are set up as hyper-skilled Secret Service agents, yet bumble their way through most missions

      2.  I think your statement here is very true;  the rigid posturing of  plot derived characters because disturbing for me;  it boiled down to an almost complete lack of empathy in most of the major characters;  A bleedthrough I do wonder about.  and I liked the movie.  I think simulacrum is an important word here, there is some strange codice/matrix that this movie was being made to resemble.

      3. I completely agree. The overall story and what the aliens wanted or didn’t or why they left the info on where to go, etc is up for debate and wouldn’t necessarily give me a negative view of the film. It was the complete nonsensical way that everyone behaved, based on both how they were defined initially in the story and on human nature in general. 

        Even the very moment when they land on the planet: The first people ever to see this Earth-like moon, a bunch of scientists witnessing a place that noone else has ever been, with ALIEN-MADE STRUCTURES on it, and the excitement from the crew was like they were riding a simulator ride at Disneyland for the 10th time.

        The one guy who had all the pride in his “pups”, that mapped the entire space, and he gets lost while everyone else has no problem running back. He was the tough guy, then he gets scared first and asks the one guy, who he treated badly in the beginning, if he wants to leave with him. And that guy, with the very dangerous cobra-looking alien lifeform….ugh…

        Why would Theron’s no-nonsense, emotionless character suddenly decide to sleep with the drunk Captain when there is so much going on? They’ve been on this amazing new planet for a few hours and everyone acts like they have been sitting around bored for weeks.

        Just sloppy screenwriting. It could have been so much better.

      4. Yes.  It’s not bad writing just because of the gigantic plethora of plot holes, but also because  of the poor characterization, the ridiculous jumps in logic, and most of all because of the absurd and inexplicable behavior and decisions of the characters that only serve to nudge the ‘plot’ forward another tick.  

        For Lindelof and Scott to suggest, as they have in interviews, that they deliberately left out key information in order to avoid spoon-feeding the audience, and that if you don’t ‘get’ it then you aren’t smart enough to read between the lines, is the biggest insult of all.  Guess what, guys?  You’re wrong about that.  Make a movie that doesn’t suck next time.

  3. Here’s another one. Why was the surgery device that was in Charlize Theron’s personal escape pod only programmed to perform male procedures?

    Oh, and another one. How did that thing that she cut out of her abdomen grow from something the size of a cat to the size of a giant squid with no food?

    1. Spoilers:
      It wasn’t for her, it was for a Weyland, she’s healty but he’s in constant need of medical care. Neither the Aliens, nor the beings that spawn them eat, they only grow fast and then die off. They’re designed as a short use biological weapon.

        1. Sure, or a Wizzard did it. Either way, it’s how it’s worked since Alien and Aliens. They don’t eat, they only hunt humans to serve as host bodies.

          1.  In the novelisation of Alien, there’s a scene where they find that the provisions have been raided, and it fits well with the movie, where the alien was free to roam the entire ship. There’s nothing to suggest that the aliens don’t need food. In Prometheus, the squid was stuck in the medical room. I suppose it could have drunk gallons of blood plasma or something, but it’s a stretch.

        2.  I used to be very irritated by sci fi clones that magically could be brought to adult age in a very short time, but that was before I discovered that force growing is real, and in use.  Turns out it s matter of biological priorities;  and if you ve built in a nice amount of Lamarkianism, then learning s not really the issue anymore.

      1. In Alien Resurrection, Ripley says that the aliens will go where the crew is because “that’s where the meat is”.

        1. Meat as in bodies, it’s what they require to reproduce. Then they mature litterly within hours into full sized Aliens, wich then hunt to protect themselfs or find new host bodies.

          They never eat in any of the films, not even once.

          It’s hinted at in the previouse films that they are a weapon, it’s why Weyland-Utany wants to capture them. In Prometheus that’s confirmed to be their origin.
          Kind of like a virus you set loose on a planet, murders everything and then dies out quickly. It’s why they don’t actually exist anywhere outside of a place that has been infected. There is no homeworld or habitat in wich they live.

          1. They never eat in any of the films, not even once.

            I guess they don’t like the cornbread.

          2. Huh? What are you talking about? They most certainly DO eat in Aliens at least; the corporate douchebag is eaten rather than being taken and cocooned. 

          3. “the corporate douchebag is eaten rather than being taken and cocooned.” 
            In a deleted scene, Ripley finds Burke alive and cocooned in the Queen’s nest when she’s searching for Newt. It’s not officially part of any version of the film, but neither is Burke being eaten.

          4. I just re-watched Alien 3. The dog like Alien in that film appears to be eating quite a few people, just as a predator would, like a dog or wolf.

          5. Ash said, “He has a funny habit of shedding his cells and replacing them with polarized silicon, which gives him a prolonged resistance to adverse environmental conditions.”

            My thinking on that has always been that the aliens build their bodies simply by being in contact with various bits of matter that are useful to build their exoskeletons. So while they do eat (and presumably, shit), they might get bigger simply by nuzzling up against a silicon-rich bulkhead.

          6.  >They never eat in any of the films, not even once.

            I would guess seeing them eating wasn’t pivotal to the horror element.  Also, their absurd mouths probably weren’t functional from a prop perspective.  they can open and let out the little mouth, but not much more.

      2.  The alien from the original Alien also grew from mini-chestburster to full grown adult with no food. No one complained.

    2.  And why, after she fought off the crew members who were trying to sedate her and put her in cryosleep, did no one come after her and stop her from using the medpod?  Why weren’t Vickers or anyone else alerted that she was using the medpod?  After she used it, why did she not tell anyone about what she’d just had removed from her body?  Why weren’t the other crew curious about what she’d been up to, after she’d fought them off and run away and then reappeared later with staples across her stomach?

      1.  Had the exact same thought.  Decided that they were pre occupied with Weyland s ressurrection.  He s a much bigger honcho, and more important – in the future rich matters far more.  Now were did his couple of anonymous henchmen come from though?  Were they in cryopods as well?

    3.  The “thing” that burst out of John Hurt’s chest in A L I E N grew to almost twice the size of a human being in about 24 hours.  Extraterrestrial things can do that.

  4. Dude, this clip described my inner dialog during the movie to about 99% accuracy.  

    One they missed was the seeming physical impossibility of the surgery/recovery.  I get that it’s the fancy future, with something like instant healing/micromachine assists, but I’d maintain that if your abdomen was sliced completely across, you wouldn’t be physically able to writhe around during surgery, or bend over violently within like, 2 seconds afterwards.  Assuming that you could be artificially healed that quickly, why would you need staples?  That said, the prize machine claw was a darkly funny touch.

    Even so, I found the movie to be enjoyable, gorgeous, and think-provoking.

    1. We know from war that soldiers have walked back to base with nothing more then a bitt of cardboard preventing thier bowls from spilling out. That’s real life, not even sci fi. Humans are pretty tough.

      1.  Sure, I’ll grant that humans can survive seemingly fatal injuries (falls, railroad spikes to the head, etc). Not bad, for soft, puny creatures lacking a proper exoskeleton. But what you’re describing is more a case of um, “intestinal fortitude”… 

        I’m saying, try getting upright from a prone position (or even a seated one) without using your abdominal muscles at all. It can be done, but not with the speed or grace shown in the movie.

        Why this particular flaw bugged me so much relative to all the others listed is kind of a mystery to me; I suspect it’s because it is easily relate-able to everyday physical life, unlike all the pseudo-science that I’m willing to let slide out of a certain level of personal ignorance ;-)

        1. Couldn’t agree more. There is no way she could have been capable of leaping around on top the departing spaceship.

          1.  Yep – you two are correct. I can vouch for the fact that after abdominal surgery you can’t sit up or walk for several days, because your abdominal muscles are sliced through. I guess it’s possible that the magic machine instantly reconnected and healed all the abdominal muscles when it did the laser cautery. But it was a very odd mixture of futuristic and crude (I can also vouch for the staples – that’s what they look like here in the 21st century).

  5. Prometheus seems like it was a 4 hour movie cut down to 2 hours. I would be interested in seeing a version with the uncut scenes. 

    1. That is the problem with almost all sci fi and fantasy…especially those adapted from classic books/stories…it seems Peter Jackson was the only one that new it would take some time to tell a tale the proper way…

      1. Allot of directors know that, including Ridley Scott. Actually getting permission to release that 3 hour version of your movie in cinemas however is usually denied. Producers think audiances can’t handel that much time in a cinema and they also like to “double dip” on the disc release. First the cinematic release, then the proper directors cutt 6 months later.

        1. Or twelve years later. The cinematic release of Alien^3 was in 1992; a Director’s Cut was submitted to paramount in 1991; in 2003 that version was released on DVD. It was more of the stark horror of the movie Alien, less of the cheeseball pacing and melodrama of Aliens.

  6. These guys are responsible for the epic 1hr+ reviews of the Star Wars-prequels and the more recent Star Trek films. Go check those out, you’ll know exactly why The Phantom Menace sukcs.

    1. I love me some Red Letter Media/Mr. Plinkett reviews. Very often, they are far more enjoyable than the movies themselves. 

  7. I enjoyed the hell out of the movie, probably only for the Derelict ship/Navigator chair fan service. And Then I left with all these questions this video asks and felt there was way too much trying to go in in the film. And Then decided I didn’t care because thinking about it was making my brain bleed.

    It was stupid sci-fi. Unfortunately not the Alien/Blade Runner smart sci-fi we were looking for (and of which we are long overdue). But it was fun, flashy, and fun and flashy, so I’m ok with that.

    1. I will admit here that the “space jockey” turning out to be an ultra-humanistic race was dissapointing for me.   I had concocted this idea that they were a benign humanistic race of proto-elephantines,  simply taken unawares in their peaceful ways by the psycho=pathic instincts of the “alien”.  and if you think Mr. Scott was unaware of this,  I do have some swampland in Florida…

  8. My favorite part of this video was seeing that these guys had a bunch of bottles of Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing, meaning of course they are somewhere in Wisconsin.


  9. I liked it. I could spot holes in it. But I could do the same in Alien or Aliens. I wouldn’t call it a great movie but a nice explanation for LV-223 pre-Ripley. You are supposed to suspend disbelief, I had to do the same in Alien so why not for this one?

    1. Except that “Alien” and “Aliens” were on a planet called LV-426.  And Ridley Scott has supposedly said that this is NOT an exact prequel, just something set in the same universe/storyline.

    2. There were few if any holes in Alien, it was simple and pure and didn’t try todo 1001 things. It was a simply a slasher film, in space. Get over yourself PY.

  10.  There are just so many more holes in Prometheus, and nothing the “scientists” do makes any sense. They behave stupidly from the start, and react in ways that no person would. The people in Alien seem like human beings to me, and apart from the high priority they place on searching for cats, they mostly make sensible decisions.

  11. What I don’t get is that The Dark Knight, which was supposedly an uber-realistic superhero movie, is absolutely riddled with plot-holes and completely illogical shit, and nobody batted an eyelid.  For example, is it plausible for a nan0second that somebody would hatch an elaborate plan, whereby they send one of their goons with an explosive in his belly to get arrested, somehow knowing that he will be in exactly the right place later on, and then contrive to get themselves arrested, by (how else) engaging in an intense truck chase/bazooka firefight, which they somehow know they won’t be injured or killed in, plus they also somehow predict where exactly this balls to the wall truck chase/bazooka firefight is going to grind to halt, so as to have their goons stationed in apartment windows ready to take down the helicopter whose flightpath they somehow predicted to a tee.  (And oh, Jim Gordon is actually still alive!  He was Only Pretending he was Dead in Order to Get the Baddie!  Oldman actually looked physically embarrassed to have to play that old turkey.) 

    The Dark Knight is full of this stuff – the Joker predicting the outcomes of complex situations with thousands of variables that would put 9 11 theories to shame – and yet everybody was like “gritty and realistic……more like a “crime drama” than a superhero movie!”  And now along comes this obviously kinda allegorical or symbolical sci-fi fantasy horror, and everybody is gone BALLISTIC on the plot holes and the internal logical consistency of everything.  I would modestly propose that a “Robo-Abortion of Alien Bio-Weapon Squid-Thingy” sequence is NOT the optimum moment to go crazy about internal logical consistency.  Quite frequently in horror movies, directors just go all out for an inventive, visceral, bravura set-piece, and let logic slide somewhat.  That’s a big part of the appeal of these scenes!

    1. 1. The Dark Night is a comic book brought to life…there are many things you have to suspend in a different way then good science.
      2. All action films like Dark Knight are based on “perfect timing” action “things” to happen…if not they don’t work.
      3. Changing questionable science or reality probability would not change DK, it would make all the difference for Pro.

      1. Don’t really agree with that.  Burton’s Batman was more a “comic book brought to life” – the whole idea of Dark Knight was that it was supposed to be a realistic, real-world treatment of comic book characters, and the whole tone and look of the film built up that expectation.  The more obviously non-naturalistic action movies do rely a great deal on “perfect timing”, but in most cases it just happens fortuitously in the heat of the moment; very few, if any of these movies have the characters actually plan for it five moves ahead.

        1.  You’re not alone, Tristan. Dark Knight was horrid storytelling, and people took it waaaay too seriously. All it really had going for it was a good performance from Heath Ledger.

          1. Dark Knight: terrible.
            Prometheus: less terrible, but still infuriating.
            Don’t even mention Inception… UGH!!!

          2. Inception would have been fine if it was about Ellen Page instead of DiCaprio. He was the antagonist and she was the audience surrogate. Hers was the only character I had a chance of identifying with and caring about.

    2. The Joker doesn’t predict outcomes. He just goes with the flow, constantly changing his plans depending on the circumstances.

      He doesn’t care if he’d die in the police station any more than if he’d die if Batman run him over with the Batpod. In fact, he was actively demanding to be killed.

      1. However fatalistic or otherwise he may be about the solution, the Joker still clearly plans in advance that he will be arrested rather than killed (hence positioning the goon with the bomb in his stomach to aid his eventual escape) and the extreme unlikelyhood of this plan coming off without a hitch remains undiluted.  The Joker isn’t demanding to be killed by Batman; he is gambling that killing isn’t in Batman’s nature.  The Joker clearly has a long term goal; he wants to “win” in the very nonsensical sense of proving that his “bleak” view of humanity is correct; hence the scene with the boats, and the Joker’s clear emotional investment in predicting the outcome of that correctly (and, in a tribute to the film’s silliness, this is the only outcome that he probably should have got right, but doesn’t.)

        1. No, his victory in the batpod scene would be to get Batman to compromise his principles and kill.  That’s what he wants.  If he can push the Batman and Harvey Dent into being monsters, then he’s right about the world and the people in it.    As he says to Batman later, he believes the only way Batman will beat him is if he violates his ONE rule…since the Joker is all about chaos, this is his victory condition.

          There are plenty of plot gaps in Dark Knight, but that isn’t really one of them, IMHO.

    3. Most action/scifi movies are riddled with holes; the question is what makes some of them compelling and others not?  The answer is that if we can empathize with characters, we will go along for the stupid ride.

  12. 1:03 in the linked video – “I have to take a psychological profile test when I apply at Target.” The shot conveniently captures two prescription pill containers on the table in the background.

    Nice touch, Red Letter Media.

  13. Hollywood always makes creative use of audience ignorance. I recall one Disney flick in which a defunct refinery was passed off as an atomic power plant. Anyone whose worked in any tech work will never see anything even vaguely resembling his work place. The continuity errors drive me nuts. Hold the phone. How did we go from here to here? Simple. The shoot was over budget. Let the post guys fake it one more time with a spastic edit.

  14. How did the engineer who dissolves a the beginning’s cells gestate once he fell off the cliff? How would anyone like as even to be as an entire life if already had one on the entire of a planet? Why would the engineers come back repeatedly over 30,00 years to tell us where we need to go, why not just leave one large post-it?  Why did David stay awake? And why not just upload all the language data? Where did Weyland buy a ‘firefly’ class spaceship? Accepting the fact they might feel like playing basketball in zero-g, why bring a bicycle? What is the exchange rate between the trillion dollars the expedition cost, and the 100 “credits” the doods are betting each other? Why would they not survey the rest of the planet before committing to a site? Why did all the rooms in the Engineer facility have a “replay most recent plot event” button grafted into the side of the wall, was it for sex? Why did the decapitated engineer die before he had his head cut off? Why did the room have loads of worms in the floor? Why paint murals that disappear immediately even when perfectly preserved, ain’t nobody looking at them. Did nobody spot the twelve storey-high skull mounted on top of the facility roof? Why did the geologist reappear as a neanderthal,  flatpacked? Should the biologist have given birth to a tentacular spectacular, considering he got penetrated orally? Why are forerunner /whoops engineer ships powered by wind instruments? Hang on, did she just suck her father’s fingers? Why is it necessary to sit in a giant gun when piloting a ship around the universe with an extremely complicated universe projector; couldn’t they just grab their destination out of the air? Why the hell was Weyland in the film, at all? 

    1. “Why is it necessary to sit in a giant gun when piloting a ship around the universe….”

      Okay, I can definitely field that one: ’cause HR Giger designed everything to look like penises or vaginas!   It’s a cockpit, yo!

    2. How would anyone like as even to be as an entire life if already had one on the entire of a planet?

      More importantly, has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

    3. >Why would they not survey the rest of the planet before committing to a site?

      In a movie filled with holes, this irritated me the most. AT LEAST DO A FREAKING 5-MINUTE FLY-BY BEFORE LANDING.


      >Did nobody spot the twelve storey-high skull mounted on top of the facility roof?

      Seeing Baron Harkonen’s Castle was befuddling.

  15. This is why I don’t enjoy a lot of movies.  In order to suspend my disbelief, you can’t leave all this shit hanging.

    1. If they just want to pose a bunch of “big” questions and leave them open to multiple interpretations, that’s fine with me.  That’s part of what made “2001: A Space Odyssey” great.  But when the characters are foolish and (for the most part) unlikable, the audience disengages.  At least I did.  After ten minutes on the space ship, I was rooting for the aliens to come eat them.

      1.  This analysis I get.  You should do what I did, and just root for the inhuman. Robot.  It s clearly delineated in the film –  it s impossible to like any character that is unaware of David Lean.

  16. “Why did the alien run back into the room he was running away from? Did he forget his wallet?” This is a great answer for a great number of stupid actions in a great number of movies :D

  17. They forgot one plot thing that drove me nuts. If the magic surgical fix it box stapled whatsherface shut, with no bleeding, and seemed to heal her, then why was she still in pain. If she was in that much pain just standing, there was no way in hell, she was going to do all those athletic moves. 

    1.  I think I m over my bandwidth here, but really,  I think people move a lot more when they are in pain.

    2. Answer: because pain is in the mind. cf phantom limb syndrome.
      Answer: because adrenaline blocks pain awareness.

  18. I love red letter media, thought it might be fun to try to imagine answers to all those questions.

    1. What was the black goo and green goo? and was the black goo a weapon?

    The “goos” are biomechanical substances. There are different verities of it in the engineer’s facility. The goo much like fire has different forms and uses. Like fire the goo can be used as a weapon.

    Why was Weyland’s old guy makeup so bad?

    Opinion. Not a plot hole. Just one artists interpretation of what a human would look like after aging far longer then the human body could handle.

    how did the old man hologram know where to look at people?

    because it was a mission briefing which meant people would be sitting on chairs looking forward at him.

    2.Why would Halloway assume air safe to breath?

    The scientists were not there on a scientific mission. It was a religious mission based on a faith they had derived from cave paintings. Removing his helmet was an affirmation of that faith. He believed he would meet the gods soon and he was not afraid.

    3.Why did the biologist run away?

    When witnessing what appeared to be large and very dangerous sentient beings running from something unknown and even more dangerous the biologists fight or flight instinct kicked in and he irrationally ran away along with the geologist who was experiencing the same reaction. Hours later wondering the caves without incident the fear response subsided. And when he finds the black goo mutated worm which is considerably smaller and little less menacing then the engineers. His curiosity as a biologist gets the better of him.

    4.Why does Weyland want the goo in Halloway?

    why the hell not? When presented with the new fire of the gods he wanted to play with it .Weyland was a superstitious and ruthless fellow and was happy to have it used on his two good luck charms. His two true believers. Whether it remade their bodies into immortal gods or burned them to ash.

    5.How did David know they would have sex?

    It’s called alcohol. the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

    6.How is the Engineer DNA just ours and not also the same as all other earth life?

    The Engineers use planets as biomechanical computers running experimental programs in which the Engineer’s own DNA is broken down by the black goo. It runs a program that recreates their own evolution from basic life form to huge roided out grey dude. Using the new planet as a variable for changes in that process. like humans building androids they create in their own image. The humans were always meant to be parts of a weapon. The Engineers even came back to earth and said look your part of our weapons production factory located here and we are happy to tell you we will be right back from there with a wonderful new black goo to introduce into your ecosystem that should create some really great new biological weapons out of you guys. because we love you.

    7.Why did the Engineer go after Shaw?

    she had just participated in a catastrophic attack on his ship. he was not pleased.

    8.Why did the biologist and geologist get lost in the cave?

    Fight or flight response. And it was apparent that no one was actually in charge of the mission. It was just a group of people brought along by Weyland to give the appearance of an expensive exploratory mission to cover up his real intent of becoming a god.

    9. Why would anyone go on a 4 year mission without knowing why?

    I have no problem with this as it is the exact same way the movie “Aliens” starts out. It is a future where corporations run the world. When they want something done they simply place an order for whatever person they need and that person is shipped to that location where they are then told what to do and they do it. Free will and humanity is all an illusion in this future people simply perform for whatever amount of money is required.

    10.Why did Weyland fake his death?

    Weyland being on board would bring a lot of unwanted attention on the mission. Competing corporations would likely take notice and interfere.

    11.Why were they running in a straight line from the falling ship?

    ummmmmm alright yah that was stupidly written.

    12.Why did the Engineers want to go back to earth to kill us?

    Well this isn’t really a plot hole as its the final question Shaw asks herself as she flies away. But there are hints as to an answer peppered throughout the story.

    13.What were the Engineers running from? Why was there a short hologram of it?

    The engineers had biomechanical suits that recorded everything they did. David doesn’t fully know how to interact with their computer systems yet but he does easily figure out the play last recorded five minutes command. In this particular case they where running from a wonderfully horrible biological weapon they had made using some humans they had brought back as components. The Engineers were most excited to go back and get that weapon in to full production back on earth. Sadly that plan couldn’t be instituted as the planet had to be quarantined for a few thousand years as is Engineer protocol for unintended biomechanical weapon out breaks.

    1. Bravo, I made a similar response to a list of so-called plot holes last week but yours is better. It’s fun to think about these and I’m glad that the movie didn’t just explain everything to us. 

      I’ve been thinking about this and I’m not even sure that a director’s cut will (or should) explain these things that much – but perhaps a few more hints for people who don’t like to think about it are in order :)

      By the way, for #11 – why were the running in a straight line – I’m not sure this is actually the worst thing they could have done, although it sure did look like it in the film. Considering that it was a big donut rolling straight at them, if they chose to run sideways the wrong way the donut could fall over on its side right on top of them. They weren’t able to tell which way it was going to fall. Plus in that situation I guarantee they weren’t thinking straight, “fight or flight” taken to its extreme – all they could even think about doing is running straight away.

      1. my real problem with that scene was that I really wanted to see that Vickers character get in to a full on fight with the Engineer.  After seeing her intimidating David and handling the flame thrower, was not expecting her ending to be squished by falling donut.

    2.  Why was there a second fully functional Engineer ship on the planet for the robot and the hot chick to fly to the Engineer homeworld? Was it full of hypersleeping Engineers? Why didn’t they wake up? If there’s two Engineer ships with a mission to destroy Earth, both disabled, wouldn’t there likely be more? Lots more? Even if Robot and hot chick fly to Engineer homeworld faster than light, doesn’t time compression mean hundreds of years will pass before they arrive, so Earth is doomed anyway? Would someone please pass the popcorn??

        1. And do all of those ships have navigators?

          Which seems like a likely component. Which then leads us (by a commodius vicus of recirculation) to Original Alien and Environs (LV-426).

    For the record:  I always preferred Leonardo.

  20. I really liked PROMETHEUS but still, there were times I remembered why people hooted at BATTLEFIELD EARTH.

  21. How could the Engineer possibly have made it from his ship to The Prometheus’ life vessel?

    It was already established that Engineers and humans are genetically identical, and that they breathe the same air we do. How did the Engineer make it out of the vessel without so much as a suit, brave the harsh planetary atmosphere, and get into the life vessel in a matter of minutes?

    1. They’re not genetically identical; They’re genetically /compatible/, the same species. But so were early /Homo Sapiens/ who were not much taller than 4’10”-5’2″, were covered in dense hair, whose males lactated, and who could probably rip your arm off and beat you to death with it before you bled out. Engineers don’t have nipples or navels. I can’t run a marathon, and all but a few hundred of us can’t win the Olympics.

      1. I agree.  The Engineer’s lung capacity is probably at least four times the size of ours, probably closer to eight.  Given the fact the just thawed him out and in a matter of minutes is already up, cognitive, and killing people..I think it’s a safe bet he/it could take a quick run across the open planet surface without that much damage.

        (Besides did the Engineer actually work the air lock correctly or just rip the door open depressurizing the interior of the pod?)

        1. Their DNA was an exact match to ours…never mind that it wasn’t because we’re not 12 feet tall and gray, the graphic said so.

  22. I couldn’t get past all the unnecessary, cliche sound effects any time a computer did anything.  There were even sound effects for holograms appearing.  Wtf?

    1. The tissues that are a uterus in a female are the prostate in a male.  And we all know how attached males are to their parts.  :-P

    2. Perhaps by “foreign object” the system was looking for non human DNA or non organic objects?

      I wonder something different however.  If said alien was “delivered” by sex, wouldn’t it have been “growing” inside the uterus to begin with?  I suppose the machine more or less did a C-section, but I’m kind of skeptical of how all that exactly worked.

      (Frankly the whole – this unit is for a male only thing – was pointless and should have been left out.)

      1. And yeah, more Hollywood science, like, how can a woman who’s just had her abdomen muscles cut through and then stapled even get up, let alone run around non stop for half an hour. Those drugs in the future must be some SERIOUS shit!  :) 

        1. A couple people have mentioned that and I really think it’s one of those things that could have more easily been “explained” by having the laser/healer take a couple of passes over the opening once the alien was removed.  Sort of like the dermal regenerators in Star Trek…  I suppose it is possible something like that scene exists but was cut for time constraints…but I highly doubt it.

      2.  the alien is an equal opportunity inseminator and creates its own uterus. See “Alien”, and “Alien 3 (prison planet)”

  23. lol, anyway Flixest said something that there was originally a Space Jesus in the script, which was why they wanted to kill us. But most of the stuff talked about is theories and speculation.

    With that said, I still liked the movie.

  24. Warning: Major Spoiler is in charge of this unit.

    Cryosleep narcosis. The crew were still shrugging off the effects of having been meat popsicles. Not a plot hole; Done on purpose to emphasise how inept we are with our technology, reaching into fire.

    The Engineer wanted to kill Ripley^H^H^H^H^h^H Shaw because she was screwing up his mission. He killed David because David was a foreign body.

    The Engineers don’t want to kill us — they want to have sex with us. We are a stage in their (our) reproductive cycle : see the first scene of the film wherein Engineer Blue consumes a tall, frosty Black Goo Spermatophore and then becomes a tall, frosty Engineer spermatophore, fertilising the planet-cum-egg (pun intended).

    What’s next in the cycle? Parasitic ovipositors. Next? Matriarchal “mindless drones” worker-hive apex predators that have a tendency to overpopulate the planets they infest. Was it always this way? Are we the tarantulas to a tarantula hawk wasp / obligate parasite, food and womb to their wriggling spawn, and worse, have the Engineers become mind-controlled by the xenomorphs, like crickets seeking water to set free the (obligate parasite) worm consuming them?

    Alien(s)(^3) has always been about the horror of humans being raped by obligate-parasite-throat-fucking-apex-predator-insectoid-dna-hijacking-demonic-vagina-dentata-penile-dentata-whoops-vagina-dentata-on-a-stick aliens. Now we have a whole big life cycle for these things, and an explanation of how we came to be on this planet, and possibly the reason for the fall of the Gods. Oh, and a really creepy context for re-reading the Gospels in.

    I’m not saying the plot holes aren’t plot holes, if you take this movie as a stand-alone work. It /isn’t/ a stand-alone work, and makes sense if you see it as a parable (the way that its namesake(s) are parables) amongst a series of other works (the way its namesakes are amongst a series of other works). Why does one character run straight from the crashing, rolling spaceship while the other jog right? Why does Prometheus bring fire to humans even knowing it will end with being chained to a desolate rock with his liver pecked out by an eagle? Why does Dr. Frank N Shteen build himself a man (YOU CALL THAT A MAN) with blond hair and a tan (YOU CALL THAT A TAN), that’s good for relieving his (…) tension? Will Brad and Janet escape his clutches? Am I really suggesting Rocky Horror screamer lines be thrown at this movie?

    Ultimately, you must transcend your biology and decide for yourself.

    Every generation repeats the mistakes of the previous …

  25. One of the biggest unexplained leaps in logic for me was: How did the scientists come to the conclusion that we were engineered from super beings, “throwing away centuries of Darwinism”, by finding a similar configuration of dots on different walls around the world?

    I think some information in the thought process might be missing.

    1. Because the configuration of dots (and other information artifacts) dated from MANY times when human cultures had nothing else in common, and that demanded an external cultural transmittor, which, when mixed with OTHER STUFF WEYLAND INDUSTRIES ALREADY DISCOVERED, demanded Engineers.

  26. To me it just shows how easily the younger audiences are amused and amazed by crap.

  27. Another aspect of Prometheus that has rarely worked in storytelling is a serious answer to ‘Where we came from’.  It worked in Hitchhiker’s Guide because it was absurd and funny. It doesn’t necessarily work in Prometheus simply because we don’t like the answer…

    1. “2001” has already said it, said it well, and with hardly a snicker. Sounds like “Prometheus” is just the same thing all over.

  28. There are certain things I’ve heard/read that I don’t really think correctly fit what happened.

    Now this is just my opinion, man.

    The black goo isn’t a precursor to the aliens, ie it’s not something the Engineers directly created.  Why else would you have a giant sculpture of a full grown Xenomoprh?  It seems odd they would “worship” a creation, even more so a weapon.  The only movie I’ve known that to happen in was Beneath the Planet of the Apes with the telekinetic humans and their atomic bomb (but I’m not 100% sure they really understood the power of that bomb.)  I think the Engineers found the Xenomorphs (that also explains why you see all the dead Engineers – and the pods with face huggers from Alien.)  They used the Alien DNA to create the black goo – which perhaps after enough cycles would yield a similar type of Alien, but not identical to their original.  This would also explain why ingesting the black goo doesn’t cause you to “grow” an alien, but alters your DNA.

    The other thing I’ve seen thrown around was the early Engineer ship at the beginning is nothing like the ones at the end…perhaps it’s just a new model.  Or perhaps there are more than one “race” of Engineers.  Perhaps we were “created” as a way of continuing that race’s genetic line…which explains why we were on the future Engineers hit list as well.

    Sorry for all the quotations….those are just my opinions on the movie.

  29. I like my scifi when intelligent people are faced with difficult or even insurmountable tasks.  I liked Prometheus but I just couldn’t buy Weyland’s choice of crew and that choice in scriptwriting really brought the film down. When dumb people make mistakes and get eaten/killed it’s really hard to empathize as much. (run sideways you idiots!)

  30. My best part: when Captain Stringer Bell tells Sulu and Chekov to kamikaze into the alien ship and everyone is immediately cheerfully ready to give their lives to save humanity.

    Usually in similar situations the sacrificial hero is either A: the drunken, estranged Dad B: sick as hell or shot up almost unto death C: an evil doer who makes an inadvertent error or finds redemption in death.  These tropes we know well.

    But those guys were all set to go home!  The Engineers ship takes off and the scientist yells a dire portent.  ‘Well, that’s like, your opinion Ma’am: maybe he just wants to get home before the game starts…’

    I admire blithesome selflessness in the face of certain oblivion, really I do.  But get three people who are already planning to escape from death then pull the old switcheroo at the last minute, at least ONE is gonna say ‘can’t we at least talk about this?’

    1. Gotta admit, sacrifice for a noble cause without a second thought should have impressed the h**l out of Space Jesus.

      But he just seemed pissed.

      Oh, wait — Space Jesus got crucified. This must have been The Adventures of Space Jesus’ Smarter and Easily Irritable Brother.

  31. Cool special effects and shiny CGI with a built in gimme audience  <  Actually having a compelling story.

    You can use APPLE 2 graphics in your set piece monitors (like in Alien) and I don't care as long as you have an actual plot with a story and characters I care about. This movie had none of that.

    Techincally the movie was shot well.  What was shot, however, was complete garbage. 

    This is coming from someone who has seen the movie Aliens about 200 times.

    I think Men In Black was probably better than this movie. (yikes I can't believe I said that)

  32. Heheh, amusing. they missed a few though, like, how come, once the ship had taken off, been hit  by the  earth ship, crashed, rolled along like a hoop (and I always wonder why people run in a straight line in the  direction the threat is coming from rather than off at an angle), fallen over on its side, then Shaw (yeah, Ripley) manages to find David’s body and head exactly where she left them. Not even a bit of ‘you managed to hold on to the  floor somehow’ or, ‘guide me to where you are’ or any other throw away line to explain it. And much Hollywood science – ‘let’s hope no one knows enough about DNA to realise how unlikely it is for anyone other than identical twins DNA to match up, let alone an alien Engineer and some random human’ , and all the other  arguments that have been cited here. 

    I realise that it’s meant to be the first part of a series – trilogy probably. Even so, it’s a lot easier to throw in a lot of questions to make something seem deep, comlicated and clever than it is to answer them satisfactorily. Lost of course is the obvious example. So I suppose only time will reveal if  Lindelof and Scott can come up with a satisfying ending, or are they expecting us all to have an IQ of a backwoods 14 year old with the  attention span of an advert.

  33. I don’t know why people keep saying that “The engineers made us, so why do they want to kill us” is some kind of plot hole. Was I the only one that watched the last minute of the movie? Shaw leaves with David to find that out. It’s not a plot hole, it’s a question for a potential sequel.

  34. Bah the fanboy whining as a result of the absurd halo everyone has put on the supposedly brilliant script, acting and characterization in Alien and (even more ridiculously) in Aliens seems to have created a torrent of active hatred for a film that’s a total blast…It’s up there with any solid sci-fi offering of the last decade..The amount of web toilet paper created over the howling is enough to ensure that all the predictions that Prometheus will be forgotten are already wrong..

    1. There have been precious few solid sci-fi offerings in the last decade outside of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Moon”

  35. My experience watching Prometheus was a positive one.  I see everyone’s point regarding plot holes and characters acting irrationally.  Still, my bias comes from the fact that I grew up with Alien.  The first one came out when I was 9 years old.  I watched it a few years later when VHS tapes came out and it scared the bejeezus out of me even though I watched it at home during the daytime on a television screen.  When I was 16, I saw Aliens in the movie theater – nothing fancy except that THX sounds made the experience loud and fun.  For a teenager, the action movie aspect of the sequel was great for my age.  Now, at 42, I sat in a real IMAX theater with 3D glasses on and realized that my movie-watching experience has grown and evolved a lot since seeing Alien in the early 80s.   The sounds were crisp, the image was gigantic and filled my field of vision, the 3D and CG looked beautifully integrated to the live action plates.  Even though my professional background is visual effects, I found myself getting lost in the nostalgic reminders of my past Alien experiences. 
    The movie not only pays homage to its roots but faithfully retraces those patterns that should be recognizable to Alien/Aliens fans:  The first third of the movie shows the awakening from hypersleep, oddball crew interaction at breakfast, introduction to the synthetic human, the somewhat corny mission briefing rife with crew bitching and moaning in the background, and arriving on the alien planet.  Middle of the movie: First contact, initial redshirt victim, use of flamethrowers, Geiger art, sticky mucus.  Even the same quotes from Aliens come up “WE ARE LEAVING!!!”   At the end of the movie: female protagonist as triumphant sole survivor.
    I am not a good critic here because I am positively biased to this movie.  But I will say this – I’m not blindly loyal.  I did not like Alien3 (mostly, killing off Newt and Michael Biehn’s characters seemed too harsh) and I hated Alien 4.  I think Prometheus will grow on a lot of people.  I can’t say I understood or liked Blade Runner when I first saw it but it got better with age in my opinion.  If you pick apart the characters in that movie, you could argue that there are a lot of fatal irrational calls too. 

    1.  You poor bastard. Seeing Alien in a dark theater, coming at you—or rather, not seeing it…just sick mucusy shiny carapace and teeth emerging out of the dark…that was mind-fucking. Plus the whole “I will fuck you till you love me” parasitic wasp thing.

      1. I saw it on opening night at the North Point in San Francisco, one of the largest screens on the country. We thought that it was going to be something like a Star Trek movie. Slept in the living room with all the lights on in the house.

  36. Since everyone is bitching about what they didn’t like I have one that transcends Prometheus and hits at the majority of currently released sci-fi movies:

    -VIDEO.  That’s right, fucking video.  In a future where we have hypersleep and high end androids we are still transmitting telemetry via a shit tier analog signal.  Going back and watching things like DS9 I can somewhat tolerate it (I mean cell phones were just starting to go digital during the show.)  But now?  NO hollywood, that shit doesn’t fly.  Analog snow, rolling video, distortion…where the F did you pickup these suits…RadioShack?  It’s like not a single one of the effect guys has a cell phone or used video on the internet…you guys are suppose to be creating a realistic/futuristic vision here.  Instead it’s like I’m watching a 1960’s TV with rabbit ears during a thunderstorm….

    So to hollywood and all the sci-fi people, get your shit straight.  If for some reason you are going to use these effects you better damn well explain why the characters are using an analog signal and not digital (or hell something better than that.)

  37. Loved the review haha. Well made by these guys. It is more entertaining to listen to this kind of monotone and very sarcastic response to the shotty philosophy and storytelling that was given in Prometheus.

    One of my favorite lines from this clip- “…is he (David) a secret a**hole?” haha awesome!

    It is really easy to be very cynical about cinema. You gotta learn to take the good with the bad and realize you’ve paid money to sit in front of a big screen to be mindlessly entertained lol.

    Some of it is warranted I suppose, i mean that is what happens when you try to take on some of humanities biggest questions (the origin of  information etc.)  and simply leave the question you just asked unanswered. And an answer without a question is just a statement. They should have gone that route haha… annnyway, loved this clip and for all the cynics out there…cheer up charlie. Im cynical about your cynicism towards cinema, the difference is that im not paying for mine lol.

  38. While it’s likely that the director’s cut will restore various missing scenes and join a few dots, it’s still lame to release a movie with intermittent patches of makes-no-damn-sense-whatsoever. Maybe Capt Stringer Bell had good reason for his intuitive leap that the planet was a bio-weapons facility, but we never saw him see it. However, even with some dots joined up there’s still too much clumsy plotting and unconvincing characterisation.

    I think Ridley Scot was trying to make a movie about the relation between creator and creation, operating at several levels. You have Weyland fighting with his daughter, Weyland bickering with his bio-mechanical son David, Shaw performing a C-section on herself to get octopoid offspring out, and finally the human beings thawing out the last Engineer to ask him what it was all about, which did not end well. There’s a clue in the title of the movie. The full title of Mary Shelley’s best known work was “Frankenstein, or the New Prometheus”. The twist being that from the Engineer’s perspective, the humans are the monsters.

    Unfortunately, the actual movie had too much stupid in it. Apart from that, I enjoyed it.

  39. I knew the story was bad but it’s even worse than I thought.  Such a let down.  Bad story telling.  And I’m not talking about the unanswered questions, I’m talking about the stupidly answered ones.  

  40. I think it’s possible to like the message of this film, to believe in its basic premise- but only if you think that our first contact would likely be with an incompetent asshole. He’s a jerk because the first thing he does when someone’s trying to talk to him, is kill them, and he’s incompetent because his team can’t seem to handle weapons worth a shit.

    …And if the doughnut craft *is* a weapon- carrying warship, it can’t fend off a kamakaze attack from an unarmed science vessel? And one just like it is transmitting a ‘warning, stay away’ message that Ripley and company find- as if we had a nuclear submarine crash and warn all ships in the neighborhood of its presence.

    It’s a pretty film, and it’s different enough from the Alien franchise to be worth looking at, but it really has no business dabbling in horror movie theology. I’ll have to wait for the movie version of Fire Upon the Deep.

    1. That sort of assumes that the only reason an alien in the engineer’s position, when faced with the situation we see, would be violent or disagreeable is for him to be an asshole.  For all we know, they were heretics in the eyes of this guys god.  Perhaps the engineers hate color and must randomly kill on Tuesdays.  He’s an alien and we don’t grok his motivations at all.

      As for the ship not being able to defend itself: we see in the holo-recording that the ship had a captain and at least three action stations on what we assume is the bridge.  Who’s to say that it doesn’t require three or more people to control the ship.  One to navigate, one to pilot and another to man the weapons systems?

      A lot of ‘plot holes’ in the movie are really informational gaps.  They could be errors…or they could just be things we didn’t get info on to know if it was wrong or not.

  41. Why would the alien try to leave without killing everyone the first time, but when his ship gets blown up, instead of getting another one, then he decides to kill everyone. 

    How does everyone know where the emergency pod landed when it looked like it fell in a ditch.

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