I went to see Prometheus…
Prometheus shouldn’t have been a good film. It should have been a fucking fantastic film. With Ridley Scott directing and an absolutely cracking cast. However despite this and despite having some mind blowing special effects and an overarching plot that promises epic philosophical and ethical exploration it is let down sorely by one thing. Well, one thing and two people. The script and the people, Damon Lindelof and Jon Sphaits, who wrote it.
Overall the script was clunky and seemed to me to be a rehash of a rejected 1950’s B movie. The actors all deserve credit for managing to work their way through it as well as they did. The script is full of major plot holes, cod philosophy and so many basic scientific(and archaeological) inaccuracies that anyone with a high school education should have been wincing all the way through. Character development is nearly non-existent, aside from the character of David played by Michael Fassbender, so it is difficult to find any sympathy for any of the characters. The characters almost all act in a completely unfathomable way, even David who is the most developed character by far.
But it is the simple scientific, and archaeological, fuck ups that really irritated the fuck out of me. I’m not concerned with ‘realism’ when it comes to things that we don’t have today and so need bullshit explanations but when it is things that are available on wiki-fucking-pedia there is absolutely no excuse. Sorry, no fucking excuse.
For starters we are told that the crew have been asleep for a little over two years yet the nearest star to Earth is something like 4 light years away so they must have broken the speed of light to get there. A pretty remarkable advance for the next 70-80 years. But then we are told that they a visiting a galactic cluster that has a star in it around which orbits a planet with a moon. So the planet, sorry moon, we are visiting is in a different galaxy? And they got there in 2 years? And this galaxy, nay this entire galactic fucking cluster, only has one star with a planet? WTF????
Then there is the archaeological stuff that was just absurd. At the beginning of the film we are told that we are on the Isle of Skye at an archaeological dig. We see Noomi Rapace hard at work making a discovery and sending a fellow archaeologist to call Dr. Holloway, hereafter Annoying American Dude(AAD) ‘quickly’. Said archaeologist rushes out of the cave and shouts down the hill to AAD who is hard at work sieving some soil samples(meinne gotte! Some actual archaeology!). AAD quickly throws his sieve to the floor and dashes up the hillside because you have to be quick off the mark to catch archaeology… Anyway, AAD gets to the cave where Noomi Rapace has found a wall full of cave paintings in the style of Lascaux. “Have you dated it?” AAD asks, and here I am willing to suspend disbelief and accept that there has been some super fast and portable means of radiometric, or other technique, dating developed in the 80 years between now and then. The response though “Yes, 35,000 years”. 35,000 years? W.T.F??? The earliest evidence for human occupation in Scotland goes back maybe 10,500 years. 35,000 years ago Scotland, and therefore Skye, was under a sheet of ice a kilometre thick. It was uninhabitable. Also bear in mind that the paintings at Lascaux date back around 17,500 years.
Seriously. Hollywood. There are plenty of folk out there with archaeology degrees. Just pay one of us to give your script the once over. As it goes the film comes across as something produced by the SyFy channel but with better effects and an expensive cast who are wasted on a clunky script written by morons who deserve to have their livers eaten by birds.
It is a pretty film mind…
Edited to add: Lol, can’t believe I missed this one 😀
Posted on June 9, 2012, in Archaeology, Cultural Shenanigans, Geekery and tagged Alien, Archaeology, cinema, Damon Lindelof, Lascaux, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Prometheus, pseudoarchaeology, Ridley Scott, Science Fiction, Skye. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.