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YMMV: Prometheus

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: David and exactly how much emotion and free will he really has. Fan opinions seems to range from him being entirely emotionless and simply following Weyland's orders to being entirely sentient and deliberately seeking out loopholes in his programming. Sound familiar?
    • Did he infect Holloway because Holloway was the most convenient target, or because he was the human who had been the biggest jerk to David?
  • Applicability: This movie was designed for Wild Mass Guessing. One moment of Idiot Ball could mean an hour of theorizing behind why it is so.
  • Awesome Music: If there was ever a piece of music that perfectly represents the sheer awe and majesty of creation, then, "Life" is it. "Earth" could count as well.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The coda showing the birth of a "proto"-xenomorph, a scene created to connect the film to the greater Alien mythology. However, audiences new to the context of the film don't know what the point of this critter is, since it was never foreshadowed, and it has no impact on the narrative, characterization, or the central conflict of the film, and have therefore found the epilogue confusing and out of nowhere. Audiences who know about Alien will acknowledge the connection, but since the action for a potential sequel has now moved offworld (with Shaw and David traveling to the Engineer planet) and Prometheus takes place on a wholly different planet from Alien, the scene is a narrative dead-end.
  • Cliché Storm: But arguably, many of this movie's clichés are ones for which Alien was the Trope Maker / Trope Codifier, so they qualify as Call Backs.
  • Critical Research Failure: One of the scientists on the bridge of the ship claims that 3% atmospheric carbon dioxide will kill you. It won't.
    • Not the film itself, but in real life, a Moral Guardian ticket vendor tried to push away people from the film by claiming that Shaw self-performs an abortion. The procedure in the film was not an abortion but a c-section. If it were an abortion, the fetus would have been killed, which it clearly wasn't. Also, perhaps most importantly, it was an alien-squid-abomination that would no doubt have ripped its way out of her given a moment more.
  • Epileptic Trees: Oh where do we begin? However, one should have expected nothing less from the Trope Namer, Damon Lindelof.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Many fans did not like this answer to the question raised by the Space Jockey.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Basketbike", for the sport David invented.
    • "Black goo", for, well, the black goo.
  • Freud Was Right: Where do we even start? Parent/child issues (both literal and metaphorical), pregnancy-based Body Horror, an android who may or may not have the hots for the protagonist, rape themes, all kinds of disgusting organic things being inserted in bodies. And of course, many, many things shaped like dicks.note 
  • Genius Bonus/Shown Their Work: One of David's scenes prior to the arrival of Prometheus at LV-223 shows him studying Schleicher's fable, an artificial story written in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language in 1868 (and updated over the decades as our best guess as to the vocabulary of PIE evolved). David's (presumably virtual) instructor was an actual linguistics professor hired by Ridley Scott to create the Engineers' language and teach it to the actors.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: David mentioning that Ellie's father was killed by Ebola back when the film was originally released in 2012 may have made it seem like a distant, exotic disease to most people around the world. Then in 2014 an Ebola outbreak flares up again in West Africa, infecting several US caregivers and doctors in the region, killing one man who had visited relatives there and didn't get treated in time, and infecting one of the nurses who was looking after said man that died of the disease. Suddenly Ebola doesn't seem so remote any longer for those in the West that normally only saw news statistics about deaths in Africa from this disease.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The crewmen who have a running bet with each other throughout the movie, Ravel and Chance. While they are more likely just friends or at least on familiar terms with one another, the duo did have an awful lot of significant glances and nearly all of their screen time was with the other.
    • Also Millburn toward Fifield. He seems to be laughing at his comment early in the film in a way to gain his approval.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • While the movie is a visually and aesthetically amazing piece, the plot and behavior of the crew is a mess. Just look at the Idiot Ball section to get an idea. Honest Trailers described the crew like this:
    "A lazy captain, who leaves his crew to die. A stoner geologist, with state of the art computer maps, radio communication, mapping balls, and GPS, who still gets lost. An inconsistent biologist, who is afraid of a 2000 year old dead body, but falls in love with a clearly dangerous alien snake. And an idiot woman who can only run in straight lines."
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: A major weakness of Prometheus is how similiar it is to Alien. In particular, Alien was revolutionary for having its protagonists be Space Truckers, but here, when the characters are scientists who should be highly motivated about the subject of their research, why are they still acting like Space Truckers?
  • Love It or Hate It: If you believe the internet, this movie is either a misunderstood masterpiece or a total disaster.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misblamed: Damon Lindelof bears the brunt of the hate for Prometheus by people who didn't like it. In fact, he cautioned Ridley Scott against leaving so many mysteries unexplained, precisely because of the bad reaction to the finale of LOST. Scott promptly overruled him. There is also ample evidence major parts of the film were rewritten, reedited, or reshot by Scott well into production. The much derided decision by the science team to remove their helmets, for instance, was not in Lindelof's original script.
  • One-Scene Wonder: A proto-xenomorph shows up only for the last minute of the film, and was a huge hit with the fanbase.
  • Paranoia Fuel: David can access the memories of the crew whilst they are in stasis. They've been in stasis for over two years. Furthermore entrusting your life to an amoral synthetic for that length of time is unnerving.
  • Special Effects Failure: In a film that is by and large astonishing to look at, Guy Pearce's terrible aged make-up really stands out, the result of prepping a design on the fly during a then-tighter schedule. One could explain it in-universe as side-effects of Weyland trying to extend his age, but it can still be jarring.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: It actually has some elements of this with Aliens. Where the movie Aliens uses the xenomorphs as metaphors for the pains of childbirth and parenthood, the aliens in Prometheus are used more as metaphors for hostile, overbearing parents.
  • Spiritual Licensee: The film can be viewed as an adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. This is due to the fact that much of its first-act material was taken directly from Dan O'Bannon's original Alien script, which was essentially a rework of that story (the version we're familiar with was a root-and-branch rewrite by David Giler and Walter Hill). O'Bannon (like his friend and onetime collaborator, John Carpenter) was a major Lovecraft nut and would eventually direct The Resurrected, an adaptation of Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
  • Squick: A completely uncensored emergency c-section, anyone?
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: When the original script for the film, Alien: Engineers, became available online and was confirmed as authentic, series fans were outraged over how superior it was to the rewrite, which removed all of the overt connections to the original film and introduced a lot of plot holes in the progress.
  • Vocal Minority: While certainly not perfect, this movie scored a respectable 73% ("Certified Fresh") critical rating on Rotten Tomatoesfar higher than Alien³, Alien: Resurrection or either of the two Alien vs. Predator movies—and its audience rating was almost as high. Still, to hear some longtime Alien fans talk about it, you'd think this film was a complete disgrace to the franchise with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Save for Guy Pearce's faulty makeup, even those with a negative opinion on the film can agree that it looks incredible, especially in 3D. Some examples include but not limited to would be the opening shots of the waterfall and the world, The Engineer's sacrifice, and the Starmap.