You’ve got a trillion dollar spaceship that you’re sending on a perilous mission, how do you select your crew? Going by the crew in Prometheus you would trawl the maximum security correction facilities of America until you found the most ill disciplined, mercenary, sex obsessed prisoners who also happened to be biologists and geologists.
But first, you would start your story with a humanoid alien committing suicide in a landscape that could be earth or could be an alien planet that looked like earth, then you would show his/its DNA dissolving into running water (we know it’s DNA because of the double helix – always look for the mark of quality, the double helix!). This image is good because it means the combination of genetics and evolution can explain EVERYTHING that follows.
In the meantime, the humanoid aliens have been leaving invitation cards on earth in the shape of several dots painted onto cave walls in primitive astral scenes. The solar system represented by these dots is eventually discovered by clever humans who think it’s an invitation from the gods themselves. Figuring out that these dots represent a unique configuration of planetary bodies in the vastness of space is like finding a needle in one of the billions of haystacks in the trillions of fields that exist somewhere on planet earth.
Anyway, find it they do and they just can’t wait to get out there and interact with any alien life forms that they come across. So as soon as they’ve had sex and some beers, the crazy gang head out on their motorbikes and hummvies to the dome of mysteries.
In the dome, they argue amongst themselves (boy, who saw that coming?), split up, run away and ignore any technological devices that they might have access to that could help them find their way back to the entrance. The big discovery in the dome is that the humanoid aliens are actually unfriendly towards their children (humans). In filmic terms this is a classic twist. Unfortunately, in plot terms, this is a total fuck up. Things make even less sense now than they did before (which was pretty senseless).
Meanwhile, back at the space ship, a stowaway appears who… ah, who cares, it’s all nonsense so don’t worry about the story.
It all sounds terrible, and it is, story-wise, but the visuals rescue it from ’straight to DVD’ crap. But only just.
By the way, in the ‘operation scene’ this is the only time I have ever seen one of those grabber claws from amusement arcades actually hold onto a prize…