I know you all have been holding your little breaths wondering what would lure me back into posting--some political brohahaery? A celebrity scandal? A deeply felt personal screed?
Nope. It was a movie. And by movie, I mean "humungous gigantic cinematic event that nerds around the world have been jacking off to the mere idea of for the last decade and change." In other words, Ridley Scott was finally going to stop pretending that if he ignored Alien enough, the fanboy demands would go away. Yes, my freinds, I'm talking Prometheus.
I'm not going into the Ridley Scott history crap because if you're a nerd you know it already, and I'm not that kind of nerd so I'm not going to look up a bunch of stuff you already know. Suffice to say he finally put a ring on it and made the Aliens Prequel thing many in the scifi fan world had been demanding. And to put in the inestimable words of Dorothy Parker, It is going to be quite some time before we fall that heavily again.
You see, Prometheus committed the cardinal sin. It was longed for, begged for, and birthed by some of the biggest minds in modern scifi history. The cast was exceptional, the sets amazing, the story idea daring, taking on some of the biggest and most troubling questions in human history. And with all that, it couldn't resist the temptation of being--stupid.
Not stupid in conception. The idea of hunting down our creators and demanding answers to the most basic queries--why am I here? Why did you do this?--has a long and proud history in human fiction, from Frankenstein to the Scott directed Bladerunner. But as anyone who wants to tackle these ideas should know: God (and the devil) are in the details. It's details that create a believable world, details that link our own thoughts, knowledge, and perceptions to what the story wants to do. Neglect/ignore/switch up without warning at your peril. Your grand epic will stray from the path with very little prompting, into the fields of Moronity, and there graze contentedly as you weep and tear your hair.
Let's move on to some details, shall we?
Now, this is all based on seeing the movie once, and in less then ideal circumstances. Without getting into a play by play as exhausting as the day turned out to be, we ended up seeing Prometheus on the very last showing, having reached the box office too late to procure tickets for the show we expected to see (An hour ahead? Not enough time.) So it was 10:30 pm and we were both a little ragged from walking and beer (H, not me. Beer tastes like dead straw someone rubbed a lemon rind on. Don't try to talk me out of it) when we finally settled in our seats on H's birthday for his big treat.
Also, keep in mind--I am not a scientist. I have no kind of formal training in any field. My knowledge is based on reading, and the kind of books that explain science to people who are not scientists. So I'm not going to be critiquing things on a real technical level--it's going to be on a reasonably intelligent adult's level who really enjoyed Bill Bryson's A Short History Of Nearly Everything.
Okay, here we go, in the order they occur to me--
Opening shot: a humanoid but clearly inhuman thing is standing by rushing water as a giant alien craft hovers in the sky over it. As the ship pulls away, the thing doffs the grey cloak it was wearing, opens and sets up some kind of alien-esque thermos or cup, and drinks what's in it.
Whatever it is, it leaves 4 Loko in the dust. The liquid quickly dissolves the humanoid into black goop, and it falls into the mighty torrent as it does so. It has turned into molecules within moments, molecules clearly shown to be DNA.
(Remember this stuff, it'll be important later. Important to MY BITCHERY.)
Next, we flash forward to a time somewhere around seventy years or so ahead of our present day. Noomi Rapace plays a dedicated archeologist, Elizabeth Shaw, working in a cave on Scotland's Isle of Skye, when she spots something that makes her tear ass out of said cave and bellow to her boyfreind/husband/whatever to move his rump up there and check this out.
"This" turns out to be miraculously preserved cave paintings, far older than any yet found (WHICH IS HILARIOUS, because the paintings are laser perfect exact copies of the famous paintings in Lascaux, France, that were the subject of a popular documentary by Werner Herzog just last year. Ridley, stop copying off other peoples' cave walls! Eyes on your own wall!)
(And I don't blame you all for not knowing that, because the cave is carefully sealed and only a few scientific teams are allowed at any given time. This is because the breath and skin of the people entering the cave had released fungi and such into the air and it began to damage these priceless works. So now great precautions are taken around such finds. Precautions that professional archeologist Noomi is not taking, by the way. Remember this, it'll be important later. TO MY BITCHERY.)
ANYway, the thing that's got Nooms so worked up is a pictograph, showing humanlike figures standing around/worshiping a much bigger figure, which is gesturing to a stylized grouping of five stars or planets.
Turns out that this exact pictograph, with slight alterations for time and style, has turned up in many ancient civilizations, separated by time, space, and culture so that the only explaination is an outside force influencing said civilizations. (Remember this...you know the rest.)
Okay, premise set, let's haul some ass out into space, right? Which we do, with no transitional scenes between the Isle of Skye and the actual skies--a ship heading into deep, deep space.
This ship, as we'll soon hear, is the Prometheus, funded by eccentric trillionaire/polymath genius Weyland Whatever (seriously, it doesn't matter. Everybody just calls him Weyland) and it contains a crew of scientists/sailors that's heading out to the very star system depicted on all those ancient walls. Since this is a deep space mission the human crew is in hibernation and being watched over by A Very Special Android, David.
David, played by Michael Fassbender, is the first thing/person to really grab audience attention, and it's due entirely to Fassbender's performance. He roams the ship, making sure everything's functioning smoothly, watches Lawrence of Arabia on a continuous loop and styles his hair like the hero's, rides his bike, and bounces a ball. He also, for some unknown reason (remember that phrase, it'll...) likes to "watch" the sleeping crew's dreams. He spys on Shaw's dreams of her and her father in Africa, where her physician dad lectured her on extententialism and gave her a cross she still wears.
Annnnd...here's a problem. David, as shown, is an android who was specifically designed to learn. To not only take in facts but draw conclusions from those facts, to form opinons, to grow. A remarkable achievement; in fact, one of the most remarkable mankind has ever produced. But here's the thing.
David, the learning android, is at about the maturity level of a five year old. A genius five year old, of course, but one who has had no steering or guidance of any kind about ethics, morals, character, or what it means to have the responsibility of a learning, growing mind. AND HE'S THE ONE IN CHARGE.
David is there to maintain the ship, make sure no meteors crash into it, keep an eye on the crew, etc. What you'd expect. And of course no regular human could take the physical and mental rigors of long term deep space travel--they'd go bonkers in short order. So David the Android who needs no food, drink, air, or companionship, would seem a logical choice. But he's not. He's not a functional being, he is a growing one. Weyland has entrusted the ship, crew, untold billions of dollars and his most precious goal into the hands of a thing that is still at the "pulling wings off flies" level of curiosity and amorality. What if he decides to crash land the ship on a nearby planet? Or shut off life support? Or any of a million other things that might occur to such a mind, left totally unsupervised and roaming a giant ship headed for the unknowable?
Why would the crew sign up for such a suicidal folly? We're about to find out.
Prometheus gets to where it's going: the grouping of stars and planets, and the crew is roused. After a lot of lovingly filmed puking shots from Elizabeth (she's so delicate! So sensitive!) they hop to and start demanding this and that to get started. But wait!
They aren't the first ones up--that would be Charlize Theron, who plays Weyland Corporation representative Merideth Vickers with all the cuddliness of an enraged puff adder. She asks Elizabeth and her boyfreind/husband to her personal quarters, which are detachable from the main ship and basically an elaborate life boat/escape pod. She even has a neato-keeno super surgery pod that can do all kinds of medical procedures (Remember this.) She basically informs them she's the boss, since the WC paid for all this, but don't worry, she's just there to oversee. Shall we go meet the rest of the crew, none of whom Elizabeth or her B/H have ever met before, and start the briefing?
HALT. BULLSHIT. Yes, the script just established that a private corporation paid for all this and thus is calling the shots. But NO scientist going out on a trip of this import would agree to be suspended for four years in hibernation and then meet a bunch of strangers roughly fifteen minutes before beginning the most dazzlingly important work they will ever do. THAT IS NOT HOW A SCIENTIFIC TEAM WORKS. This is not some kind of emergency situation with a bunch of people thrown together. This is a carefully planned, mega-expensive multi year program. No way, no how would a bunch of randos just wake up, head to the conference room, and say "boy howdy, this is cool!"
But they do just that. Both the scientific team and the ship's crew, led by Idris Elba as Janek, the ship's captain who just wants his money and some Merideth Vicker tail, but he'll play his concertina in the meantime (Jesus, they hire an actor of this caliber and just throw a bunch of random crap at him and call it a "character"...more on this later). There's the ribbing back and forth between the two groups until Merideth walks out in her grey Nazi Casual suit and a pair of shoes that resemble hooves and make her look like My Little Social Darwinist Pony. She tells them to shut up and turns on the video.
In this case the video takes up an entire wall, and is Guy Pearce as Weyland in some of the less successful old age makeup I've ever seen, gassing on about dreams and meeting our makers and I don't know, I don't remember, it's about as boring as any of these things are, viewed in deep space or not. The best part is Waylend's little doggy laying down at his feet and stretching one leg towards the camera. (Ohhh, little toesies! I got 'em! I gots those toesies! Never share the stage with a kid or a dog, Weyland.)
This over, the group of scientists, none of whom have had much time to establish themselves as characters, with any background or motivations (remember this) and the crew, who have had no time at all to do so, suit up and pack up their Science Stuff as Janek starts steering the ship through the atmosphere of a moon orbiting a gas giant. Seems the most likely place to start looking.
And he is right, because about thirty seconds in, Shaw's B/H spots some straight lines, says something about no straight lines in nature, and sure enough, kaboom, there's a giant, clearly built by intelligent beings structure! Right there! Let's get going!
(As silly as the whole "OMG, it's in the first place we looked!" is, I'll let it go because I didn't pay to watch a bunch of people tediously map out a rock, I paid for aliens, so here we go.)
The scientists suit up in their elaborate space suits with detatchable helmets (remember this) and head off in their science dune buggies and science minivan to the structure. They get inside with little difficulty and start doing scienc-y things, like mapping by the stressed out geologist with tattoos and mohawk whom I have a LOT of trouble believing would pass the psych exam, but so far so good.
One of the scientists ( I think it's B/H but I can't remember) establishes that the air inside the structure (unlike outside, which is nitrogen rich and will kill you in minutes) is the same kind of oxygen/nitro/whatever blend as on earth and therefore it's safe to take off his removable helmet!
NO. NONONONONONO. This is something anybody with a fifth-grade background in basic protocols would know is absolutely verboten. Just because the air is apparently a mix our bodies can tolerate doesn't mean it's safe! There could be, nay, there undoubtedly ARE, billions of wholly alien bacteria and viruses hanging out in here! This is like kissing a rabid raccoon on the mouth. This is like drinking from a Venetian canal. THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS.
But off comes the helmet and nothing happens! So everybody else does it too! Yay for Science!
Anyway, blah blah blah, lots of walking and talking, and David finds some alien lettering and some green goo that fascinates him for some reason, even though nothing ever comes of it. But he can read the letters, which apparently read "CLICK HERE FOR PLAYBACK", so without further ado or informing anyone on the team, he does just that.
Blam! Some kind of playback it is, indeed! It's a grainy, digitalized kind of 3-D movie showing dozens of humanoid figures in elaborate safety gear (including HELMETS, you dumbasses) fleeing in apparent terror down the halls, around a bend--and as the team chases after them, through a door, which comes down on a last luckless soul between his head and his body, separating the two.
(Nobody yells at David or shuts him off for potentially endangering the entire mission in such a cavalier manner, by the by. I guess Helmets Off, Bets Off, huh?)
Anyhoodle, Shaw and the Scottish Biologist Lady--I'm sure she has a name but whatever, who are we kidding--start examining the corpse in awe and wonderment. Well, Shaw does. The other one just gets whimpery until Shaw tells her to shut up and get a body bag. See what I mean about interviewing your team beforehand? In the meantime the rest of the bunch are trying to figure out what all this means, and how to open the door.
David reads the directions and opens the door, once again without a care for anybody, and we see The Chamber.
It's filled with thousands of what look like metal vases, all propped up on the floor, and all directing the eye towards an elaborate carving of some kind that clearly depicts an Alien Queen. The whole thing comes off as an altar in a temple which is wierd and makes no sense, considering what comes later.
The team is bedazzled, except for the geologist and the other biologist, both of whom (and quite sensibly) want to back the fuck outta here and recoinnitor in a safe place--they have no idea what they're dealing with, after all. They take off at an indignant stomp towards the thoroughly mapped entrance (remember this). The others are all SCIENCE WHEE! until the vases start oozing black viscous goo (David is enthralled) and Elizabeth looks up and sees the detailed paintings covering the ceiling start to mutate and melt.
Now, recall my earlier bitching about the cave, and the helmets? Being infected by Offworld Anthrax isn't the only reason to keep yourself sealed off from an alien environment. Each of us humans is a walking ecosystem, carrying roughly three trillion bacteria on and inside our persons. These bacteria can infect the enviroment we're exploring just as readily as that environment can infect us. Remember the damage to the cave paintings I mentioned?
Well, Elizabeth does too (FINALLY) and yells their presence is corrupting the find (NO SHIT) and everybody heave to and get outta here. But first help pack up this alien head, we're taking it with us. Everybody but David does. David is too busy serruptitiously grabbing one of those oozy vases and then looking all "who me?" But they finally haul ass.
And not a minute too soon! Seems a giant storm is coming, and they've got something like three seconds to get back to Prometheus before it blows in and traps them in the structure. Blah blah blah, tension, blade sharp rocks, Shaw is almost killed/ almost loses the alien head but they reel her in, everybody's safe.
Except the biologist and geologist. (The geologist who was mapping the structure. MAPPING the STRUCTURE.) They're lost! Despite the elaborate 3D map being constructed back at Prometheus and the fact Janek can see exactly where they are, they get back to the entrance too late, the storm has hit. Janek takes a great deal of pleasure in informing them that "something" is following them, oh, wait, no it isn't, must be a glitch. Just hang tight, guys, and we'll get you as soon as the storm passes.
This sequence is bizarre, and I can't help thinking it was in an earlier version of the script and wasn't edited out for some reason. Janek is played by Idris Elba as having some kind of agenda in this scene--whether to expose the crew to an alien life form, just fuck with their heads, or what, isn't clear. But a viewer definitely gets the impression he's leading the two stranded guys towards danger, for some unfathomable reason. And here's the thing. This impression is not borne out by the movie. Janek's later scenes are of a cynical, out for himself captain who wants money and a little somthin somethin from Vickers, nothing more. Later he turns himself into a sacrificial hero. But whatever, why is this scene here and being played in this way? We'll never know.
And if you can't make up your minds about a character's reasons for what they do you have not finished your script. Why would you hire someone of Elba's caliber and then have him film such flagrantly different motivations with no through line??? He's not the only one, either--Oscar winner Theron isn't given much more and when she is handed a "motivation" it's weak, weak sauce. More on that later.
Back to the two lost scientists. They've been walking and squabbling until they are back at the central chamber, which is considerably more oozy and gooey. The two sensibly keep their helmets on (FINALLY) as they go inside, and now we're in for a real treat. A treat entitled "No Fucking Way."
In one of the puddles of ooze there is a sudden movement. The two tense. Slowly, out of the ooze, rises--an alien cobra. (Okay, it's not an actual cobra but that's what it looks like. And a penis. It looks like a penis, such as would give Freud night sweats. But let's call it a cobra.)
The biologist (who has been given no lines or scenes that would make his following actions make sense) is entranced. Okay, sure, this is the crowning moment of his life in the field, the crowning moment of his life period. A real, actual, alien life form! So what does he do? HE POKES IT.
Yes, the exobiologist who was hired onto this ginormous, generation-spanning mission POKES THE SPACE COBRA. Even as the thing rears back, shows teeth, and generally acts unfreindly in the extreme, even as the geologist yells at him about this massively stupid act, he continues to poke and sweet talk the space cobra, until the inevitable.
Space Cobra, throughly put out, lunges forward, attaches itself to his arm, and begins squeezing like drunken wrestler until it breaks his suit, swarms inside, finds his stupid face, and jumps down his throat. Whoopsie! The geologist freaks the fuck out and attempts to run, but Space Cobras never travel alone--he's taken down too.
This was the closest I have come to bellowing "YOU DESERVED THAT YOU MORON" in a public place for many years, but the gales of laughter surrounding me told me I was not alone in my opinion. Fucking idiot! How did he get hired for this gig? And again, the actor was never given any kind of line or scene that could establish him as the kind of man who would throw caution to the winds or be so thrilled that he forgets some of the most basic scientific protocols. He deserved to get eaten by a space cobra. I'm GLAD he got eaten by a space cobra. Any scientific expedition is going to be at least one angstrom safer without this dumbshit around.
But meanwhile, back at the ship, Shaw and Scottish lady are poking and prodding at the head. Remember the head? Well, they wear surgical masks at first, but after a scan shows the thing to be free of bacteria (because it's calibrated for every bacteria in the universe, apparently) they whip those off and cheerfully breathe all over it for the entire scene.
Blah blah blah, they decide to stick a probe in it to stimluate something, it works too well and a mysterious black ooze forms and begins to pulse and swell. They barely get it contained in time before it explodes and the actors can exchange "the HELL!" looks with each other.
Oh, and they figure out the DNA of this guy and humans is the same. Which is amazing and would seem to confirm their whole "engineers" theory, but whatever.
Now, all this time, what do you think David's been doing? Well, he's been fiddling with his Oozy Vase (not a metaphor, he's really fiddling with that vase he took on board) and obtains a bit of the goo, which he, for no discernable reason, decides to feed to Shaw's B/H, who is knocking back vodka and being all self-pity-party-time! because the "Engineers" are dead and he came all this way to find a tomb. Never mind that this is without question the greatest scientific find ever and he's part of it and it will rewrite human history, he wanted to talk to them! He's acting like a guy who's put out because a girl gave him a fake phone number. I can certainly see what Elizabeth sees in him.
David doesn't like this guy any more than the audience does, and watched B/H swill down his Goo Cocktail with a smirk of satisfaction.
Now, I just said David had no discernable reason for doing this, but that isn't true. He's got something even worse--two reasons.
Recall how he could be the Creepiest Creeper That Ever Did Creep and spy on the hibernating crew's dreams? Well, apparently the helmet he wears to do so can work like a walkie-talkie, because a few minutes before this he was wearing it and having a conversation with a still-slumbering member of said crew. The impression is that he is being ordered to do this by Weyland (Oh, shut up, of course it's Weyland. Who the fuck else would it be? No, he's not dead he came out here to confront God AND OMG BORING ) and right after this little tete-a-tete Merideth chases David down and demands to know what he said so OF COURSE she's his daughter and hates David and none of this matters. Really. It doesn't. But anyway, you're supposed to think David was ordered to do this by Weyland.
But why? What is the motivation behind this? They know NOTHING about this goo, they have read no instructions on the structure walls about it, for all they know it could kill every last one of them. Why would Weyland, trapped and helpless, want to risk the deaths of every single crew member out here in the middle of nowhere and die without the answers he came so far to find?
And David is not coming across as any kind of obedient servant. Indeed, he's pretty openly rebelling, as will become dazzlingly clear coming up. So David could be acting out of one of two motives--obedience to his creator, or plain ol' amoral curiosity. Either one would be justifiable. So pick one, movie.
Nope. The movie never picks one. All of David's subsequent actions can be backed up by either of these two choices, but the choice itself is never made. It is INCREDIBLY frustrating and thank God they hired Fassbender for this impossible, nearly unplayable role, because a lesser actor's brains would have melted out his ears.
Moving on! And I 'm going to pop down on just a few more things, here, because this damn post is getting as long as the movie.
Shaw's B/H finds her in their quarters and they debate God's existence and have sex. In the morning he wakes up all gross and finds A BLACK THREAD COMING OUT OF ONE OF HIS EYEBALLS. So he runs right to sick bay and quarentines himself and the entire crew is thrown into emergency mode because they've been exposed to some kind of alien virus.
Fooled ya! He doesn't say a word to anyone, not a soul. Shaw notices he's feeling ill but instead of doing any of the protocol-required things listed above, just acts concerned and feels his forehead and helps him suit up. Science! (Oh, and during this crap David all super-stealthy asks Janek about the fake life form pings he saw, and Janek says it's a glitch and David offers to "fix it" and Janek says fine and David is all sneaky Petey about this and nothing comes of it. )
Let's see... B/H mutates and kills a bunch of people we don't care about until Merideth wipes him out with a super flamethrower (but it only works for a while and then the few remaining crew members we can't possibly care about because they didn't exist until now have to burn him alive again but none of this matters), and Shaw gets all sad, understandably and passes out. She wakes up with David leaning over her in Gestapo Doctor mode and asks if she's pregnant and she's three months along and he dopes her up to stop her panicking, but she fakes being out of it until Scottish Lady comes in to move her to quarentine and then she crushes skulls left and right and runs down various hallways in her undies (Sigorney Weaver wiped away a tear) untils she find's Merideth's quarters and the surgery pod. Man, you never know when one of those will come in handy, huh?
Elizabeth lunges for it and tells it to get ready to perform a C-section, but it can't. You see, it's calibrated for a male.
Let's pause for a minute.
Calibrated for a male.
Time to really let loose here. This machine is in MERIDETH VICKER'S quarters. She has openly stated she values her own continued existence above all else, so that's why it's there. WHY IN THE BOILING FUCK WOULD IT BE CALIBRATED FOR A MALE HUMAN??? My husband suggested it may have been for Weyland, but then why the hell is it in Merideth's quarters? Even if it was brought on board for Weyland she clearly installed it where she wanted it. And she is not the type of person to forget to flip the Calibration Switch from M to F.
Jesus H. Christ. These people.
Well, Elizabeth tells it to do an appendectomy or whatever and shoots herself full of drugs and slicy-dicey--it's a squid! She slides out from under it (after a row of surgical staples is inserted into her abdomen so her insides don't fall out) and she's off and running again, and those drugs must be AH-MAY-ZING because normally people who just had abdominal surgery can't even walk, but hey, adrenaline and monster babies and she's got shit to do.
Off she goes to find David getting Weyland all gussied up to go talk to the Engineers (Oh, I forgot, David headed back to the temple and found a big map room with Earth on it and hibernation pods with one still working so Weyland's getting ready to bitch slap him some God. That's why he's up and about.) Shaw doesn't ask the obvious question--"What the Christy fuck are you doing here, supposedly dead man?"--because she's got to tell them the truth, they were wrong, so wrong, it wasn't an invitation, and this place is a weapons manufacturing installation where they were clearly planning to use these squid cobras to clear out all the planets they seeded, but something went wrong and they all died.
Okay, hold up again. These Engineers, whatever they were, had the technology back when life did not yet exist on Earth to find and seed planets with their essences. They also clearly visited Earth in widely spaced times and places according to the pictographs that started all this. So given the level of their sophistication and knowledge, what the hell are they making the alien/weapons for? Hey, Engineer guys! Here's a hint--you already have the level of tech you need. Hell, we have it. It's called a GUN. There is no way that humans posed such a threat to the Engineers they had to come up with something so elaborate and dangerous to wipe us out. Something, indeed, that did wipe them out before they could even use it. Damn, I hate when that happens.
And here's the crux of the whole damn movie--there is no reason, no given or logical reason, for any of this to EXIST. Why show us how to find your weapons manufacturing floor when you can come to us any time you want? Why visit so many times and then stop visiting? Why are we so dangerous in the first place? Was the orginal seeder of Earth a rebel and this is a coup, or are they under orders from a yet greater power, or what? No answers will be forthcoming, as the movie continues to enthusiastically undermine itself.
Anyway, off we go to the hibernation pod that David found, with some rando occasionally punching Elizabeth in her staples when she gets rambuctious (Those drugs are AMAZING, people. I hope the future gets here quick so I can try them!) David wakes up the last remaining Engineer and asks it some question (that is not translated for the audience) under orders from Weyland.
Well, whatever it was, the creature reacts the way you would to a Yo Mama So Fat joke and tears off David's head. Damn! That thing comes in my house, I kill it! He then smacks Weyland into the middle of next week, where he lands next to David's head and whispers he's dying. David's head refrains from going NEENER NEENER in his face and says he hopes he has a good journey. Whatever.
The thing is meanwhile chasing a sprinting Elizabeth (DRUGS!) out of the temple and she gets onto the plain and a whole bunch of shit happens, including Janek deciding to be a hero and telling Merideth to fuck off so he and his crew can crash the Prometheus into the creature's ship that he's firing up, presumably to go to Earth and release his squid monsters. They do it and Merideth's little pod crashes on the surface and she and Elizabeth try to outrun the rolling alien ship (try SWERVING) and Merideth is crushed into a bitch pancake but Elizabeth survives, long enough for David's head to speak to her in her helmet earphone (keep those helmets on!) and tells her the thing is chasing her and she runs in the pod and manages to trap the creature inside the pod with the squid baby, which has been growing in there all this time and was not very happy about it. Squid baby crushes the creature and lets out a patented Alien roar, and that's all we see of her.
Elizabeth, meanwhile, is ready to spend her few remaining moments in quiet contemplation, but David's head tells her there's lots more ships here, and for some reason she decides to trust this android and goes to fetch him (thoughtfully bringing his body along even though she really just needs the head and it's not like she's a biomechanist and can reattach it) so they can fly one of the alien ships to their motherworld and get some damn answers. Because that has worked out splendidly up to this point.
So the last shot is her taking off in an alien ship with David's head and a voiceover recording to any ships in that might ever come there to stay the fuck out, and we all know how that ended up, and, finally, credits.
Okay, I know I really dragged this out, but honestly. Did you notice, just here and there, a few flaws in this film? The pointless motivations? The ignoring of any and all scientific procedures? The fatal weakness at the heart of the story--that the facing off between man and his Creator never came to pass?
Ridley Scott is not some hack. He's talented and focused and God knows he's demonstrated that he can tell a complicated, haunting story well. I don't know what happened here--too many drafts of the script, studio meddling, or what--but basically it's a georgous, expensive photo of nothing. There's no there there. It's worth seeing for Fassbender's performance, but only just.
So, as I finally sign off on this beast of a post, remember: Don't go assuming alien presences have our best interests at heart. Don't just trust random androids. And keep your helmets on.