In 1968, New York film critic Andrew Sarris called Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey a complete disaster. “It is much too abstract to make its abstract points.” A film that is now considered a masterpiece was initially dismissed by critics as being intellectually obscure and inordinately long. The same can be said for Scott’s own 1982 future-noir classic, Blade Runner, which left audiences and critics polarized by its complexity.
Prometheus doesn’t have all the answers. It’s a challenging, possessing work of art that deserves your careful attention and should be thoughtfully interpreted instead of having a simplified meaning assigned to it. Some will recognize its genius. Others will see nothing but inconsistencies, plot-holes, and “lazy writing.” The same was said for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner – now two of the American Film institute’s 100 greatest films of all time.
Chronologically speaking, yes, Prometheus is a predecessor to Ridley Scott’s 1979 film, Alien. The word ‘prequel,’ however, communicates to an audience that they already know the ending. This is not the case with Prometheus. The mythology established by Scott, Spaihts, and Lindelof has bits and pieces of Alien DNA interwoven throughout, but ultimately Prometheus is an original science-fiction story. You won’t see Xenomorphs ****ing each other for a goddamn percentage (or Paul Reiser, for that matter).
Much like Terrence Malick’s nebulous The Tree of Life or Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Prometheus is an engaging, inspired piece of cinema that encourages speculation yet confirms nothing