Some of my issues...
Where did all of the random extra crew members (PMC's) come from after Weyland was awoken from cryo?
A crew of 17 people accept to go on the most dangerous mission of their lives and are only briefed on their mission right before landing on moon LV-223 instead of before signing their contracts 2 years prior on Earth.
The movie proper begins with the discovery of a glyph that appears in the art of many human civilizations separated by vast distances in time and space. Apparently the configuration of five stars, depicted at the resolution of cave paintings, is sufficient to uniquely identify one area of space 35 light years away.
The black goo! You would have to think very untraditionally to expose someone to an unknown agent without isolating them. You would have to think very untraditionally to do this to someone who is potentially infecting the ship, crew and air you yourself will have to breathe when you come out of stasis. And why would a species create such a bio-weapon that its potential outcomes can't even be modeled or predicted? That's a pretty stupid thing for such a advanced species to do.
The Shaggy and Scooby of the film - a biologist and a geologist - freak out at the sight of dead alien bodies, despite having been willing to truck 35 light years on a perilous exploratory mission, and hasten to head back to the ship in a panic. They get lost, despite the fact that the geologist is the one with mapping expertise. This fear then evaporates as quickly as it appeared, as the biologist decides he should recklessly cozy up to a terrifying alien serpent creature. To nobody’s surprise, it quickly kills the biologist, while his geologist colleague is dissolved in black goop, only to later reappear as a zombie in a completely pointless fight scene. This is a pattern. In almost every scene, members of this handpicked group of top scientists for a trillion-dollar mission routinely make the kind of wildly irrational blunders that we strain to accept when it’s half-drunk teenagers in slasher pics. Nobody, at any time, acts remotely like a scientist.
At one point, Space Captain Stringer Bell abruptly intuits that they’ve landed at a WMD manufacturing plant wisely situated far from the Engineers’ home world, though it’s not remotely clear that his explanation is anything more than a wild guess. Maybe it’s just what he “chooses to believe”? This raises the additional question: Why did the aliens leave us with an invitation to their biological weapons facility?
The sophisticated alien computer has a sort of flute-like control mechanism, apparently used exclusively to turn the system on, at which point it’s operated by buttons. Which is like having a remote control for your TV, except for the power button, which takes the form of a flute. Why don’t they just have an on button? Or an entirely flute-based control system? Ugh...
The movie opens with an alien “Engineer” preparing to seed a primordial planet - presumably Earth - with life. He accomplishes this by drinking a black goop which causes him to die in agony, disintegrating at the cellular level. It looks cool, but forces you to wonder: Is this really the best means available for this incredibly advanced species to introduce genetic material to a planet? It’s a little like finding out that Prometheus brought fire to humanity by setting himself on fire despite the ready availability of kindling. As with many, many other bizarre moments in this movie, this makes sense at a thematic and allegorical level, but fails at the level of elementary plot logic. This is why doing allegory well is hard: Your story actually has to work at a second level without shattering the viewer’s suspension of disbelief on the first level. Throughout the movie, you get the sense that the authors have decided that if it works symbolically, it doesn’t need to make sense narratively.
We end with the two heading for the homeworld of the creatures who we’ve just learned are determined to immediately kill any human they see.
Edited by DetCord, 30 October 2012 - 11:25 AM.